Steve Bivans

Author, Fear-Less Life & Self-Publishing Coach

Category: How I Write Series (page 1 of 3)

#1 Resolution for 2017: Self-Publish Your Best Seller

Happy New Year Everyone!

Steve Bivans here. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of my awesome subscribers, or social media friends. Since you’ve been such a great support to my blog and to my new book, I want to offer you something special, BEFORE I offer it to the rest of the planet. Do take the time to read through it, and let me know if you have any questions by emailing me at : steve@stevebivans.com!

Does your list of resolutions for 2017 include MORE SUCCESS?

Would you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following?

  • Want to change the world, but don’t think you can?
  • Have a story to tell? Yours, someone else’s, a character you invented?
  • Wish you had a sure-fire way to expand your professional network?
  • Would you love to be considered an Authority in your field? Your business?
  • Ever thought of writing a book, but haven’t?

What you need to do is WRITE A BOOK!typewriter-676929_1280

Why Haven’t You?

  • “I don’t know how!”
  • “I suck at writing! My 8th grade English teacher told me so!”
  • “It’s not the right time!”
  • “I’d never get a publishing deal.”
  • “If I did, no one would read it anyway.”
  • “If anyone read it, they’d probably think it sucked.”
  • “I’m not really an expert.”
  • “I wouldn’t know what to write about.”
  • “I can’t TYPE!”
  • “I hate sitting down to the computer for hours!”
  • “I’m not a writer! I’m a _____!”

What a bunch of Fear-based crap! None of those things are true, or necessary, and I can prove it to you!

You don’t have to ‘be a writer’ to ‘write a book.’ Experts don’t usually write, they become experts by writing. Writing is a learning process. It MAKES YOU an expert! You have tons of experience and knowledge that would make a great book, probably SEVERAL BOOKS! There are no great writers, only great REwriters. First drafts are supposed to suck. That’s why there are editors. You don’t have to type 100 words a minute, in fact, you could write an entire series of books and NEVER touch a keyboard! If you can speak into your cellphone, you can write a book!

“But I don’t really WANT to write a book!”

That might be true, but have you ever thought of the BENEFITS of writing and publishing a book? Hear me out for a minute…

Why you should write a book?

  1. It’s a great way to Change the World, one reader at a time!
  2. Stories sell books faster than anything else, except for the cover and title, that is.
  3. Your book can be your introduction to your network and field. “Nice to meet you. I’m a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author! Here’s my book!”
  4. Nothing you do will set you up quicker as an authority than publishing a book and promoting it to #1 on Amazon!
  5. You DON’T NEED a PUBLISHING DEAL! They’re obsolete! Traditional publishing is dying fast. Securing a deal from one of the old guard houses might make you FEEL validated, but it will NOT SELL BOOKS. You have to market your books. If you’re going to do all the marketing anyway, you might as well be getting 30-70% royalties! You won’t get anything close to that with a traditional publisher. Ever.
  6. Oh yeah, you can make LOADS OF MONEY! Yep. One of the best things a book can do for you, besides bringing in royalties, is bring in LEADS for your BUSINESS! A book can be an amazing lead magnet to sell other products, and to generate thousands of email subscribers that you can turn into life-long customers! Thousands of business people in every conceivable market are doing this every day. If you aren’t, you’re missing out on tons of customers.

Or maybe you HAVE written and published a book, but haven’t figured out how to SELL BOOKS?

I’ve been there. It’s a totally different skill, but it can be learned!

The TIME IS NOW! You can become a #1 Best Selling Author!

I will show you how to go from “NO IDEA” or “MY BOOK IS GATHERING DUST ON THE SHELVES

to “BEST SELLING AUTHOR

in just 99 days!

I’m completely sincere. It’s totally possible if you follow the plan. It’s not magic. It’s buttloads of hard work, and it’s not for the weak of mind or will, but you CAN do it. I’ve done it, and many other people have as well.

My Story

I struggled for years to succeed in many different businesses, and spent over a decade in academia, working on a PH.d. that was never going to bring me the success I wanted.

A couple years ago, in a fit of despair for the state of the world, I decided to write a book about how ordinary people can affect change. It took me nearly a year to write Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, but I FINISHED IT!

