Episode 8: Manifesting My First Book

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In today’s solo episode I share my journey towards becoming an author, and the role manifestation played in getting my first book written and published. I talk about my dark night of the soul and how this spurred me on to making my author dreams a reality. I also share some of the tips and tricks I used to shift my mindset away from negativity and towards a life I truly love, with writing at the core.

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Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 8: Manifesting My First Book – Transcript

Welcome back, my lovelies, to another episode of Alchemy for Authors. So, as I’m recording this, it is the Easter long weekend, and yesterday I got to interview a wonderful guest, Monica Hay, who is going to be on our show in the future here. And we talked a lot about manifestation and the role that manifestation can play in our writing lives and creating and supercharging our author lives, our writer lives, so that we really are doing what we love and living the wonderful life that we all envision for ourselves. And that really got me thinking about my own author journey and how I have utilized manifestation to create the life that I’m living now and to jumpstart my author journey.

So some of this I’ve shared with you before, but I think it’s worth sharing again. And I think it’s important as you listen to this, to keep in mind that I am not an expert at all in manifestation. I am still learning and growing every single day. Part of the reason behind creating this podcast was so that I could learn from other experts in the field and utilize that in my own practices. I am also a pretty new author. I’ve been at this for only a couple of years, really, putting books out in that. And I have four books to my name at this point, which I’m actually quite proud that I’ve got four books considering how crazy busy my life is in every other way. But I have learnt a few things. And in reflecting back too, I’m hoping that some of the things that I’ve learned and some of the practices that I put into play to get to where I am now, might help some of you, particularly if you’re just starting out yourself and maybe you haven’t written your first book, but you’ve got that seed of that dream in you and you want to. It’s that wanting, that desire that you know that you’re being called to be an author or a writer and you just don’t quite know how to take that first step. So I’m hoping that some of this will resonate with some of you. And of course, all of our journeys are different. What works for me may not necessarily work for you and vice versa.

So, as you probably already know, I’ve always had the dream of wanting to be an author, or as far back at least as I can remember to age six when I decided that writing was going to be my thing. And even before that, when I was five, and I remember my very first day attending my first primary school and I was being walked around by my mum and the principal at the time, and shown the school. And we stopped at this little school library, which was really a very small room, but it was just absolutely packed and lined with shelves of books and I was in complete awe. I just felt like I had found my real home. And I don’t even think I could read anything at that point. My parents were pretty good with my schooling before I started school and teaching me the basics of counting and that. But I don’t know that I could actually read anything. And yet I remember pulling these beautiful chapter books and novels and that off the shelf at five years old and just stroking their covers and opening the pages and looking at all the words and just feeling innately that it was something meant for me. So I spent my primary years, my teenage years, my 20s, my 30s, all dreaming and envisioning myself that one day, one day I was going to be a published author, one day I was going to write books for a living. And of course, I’d get side-tracked by day jobs and relationships and travel and all those other good things that come along in our lives. And I would push those thoughts to the back burner when something new and shiny would come along and go, oh, no, maybe photography is my thing. So I’ll go be a photographer’s assistant for a while until I learnt the ropes, or maybe interior design is my thing. And so I’ll go get my certification in that and work in those jobs. I never lasted very long in those other careers because there was always this in ache behind the scenes of what I really want is to write. I love books. I want to write. Sometimes it would lead me to jobs that were like shadow jobs. They were kind of close to that passion, that dream. Like, I managed bookstores for a while. I worked as a librarian. I volunteered within schools as a literacy assistant. I did lots of those kind of things because I thought that that might fill the well and be just more realistic. Right? Because in my mind, I didn’t know anybody who had written a book. I didn’t know any authors or poets or anybody who was actually making a living from that. Those people who I saw were doing that they were the Stephen Kings of the world or the Nora Roberts or people who were living life so far out of my reach. I thought at the time that they must have just been born with some kind of special ability or talent that us normal people did not have. You know, I didn’t really believe it was in my sphere of being, I think, to be an author, no matter how much my heart yearned for that. And I would be telling my friends and family, oh, yeah, I’m going to be writing books one day and all the rest of it. I don’t think I fully believed it.

And so that led me to starting novels and not finishing them, writing short stories and not finishing them, writing really, really atrocious poetry and doing all the things. When I was in my 30s, I moved away from Canada, where I’d been living for several years, and moved back to New Zealand, where I was born, and back to my family. And that urge to write got so much stronger, so much so, that I began studying the routines of other authors. I began devouring books on writing so much more than I had in the past. I began listening to podcasts like Joanna Penn’s podcast The Creative Penn. That was just absolutely mind-blowing to me. I just adored it because she really just opened this door as to what was possible for somebody who had no experience in the writing realm to create a living through writing. I went back to University, and I completed a degree I had started way back in my 20s, but it lead me to getting a specialization in creative writing and allowed me to be part of some writing workshops where I got to work under the tutelage of a published author here in New Zealand. And she liked my work. And so that was a huge buzz for me and made me really start to wonder and consider if maybe I could do something with this. Maybe I, too, had that special power.

No, there’s no special power or anything like that. But it was enough to kind of boost my confidence a bit, that maybe there was something to this dream that I’ve had for my entire life. But of course, I didn’t believe it enough to actually put it into action. And so I went and trained to be a teacher and started teaching. And that was kind of cool because I got to teach kids how to write awesome stories and all the rest of it. That was kind of fun. And in the background, I began submitting some of my short stories to literary journals here in New Zealand, and they got accepted. Now, I did get a few rejections. It wasn’t just all rainbows and unicorns. Of course there were rejections, but overwhelmingly they got accepted. And I didn’t submit a lot because my confidence really wasn’t there. But it was enough of a boost to, again be a little bit of that cheerleading from the universe that I needed to begin to take myself a little bit more seriously with my dreams to be an author.

