The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

From vistas of the scorching desert sands of Africa to the undulating pastures of the Andalusian countryside, The Alchemist is a soul-stirring novel, brimming with fantastic insight and vivid imagery. Be it unraveling the truth of omens or fulfilling our Personal Legend, this spellbinding book offers much in the way of story telling at its best.

Paolo Coelho’s exquisite yet simple writing weaves a hopeful and truly breathtaking narrative on life, love and dreams. The story revolves around a free-spirited shepherd, Santiago, who dreams of traveling to the pyramids in Egypt. Along the way he encounters a king who teaches him about the “Soul of the World”, an Englishman searching for an enigmatic alchemist and a beautiful girl who shows him the meaning of true love. In sheer poetic prose, Santiago’s journey of self discovery resonates long after one has finished reading the book.

At its crux, this inspirational novel is about always listening to one’s heart and never giving up on one’s dreams. Coelho remarkably unites the realms of mysticism and reality, using hauntingly beautiful symbolism to convey his philosophy of embracing one’s destiny, refusing to conform to society and denying complacency. The book forces you to question yourself; where you are in life and where you intend to go. It exhorts you to never stop exploring, for that is the very essence of the human spirit. Once we have the courage to follow our dreams, the universe conspires to help us on our path, urging us on towards fulfilling our true potential.

Coelho describes how there exists a divine spark within all of us. By struggling for our dreams, we find God and ultimate happiness. Fearing failure and disappointment is the greatest cause of despair.

Omens play a potent role in the book. From Tangiers to the Sahara, Santiago discovers omens that like an umbilical cord tie him to his destiny. Interpreting these omens gives Santiago the assurance he needs and provide witness to his spiritual enlightenment.

One of the major themes in this book is of love: love that is eternal as a part of the “Soul of the World” and love that is a part of life and Nature. True love will never keep us from realizing our dreams. The interesting debate between fate and free will is also a recurring theme. As Santiago realizes, it is the journey that is more important than the end or the beginning.

This compelling tale gives birth to undying conviction that you can accomplish whatever you desire. It touches your soul, captivating your senses with its majestic lyricism and heartrending message. A masterpiece of modern literature, it will remain with you forever, treasured for years to come.

Write in Retirement to Fulfill Your Dream of Publishing a Book

When seniors set out to fulfill their dream of writing a book, the majority choose creating a memoir. But that’s only one of the many possibilities when you write in your retirement. For example after years of honing your expertise in a business or profession, you are highly qualified to produce a how-to related to some aspect of your career field.

Many seniors are highly skilled at their favorite hobby. These can range from stamp collecting to expertise in special periods of history, from sports to music and much more. An excellent example is Daniel Leeson, an IBM retiree living on the West Coast. He is an outstanding clarinet player with many years of experience and a devotee of the great classical composer Mozart.

One the 81% of mature Americans that the Gallup pollsters report dream of publishing a book, Leeson had the choice of writing about his technical experiences or about music, his beloved pastime. He chose to write about Mozart and his musical output, and has completed three highly recognized, five star books on the subject.

Memoir Is Number One

There are a number of reasons why the memoir is often the first choice of many retirees. It can serve as a guide to the author’s offspring, demonstrating those characteristics and standards that the author believes should be essential in the lives of his/her heirs.

Perhaps the author wishes to establish a lasting memorial of his/her achievements to pass on to future generations. Instead of writing solely about themselves, other memoirists focus on the family, its history and the role its members played in the society of their generation.

The memoir can concentrate on a specific incident in the author’s life, explaining in detail its effect on him/her and on the family, friends and/or professional contacts who are either parties to the event or simply bystanders. Conversely, the author may find it preferable to trace many years of happenings that shaped his/her life.

Calling on Your Expertise

The knowledge you have accumulated during your career can provide insight that will prove helpful to those who succeed you following your retirement. Regardless of the type of work you did, you can pass on tips and guidance gathered during those many years. Whether you served as a lofty brain surgeon, a plumber, a retailer, a landscaper or a skilled artisan, there will always be people who can benefit from your experience.

Providing information in a how-to book is relatively easy. The content that you provide is far more important and certainly more relevant to the reader than the skill with which you present it. You certainly possess the vocabulary of the vocation and you undoubtedly can place words on a page in a way that makes sense. With some care for grammar and spelling, you should be able to produce a meaningful book.