Then I self-published it, and waited.
And then I waited some more.
I tried everything in every book to find readers for my book.
I set up a website.
I wrote a few hundred articles.
I shouted my book out on Social media.
But my sales were like watching grass grow, in the winter, in Minnesota. It was painful in the extreme.

Here are the numbers

Between December, 2014 and October of 2016, I earned a grand total of $553.60, for about 100 books, sold. That’s for the Kindle ebook version of Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth. On all the other outlets (Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks), I sold a grand total of 1 book. ONE! In 22 months I managed to sell about 5 books per MONTH! I don’t know what the highest ranking for that book was, but its highest rank right now, is #330 in one category, and #417,459 in all of the Kindle Store.  Pretty pathetic. But there are thousands of authors out there selling even less!

Then I decided to write another book, figuring that two books were better than one.
During that process, I found a coach who turned me on to a system that seemed to have promise. It worked beyond my imagination.

Thanks to that system, I’m a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author!

#1 Amazon Best Seller End of Fear Itself

Screen shot from Amazon!

And I’ve seen a lot of other people become one, too, following that same system.

My new book, The End of Fear Itself, is currently ranked #1 in one category, #2 in two others, and in the top 10 in a fourth. Since December 11, 2016, less than a month ago, I’ve sold over 400 copies in the paid store, and was downloaded 846 times for FREE! Those free copies were instrumental to the launch of the book. (Something I’ll teach you about)

I’ve tweaked that system, and now I’m going to share it with you.

Who am I? Why am I the Best Choice for You?

  • I’m a best selling author. I’ve done it. Doing it again is simply following the formula. It’s not luck, or fate, or a roll of the dice. It’s a formula.
  • My system is a combination of all the best stuff I’ve ever come across, from the best authors on the planet, writing coaches, social media authorities, marketing geniuses, and philosophers, along with my own experience as a writer and teacher.
  • I have 51 years of life experience. That alone doesn’t mean squat. But combined with what I’ve learned about self-publsihing, it means you’re getting cutting edge, new ideas, AND a lifetime of wisdom, all in one package.
  • I’ve been a teacher and lecturer at the University, high school, and middle school level. I’ve learned a lot about teaching people how to do stuff, especially writing.
  • I have written thousands of pages, probably tens of thousands.
    • Hundreds of kick ass blog articles on www.stevebivans.com
    • Academic papers, and a Master’s Thesis
    • I’ve self-published 2 books, totaling 800 pages.
    • I’m an accomplished storyteller. Read my article, “Darth Vader and the Return of the Balrog Blender.” While most of what I’ve written is non-fiction, I DO know how to tell a story, and that’s something every book should do: fiction and non-fiction alike. I can help you tell your story in a way that will pull readers in and keep them hooked.
  • I’ve done all the FAILING FOR YOU! I’ve tried loads of things in life and failed over and over and over. I don’t want that to happen to you. If you’re already there, then I want to help you finally realize the success that is waiting for you on the other side of publishing your book. All you have to do is take my advice, implement the plan, and succeed!
  • I also know EVERY SINGLE FEAR that you’re going to face as a writer, and WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM! Hell, I wrote an entire book about Fear. I will help you face those Fears and KICK THEIR ASS!
  • I’m going to give you practical advice, boiled down to the things that actually work, not a pile of ‘DO EVERYTHING’ and fail. I’ve already done that. It sucks.

Could you hire someone else to help you? Yep. You certainly could. There are great programs out there, like the one I joined, Self-Publishing School Mastermind, run by a young genius, Chandler Bolt. His system works, and he knows what he’s doing. He’s helped hundreds of people publish their books and launch them to the top. Is it weird that I’m plugging someone else’s program? Probably. I owe a lot to Chandler and his system. But I know that I can improve upon what’s he’s done, and I’m gonna offer that to you, today, for a downright steal. Plus, there are so many people in the world that need to or want to write a book, that even a thousand such programs wouldn’t be able to handle them all.

Don’t wait any longer to write that Great American Novel, or the World Changing Book that you’ve been dreaming about. Don’t sit by and watch other people in your professional field become THE authority, because you were afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and put your message out there.