Now, I’d always believed in the law of attraction and manifestation, and I’d used it multiple times in my life. I’ve always been big into all kinds of crystals and affirmations and meditations and Reiki and everything you can imagine, I probably dabbled in it. And so I understood the concept. But even more, I understood the feeling of when something was going to manifest, and yet I never could bring it to my writing. I don’t know whether I was too scared or just didn’t believe enough of myself to actually fully utilize the practices of manifestation towards creating a writing life myself.

That was until things started to go really sideways in the job I had at the time. And it’s funny how a lot of people I’ve talked to, it is in the dark night of the soul, that time in their lives where they feel like they’re heading towards rock bottom or do hit rock bottom, that is the catalyst for something so much greater in their life. And so that’s actually what kind of happened to me. I went through a few years of some really hideous toxic bullying and that in my life, that was really detrimental to how I felt about myself and how I felt about life in general. And of course, that led to heightened anxiety, which had always been a battle for me anyway, but also deep, deep depression, which really wasn’t my thing.

I’d always been a bit of a pessimist, I’ll give that for sure. But I’d never previously allowed myself to languish in depression for very long. And I know that sounds kind of silly, and I have people in my family who legitimately suffer from depression, and so they don’t necessarily have that ability to be able to pull themselves out whenever they feel themselves going under. But that wasn’t me. I could always pull myself out if I felt myself getting too negative or too depressed. I would surround myself with all the good stuff or the uplifting meditation and affirmations and self-help books and all that, and I could usually pull myself out of it. But during these years where I was really in a not-so-great place, that was near impossible, it didn’t matter how much I worked at that. I was so beaten up on the inside. My self-esteem had just crashed so severely that that was near impossible. And so I did all the things that I thought I could do. I went to counseling. I wasn’t keen on medication, so I didn’t go there. And even the counselors that I saw said it was situational depression. If I was out of the situation, I wouldn’t be depressed. Only I didn’t really see an out for the situation.

But it really was the catalyst to jumpstart my writing journey. Because although I’d been doing all this, like, homework behind the scenes for many, many years, I had never actually taken myself seriously as a writer or taking those steps to create a writing life for myself that I’d always envisioned until I felt like I had nothing, nothing to lose, no confidence left, no self-esteem to be destroyed by rejections from the world over my writing. I needed to be at rock bottom to be able to move forward, and that’s absolutely what it took. I couldn’t foresee a future for myself. And so therefore, I felt like I had absolutely nothing to lose by going all in on the seed of a dream that had always been there. Part of me also thought maybe writing would be my savior, and not in a let’s get our feelings and words down on paper and heal ourselves that way, which I’ve talked about in other podcasts and it legitimately does help, does work, does help get you out of those really dark times and those really dark things. But I began to wonder if maybe I could remove myself from the situation I was in, remove myself from the people I was surrounded by, if I could create an entirely new career for myself. And you have to understand that at that point, I didn’t really want to be around people. People had hurt me at that time, had really destroyed the confidence that I’d had in myself. And so I really wanted a career that meant I didn’t have to have people around me, which, as I know now, is impossible. And I wouldn’t want that. I wouldn’t want that at all. I really love people. I was just going through a bad time. But that dark night of the soul was the catalyst for me to get my butt into gear and go, all right, well, I’ve got nothing to lose. My self esteem could not be any further through the floor right now. So screw it. If people don’t like what I’m doing, don’t like what I’m writing, what does it matter? They don’t seem to like it now anyway. And so I went all in as much as I could with my writing.

Now I had to keep the day job that I was in because bills, mortgage, all the rest of it. There wasn’t really an option to leave, and I could have looked at other job opportunities and that but I’ll be honest with you, my confidence wasn’t there. The idea, I had spent a while looking for different positions and different jobs that might offer the opportunity for more time off to write and all the rest of it, but I was so beaten up inside that, of course, I couldn’t manifest that. I felt really trapped where I was. And so it was about finding a way to focus my energies on something that did bring me joy, but might also bring me an escape. And so I kind of saw that for my writing. And I joined some wonderful Facebook groups, 20BooksTo50K was one of them and Wide for the Win. And they were just eye opening because there were people who were doing it, who were creating author careers, who were earning big bucks, more money than I had ever imagined you could from writing, unless you were one of the people who had been around for a very long time, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, like I said, but people were doing it. And sometimes they were doing it in incredibly short amounts of time. There were a lot of prolific authors there, and a lot of them that didn’t necessarily have day jobs, so they weren’t exactly in the same realm as the situation that I was in. But being bombarded on social media all of a sudden by these people that were doing it, they were living the dream that I envisioned for myself made me begin to consider that it was a reality that I could strive for, that I could have, that I could own. And so that is actually one of the key parts, I think, of manifestation is that we need to look for those success stories. We need to find them around us, and we need to really soak them up. We need to get to the point where we can believe that what we want for ourselves is a possibility. So we need to find those people who are doing that. And there are always people out there doing that. There is no path that you want to walk with your writing career, your author career that hasn’t been walked before. And so that in itself is really uplifting to know that you’re not doing this alone. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Other people have gone there before you, and it is a possibility because you need to keep in your mind, well, if they can do it, why can’t I? Why not me? Of course I can do it.

