Before I Forget to Tell You

It’s Sunday. I’m excitedly looking forward to appearing on “Home and Family” this week with my mentor, Noah St. John.  The show airs on Hallmark Channel every morning (check your local listings for times), but we will be seen on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 and again in repeats on Thursday, July 24th. Noah will be speaking about real life applications of his Afformations technique, specifically about money issues between couples.  If you’ve seen my book “Rainbows Over Ruins,” you know that this was the technique I used to get unstuck a few years ago.  It also enabled me to address the financial problems that created stress and strain between Peter and me during that time. If this technique intrigues you, tune in for a listen. To Your Success, Susan

8 Quick Tips on Blogging

I was up bright and early to participate in a phone training with my social media publicist.  The topic of the day was blogging.  Perhaps you noticed the change in the photo at the head of my post? That was one of the things I learned.  Laugh if you will, but I’ve been using the default image for the blog theme provided by WordPress.  I didn’t know how to change it. So what were the tips I received today? 1. Publish a blog at least once a week if you want to stay on people’s radar.  It’s something I already try to do at some point during my weekends. 2. Use tags (keywords).  These help promote your blog through search engine optimization (SEO).  Someone was in the office this week to share that content management is more important than SEO, however, if you are using keywords in the body of your postings, they amount to the same thing.  They are words that relate to your brand. 3. To keep your blog fresh, monitor the trends and incorporate them into your posts. 4. Include clear take away information in your posts.  Ever notice how many people include numbered lists — like…

The Joy of a 3 Day Weekend

I really needed this fabulous weekend. The past couple weeks have been stressful as we strive to create great shows, while facing the challenge to bring the season in “on time and on budget.” So, it has felt great to kick back, curled up to finish a novel I’ve been slowly reading. I had planned to do things around the house and to promote Rainbows Over Ruins. If you haven’t read my book yet, the story focuses on my growing awareness that there is a creative thought process that makes it possible to identify what you truly desire, choose actions that support it and get the results you want. Since my entire career has centered on producing, facilitating, and supporting the unfettered creative spirit, coaching this process in order to achieve our creative potential is a natural outgrowth. The book has been a first step in that direction. Anyway, a funny thing happened on the way to making progress on my To-Do list. One of those items was to focus on the needs and desires of my target audience. Because the book is about our recovery after a landslide destroyed our home, I was looking for people who have to…

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog

As part of my outreach for Rainbows Over Ruins, I arranged for a publicity team to help me. They are the ones responsible for getting my radio interview on Toginet.com, arranging for an author video, writing a press release to notify the media about the book and exploring all the possible interviews and placements that may occur in traditional and social media outlets. My job has been to help them craft the manner in which all of this is presented. It falls to Muriel to make sure that I am comfortable working in the social media arena. I have established personal accounts with the usual venues: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and WordPress. They may not all contribute to my outreach campaign, but I set them up just in case. Part of the long term strategy will be to add an extra layer of professional pages. When Muriel called this week, she wanted me to understand ways to grow outreach more easily and customize my blog to enhance its presentation. That’s the source of my 7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog list this week. Probably the most important task is to blog regularly, at least once a week, if…

You’ve Created Something, Now What?

Bob Proctor’s suggestion is clear. If you wish to cut through the noise of multimedia to demonstrate your value to others, write a book. It can lend an air of expertise and credibility to your words. What one realizes over time is that becoming an author in today’s multi-media world opens up an entirely new array of activities in which you give the readers something more. Writing the book is only the first step in the publishing process. When I started to write Rainbows Over Ruins, I already knew my purpose: I wanted to share a thought process that would help readers achieve their creative endeavors. The entire book is structured to help mentor them – even to the extent that they may also download a workbook. If you want to produce a movie, television show, documentary, or web series (to name a few other venues), these formats are only the first step as well. There are multiple production elements to complete before anyone holds a finished product that others can view. I researched the suggested ways that authors use to write their content, as well as following the step-by-step instructions of the publisher to move through the book production…

Why do you want to develop power habits?