JOIN the COLLEGE OF FEARLESS SELF-PUBLISHING TODAY!

Here’s the nuts n bolts of what you’ll get:

  1. A proven system to take you from NO IDEA to BEST SELLER in 99 Days!
  2. The best advice I have to give on the entire process.
  3. Membership in the College of FearLess Self-Publishing Mastermind Group on Facebook.
  4. You’ll be in a group of like-minded individuals all working together to succeed. They’ll help to keep you accountable to yourself, join your LAUNCH TEAM, write reviews, and cheer you along as you reach your goal of BEST SELLING AUTHOR!
  5. I’m in the group! Yes, I’ll be there the entire time, jumping in to help out, answer questions, and give regular advice and tips. I also cheer!
  6. Weekly Live Video Seminars! Every week, we’ll get together, live. You’ll be able to post questions ahead of time, and usually DURING the seminar, so I can give you my best answer right then! If I don’t have the answer, I’ll GO FIND IT, then post it in the group for everyone to see. Can’t make it to a seminar? No problem! They’ll always be loaded to Facebook and YouTube so you can watch them later!
  7. A host of videos with the best advice out there on writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. These will be posted regularly on the Facebook Group, where they’ll stay.
  8. Loads of helpful DOCUMENTS, and CHECK LISTS to help you with the entire process!
  9. TIMELINES to help you keep all of your tasks in order! I’ll tell you WHAT to do and WHEN TO DO IT!
  10. Access to hundreds of Facebook Groups and Independent Websites that will help you PROMOTE and MARKET your book! Many of these are FREE!

WHAT IS SUCH A SYSTEM WORTH TO YOU?

If you join another self-publishing school, you’re gonna pay at least $45 a month! Some of them are a lot more than that!

Since the College of FearLess Self-Publishing is new, I need bold individuals who aren’t afraid to be FIRST! If you’re truly FearLess and willing to join NOW, I’m going to give you a really crazy deal.

Why?

Because I want to help you succeed. If you succeed, I succeed. I love helping other people reach their goals, make money, become authorities in their field, expand their possibilities, tell their stories, and CHANGE THE WORLD! After all, I wrote both of my first two books with that goal in mind. How better to change the world than to help other authors with the same aspirations?

But DON’T HESITATE! Very soon I’m going to raise the price of this Mastermind to $45 a month!

For a very limited time, I’m offering all of that awesome stuff above, for a ridiculous price.

THE FIRST 99 FUTURE BEST SELLING AUTHORS CAN JOIN NOW

for ONLY $9.99 a MONTH!

OR, save two whole months and pay just $99 per YEAR!

And you’ll be locked in on that price FOREVER, as long as you remain a member! $9.99/mth or $99/year for the FIRST 99 PEOPLE!

But that’s not all…

There’s always a huge inertia whenever you start something new, right? Like pushing a boulder up hill. You have to get that sucker to MOVE, even just a little, before you can get any momentum. And to help get this Mastermind going up the hill, I need the boldest of the bold to help me start pushing.

So, for the FIRST 9 PEOPLE, I’m going to give some very special perks!

If you’re one of the First 9, you’ll get:

  • Me. Yep, you’ll get me as your One-on-One personal FearLess Self-Publishing Coach! (Value: $1200)
    • I’ll check in with you weekly via phone/Facetime/Skype during those 99 days to make sure you’re on track to becoming a Best Selling Author! For 30 minutes a week, you can personally ask me anything!
    • You’ll get very ‘hands-on’ help with all aspects of the process. Email me anytime!
    • And when your draft is ready, I’ll give you FREE CONTENT EDITING on your book! Trust me, this is worth the entire year of subscription, plus a few more years. I’m an excellent writer, and teacher of writing. I’ve taught hundreds of student how to write, and I’ll give you invaluable advice on how to improve your book on a macro level. I won’t proofread it. That’s someone else’s job. But I will look at the structure of the manuscript and give you feedback on how to make it an amazing book.
  • 75% discounted membership into Graduate Level classes! In the near future, I’ll be creating some very high level, uber-detailed classes for students who want even more hands-on teaching. As one of the FIRST 9, you’ll get to sign up for those for 75% OFF! Yeah, that’s what I said. Some of those classes will be $1000 or more! So, don’t wait! Sign up now!
  • You’ll also get the benefits that everyone in the FIRST 49 get! (see below)