But so, when I decided to get a little more serious with my writing, I did what I’m always prone to do, which is research the crap out of it. So I threw a lot of money at different courses and things like that that I thought would help with all my learning, because I was still, to be honest, I was still too scared to take that first step and actually write a book. I was stuck in the let me learn everything I possibly can before I write the book, and then it’ll be perfect, which we know isn’t the way. And I’ve learned a lot on this journey. Now it’s about, let’s just do it, let’s do it messy, let’s get it out there. Don’t have time to waste. But I did spend a lot of time enrolled in different courses and really learning the scope of the Indie world, because I decided pretty early on that I wanted to publish as an Indie author. I wanted that control. I didn’t want somebody else as my boss anymore. That was totally out of the question. I wanted to be my own boss. So I wanted that control over everything. And from what I could see, the Indie route, although not easy, seemed much easier than going through one of the big publishers. There were no gatekeepers. I could still do everything to a high professional ability. I could still get professional cover designers, professional editors, and I did all of that.

So I started doing all the courses. I enrolled in a lot of Mark Dawson’s courses. His Self Publishing Formula 101 was one of them, and it was fantastic. I love it. I still go back and poke my head in from time to time to relearn some of the things there now. That course, I think, is primarily set up for people who are going more Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. They still touch on going wide, and I still got a lot out of that. It was where I really got the grounding and how to set up like a mailing list and newsletter and all the rest of it, and how to put my books out on different platforms and everything, create a website, all that good stuff that I would have had no idea how to do otherwise. I have never really been that tech savvy, but I was determined to do everything myself pretty much at that time, minus the editing.

Now, one of the things that I was doing, which is very law of attraction manifestation like, during this period, where I knew that I was going to start to get serious about writing, and I thought I was doing that by doing all these amazing, wonderful courses and really delving deep into the course of getting this unwritten, unpublished book out. There I was using a lot of affirmations and visualization, but affirmations in particular. I read this book that really appealed to me called The Magic Mala. And I’ll have to look up the author and I’ll put that in the show notes for you. And from memory, this book was a fictional account of the author’s real life experience becoming an author, wanting to write his first book. And so, from memory, it was how he went about using a mala, which is, I think it’s a Tibetan or Buddhist meditation string of beads, 108 beads. And somebody’s going to be able to correct me on this because obviously I’m not all up on this, but in the book, the author used the beads and would touch every bead and say something that he was grateful for every day. And he started to see that his life changed. He wasn’t very happy with his life at the time, and he started to see that his life changed just by doing that every day, touching every one of those 108 beads and saying something that he was grateful for. And so any excuse to shop around for beautiful beads and crystals, I took the time and I purchased a couple online of some just absolutely gorgeous beads and I started to do the same.

And I had a bit of a commute to my job. It would take anywhere between 35 – 40 minutes. Me driving in the countryside. It was actually fantastic. It was where I really consumed originally a whole lot of wonderful writing podcasts and uplifting things so that I could at least start my day feeling really jazzed up and happy about life. But I would also, don’t know if I should really be recommending this as you drive, but on one hand, I would have my mala beads and I would be going through doing the same thing and I’ll just be doing it rote, so I wouldn’t need to take my eyes off the road or anything like that. But I would just touch every single bead. I’d be saying out loud or thinking of something that I was grateful for, just to try and shift my energy to start to open myself up to the good things in life, despite being surrounded and sometimes quite often overwhelmed by a lot of the negativity. So I would do that all the way to work. And then I started to change it up, based a little bit on this book again, The Magic Mala. And I would start to say affirmations about what I wanted for my writing life. And so I would say something along the lines of, I am a prolific full time author, or I easily write my first novel and have it published. But I would do it over and over again. Or, I would earn this much money from my books or for a while there it was. I was really focused on a money amount, not even so much connected to the books, but a certain amount of money that I wanted to be earning. Because some how I thought that would free me up to, I don’t know, do my writing or something like that. I’m not quite sure, but that’s how I always been on my commute every single day for, gosh, just months and months and months, maybe even a whole year.

And there were some good times at the day job that I was at. But there was also this overhanging negativity that really still continued to eat away at me. And it was funny. I was absolutely miserable when I was at my job. But to be honest, I was pretty happy outside of it. I had no reason to be unhappy. I had wonderful friends. I had a wonderful family, husband, cats, house. Everything was pretty good. I was making good money. I had good enough health. I mean, I was getting lots of colds and flu and things all the time and tummy upsets all the time. But I think that was really the stress and the negativity that I was feeling and the anxiety and that on a day to day basis as well. But I was doing those affirmations all the time, and I could clearly see that I was going to be writing a book.

And so there are a couple of other things that I decided. Right. Well, if I’m knowing my law of attraction and manifestation, I need to change my mindset. Instead of wishing to be an author, I need to claim that now and say, I am an author. And so this is something that I do recommend to people. And I know not everyone is going to agree with it because there are people out there that are like, no, you’re not an author until you start making money from your writing and all the rest of it. I don’t believe that. I mean, the word author in itself is just a title. It’s just a name. It’s just a tag. It really, on its own, it doesn’t mean anything. It only means the power that you bring it. But I really wanted to feel myself into that energy of what it actually felt like to be an author. So I did something that at the time was incredibly scary. I was very, very self-conscious about. But I began calling myself an author. And I can’t quite remember. I might have even started just going with calling myself a writer first until I kind of got the confidence to be able to go with I am Jo Buer Author. And the ways that I started to do that is I created a Facebook account and eventually an Instagram account as well, where it was Joe Buer Author. Not just Jo Buer anymore. Not just Jo Buer title of my day job.

When people ask what I did when you meet new people, I used to go to the gym a lot then, and so when people are like, oh, so what do you do? No matter how uncomfortable it really made me feel at the beginning, I would always say, oh, I’m an author, and I work, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I do this. This is another thing, and you’ll find me doing it. Now I refer to my day job as a day job. I very rarely actually say what I do. And it’s not that I’m not proud of what I do. What I mean by what I do is my main money maker at the moment is my day job. It’s just that it’s not really the identity that I most feel aligned with or I most resonate with. It’s part of my identity. I get that. But I really want to put out to the universe and in as many ways as possible that I am an author and writer first. And so even though I wasn’t sitting down and writing, I wanted to just start with those small little tricks that I could do to try and shift my own mindset around this persona that I wanted to eventually actually physically become. And so that was through claiming the title of author.