When you consider writing a how-to, think about the set of directions you receive when you purchase an item that must be assembled. You are told to spread out the parts and begin assembling them one by one, gradually constructing the finished product. Follow that pattern when assembling your book.

Plan out what you want to relate. Break the subject down into its individual components. Write each on paper or on your computer. Meld the segments into a logical pattern that makes it possible for your reader to follow easily.

Step-by-step, lead the reader through each of these components as they build upon one another until your entire thesis has been presented and understood. That same approach can be used effectively when you write about your favorite pastime.

Perhaps you’d prefer to explore a subject in a broader way. For example, instead of writing about how to perform a successful biopsy of the brain, you choose to write on the development of neurosurgery over the past century.

If you are a retired plumber, you might not want to write on how best to replace a leaky toilet or some similar task. Instead you choose to write on the history of the water closet from its beginnings in ancient Greece to the modern day conservation models.

There is no end to the variety of topics you can choose or to the approach you select in writing about them. But stop dreaming. Set a regular schedule for your writing and sit down at your computer. You will be amazed at how quickly you complete the task and finally fulfill that dream of becoming a published author.

My 10 Favorite Books: Terence Koh – New York Times


For his bookshop and website One Grand Books, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. The next in the series is the artist Terence Koh, who shares his list exclusively with T.

“The Krishnamurti Reader,” J. Krishnamurti

A guide on living. Krishnamurti asks us to question everything, find out the answers ourselves. It’s something that strikes my mind every time I read the news and all the problems we have today. Start with mutating our own mind and then society’s.

“Silence,” John Cage

John Cage sings to me in that calm gentle voice of his every day. Just sitting here while writing this — crick crack of logs burning in woodstove, almost silent sound of a distant wind — I am reminded that the universe is a constantly changing song. The most beautiful music in existence is when we let our minds be silent.

“Four Quartets,” T.S. Eliot

“Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future

And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present

All time is unredeemable.”

I have not read the rest of this little book beyond these first two sentences. The ever-living now: live it fully and awake.

“Walden,” Henry David Thoreau

I glued all the pages of “Walden” shut and it’s the only book that sits by my bed. For me, it’s the idea of this book as a single physical object that matters. A book unopened can be a bed lamp.

“The Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work and Art in the Far East,” Alan Watts

Oh, sparkling Alan Watts. What I remember most clearly from this book is that all words — the book itself — is only a guide, like a boat, to help you cross the river. Don’t mistake the book for the way across. All books are a boat. Zen is life itself sewn into the fabric of daily existence.


Terence Koh

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

“The World as I See It,” Albert Einstein

On the second page, Einstein outlines the principles that guide his life: “The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been truth, goodness, and beauty.” Three simple words, yet full of mystery and light.

“The Snow Leopard,” Peter Matthiessen

A book about mountains, loss, death, life, living Zen and everything else in between. Living on a mountain myself, Peter reminds me that the mountains and stones are alive. Friends that I speak to daily. Peter Matthiessen, together with Gary Snyder, Arne Naess and John Cage are my teachers on how to grow older. With vigor, elegance and spark.

“Living the Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living,” Helen and Scott Nearing

This was the book that inspired me to move from the city and live on a mountain in the middle of nowhere and everywhere. In 1932, they too moved from New York City to start living off the land deep in the green mountains of Vermont. Living off the land and in the seasons gives one a sense of honest purpose. Art, farming, poetry, architecture, carpentry, accounting, cooking have no boundaries with each other.

“We Were an Island: The Maine Life of Art and Nan Kellam,” Peter Blanchard III

A story about a couple that bought a remote island in Maine to live on for the rest of their lives. A dream of mine, too: to live on an island, physically and spiritually.

“Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” Anonymous

I have been collecting different versions in book form of this simple song:

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Live life gently and merrily. Never judging, just observing on this boat ride. Alone at home I sing this song every day and perhaps you will too.

Oxenfree Review – Teenage Dream – Bleeding Cool News


Oxenfree reminds me of my youth. A time when I’d go adventure with my friends, find stupid stuff to do and just be a teenager. It also reminds me of even further back when I had fear of the unknown, the supernatural and ghostly ideas that would haunt me in the night. It feels like a meditation of being young but not necessarily at any one point. Just the adventure, the hopefulness, the fear and the loss that all permeate us as we form into the adult people we become.  I know that sounds very grandiose, but these ruminations are the patch work quilt that come together to create Oxenfree‘s make up.