FOR THE NEXT 40 MEMBERS!:

If you weren’t quite quick enough to get into the FIRST 9, but managed to get in the first 49 members, CONGRATULATIONS! There are some awesome perks for you, too! After all, 9 people can’t push that stone ALL the way to the top of the hill. We need your help, too! If you’re in the next 40 members of the first 49, you’ll get…

    • All the regular perks of being in the Facebook Mastermind Group.
    • Plus, you’ll get ME as a member of your LAUNCH TEAM!
      • What’s a Launch Team? It’s a Facebook group (that you’re going to form), to help promote your book to the top of the charts!
      • As part of that team, I promise to READ and REVIEW your book on Amazon during the launch! Reviews are a key part in pushing a book to BEST SELLER status!
    • I will also create a Facebook Live Review Video for you and your book which will be seen by thousands of my followers on social media! Check out the one below.

  • As mentioned above, I will soon be offering Graduate Level classes! If you’re in the NEXT 40 students to join the group, you’ll get 40% off of those same classes!

This ain’t gonna last forever, so

SIGN UP TODAY, RISK FREE!

If for any reason, you’re not completely satisfied, or the mastermind wasn’t what you expected, I’ll refund your first month’s tuition, or the entire $99 yearly tuition, if you cancel within the first 30 days. But I’m confident that’s not going to happen. If you really want to write and publish a book, you’re gonna love this program.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO:

  1. Cick the PAY NOW button below, and pay either $9.99 for your first month (I’ll remind you next month), or pay $99 for an entire year and get 2 months for FREE! (Soon, I will have an automated system in place to take care of payment each month)
  2. Subscribe to my email list, if you aren’t already. (at the bottom of the page).
  3. Then go to the FACEBOOK GROUP and click ‘JOIN’. I’ll add you to the group as soon as I see the request. (Might take a few hours, if I’m not online)
  4. Once you’re in the group, make sure to introduce yourself in a post!

YES, I WANT TO BE A BEST SELLING AUTHOR!

Pay Here button blue

 Or PAY HERE with PAYPAL!

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Filling in the Cracks: How I Write #9

Writing is messy.

Let me rephrase that; my writing is messy.

I suppose most writers feel this way. If your writing is clean the first time through, then something is probably wrong, or you’re a Mozart-ian prodigy or something.

When I was writing Be a Hobbit, I ran into a stage in the writing process where I had a substantial amount of stuff written, and it was in a kind of organized state, but I knew there was stuff missing there: cracks that needed filling, if you will.

This happens as you run out of topics to write about, chapter titles basically. I had a lot of what I needed to say, blocked out in an outline on Scrivener, so I could see where I was going to go from chapter to chapter. I didn’t write it all in sequence, mind you; I wrote whatever I felt I was ready to write, each morning.

Sometimes I didn’t feel particularly inspired to write anything in particular, so I just picked a section, looked at the title, and pulled the trigger! I just started to write, anything. After a minute or so, the words would start to head in the right direction. I’m doing this right now, actually, as I write this article.

Today, I’m in the middle of writing The End of Fear Itself, and it’s coming along faster now, but I am running out of chapter sections to write, though lately the ideas have been flowing pretty well. But I can see that soon, in the next week probably, I’m gonna fill in the ideas that I’ve already blocked out, and then I’ll be stuck.

This is natural, I’m sure. I know it happened to me during Be a Hobbit, so I’m sure it happens to book writers all the time.

The solution to this block is simple; I read.

Once I get to that road block, I stop writing on that particular project. I don’t stop writing completely; I just write about other things. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now. That process is beginning with this article. I’m writing on a different topic right here: the topic about writing about another topic when your main topic or project gets to a road block.

How’s that for picture in picture?

While I’m writing on other topics, like this one, I go back to the manuscript, the book, and read through the entire thing: start to finish. Next to me is my legal pad and my trusty pen. As I read through, I make notes on the pad about what is missing: things I need to write about that I haven’t touched yet. I also note chapters and sections that need to be fleshed out more. I do this in the order they are currently arranged.