I also went through and changed my passwords and that. And now this was a really cool trick that I picked up from Denise Duffield-Thomas, who I’ll put links to her amazing work in the show notes, too. I’ve read all of her books. She’s got a recent podcast that I listen to. I’ve done some of her challenges and that that she quite often does on social media, and I highly, highly recommend her. If you’re into manifestation, if you’re into money mindset, she is the chick to go to, to listen to, to learn from. And one of her tricks was to change your passwords to things that reminded you of your vision. So for me, it might have been changing my passwords to I’m going to be a six figure author, or I am a $90,000 or 90K author or whatever it was, or prolific author. But there was always something to kind of remind me of the path that I was on. And so I don’t want all of you going out there and changing all your passwords to the same thing and making it really easy for all those crazy people out there. But it is something for you to consider. Think about how many times we are putting passwords into different apps and different things on the computer all the time. And if that’s the case, why not make it something that’s actually almost like an affirmation or pertinent to the energy that you want to create in your life or the person you want to become or the thing that you want to do or to attract into your life? It’s one of those really simple things that I think is just so great for keeping your goals, your aspirations top and center for you. And so that was another little thing that I did.

I also read an amazing book by Steven Pressfield. Again, you know this is the show notes, so many good books out there. And I think it was called Turning Pro. And from memory, he talks a bit about the difference between an amateur author and a professional. So when you turn pro, you begin to take your writing seriously. And so I began to think about ways that I could bring that into my situation. Now, if you’re listening to this, you’re probably thinking, you’re not doing any writing. You’re right. I’m not really doing a shitload of writing. Well, I’m doing all these little things because for me, I’ve been in such a dark place that I had to take these little steps. I had to slowly start to bring my mindset into a place where I was able. Where I felt able to actually take those physical steps. And the law of attraction, just so everybody is really clear, is nothing without action. It really isn’t. I mean, you find that you find the word action in attraction. Manifestation requires you to do the work. You’re not going to become a successful author, a prolific author, author of even one published book if you don’t sit down and do the work. But to get myself to the point where I could do the work, I had to feel like I was doing all these little steps. Looking back in retrospect, I wonder how much of that is also because I had ADHD, I didn’t realize it at the time that that was what it was. I’ve since been diagnosed. And so I’m kind of thinking, I wonder if I needed those little incentives, these little goals, these little things, those kind of dopamine hits to get me to the point where I could get my butt in the chair. But whether you have ADHD or not, hopefully some of these things might even work for you or you might be able to adapt to suit you.

So I was doing the affirmations with the mala beads. I was thinking of myself as an author, and to do that, I also began to, and depending upon your circumstance, I don’t always recommend this, but I wasn’t in a particularly positive uplifting environment, so I began to cut back on my responsibilities. That done was better than perfect. So for my day job, I was doing the best that I could in the circumstances. And to be honest, if you’ve ever found yourself in a really toxic environment, it’s hard to bring your A game anyway. You do your best, and I do because I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I don’t want to let anybody down. I always feel that sense of commitment and responsibility and accountability that you still try and do your best, but when you’re really feeling beaten down, it’s hard to bring your A game anyway. But I also decided that I wasn’t going to be taking on any extra responsibilities anymore. It wasn’t worth it to me. I wasn’t getting any positive affirmation from the position I was in anyway. So every time I went above and beyond, there was no accolades for it. There was no well done you, fist bump. So I decided, and this was really tough and actually bought a whole lot of guilt and all sorts for me, but it was really backing off. So I reserved some of the energy that I would normally give to the day job for myself so that I could actually have that to give to my writing and this author career that I was envisioning for myself. So I was holding back a little bit from giving 100% and burning out. I began to resign from some of the extra positions that I had. I began to drop some of those, and delegate a bit more and just step down so that I was still doing my job, still doing it to a really decent degree, but I really wasn’t putting my whole heart and soul into it anymore. And when I think back at that, I still feel a bit icky about that. But I also think when I’m on my deathbed, how much is it going to matter what I gave to that job versus what I’ve achieved for myself?

Now I had to get really serious with myself about what was more important. I’d always believed and fought for other people to follow their dreams. I’ve always believed that if you’ve given a seed of a dream or a deep desire, then that is meant for you, that is sent for you for a reason and your responsibility is to do that thing, find a way to do that thing. And I couldn’t keep encouraging others to do that and then bow out on myself. So I had to get serious. Was this something that I actually really wanted? Did I really believe that I could create for myself a life that I loved, that I could get out of this toxic situation, that I could write books and delve into the author world? Or was I just full of shit? Because if I believed it, then I had to start doing these things. So I pulled back from work and I found that there was a new buzz inside me. There was still all this yuckiness and some bullying and just really gross stuff going on in my life that I was really struggling with. But there was also beginning to be this ember inside me, this glowing inside me. It’s so hard to explain, but this energy of hope and possibility and like I was beginning to align with the path meant for me. And it’s funny that when you start to take these steps and you start to say to the universe, this is what I want, the universe collaborates with you, it works with you and it starts to help you along that way. And sometimes it’s really subtle at the beginning and sometimes you won’t notice until retrospect. But there’s always stuff going on behind the scenes.