The debut game from Night School Studios certainly has roots in a new kind of game movement emerging, less about the fierce action that rules AAA game spaces, but rather reflections on youth and the people in the game. This is much more in your Life is Strange and Gone Home pool, and boy oh boy is it a great innings from the game on that front. Much like those two previous games though, the notion of supernatural elements hangs over proceedings like a silky spectre. The game plays like an adventure game of yore, having you explore a large space, find clues, make decisions and solve environmental puzzles to progress.

Oxenfree puts you in the shoes of Alex, a teenaged girl on her way to a rager on an abandoned military island with her newly legally binding step-brother Jonas and dorky-ish best friend Renn, On your way you meet mean girl Clarissa and her friend Nona. These characters serve as the group you’ll social navigate in the game. Things do turn though when you soon find yourself party to some supernatural shenanigans.

These supernatural happenings are one of the key highlights of the experience. The game has a very definite backbone doused in horror, and it is so delightfully strong, it looms over the entire proceedings. The way these entities manifest themselves are genuinely eerie in a way that crawls up your spine, especially as you never quite know their intentions or what they want with you. While the game isn’t necessarily “scary”,  it instead trades more in the “creepy”. This is a campfire spook story, thus again bringing back memories of youthfulness.


The island you explore during your time with Oxenfree is also a real winner. It constantly felt bigger than it actually was, with drop dead gorgeous art work done on the backgrounds. This is a place I could get lost in, looking through every nook and cranny to find more about the islands storied history. The map is still ironed into my mind, and I could get from one place to another from relatively memory. That isn’t the case for most games. This place has left a genuine impression on me, both comforting and ominous at the same time. There is so much to find and do, from straight historical tour guide entries, to deeper secrets about the game’s darker undercurrent. The place, while not feeling alive, since it is mostly abandoned, feels lived in and rich.

The game is also supported again by a truly inspired soundtrack from SCNTFC. A sort of drugged out haze by way of dirty electro fitting neatly with the game’s sleepy dreamlike qualities and utter fascinations with radios. It’s something I can’t wait to get into my hands on it for standalone listening.

Where the game does fall down though, is that it feels a little short. This isn’t a complaint I usually level at a game, as I very much enjoy shorter, succinct experiences. Honestly though, these character and this world are a place I wanted to spend more time in. The game clocks in somewhere between four and five hours, which wouldn’t normally be a problem. That’s a great length for an indie adventure title. This does hinder the game a little though, since the ending feels particularly rushed. Things conveniently tie up, the antagonists make a sharp turn (at least in my run) contradicting what they said previously, and I just wished it had all been allowed to breathe a little more. The final points of the game got a little lost and that is a real shame.

I’ve purposefully used a lot of overly descriptive adjectives in this review because, honestly, that is what Oxenfree feels like it’s about. It’s about a time during youth, but not necessarily one time. A lost memory of a great weekend you had when you were 15 that only stirs in the back of your mind. Oxenfree is a great adventure game, mixing Life is Strange and Silent Hill into a hazy cocktail that I wholeheartedly recommend. While it doesn’t stick its landing, this is something that is clearly designed to be played over and over. The beautiful art work, the ominous yet inviting island and the creepy supernatural goings on make for a dazzlingly interesting first outing from Night School Studios.

Buy it if: You enjoy adventure games and want a well-realized, creepy (not scary) campfire story supported by impeccable environmental work and a stellar score.

Avoid if: You need don’t enjoy adventure games or you need a $20 game to be longer than four hours in the first run through.

Score: 8.8/10

Growing Taller Secrets Book – Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Dream Height

If you happen to be getting weary about finding the best method to help you grow taller, don’t despair. There is the latest Growing Taller Secrets Book designed to help people with short stature.

While having a short stature can truly affect so many aspects of your life, it should never be something that can cause you great despair to the point of giving up and just doing nothing about your condition. Instead, it should prompt you to struggle further in searching for the most suitable technique to make you grow taller. Learn more about this book by searching for countless resources in the Internet.

First and foremost, you will be delighted when you find out that the book does not advocate you to take some oral medications or drugs just to achieve your dream height; nor does it recommend that you go through surgical procedures that will have to cut your bones to create some damage or fracture; thereby causing some growths in the end. The book provides helpful tips on how to get the most appropriate set of exercises that could stretch out those bones and therefore help you become taller.

In fact,Growing Taller Secrets Book claims that there will be 2 to 4 inches increase in your height by simply following the instructions provided in the book. What is more, the author gives you details on the exact exercises your bones will need to reach its maximum stretching that will lead to height gain.