Since this is the 21st Century, and it’s not an actual, paper manuscript, or vellum or papyrus, I also make notes in Scrivener, in the document itself, as I go. I don’t just write it on the pad. I will make a note on the pad, for instance, that says, “Add chapter on Fear of High Heeled Shoes,”—which isn’t a real chapter I don’t think, but it was the first thing that came to mind, so you know where my mind is this morning—and then I actually create that chapter document within Scrivener, in the book document itself.

You can do this in whatever program you’re using, of course. Just create a new page, or whatever, with that title and leave it blank for now. It just becomes a marker that you can come back to and write later. By having the title and blank page, if I get stuck one morning on what to write, I can just pick one of the blank pages, and start typing until the idea comes and I’m off to the races!

Filling in the Cracksfilling in the cracks

I will also note other things during this pass through the manuscript. I’ll note down any ideas the come to mind on chapters and sections that I’ve already written: filling in the cracks, in other words. I note them on my pad, and in the document itself.

In the document, I do this in ALL CAPS, so that when I’m skimming through, looking for them, I’ll see them easily, and I can just jump in and start writing at that point. It’s like skimming over a wall, looking for cracks or nail holes to fill in with Spackle, or toothpaste, or pancake mix, whatever you have at the moment.

I also look for general flow through the book. Is the outline, the organization of the book logical. Does one chapter flow to the next, one part of the book to the next part? If not, I note that down on my pad, too.

I do this, because I know that it doesn’t. Inevitably, when I get to this point in a larger work—and I’ve only published one other large work—I come to a tangle in the organization, what I call a Gordian Knot, where the flow is really fucked up. I talked about that phenomenon in Part 8, Pen & Sword: What to Do with Gordian Knots.

For now, I just note that there’s a problem with the flow, and move on. I don’t want to get caught up in trying to untangle knots at this point, just note them down to work on soon.
If I see an easy fix—a section that can just be picked up and dropped into a more logical place—I’ll do it right then.

This can be done easily in Scrivener, which is why I love the software. And you can see the entire project laid out ont he left side of the screen. This makes editing the structure of the book, way easier. Click the link for a free trial version of Scrivener.

Once I’ve gone through the entire manuscript and made my notes, both on the pad, and in the document itself, I’m ready to start on the second draft of the book. The next day, when I sit down to write, I just look at my notes to see where to start. I don’t have to start at the beginning of the book, necessarily—and most of the time I don’t work that way—but I can if I want.

What I do, however, is to make sure to strike through the those sections on my legal pad, once I’ve accomplished the task. This is just checking off things on a list. A very big list, mind you, but a list nonetheless. Once this is done, the second draft is done.

It may be that if there is a huge knot to unravel, the second draft comes to a halt, and I have to tackle it before I can move ahead. I actually see that looming in The End of Fear Itself.

This is the basic plan for getting into and through the second draft of a book. At least it’s the way I do it. It’s methodical, which is what is needed at this point in a project.

Happy Writing!

Just a note for you writers out there: If you run into problems, or have a question, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or comment here. Email is faster. I love to help people. Really, I do.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Pen & Sword: What to Do with Gordian Knots?

[This is part 9 of my How I Write Series, following part 8, It is Written: End of a Journey Revisited]

In 323 B.C., Alexander the Great reached the Kingdom of the Phrygians in Anatolia, what is now, Western Turkey. He had come here for a specific reason: to master the Gordian Knot.

The great Alexander had already crossed the Helespont, crushed one Persian army in the Battle of Granicus, and was pushing his way into the western areas of the Persian Empire, quickly becoming a thorn in the side of Darius III, the emperor.

But Alexander knew of an ancient legend in this western area of the empire, the legend of King Gordias of Phrygia, and his famous knot. The knot—which reportedly had not loose ends, no beginning or ending—was tied to the tongue of an ox-cart, and according to legend, anyone who could undo the knot would become emperor of the world.

There is some debate about the ’emperor’ part of the legend; it might have been invented in retrospect by Alexander’s soothsayers and supporters, but that’s a boring way to look at it, so fuck it, I’m gonna go with the soothsaying version, because it’s more interesting, and serves my purpose, much as it did Mr. Alex.