And so every opportunity outside of the day job, I also would try to really dive into this other world of what other authors were doing, reading books, still continuing with these courses. But I was really trying to immerse myself in the success stories of other people. And again, I’m going to say that Joanne Penn was a huge inspiration for me because if you’ve ever listened to her podcast, she talks about how she started her author journey and she was in a situation where I think she worked in ICT and she was really miserable in her job and she was just so unhappy and had this dream to maybe write books. And so her very first kind of step out that gate was to write a book about how to leave your job and find a job that you really love, a career change that you really love. And she talks really openly about her ups and downs with that. But it was the catalyst. And honestly, if this path is meant for you, as soon as you take that first step, there is no going back. Like it’s such an amazing journey. And so I was beginning to get all these ideas for stories now actually, that’s kind of a lie, because I’ve always had these ideas for stories and I had dabbled in NaNoWriMo a few times before and I had written 50,000 really atrocious words that weren’t a story. They were maybe a beginning and part of a middle, but without an end. But these ideas began to solidify a little bit more and I began to think about what I would like to write, what appealed to me, what felt good to me. And it’s funny because even though in the back of my mind I was like, yes, I want to be a full time author. I want to be doing this for a living, no matter how much I heard it on different podcasts and Mark Dawson’s course and everything like that, I wasn’t doing the things that you should do if you’re really serious about having a career as an author, like as a self-sustaining business and full income and everything, which is thinking about the market, considering writing to market, considering writing series, that’s actually just not been my thing. So I think I knew all along, even if it was just pushed a little bit down, that I didn’t really it wasn’t about making a living from my writing. I was doing what I was passionate about. It was about walking my talk and believing that you can do, not believing but actually doing those things that bring you joy in your life and finding a place for them.

So I began to think about these story ideas. And again, my commute was fantastic for that because that’s where the story ideas really started to solidify in my mind. And I also have one of my hacks, one of the things that I have to do, which is whenever I start to get a story idea, I sit down with Spotify, I go through, I create a playlist of music that I feel like really resonates with the story. And then I always have that play so that I can fall into the story on my commute. That was fantastic because in the times that I wasn’t doing the mala or listening to the Joanna Penn podcast and all the rest of it, I would be listening to this playlist, and I would be driving along, and I’m so used to this route now, and it’s out in the country, there’s no traffic, it’s all good, and my brain would be starting to think about the different things happening in the plot, the characters, and they’re all kind of brought on by listening and really feeling my way into this playlist that I’ve made that I was listening to on the way of doing that. So I was really starting to bring that energy into my sphere.

Still not sitting down writing, guys, but I was doing all those other things, all those other things. And then there was a couple of things that started to change. So I was, like, paving the way for all of this. And I know that there are quicker ways of doing this. There are better ways of doing this. There are get your butt in the chair and just write the shit, ways of doing this, which again, I’m getting to. That does happen, obviously. But for me, it was a really slow process because I had lots of beliefs in that I was, without even realizing I was working on to break through that had been holding me back, beliefs that I couldn’t do this, that writing was just for a special few, beliefs that I wasn’t good enough. I mean, I was really dealing with some serious self-esteem issues and a lot of anxiety. And like I said, some depression and that at the time because of other factors that had really made me not like myself. I begin to start to believe what other people were saying and really take that on. And not like myself. I was kind of going through a lot of horror and trying to really work through all that stuff. But there was a big part of me, too, that was really focused on, I’m going to do this. I don’t know how. I don’t know when that real catalyst is going to come that’s going to get my butt in the chair, but I’m going to do this.

There was a bit of a moment, too, where a bit of an epiphany. When I was driving to the day job and I was doing the mala affirmations, and, I am a prolific six figure author or whatever it was, and I thought, wait a minute, I’m doing these affirmations every day, and I’ve been doing them for months, and I totally believe in affirmations. Love affirmations, helps change the mindset, all that awesome stuff. But would a prolific author, would an author be needing to do affirmations to say that they are an author? So that thought came to my mind, and it kind of stuck with me. And I thought, well, no, because if I am an author, I wouldn’t feel any need to keep affirming that I’m an author because I just am an author. You don’t see anybody in any position spending all this time and energy saying that they are something that they already are. You don’t need to because you just accept it because it’s your reality. And so that’s when I stopped doing those affirmations. And it sounds really contradictory, a little bit unusual. But I was like, well, no, I don’t need to do these affirmations anymore, because if I truly believe that I am an author, then I don’t need to keep telling the universe I am an author because I am an author. So I stopped doing that, and I started to live into that belief more. A big part of manifestation is in the letting go, is when you get to the point where you believe it so solidly that it has no choice but to be reality. And so that’s where I was getting to now.

Just like in any book, there’s usually a catalyst that really sets things in motion. And there was for me, too. It took what ended up feeling at the time was one of the worst moments of my life to force myself to actually take action and put my butt in the chair and do the writing. So I’d been doing all the other things, or as much as I could, I thought I’d been doing lots. I’d been researching and learning and learning and learning, and gosh, I love learning, so that was no big chore. I’d been mulling over book ideas. I’d been creating playlists. I’d been affirming my identity as an author. I’d been starting to change up passwords and my identity on social media, I began to change the way that I thought about my day job and the way that I talked about who I was, my identity, and that. I’d been doing all those things, those energetic things. And I think anybody that’s on this path where they believe in manifestation or anything, knows that the universe is giving you signs all the time. All the time. Sometimes we’re a little bit oblivious to them, but if we look back, there’s always signs there. And it can be something as subtle as just how you feel. Like if something just makes you feel yuck or if you find yourself getting sick quite often, then maybe something in your energy field is just not right for you. And man, my guides, I’m sure I was giving them all a headache. I mean, they’d been whacking me over the head with signs this entire time and I am stubborn as hell. I’m like, my time, I’m doing things in my time and I’m seeing the sign you’re giving me, but give me a signier sign because that sign is not enough. I didn’t have the confidence to necessarily follow the signs or listen to the signs the universe was giving me.