Do the hanging exercise.

This type of exercise is very effective in stretching out one’s bone which has been proven effective in increasing height by two inches or four, or sometimes even more. All you will have to do is to hang by a bar using your hands while staying there for some minutes. Keep in mind that you will get the best results from this exercise if you do it 30 minutes for per week.

Hang upside down like a bat.

Hanging upside is a great exercise that is very effective if you truly bent while stretching your bones in a safe manner. No reason for you to worry since there will be a device to make sure that you are closely held by a bar from the top. The concept is actually leaving it all to gravity to do the work by pulling your body down on to the floor.

Carine Roitfeld Celebrates the American Girl in CR Fashion Book – Observer

Leela Goldkuhl with french fries, shot by Felix Cooper (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

Leela Goldkuhl with french fries, shot by Felix Cooper (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

Most American girls (or maybe it’s just the New York ones) dream of embodying the chic je ne sais quoi of French girls. But now it seems that French girls harbor similar feelings towards American girls and their undeniable embrace of light wash denim, along with stars and stripes.

Carine Roitfeld expanded on that concept in issue eight of CR Fashion Book, which hits newsstands on February 25. The entire issue focuses on an Americana theme, but is delivered through a French lens; model Leela Goldkuhl holds a box of McDonald’s fries, but smokes one as if it’s a cigarette. The all-American Gigi Hadid also poses for the issue, but is dressed in a vision of black haute design.

Gigi Hadid shot by Sebastian Faena (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

Gigi Hadid shot by Sebastian Faena (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

Ms. Roitfeld explained her concept in a statement: “In the ’80s, Fashion created a fantasy around the American girl: athletic, toned, smiling, happy, gracious, and perfect…Now suddenly in 2016, we see the comeback of the American girl, and I find myself so excited by this new generation of stars. My dream for this issue was to play with pop culture ideas of the American girl to create something brand-new. It is my interpretation of the American melting pot; beautiful and diverse. ”

This latest issue is served up in three volumes, resulting in over 500 pages of lush U.S.-inspired fashion, as seen through Ms. Roitfeld’s keen eye. But the editrix isn’t stopping there; the second issue of CR Men’s Book will be published in February, in addition to a 48-page book dedicated only to photos of models. Photographed by Sante D’Orazio, CR Girls 2016 will include all of Ms. Roitfeld’s favorite models dressed in the second Yeezy collection by Kanye West and shoes by Gianvito Rossi.

Presley Gerber shot by Bjorn Iooss (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

Presley Gerber shot by Bjorn Iooss (Photo: Courtesy CR Fashion Book).

There’s no doubt that Ms. Hadid will be making an appearance in this model-focused book, but we wonder if Kendall Jenner will be present, too.

The Dream Giver, a Feather, and a Vision Review

These next few paragraphs explain a new book I read titled “The Dream Giver”. I share a little about the book and then some interesting facts I found out about myself after being part of this journey to the Land of the Familiar.

Have you ever had a book recommended to you by someone and you really weren’t sure if you would want to read it, but you agreed to do so anyway?

I normally read romance mystery books and some of my favorite authors are Mary Higgins Clark, Miranda James, Dorothy Howell, and Dorothy Gilman. These books connect with the natural born detective in me. No, I don’t work as a detective for a living however; I always notice the differences in things and if something isn’t quite right or if someone isn’t quite right. I find detective work fascinating. Maybe, I also just like to get away from reality and into someone else’s drama. I really don’t know what makes these types of books appeal to me. I do know that when I pick one up I just can’t put it down. I keep reading and reading while the hands on the clock keep moving. It is so crazy.

Recently, my library has expanded with the addition of something other than a mystery. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or if it would hold my interest. Boy was I wrong. This book I speak of is so powerful yet simple that it is easy to connect with. The story is engaging at the same time. The characters in the book don’t have names making it a book unlike any other I have read.

The book recommended to me for review was titled “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson. I had never heard of it before being introduced to it and I even wrote down the name and author so I would remember to look for it at the library. My local library did not have it so I placed a hold for it. This should tell you how eager I was to read it. Not. I figured when it wasn’t available right away it wasn’t meant for me to read. It never occurred to me that maybe it was so popular that I was on the waiting list to get it. Perspective is everything and my view was wrong. I admit it.