Such a legend was just too much of a draw for the ambitious and self-assured Alexander to pass up. When he reached the capital of Gordium, he approached the cart, and the knot, with supreme confidence.pen & sword

He stood, fixed, staring at the twisting mass of rope for several minutes, attempting to find an end, or loose place that he might apply some leverage to unravel this enigma.

But he found no ends, and no slack anywhere. There was no obvious way to untie this knot.

The great Alexander appeared to be stumped.

His soldiers, surely, were beginning to wonder if they had followed the right leader into Persia. Sure, he had pulled off a miraculous victory at Granicus, but that could have been luck. The Persian Empire was massive, stretching from the borders of Macedonia all the way to the Indus River, on the border of modern India! There was no guarantee that this young man, only 23 years old, could best the great Persian Empire with all of its resources and manpower.

Alexander was stuck. The knot was winning. And this was not acceptable to the student of Aristotle, and the son of the great Philip of Macedon.

After several tense moments, Alexander did what Alexander would become famous for; when in doubt, he attacked.

In an instant of genius, and a flash, he strode up to the cart, drew his sword, and slashed the knot into two pieces! The rest is history.

Writing, Knots, Pen & Sword

At some point during the process of writing a longer work, a book especially, you’re gonna run into a mess; you’re gonna run into a Gordian Knot of your own. You can’t leave it, because if you do, your future publishing empire will blow away like so much dust on an windy, Persian plain.

You can’t expect to be Alexander the Great, unless you have the ability to slash your way through knots.

Right now, as I mentioned in my previous How I Write article, I’m faced with a knot in my current project, The End of Fear Itself.

I don’t know how Gordian it is, yet, since I haven’t actually reached it, but I’ve heard it’s up there, up the road if you will. I know it is. I’ve seen glimpses of it as I’ve been writing the first draft of the book. But I have sharpened my pen & sword in anticipation of the encounter.

It may be, when I get there, that I’ll see a loose end, or wiggly spot in the knot that I can easily unravel, and be on my way to ruling the world, but it might be of a true Gordian variety, requiring some hacking. I’m prepared for the latter.

Here’s the situation, just so we’re not talking in abstractions.

Since the book is essentially a guide to ending Fear itself, I’ve outlined it in a more or less logical way.

  1. Introduction: What is Fear? Why should we end it?
  2. Why do we Fear?
  3. What do we Fear?
  4. How do we end it?
  5. Masterful, genius Conclusion (of course)

This was a very logical way to lay it out at the beginning, and for the most part it works okay.

But the knot has tied itself, because as I have been writing the section on What we Fear, I’ve found myself offering advice on different categories of fears, on how to deal with them.

This is because some manifestations of Fear have obvious, or not so obvious, but effective solutions that pertain specifically to that type of Fear, and not necessarily to all Fears in general.

On the other hand, there are some general methods for dealing with many Fears that might work best at the end of the book in a section on How to Fight Fear. So, it might help to save all the cures for the end of the book. But that doesn’t feel quite right to me, so I’m gonna have to unravel this knot, soon.

It may require an Alexandrian approach: a big swing with a fuckin’ broadsword. I might just have to hack and slash my way to a solution. Or, I may get away with some deft, surgical cuts with a scalpel. Who knows which.

But this is something you should be aware of if you’re a writer, especially if you’re in the process of writing your first book, whether that be fiction or non-fiction. You will probably run into a Gordian Knot at some point.

Just don’t stop! Keep working, keep writing, but keep your pen & sword sharp and handy, because you should be prepared to attack that knot with some bold hacking, if needed.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

It Is Written: the End of a Journey Revisited

[The following are words that I wrote about two years ago, when I finished writing my first book, Be a Hobbit. It was an emotional moment, one that all writers must experience, I’m sure, so I offer this to you as an insight into the mind of one writer, on one significant day.]

It is Written

I have finished writing Be a Hobbit. I weep.