I don’t recommend that as a strategy in life because the universe can get really brutal when it thinks that you’re not listening to it and it’s got some better things in store for you and you keep ignoring them. That’s when shit happens to really catalyze you into action. And so that’s kind of what happened to me. And from any point of view, from the outside, it probably didn’t look like a big catalyst. Nobody got really sick. I don’t want to say nobody died because I did actually have a few deaths in that time that really shook me up and really upset me. And so there was actually quite a bit of bereavement and that, going on behind the scenes too. But I didn’t suffer any horrible health malady or anything that I know a lot of other people have suffered. But I did go through, I did hit rock bottom and I hit rock bottom pretty much right on my birthday, right as the pandemic was just getting started in the world. It hadn’t quite hit New Zealand yet. But it all came to the fore. And it’s funny because I’ve talked to a lot of guests who have been on Alchemy for Authors and who I have interviewed and will be on in the future, whose episodes will release in the future here. And good old COVID, gor, it was a catalyst for a lot of people. I think these crazy times that we’ve been in for the last couple of years really did get a lot of people re-evaluating their lives and get them making those big moves towards their goals and their dreams and the lives that they envision for themselves. And that can be really scary.

Beginning of 2020, after a good few years of not good stuff, right around my birthday, I just got hit with some real intense bullying and nastiness, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was just too much. It just absolutely did me in. So horrible that my anxiety was absolutely through the roof. I was having really bad panic attacks. I had to go on stress leave for a considerable amount of time. And yeah, there was just a lot of ugliness around the situation. And it pretty much had me in bed for a very long time. I was not in a good space at all. And then Covid. And what I mean by that is it reached New Zealand shores. It was actually a real thing in New Zealand because we had been so blissfully free of it. It was always something that was in the rest of the world and wasn’t here. But finally, it was in the country and our government at the time, and I can only speak really highly, to be honest, not everyone in New Zealand is going to agree with me, but the decisions that they made, the government made at the time were phenomenal, I think, and life saving. But it was terrifying. Like anybody who looks back at when Covid became a real thing for them in their world and their country, that was a weird, surreal, crazy time to be living through. And I really wish that I had kind of documented it because it was bizarre.

I had just come off of stress relief and I was back in the same old toxic environment for one day. And then we went into lockdown. The country went into lockdown. It was crazy in a way. It was personally kind of good for me because it got me out of the really deep depression and everything. Not exactly. It didn’t really get me out of that depression, but it got me away from being so self absorbed in the situation that I was in, I should probably say. I mean, there was all sorts of different anxieties and everything that came up from the fact that we were in the middle of a pandemic and there was this virus that nobody really knew too much about out there in the world, killing people. And for the first time in my life experience, the whole country had locked down. We were all in lockdown in our houses, and we couldn’t leave them. You could still go to the supermarket and all that good stuff. But there were all these videos online about having to sanitize your groceries when you got them delivered or picked them up, and all this other stuff that just really gets into your head and kind of does a number on you. And I wasn’t in a good space anyway. I was still having to do the day job, but I was able to do it from home. So that was fantastic. And that actually freed up a bit of hours in the day, which was good, but it was also the catalyst for something more. It was also that combined with the real shitty things that have been going on in the day job was like, wow, this is life. This is our one life. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, your experience right now, this is the only type of this life that you’re going to have. And so it’s now or never. I either start making the moves and get off my butt and start doing the thing that I believe I’m supposed to be doing and will bring me joy, or I just keep on this path of talking about it and being miserable in a job that I absolutely hate. And what’s the point of that? And I had no idea what was going to be on the other side of this thing called Covid, this coronavirus. I had no idea when we’d be getting out of lockdown, if we’d be getting out of lockdown, what the world would look like or any of that. It was really terrifying, but it was also the catalyst that I needed to take action. And it was almost like the universe had given me this opportunity to take action because I was actually out of that horrible environment while still earning a paycheck. And I know I was luckier than most because a lot of people did not have that ability to still be bringing in a paycheck and to still be able to work through the pandemic without putting themselves at risk of being out there in the world with the virus. But I was working from home, still bringing in the paycheck, but with a few less hours to the day and without being around the really horrible people that made me feel like absolute shit, or that I allowed made me feel like shit because I’ve got to take responsibility for that. I allowed it in.

So going through Mark Dawson’s wonderful course, and of course, everywhere you always hear about having a reader magnet, something to draw people in and creating your email list and everything like that, I was like, right, I’m going to do it. And so through wonderful coincidences, through the universe, because the universe just works like that, these amazing doors opened. And of course, I stumbled across the name of this editor who I had heard rave reviews about. I reached out to her, oh, my gosh, she had a spot for me. And, yeah, everything, just the planets aligned in a weird way. And I decided that because I still wasn’t writing, but I had some short stories that I created from when I was at University, so they were quite a bit older. And I thought, well, maybe I could put those together as a reader magnet. They’ve got that a little bit of a dark vibe going that I want to kind of be writing in. So even though I planned on writing novels, it’s a collection of short stories, it will do in the meantime. So that’s what I did. I gathered some of my short stories together. I reworked some of them. Fortunately, because I had created a lot of them through University, they had already been workshopped quite a bit. I had sent them off to my editor, and she was mind blowing. Just absolutely mind blowing. And so I had this manuscript now of I can’t remember, maybe it was six short stories. It’s Between the Shadows, anyway. And I put it together, and with huge amounts of trembling and anxiety, I put it out in the world. I created my mailing list. I started to get people signing up to the mailing list. I used Book Funnel and Story Origin and newsletter swaps and started on the journey of every two weeks putting out a newsletter, which I am still doing, still learning. And then I started to write my novel, and I took the crux or the idea of something that I had written during one of my attempts at NaNoWriMo and kept next to nothing of it, stripped all the way back. Maybe some of the first couple of chapters slightly aligned to what I originally wrote. But I was then able to get my butt in the chair because there was such a desire in me to not ever have to go back to how things were. And I don’t know how long we were going to be locked down for. But the idea of going back to my day job or working under somebody else or just working with some of the horrible people that I had surprised upon in this world was that fuel that I needed to get my butt in the chair and get writing. And I knew enough. And I had taught writing to kids before, and I had done NaNoWriMo, so I knew enough to know about allowing myself to be really messy in that first draft. And so it was all about just getting words on paper, which was pretty much always my motto whenever I tried NaNoWriMo, and I just kept that up. Just get words on paper, words on paper, words on paper, and then you can go back and edit it. And some how I did.