You didn’t read this to hear all the drama surrounding getting the book in the first place, but rather something about the book. I was wrapped in before ever read the book. I opened the cover, inside adjacent to the chapters was a note that read: The book was for anyone who ever hoped they could achieve something with their lives. Have you ever opened a book and saw a dedication to someone? I have too. Now, have you ever opened a book and the dedication was to you? Never in all my book reading years have I seen this. I was impressed and wanted to read more.

The Dream Giver interacts with the reader. The beginning asks a question of the reader, a question of me. I felt like I was truly talking to someone in front of me. The question was “Do you believe every person on earth was born with a dream for his or her life?” I was like, what? I usually read books for entertainment and to figure out who the killer is? Remember I read Mystery books. This was too much, this book was asking me questions and I found myself speaking out loud answering them. Omg.

I followed the journey of Ordinary, a Nobody, who lived in a place called Familiar. OK, he does have a name; not a name like you and I have but nonetheless it is a name. Ordinary did the same thing day in and day out, just like every other Nobody did. He woke up, went to his usual job, came home, and started the day over again. He had thoughts of something bigger and would get a feeling that something was missing from his life. The thought would pass and he would continue doing what was expected of him. One day he found a feather on his sill. He believed it had come from the Dream Giver. He wasn’t the first Nobody to have this occur to him. No, there were others before him; he just never imagined it could happen to him. He was afraid to tell anyone in Familiar about this dream of his and that he found this feather the Dream Giver had given him. Day by day, Ordinary kept thinking about his big dream, it was all he could think about anymore. He was becoming restless at work and he realized he would never be happy unless he could pursue this dream of his. He was given a chance to make a change by the Dream Giver and he desperately wanted to follow it.

I keep reading because now I am interested in what this big dream is that Ordinary has. Somewhere I am still in mystery mode and this has lit my curiosity. I keep reading and discover myself feeling the same way Ordinary is feeling. When he is sad, I am sad, when he is scared and unsure I am scared and unsure. This has never happened to me before while reading. Wow.

Ordinary tells his dad about the feather and how he really is unsure of what to do. His dad tells him that he was once visited by the Dream Giver too however; he was too scared to step away from Familiar in search of his Big Dream. He tells him to do it. Ordinary, with the reassurance of his dad, leaves his comfort zone, the Land of the Familiar. As he gets farther and farther away from Familiar he questions himself more and more and feels scared. He is wondering if he can do this or if the dream is just too big for him. Along the journey he finds friends and family who let their fears for him interrupt his forward thinking and he doubts himself even more. Each time he looks to the feather for reassurance and remembers what his dad told him.

The reason this book resonated with me is that I find myself in Ordinary’s shoes, if he even had any on. I am in pursuit of a vision that I believe I have had all along. I am still in pursuit of it at the age of 40. There were times while reading this book that I thought I had no way of obtaining my vision but as I read more about Ordinary I realized that until I no longer have a heartbeat I still have that vision and it can still be brought to life.

Many people will be obstacles standing between you and your vision. Some may be family or friends. It isn’t that they don’t believe in you, it is that they don’t want to lose what you have with them. They are not ready to follow their dream therefore; your big dreams are more than they can handle. Maybe they don’t want to see you fall either. Little do they know that when you follow that big dream, nothing and I mean nothing big or little will keep you from it? The only obstacle is YOU.

Ordinary finally made it to his Big Dream with the help of the Dream Giver. He found that belief in his dream and in the Dream Giver kept him focused and kept his vision in his head. The word NO does not exist when we are really driven. NO is replaced with “find another way”, and you will do this. Ordinary used truth and his smarts to out think all those standing in his way. Many times he pondered what to do for more than one day, in the end he decided to continue to follow what the Dream Giver had given him, a DREAM.

Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream Book Review

Isabella reviews Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream by Jacqueline A Ball.

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Top Ten Reasons You Should Write a Book Now!

Many would-be authors have a great book inside them, but most will never be written, and that’s a shame. Isn’t it time for you to quit making excuses, and write the book you’ve been dreaming about?

What keeps people from successfully writing the book of their dreams? Typically, would-be authors allow their lack of confidence, or a few flimsy excuses to stand in their way. But don’t be deterred any longer, because I’m going to show you ten ways to overcome obstacles and boost your writing confidence.

Who exactly is capable of writing a great book, or the next bestseller? A lot more people than you might think. There are literally thousands of great writers who have amazing stories to tell. But here’s the kicker: They’ll never be discovered until they get off the sneid, and start writing.