The better part of a year has passed since I began this little book, this tome of 450 plus pages, my manifesto if you will. It’s hard to believe that I have reached the end. Yes, there is still some tedious work to do polishing it up, and formatting and a few pages left to write, but the book is written. boxofbeahobbitbooks

Having never written anything of such length, I had no clue what I was getting into, what paths it would lead, mentally, psychologically, physically, emotionally. It has been one fuck-hell of an adventure, like marching to Mordor with Wraiths on my tail: my own wraiths, my own balrogs, orcs, and dwarvish nature, driving me forward, blocking the path at times, kicking me in the fucking nuts, questioning my own ability to finish, to make sense of so enormous a topic as Saving the Earth.

How presumptuous of me to tackle such a thing,” I’ve thought more than once since I began.

I hope, and pray that the end result will be humble enough, because I feel very humbled by the experience. I am but one little hobbit in a great Middle Earth. But I know now that there are millions, if not billions of fellow hobbits out there, and we are all kindred, even if we don’t know of the existence of one another. We are still hobbits.

I never believed that I could love the works of the great professor more than I already did, but this project has given me a greater appreciation for his genius and vision. I hope that I have not profaned his work too much. I’ve certainly taken liberties with it that he might, and rightly, roll his furry eyes at. But I think I have preserved his love of the Earth, of Nature, of Trees and living things, of simple living, of humanity, humor, hospitality. That was my intention.

I set out in a sea of negativity, drowning in despair for the world. But despair leads nowhere good. I’m sick of despair. That’s why I wrote this little book, a few humble pages of positivity.

I hope that the message will empower a few hobbits to change their world, to save their earth, in some small way. To make Shires where there was desolation and despair. It can be done. I believe that now, though it took me nearly 50 years to realize it.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

The Muse has Gone: a Salty Poem for Labor Day

[The following is part of my How I Write Series of articles. This is number 9, I think. Following number 8: Some Days You Just Write Some Crap ]

This morning, I sat down to write for my hour, a thing I do every morning. Some days the words just come and I’m off, like riding a huge wave to the beach.

But this morning was not like that at all. I started late. There were many distractions, and my brain would not focus or seem to find a wave to ride. So, I just wrote a bunch of bullshit, for about 35 minutes, until I began to describe my dilemma.

And then the following happened: a poem.

At first, I didn’t think it was a poem, since I was just free-writing in a paragraph form, but when I looked back over it, I noticed some rhythm, and some internal rhyme, and so here it is.

I’m actually still in my hour of writing, as I’m typing this explanation. I have 8 minutes left, but I thought I would knock out two birds with one stone, and post the results here for you to enjoy.

This one goes out to everyone who is actually on a beach on this beautiful Labor Day. I wish I was, even though the weather in St. Paul is wonderful this morning. I miss my beaches, the salt air, and the sound of surf. Here’s to being there once again, before too long I hope.

The Muse has Gone.

This is just mental wandering,
looking for a topic that resonates,
a wave I can ride into the beach.

No waves right now.
The surf has died,
or rounded out, or off.
No more white caps,
no pulling out into a pitching wave,
just ripples lumbering into shore,
and the sun beating down upon my shoulders.

The scent of salt in the breeze,
the sound of seabirds,
and laughter from the shore.
A washing sound,
as rippling waves, wash over sand
and retreat to do it over again.

The call of mother
and giggling child,
splashing in the gentle surf,
bearing pails of sandy water
building castles never-lasting.

Girls walk hand in handmuse is gone
along the sand,
eyes following ever after,
reflecting waves and suns over the sea,
while puppies dance
and bark in ecstasy, of the day.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

How I Write #7, First Draft: Storytelling, Monkey-brains, and Cousin Eddie

[The following is episode 7 in my How I Write Series, and an example of a very first draft, with absolutely no editing, spellchecking, or grammar check. Actually, it’s one of my better typing examples, lol. As I read through it just now, I was like, “Damn! That was better than usual!” To put the piece in context, it’s part of a chapter from my upcoming book, The End of Fear Itself, which will be released to the public on September 22nd. I give it to you, my lovely readers, in its raw form, to show you, as Hemingway once said, “There are no great writers, only great rewriters.” I think I will return to this once I have cleaned it up, to show you the before and after. This is also, Day 17 of the Year Long Daily Blog experiment, if you’re keeping count. I have given you the audio recording below, if you want to listen. Enjoy!]