And even though it was only a few years ago, it feels like a really long time ago. So I know I’ve got some of my time spans a little bit muddled up, but I think I did go back. We came out of lockdown, and went back to the day job. It was a very changed world. And I was able to go back in a better mind space because I now had this thing physically going on outside of the day job, this book that was being written, this career that I was creating for myself, that I felt like I was making serious moves towards, going on in the background. And so I plowed through. I got the book written, and of course, there’s lots of stuff I can talk about in other episodes about and have done about the imposter syndrome and how kind of tough that was. And I got to the end of the book, and I edited and edited and edited and sent it off to my editor. And so much fear around that and what I was going to get back. And I went through the whole process, and I got my editors notes. I reworked them in. I edited and edited and edited. So much editing. Oh, my gosh. And then I just followed the steps that I’d learned in the courses. All my learning started to kick in, and I put it out there in the world. I got it up on all the different platforms, and I did some of the social media work. I didn’t do, like a big launch or anything like that. It was just, this is my book. Oh, my gosh. It’s out there in the world. And it was hard. It was really tough writing the book and going through all that. But it was also so much easier than I ever thought it would be. That all my years of putting this idea of writing a book on a pedestal of something that I would do one day, and it was so much easier. And I put it out in less than a year, maybe six months, from starting it to publishing it, around a full time day job and in a pandemic, pretty crazy. But that was the beginning for me. And once you’ve done it once, you can do it again. And now, granted, book two came with a whole lot more issues and resistance that I had to really work through. Could I do this again? Is this even possible? My first book did quite well. What if this one just doesn’t? And there was lots of things to work through, but it put me on the journey. And so I got out another collection of short stories and another novel in 2021, and I’m working on another novel this year.

It’s been slower going this year because there’s been lots of amazing, and I’m going to say that, amazing changes in my life. And so this is the thing. This is the thing. When you dive into manifestation, you’re not always going to get exactly what you envision, because we don’t always know what is best for us, and we think we want something that maybe that’s not actually the best. And so when I started on this journey and the catalyst, there’s a lot of negativity that really kind of catalyzed me into doing this thing that I’d always known in my heart that I wanted to do, but I wasn’t necessarily doing it for the right reasons. I thought I was doing it to escape the really horrible situation that I was in. I thought I wanted to write so that I no longer needed a day job or so I could be my own boss and not have to work under somebody else and all these things. But then once you start doing the thing you love, you start to see that your life changes in other ways, too. And it really did in so many positive ways, because it’s amazing that when you’re doing those things that bring you joy, the positive energy that it brings into the rest of your life is amazing. And so what I found is the more I took action, because action is the key word, you’re not going to be an author or a writer or do any of those things if you don’t actually do the stuff. When you start taking action, it changes everything around you. There’s synchronicities that happen and people that come into your life that are sent from, I don’t know, just gifts from the universe, really, to kind of show you your next step, and the right people come into your sphere, or you find those books that really speak to you, or those podcasts that give you your next step and that kind of thing. And the more that you embody that you start to find that some of those negative things fall away as well because your mindset begins to change. So I found that some of those really not nice people that were in my sphere started to leave and some really lovely people started to come in, or I began to forge much deeper, fabulous relationships with some of the people that were in my sphere. But I just hadn’t really had those connections with previously. They were there, but I was, I guess, so, caught up in my own drama that I had overlooked them and how amazing they would be to have in my life. So a lot began to change and new opportunities. I got invited onto my first ever podcast to be interviewed, which was amazing and eye opening. And again, puts you in that realm of is this something for me? Can I do this? And then there are circumstances, like, situations where the universe is like, oh, so you’ve been thinking about maybe doing a podcast. Well, here’s this person that you absolutely admire, and they’ve got a course, and you should really step up and do this. And then, of course, I’m like, okay, universe, give me a sign. All right, you gave me a sign. Give me a signier sign. Let’s just make sure. And the universe comes through. It gives me the nudge. And I’m getting much, much better at listening to those calls now to do things. And I’ve just had these amazing experiences over the last couple of years where things have come together, where opportunities have come, and I’ve had desires to do things, and then they’ll just fall into my lap, or I’ll just meet the perfect person at the time that I want to on this podcast, the perfect person that I want to be interviewing, and they just come out of nowhere or some kind of weird serendipity kind of happens to let them cross my path or reach out to me. There’s just been so much amazing things I did.