Is it possible that YOU could be the next author to hit the bestseller’s list? I hope so, because that would be really cool But even if your book doesn’t ascend to the top of the charts, it’s still worth writing, isn’t it? After all, good books, told-right are always welcome in the publishing world.

Ten excuse-busters to help you write your dream-book at last:

1. IT’S YOUR DREAM. How do I know that? If it weren’t your dream, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now! What have you done with your dream? Have you pursued it? Worked diligently toward fulfilling it? Or have you allowed the excuses of life, and mental obstacles to kill it? Sounds like an easy question to answer, doesn’t it? But for many would-be authors, the right answer; the one that leads them to fulfill their book-writing goal, is never discovered. And that’s a shame, because your dream, if channeled properly, can become a powerful driving force in your life.

If you possess the personal passion that’s needed to fulfill your dream, and are willing to devote yourself to achieving it, then quite possibly, your dream may come true. But it can only happen if you dare to believe that dreams are worth pursuing.

2. YOU just might have a story worth telling. I hope you don’t think the only people capable of writing good stories, or creating quality books are those being published already, because that’s just NOT true!

Popular opinion suggests there re no new stories to be told. You know, that all the good ones have already been written. But isn’t it amazing, that every now and then, an inspired author will challenge the limits of creativity, and give us something fresh and wonderful to read again?

Why shouldn’t that special someone be YOU? After all, if someone is going to do it, why should it be other writers all the time?

Personally, I believe everyone has a great story to tell, an amazing book to write, or good advice to pass along. The problem is, most non-published authors don’t REALLY think they have anything to say.

Louis L’Amour, the famous western writer, said, “Folks is folks wherever you find them.” If that’s true (and I believe it is), then why shouldn’t YOU have a tale to tell, and a great book to write? After all, the only thing that separates you from published authors is – they have already been published, and you haven’t. So what – that doesn’t make their writing skills superior to yours, does it?

I hope you’re paying close attention to what I’m saying, because it’s important for you to grasp this point if you are going to produce the kind of books you’re capable of creating. You must believe that you possess the talent, the creative ability, and the necessary initiative to write your book successfully, or you’ll never pull it off. For without tenacity, perseverance, and the right attitude, you will not succeed in the publishing world, because doors only swing open for those who knock loud and long enough.

Do you have what it takes to keep trying, even when others tell you to quit? Many successful authors had to battle through unbelievable rejection and incredible obstacles, before they finally got published. And chances are, your journey won’t be that dissimilar from theirs. So keep on persevering, even when it would be easier to quit.

3. Are YOU an expert? If so, then use your expertise to write a book that will benefit others in your field, or assist people in making decisions that will make life better for them.

Personally, I find it very frustrating to go into the bookstore, in search of a book on a particular subject, only to find none. This trend holds especially true in the techno, writing and historical sections. Sometimes, dozens of nearly identical books have been written about the same subjects, but not a single volume on the subject you need.

Someone needs to fill in the blanks! Even though more books are being published now than ever before, there are still plenty of empty niches in the publishing world that are begging creative writers, and experts like you, to fill them. Take it from an author, who is an avid reader: The book world needs your help! We need authors who will actually use their experience, talent and expertise to widen the genre list, and help create books that people really want to buy.

4. Help wanted: Authors who will write good, clean, creatively written books, the whole family can enjoy. In the publishing world today, there’s no shortage of authors who rely on the cheap crutches of sex, violence, and filthy language to make their books sell. And that’s sad, because great storylines don’t need immoral or offensive crutches to make people buy them.

Growing up, my parents told me, “Intelligent people don’t need to use foul language.” That’s the same way I feel about book publishing. Creative writers don’t need to use sex, violence or offensive language to sell books. If anything, it cheapens the story, and makes it unacceptable to people, who otherwise would have purchased their writings. Remember this: If the story is well-told and engaging, it will sell itself.

Need proof that clean books sell? Let me introduce you to Jan Karon (though she needs no introduction). Her Mitford series of books has sold over 25 million books since 1998. How’s that for a clean book success story? But I hope you don’t think her books are a one-time phenomenon, either, because they’re not. There are enough good clean books at the top of the current and all-time bestseller charts to inspire anyone to go clean.

5. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I hate using old adages to illustrate new points, but that particular one applies here. The truth is; if you sit on your laurels and do nothing, you can expect to accomplish exactly that in life.

You’ll never become a published author unless you put your fingers to the keyboard and start typing. It’s as simple as that. To win the marathon, you have to run the race. To go to the moon, you have to become an astronaut. I wish there was a 1-2-3 formula for writing bestseller books, but there isn’t. It just takes a lot of hard work – and nobody can do it for you.