You are what you think. I know, you are more accustomed to the saying, you are what you eat. But really, even what you eat is a result of what you think. All the silly, seemingly mindless things we do are the result of what we think before we do them. They are only mindless when we have done them so long that they have become automatic habits. One of the most important aspects of the creative thought process involves catching ourselves in a detrimental habit and changing it through the creation of more positive ones. Noah St. John calls them Power Habits. Those of you who have read my book Rainbows Over Ruins with its foreword by Noah St John know that Noah played a key role in helping me get unstuck when I was going through a difficult time. It wasn’t so much that negative thought habits were undermining my personal and professional aspirations. Rather, I was not developing the power of my thoughts in a more positive direction. At first, Noah taught me about Afformations – the positive why questions that make a powerful shift possible. They enabled me to make a rapid turnaround in my day…

The Dynamics of My Vision Board

Sometimes as I look across the room at my vision board wall, it appears to be so dynamic that it has a profound impact. With each accomplishment, it needs to be adjusted and rearranged to reflect the changes that have occurred. That change then has a ripple down effect on the rest of the board, bringing some aspects into higher prominence and moving others off to the side. With Rainbows Over Ruins just published and its promotion in process, there is a sense of completion on one hand. Rapid movement has been made around the milestone map since the final manuscript was approved and we moved into distribution mode. The board itself reflects this with an empty space opening up at the end of the immediate promotional calendar. My mentor was quick to ask me what was beyond publishing the book. He reminded me that writing a book is not generally about making money from those books. After taking into account the cost of production and sales, there is not a great deal left. So the question is why do it? Where does this or any book fit into the bigger picture, our vision for the future? From the time…

Like the little engine who could, the publicity machine is rolling

It’s odd. From a quiet role, listening, evaluating and estimating costs, I’ve had more pictures taken in the past couple weeks than in years. I’m being told that people want to see and hear authors, the better to get a feeling for the person behind the words. It makes sense. It’s one of the aspects of social media that Peter considers now that he participates on Facebook. He asks himself daily – what am I doing today that would be interesting to my friends? And he makes a point to schedule a “photo opp” for a regular post. Now that he is reading posts daily, he has strong opinions about what makes up a good post. He strives to avoid wishful thinking. He’ll share posts that he finds amusing or inspirational. But mostly he’s looking for photos from his life that might be interesting. So with his tutelage, I’m beginning to look for fun shots – like me with a sabre toothed cat from the Museum of Natural History. Not here. Not yet. I have some technical mastery to achieve first. The first interviews are in the pipeline – an Internet radio interview aired and is archived on Toginet.com http://toginet.com/shows/indiebookpublishing3…

PREPARING TO LAUNCH

With the arrival of the first books, all my energies have shifted. For so long my focus has been on writing, nurturing my relationship with the subconscious mind that is allied to creative consciousness. I have allowed my Inner Game to dominate my thinking on weekends which is when I make time to do so. However, taking the publication to others involves developing a strategy, an Outer Game of goals, plans and actions designed to yield my desired results. Of course, I’ve been thinking about it, but here is the moment of truth when actions speak louder than words, literally. There are questions to ask myself. Where do I go from here? What do I hope to accomplish? What will my activities look like once I have manifested my vision? Although I used to think of strategic planning in finite, tangible terms, I have come to realize that it involves both inner and outer aspects. What we create is as much what we visualize in our minds as it is the outer manifestation. So what do we need to imagine? What mind movies need to stream across the screen of the conscious mind? When I took strategic planning in graduate…

Why Am I So Happy?

                Could it have something to do with the approval copy of my physical book Rainbows Over Ruins that arrived on Friday? Or that it’s possible to let over 500 people hear the news with just one post on Facebook? Or that Peter posted on his page as well? And that people have already started to request a copy and others are asking what it’s about?                 Publishing Rainbows Over Ruins has been happening in stages. First, there was the manuscript to create, followed immediately by developmental editorial revisions. Once those were completed, there were layout questions, back and forth between me and the Balboa Press staff before they could send me the galleys. Galleys are what the book will look like in its physical printing. Only after the galleys are approved can a physical copy of the book be created. Once I send my approval on that copy, the book will go live as an e-book and the books will be printed.                 That’s it. With the flick of a wrist, I attain the status of published author. Already, the staff has been preparing me for the next stage of publishing – its distribution and marketing. There are so…