 

Our minds tell us stories all day long, and even when we’re asleep. We are essentially storytelling monkeys, with less hair. Well, some of you have less hair; I’m pretty hairy. I hate bananas, though. Just in case you were wondering if I was going to swing down out of a tree or something.
As mentioned earlier, we developed the ability to tell stories so long ago in our evolution, that the origin is lost to us. first draft monkeyThis was probably a monkey-brain development, when we started to distinguish a Past, from the Present. With that ability to remember past events, and dangers, our ancestors were able to construct mental—if not verbal—stories about those events, and bring them to mind when confronted with similar situations in the Present. This helped them to avoid dangers, like King Cobras, lions, tigers, and bears, not to mention stampeding wildebeests. And if you’ve ever been run over by a bunch of pissed off wildebeests, you know it’s something to avoid. Our ape ancestor—let’s call him Clark—probably sat in a tree, a coupld million years ago, saw a not-yet-stampeding herd of beests-of-the-wilde and rememered the story he had constructed in his mind of when cousin Eddie—not the one from Christmas Vacation standing in his bathrobe emptying his camper toilet into the storm drain while smoking a cigar, but just a monkey version of the same guy, well, a more monkeyesque version anyway—was messing around on the savanna one day when he inadvertantly, accidentally mind you, kicked a wildebeest in the scrotum, for fun—because that’s what cousin Eddie type, monkey ancestors woud do—and occasioned the entire herd to run rampant, leaving Eddie lying in a pile of bones, blood, and wildebeest shit. This simple, if amusing monkey story, kept Clark alive, and that’s aweomse for us, because he’s our grandfather, maybe the great, great, great grandfather of Adam, and Eve! He passed down that storytelling ability to us, and now we can avoid being stampeded by wild beasts on the savana, and sneak out the back when Cousin Eddie arrives, uninvited, for Christmas dinner.
It’s a handy tool to have, storytelling. But we can also rewrite our stories!
Yep, that’s what I said, rewrite them. And that includes the stories we tell about our fears, and doubts, and past failures and insecurities. We can, instead of seeing them as finished stories complete with THE END at the the so-called end of them—turn them into serials, continuing sagas, epics even! Why end the story when we’re still alive? Ive always thought that the whole ‘the lived happily ever after’ was bullshit anyway, not to mention, boring. Do you leap for joy when your favorite television show finally comes to an end? Fuck no. I don’t. I want it to keep going. I hated the crap out of it when I got the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for instance, or the abrupt end of the first season of Firefly. I hate that shit.
And I hate it even worse when the ending IS happy. If yuou’re going to end my favorite show, kill everyone! I mean, go all Billy Shakespeare on the entire cast! Let’s have a Hamlet-esque ending! Burn it all down! Or, keep the story going.
Our story is still going; it has not ended. In fact, there’s only one story in all of the history of the Universe: the Big Bang. It’s still going on. We’re part of it, and so is our personal story. So, let’s rewrite our stories to give them more positive direction, not endings. Instead of saying, “I’m a failure” for instance, let’s say, “I failed to accomplish that thing, but I really want to succeed at it, so that was just an experience of failing, and I learned that the way I did it doesn’t work! Cool. Let’s try something else. Kind of like Edison and his lightbulbs.”
Or, “That didn’t work out. Maybe I’ll let that be, and do something entirely different, taking the lessons from that previous experience with me.” That’s an entirely different story, a continuing one, unlike the pathetic, crappy, “I’m a failure,” where we turned ourselves into a victim, and a noun, to boot. Let’s not OWN failure, pain, or Fear. We don’t own them, and let’s not let them own us. Instead, think of failing, feeling pain, and fearing, and realize that they are transient experiences, not good, not bad, just experiences, part of the fuckin’ story, and let’s reframe the entire story of our lives, as heroic, courageous, epics like the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Rocky. In fact, cue up the theme to Rocky and try to feel like a failure. It ain’t gonna happen, especially if you’ve ever seen the movie. It’s gonna pick you up and make you feel like you can kick Fear’s ass.

 

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Older posts

© 2017 Steve Bivans

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