Now don’t take me wrong. I’m not saying that writing isn’t fulfilling, or pleasurable, because many authors enjoy it (I know I do). But whether you find it enjoyable or not, that doesn’t change the fact that it still requires many hours of hard work.

If you are hoping to get rich quick off your writing ability, you might be disappointed, because most authors don’t find the pot of gold at the end of their story’s rainbow. Then again, in the publishing world today, you never know, it could happen. Every year, new writers hit it big, and best of all, you never know who it will be. So maybe, just maybe, that someone will be you. Of course, there’s no way of knowing who will write the next book that tops the charts, but one thing we do know; that someone will definitely NOT be you, unless you write a book, and submit it to the publishing process.

6. You’re not too old! It’s my conviction that some of the best books reside within those who are over forty. They have the training, the knowledge, the history, the experience and often, the necessary time to devote to writing great books, but sadly, many ‘older’ people never do it. And you want to know why? Most often, they think they’re too old to do it. You know what I say to that? Humbug!

How can I say that? I was past forty when I started writing my first book, and since then, I have written four more, plus several guides for group and individual studies. Want to know what I learned from the process? If I was able to do it, why shouldn’t you be able to do it, too?

Think of it this way: What does it matter how old you are? You can’t change your age, anyway, so why don’t you do what you’ve always dreamed of doing, and stop worrying about how many ticks are left on the clock! Wouldn’t you prefer to leave this world fulfilling your dream, instead of wasting your remaining years doing nothing, while wishing you had?

7. You can find the time, if you know where to look! Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know how hectic life can get, and how scarce time can be. But if you are ever going to fulfill your dream, you have to find a way to overcome this obstacle. Here’s a hint: Try swapping some of the elective activities in your life for quality writing time. What do I mean by that? During the course of a seven-day period, everyone wastes time. Your assignment is to find those wasted hours and convert them into writing time.

How can you convert wasted hours for usable ones? Start by tracking your activities for the next few weeks. This will give you a good idea of what your time inventory looks like. Next, you need to decide which of those hours can successfully be converted into writing time.

Some of the items on your list might include excessive sporting activities, trips to the mall, time spent surfing the web, mindless television viewing, or even your hobbies. Now, I am not suggesting that you quit interacting with family and friends, sell your home, move to Montana, buy a shack and start writing. But with careful planning, you might find a few hours every week that you can devote to writing.

8. If you’re not creative enough to write fiction, write something else! Who said you have to write fiction? Fiction is only one genre among many. Besides, it’s the most flooded part of the book market, anyway. You’d actually be much better off finding a different niche, than trying to replicate the hundreds of established fiction writers at the top of the bestseller list.

What can you write, if you don’t write fiction? You can write whatever you want to write! Go into your favorite bookstore, and look at all options. A few of the categories include: children, fix-it, self-help, advisory, hobbies, travel, relationships, problem-solving, religion, lifestyle, leadership, poetry, biography, media, sports, finance, reference, and a whole lot more.

An excellent method for determining what book to write, is to use the same formula entrepreneurs use when starting a new business. Start by answering these two questions, and you might be on your way: What topics (subjects) are you most passionate about? What do you enjoy talking about, or doing, more than anything else?

What comes next? Use the passion you have for your hottest-topic to inspire readers. Will it work? It has worked exceptionally well for thousands of other authors, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for you. For one thing, your passion will be evident when you write about something you really enjoy. Your readers will pick up on it, too, and will enjoy it much more than a book that was written for lesser reasons.

9. Your style may not be what publishers are looking for? Who said every book needs to be written in the same style, anyway? Do we all go to the same store, and buy identical outfits to wear? Of course not. After all, we aren’t clones.

So why should your creative writing style be any different? When you sit down to the keyboard, try being a trendsetter, and write something different from the rest of the books out there. Be uniquely you! And perhaps, you will find success in it.

10. What if your book is not mainstream enough? Write for pleasure. Enjoy what you are doing, and it will be a success. If your book doesn’t have a strong tie-in to a specific category, then develop a slant that will connect your book with an existing niche, or create a new niche.

Every book in the publishing world doesn’t fit neatly into the confines of established topic headings, anyway. This is especially evident in the world of technical writing. As technology expands, so do the categories and sub-categories that try to contain them. But what happens when technological advancements fail to fit into existing topic headings? Publishers make new ones.