Obviously, I well and truly left that day job. Best thing ever. But, you know, I wouldn’t have a few years back, I wouldn’t have had the ability to do that because I was just not in the right space to have the confidence to leave. It was like being in an abusive relationship. You know, where you want to leave, you know you should leave, but you just can’t leave. And you keep trying to find the good. And there’s a sense of guilt and accountability that you feel that you’ve got to stick around. So I wouldn’t have been in the right mindset previously, and I wouldn’t have created for myself the opportunities that I have because I just wasn’t in that positive frame of mind. But since then, I’ve actually found myself in a new day job that I actually really enjoy. It complements my writing. It doesn’t take away from it. So I don’t have that huge, big desire to be making a full time income from my writing right now. And hence, if you’re wondering, well, you’ve been talking about this, but you’re not a full time author right now, well, that’s why. Because it’s not a huge desire for me right now, if I’m completely honest, I’m quite enjoying my life. I’ve had opportunities to help other people with their writing. And I’ve had amazing opportunities of meeting amazing authors from all around the world and talking to them and learning from them through this podcast and just meeting amazing people. And I’ve got books on the go and big plans for my author career still, like, it’s still front and center. And so looking back, it might not sound like there was a lot of manifestation in there, but it really was, because it all does come down to the energy that you put out there. Because manifestation is all about energy. It’s all about creating a life that you love, creating your reality. And that all comes down to your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs, and your emotions. So if your emotions are not in a good place, you need to change your thoughts to get your emotions in a good place. And so that’s what I did through the gratitude practice and the affirmations, which all suited me perfectly at the time for the space that I was in, I had to gradually change my belief. And by taking that title of being an author and doing all those things until my actions started to follow suit and I started to act like an author.

There were other things I did, too. I talked about Steven Pressfields book, Turning Pro, and so I set up bank accounts that were specifically for my author life. So for royalties and for expenses and all that, I kept track of all of that stuff. I’ve really tried to treat this author journey all the way along from a space of me living that author life rather than starting that author life. And so there have been things that I’ve invested in that I’ve had a long term mindset of, because I want to do the best that I can and start off the right way with that sense of commitment to the universe that I’m in this for the long haul. I’m really legitimately enjoying the journey, enjoying writing what I want to write, meeting amazing people all around the world, and doing this podcast, all of it.

So that was kind of a really long, deep dive into my story behind my author career so far. And there’s so much more to it. And there’s so many miraculous, amazing synchronicities that have gone on behind the scenes. And I’m sure you can relate that when you take those steps, when you do the hard work, the universe really does conspire in your favour and brings the right people and the right opportunities to your doorstep. And so if you’re starting out on this journey and maybe you’re in a similar situation as I was and you’re not loving your life right now, but you know that you’re supposed to be doing this, but you’re just finding it hard to juggle your life with the life that you want to be living, then I’m hoping there might be some ideas or tips or something in my story that might help you along the way. That idea of just really bringing into your fold, bringing into your identity, who you see yourself as being, changing up your energy to suit that persona that you want to encompass. And let go. There’s so much more I could talk about. Like, the letting go is such a big thing, the decluttering your life of those things that no longer serve you. There’s so many more aspects to this that I’ll go into maybe at another time, but letting go of how things are going to happen and just really focusing on doing your part and the rest will come about.

So I hope you enjoyed this episode, and it gave you a bit of a background of my writing and my manifestation journey. So here are some takeaways from today’s show.

  1. Sometimes a dark night of the soul is what’s needed to free yourself of others opinions and to get you started on the path towards your dreams.
  2. Find ways to surround yourself with success stories and people doing those things that you want to do, even if it’s through social media or listening to podcasts. If others can do it, you can, too.
  3. Learn what you can about that thing that you want to do, but don’t get stuck there. At some point, you actually have to do the thing.
  4. Take action. Do things messy. Don’t be held back by perfectionism.
  5. One of the easiest ways to call in positive energy for manifestation is by focusing on what you are grateful for.
  6. Consider using affirmations to focus on what you do want in your life or want to create until you begin to see and feel it as your reality. When that happens, you won’t need the affirmations anymore.
  7. Manifesting your dream life requires a big focus on mindset. No more wishing for something. Claim it as your reality.
  8. You don’t have to wait until you’ve written a book to call yourself an author. If the word author embodies the feeling of who you want to be, call yourself an author now. Trust that it is who you are. The physicality of it will catch up.
  9. Consider changing your social media handles to align with the person you’re working on becoming. It tells the world, the universe, and most importantly, it tells you that you’re serious about reaching your goals.
  10. Keep yourself in the energy of what you’re creating. When people ask you what you do, tell them that you’re an author, poet, or creative first. You can always share what you do as a day job after, but always share first the identity that you’re most aligned with.
  11. A great tip from Money Mindset Coach Denise Duffield-Thomas is to keep your goals, aspirations and manifestations-in-progress front and center by changing your passwords to reflect what you’re manifesting. That way, you’ll be reminded of what’s on its way to you every time you type in your password.
  12. If you’re serious about having a writing career, take it seriously. Act as if you’re a professional and not an amateur.
  13. If you need to take little steps towards changing your mindset and belief until you’re ready to take action, do that. Just remember that for manifestation to work, you do need to take action. The Law of Attraction is nothing without action.
  14. Do the work. But on chair. Words on paper. Do the work.
  15. Make space in your life for what you want to create. Let go of some responsibilities. Delegate. Say no. Do whatever it takes to create space for what you’re manifesting.
  16. Give your energy to those things that are most important to you. Pretend you’re on your deathbed and you’ll see clearly what those things are.
  17. When you’re serious about taking action towards your goals, the universe collaborates with you, so stay open to the wonderful synchronicities and gifts the universe shares to propel you forward on your journey.
  18. Create a playlist of music that complements whatever you’re writing so that by playing it, you can find your way back into the energy of your story.
  19. When you start doing those things that you love, those things that bring you joy, your entire life changes. Miracles, synchronicities gifts from the universe abound.
  20. In short, manifestation is all about your thoughts, beliefs, actions and emotions.

So I really appreciate you listening all the way to the end of this episode. I know it’s been a long one but I hope that you’ve found at least one thing in my story that has resonated with you or has inspired you in some way. So as always you can find a list and links to some of the resources I’ve mentioned in this episode in the show notes. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode you would totally make my day by rating, reviewing or sharing this episode with someone else. It contributes to the success of Alchemy for Authors and helps me on my author journey.

So until next time, happy writing and happy manifesting.