Waiting to Inhale

Easter weekend and I am enjoying a quiet weekend at home. It is as if I am waiting to inhale. Within the past couple weeks, I moved from what is called “production” to “distribution” status on my book, Rainbows Over Ruins. As I pressed the start button for the fax machine to send my final approval form to the publisher, my heart skipped a beat. It has taken time to write and edit. Now, the dream will be a reality. My mind races with questions. Who will I tell about the book? How will I tell them about it? Why will it be of value to others? Thankfully, Balboa Press has a solid marketing staff who are there to help me through the process. I also just returned from one of Noah St. John’s training sessions in Ohio. It was so much fun to meet with other coaches who are using power habits and afformations with clients. We each came home with an extra added feature – a diagnostic test we can use to evaluate what may be holding our clients back from achieving their ambitions. Not only that, but on the flight home, I picked up a copy of…

What if you had a “piano teacher” for your mind?

  Sharing the creative process and being what Noah St. John calls a “loving mirror” to others is similar to developing a pianist or fine athlete.  A piano teacher or athletic coach offers principles and techniques designed to teach you to make music or play a winning game.  Similarly, a piano teacher for your mind teaches and offers constructive guidance to help you improve your life or achieve your dreams. Do you remember those early lessons? Scales repeated every day, reaching for chords that stretched the flexibility of hands, learning to read the notes on the page, and beginning to discover the voice and tempo of a simple composition from clues written on the sheet music… In the beginning, it seemed mundane and arduous; a chore set before you by parents and teachers alike.  Yet over time, with much daily practice and many weekly classes, we developed a certain agility. Our hands flowed more smoothly over the keys. We made fewer jarring mistakes and we made music. People noticed the improvement and started to appreciate what we were doing. As long as we kept practicing to maintain these skills and get into the rhythmic feeling of the compositions, the piano…

Adventures with a Smart Phone and Social Media

It’s been very interesting watching my husband Peter learn to use his smart phone. I gave him his first upgrade from a plain cell phone about 14 months ago. He had come to the conclusion that I didn’t have the time to post photos for him for clients to review. He was right. So when the holidays were over, Peter was struggling with the alien technology. There were so many times he wanted to throw the phone against the wall. Large fingers on small keys, screens going dark in mid thought and misspellings tortured him. For someone who had never learned to use a traditional computer or send an email, the phone was a giant leap for mankind. Over the past year, he mastered sending photos and discovered Facebook. It was liberating for me as I set up his personal email account and relinquished control of his page. Within only a few months, I chuckled as I saw him hunkered over the cell phone, scrolling through posts, sharing a few with others, reading jokes, and watching videos. I commiserated as he complained about people posting too many times in a day about nothing at all while quietly relieved that I…

Do You Schedule Enough Dreamtime?

Sharing the story within my book Rainbows Over Ruins has taken over my free time. It speaks of the creative process I have been learning since the landslide, and I have been contemplating all manner of ways to tell people about it. Since finishing the manuscript, I have been writing a companion workbook for readers to go through the process as they read. As that has developed, it has naturally led into thoughts about how to coach them through the exercises as well. This natural progression is the result of what Noah St. John calls “imperfect action taking.” We don’t wait to try something until we become perfect at it. We start where we are right now and let the results emerge through us. It is as if we are all wired to become the best “Me” that we can be. I couldn’t help thinking about babies and small children who are willing to try and try again until they master life’s basics. As infants, they want life’s comforts and master the communication skills that get adults to bring it to them. As they observe others in their environment, they begin to desire what they see around them. They want…

Do You Know Your Value?

I was thinking about how to identify the audience who would be interested in my offerings when I listened to what Noah St. John had to say about value – the value we bring to others. It made sense to me that before we can identify an audience, we need to know our value so that we can communicate it. However, this has been challenging to me personally. In fact, that’s part of the reason that my book Rainbows Over Ruins took the form that it did. When I began to write, I believed in the value of the success principles, not necessarily in my personal value. Over time, I learned that sharing my experiences, both positive and negative, as an example of someone applying these principles has a value to others. So why don’t we always see this easily? Noah explains it simply. We cannot see ourselves without the assistance of a mirror. And when we look for a mirror, we want an honest mirror, not one provided by a funhouse that distorts our image. When it comes to the value we provide others, the mirror is not a physical tool, but rather what is reflected back to us…