If you create a book that is worth reading, I believe publishers will discover a way to sell it.

Let’s wrap it up.

OK, it’s time to get that book written! Got it? So repeat after me. “I am not going to allow excuses to keep me from writing the book of my dreams anymore! Starting today, I am going to pursue my dream, write from the heart, and get it done!”

Before we finish up, however, I want you to consider this: “Do you have what it takes to fulfill your dream, and get that book written?”

I wish I could answer that question affirmatively, for you, but I can’t. So you will have to look deep inside your heart, and answer that question for yourself. I hope you answer it like a thoroughbred answers the bell. If you do, you’ll be on your way to fulfilling your dream. And with that, you’ll find a sense of fulfillment, and quite possibly, a whole lot more!

Even after reading this article, you still might be tempted to reach inside your excuse bag, and find reasons for not pursuing your dream. Sadly, many people do, and that explains why so many dreams go unfulfilled.

Overcoming every obstacle is your job. If you are going to write the book of your dreams, then you have to find a way. That’s the bottom line. You can allow excuses (even legitimate ones) to stand in your way forever, or you can get off the sneid, and conquer them all! The choice is yours.

Starting right now, I hope you will pursue your dream with passion, and fulfill your destiny with purpose. Maybe it will take a little creative shuffling of your life to do it, but I strongly encourage you to find a way to write that book NOW! After all, it’s what you’ve always wanted to do – so don’t waste another minute. Go break out that computer, and write! Who knows, you just might be amazed at the results!

Stop Killing Your Book Dream With Lack of Focus

Do you fear your dream of writing a book is doomed to die inside you? May I be honest? It may, if you don’t focus and get it done. With the right focus and knowledge, you can easily write your significant message into a book.

Read this article and fuel the flame of your book dream again. This time dream a bigger dream. Dream after writing your book, you receive life long income that grows each month.

In this bigger dream you become a highly visible expert in your field. You gain added respect of your colleagues and peers because of your book. You receive increased income leveraged from higher fees charged. Your clients gladly pay them with book author as one of your titles.

Are you ready to revive your dream yet? Here are a few tips to help make all your book dreams come true:

1. Choose your book topic with care.

I recommend a subject you have passion for. I won’t lie to you and say your book will write itself if you choose well. But it will make it a lot easier. You know, “Your book, your baby.” Your book project becomes your brain child in a way. Make sure it’s a topic you could enjoy now and for at least the next 3 years.

2. Write your book and keep your soul.

No, you don’t have to sell your soul anymore to write a saleable book. Use the cumulative effect of doing a little bit at a time. Even so, unless you want it to take years to write, you must schedule writing time each week. For example, you could write 2 pages a day and have a short book in weeks.

3. Think solutions to your book readers’ problems.

Your audience is looking for solutions to their problems. They are looking to you for encouragement to overcome their challenges. Mine your background, your files, and your speeches for the gold called your knowledge. Use speedy book writing techniques and finish your book faster to sell sooner.

4. Focus with a book intention plan.

Write a book writing and marketing plan. Educate yourself about book writing. Enroll or get resources like ecourses, books and Teleseminars. Invest in your book project. Use professional help with getting your cover design, book layout. Remember, book covers sell more books than any other element. Give your book the selling chance it deserves.

5. Write your book’s vision statement.

Write it down and make it plain. Write when you’ll complete it. Name specific outcomes you get after completing your book. For instance, envision yourself watching your bank balance grow from book sales. Write, “I see myself with increased income and more clients.” Anyway you get the idea; create your vision statement including see, hear and feel.

6. Be patient with yourself on the book journey.

Set realistic expectations. If you think an hour here or a couple there will get your book done, rethink your commitment. Plan to fit at least 8-14 hours into your schedule to get your book done and out to the world. It may mean getting up in the wee hours of the morning or burning the midnight oil. Either way, know consistency will drive you and your book to a successful completion.

7. Go the extra mile to a successful book.

Persistent writers become successful authors. Don’t give up. Take your dream out of the back seat. Bring your plans to the front. When you do what it takes to author your book, you can reap the rewards – expert status, increased fees, respect for your know how, fame that grows and many more opportunities that manifest.

Don’t put it off any more. Take your dream off the shelf. If you wait, you can be this time next year without making your dream of writing a successful book come true. You have the knowledge and the solution. Now write it down. Your audience is waiting. Focus, use the tips above and write a book that sells well. Make it different. Make it count. Make it yours.