Willing to Meet the Audience

I’ve spent my morning daydreaming and planning how I am going to share my book Rainbows Over Ruins when it is published. The prospect of reaching out to others has been looming over my head for months. With only a few items in the editorial notes left to address, this could be happening within a very short time frame. Of course, it’s also part of my work in television. We are always asking questions about developing an audience. What I have been learning is that building an audience for a network program and building one for a personal project is surprisingly similar. First, finding our audience is a natural outgrowth of creativity. At some point in our creative process, we are going to want to share our creations. This is especially true if you make multiple items that require storage, if you want to move a project along in order to make room for new ideas, if you need additional resources in order to continue to create, or want to recoup the costs of what you have already done. It helps to know what you ultimately want from your creativity. In my case, after a landslide destroyed our home, I…

Making Your Resolutions Count

With New Year’s around the corner, lists of resolutions for 2014 are being compiled by one and all. We even made a game for the show all about the most popular resolutions and have guest speakers on the schedule with suggestions about how to keep them. Isn’t that always the problem? We start out with the best intentions for the New Year and then a few weeks into the year, they have fallen by the wayside. So what are the best things we can do now to get what we want in 2014? Moving into January, we are like the Roman god Janus looking forward and backward. It’s a good time to check in on the year 2013 to list our top accomplishments for the year and express our gratitude. We are also formulating our dreams for the coming year. As you make a list, you have a greater chance of sticking with the ideas that really mean something to you. So before you put something on your list, ask yourself where you want to place your focus? Why is it important to you? How do you want to feel when you achieve it? Enhance your dream projects by visualizing…

Preparing for the Media

This has been a hectic week. As we anticipate a few days off around the holidays, staff, talent and crew have made the value of planning and communication abundantly clear. As I wrapped my head around their needs, it occurred to me that shadowing members of the team could be of value – especially to me. After all, as soon as Rainbows Over Ruins is available, I will be asked to stand up in front of other people, and hopefully appear in media, to share my experience of the creative process. Could I ask for a better place to work – where I get to observe what is involved? I get to see guests during the rehearsal process and on the air. Perhaps the producers will let me listen to the pre-interview process or even put me through the questioning. What does a guest on an interview show need to know and prepare before they arrive on set? Here I am in this environment every day. It is an incredible opportunity to see how important the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “how” and “why” of a presentation can be and then prepare myself. As a guest, it would helpful to think…

Have You Written a Letter to Santa?

Santa Claus (by whatever name you know him) dominates our culture at this time of the year. It’s been that way for generations. Each year, children write their letters to the saintly man providing him with their wish list. Sometimes it is a rapid fire recitation of all the latest toys with the expectation that someone will fill the list for the holiday. On more poignant occasions, help is requested to solve serious problems and family situations. How curious that as we send these lists into the ethers, we are establishing a cultural habit to ask for our dreams at the end of each year. We say the words: Ask and you will receive. On some energetic level, we are putting out a request to our subconscious mind to fulfill. But are we training our young charges in the most effective way to ask? As a student of Noah St. John, it strikes me that our letters to Santa are a wonderful place to learn the power of afformations. Noah defines them as positive why questions. When used on a regular basis, they yield results. The technique made a difference for me and I am an enthusiastic supporter. So what…

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Here in the U.S., the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend is drawing to a close. It is a wonderful holiday, meant to be spent with family and friends as we celebrate that which we most value and appreciate in our lives and the past year. Peter is in Arizona working on a new Western, “Hot Bath and a Stiff Drink,” so I spent the holiday with my dear friend Sally and her family. It is different but so much the same: the familiar smells of roast turkey in its final hour of preparation, the happy greetings as each invited guest arrives, the chatter and flow of conversation, the anticipation of the feast and the last minute flurry of activity as the chef pulls all the specially chosen elements of the meal together to present to the family. There is that moment to pause for grace before everyone dives into their plates and then the stories continue until it is finally time for all the guests to return to their homes. Somehow, the plates get cleared and the dishes done without a break in the flow. I had no plans for shopping this weekend, the heaviest shopping days of the year. Being…

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