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10 Jul 2014
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Writing During the Summer

I love summertime, when I can take my son to camp and watch him bounce with glee upon arrival — much different than taking him to school in the morning!  This extra dose of joy gives me a boost to be more creative and mull over what I want to write about.

That’s the thing about summer, I think.  The shackles of “shoulds” seem to fall off and be replaced by dormant desires to be free.  And this creates an amazing environment to write … write … write.

Recently, I wrote about the one ingredient that is needed in a single mom’s day for my blog at SingleMothers.us.  http://www.singlemothers.us/single-mothers-day  It was the kickstart I needed to begin a summer of creativity and life at a slower pace.

What are you doing to expand your muse this summer?

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How do you handle your writing demons?

If you are a writer, chances are you have a passion for seemingly impossible things.

That is why receiving a lot of rejection might hurt. But like anyone will tell you, it is not how many times you fall down, it is whether you get back up again. I would like to add this:  It is also how you feel about yourself and your work as you move forward while coping with the writing demons who want to travel with you.

Remember, in order to get published, it takes just one publisher who really loves you and your work. Just one big YES. And the naysayers – whether internal or external – have a beauty of a time holding you back.

Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell all have received rejection letters only to persevere onto bestselling author status. According to Mental Floss, an online magazine, Ayn Rand sent in her manuscript The Fountainhead and received a curt reply that it was unsaleable and unpublishable. Random House picked up her work, reassuring Rand she would not be censored, and to date she has sold over seven million copies in the United States.

My own first rejection letter came in 1993 from one of the senior business editors at The Chicago Tribune. In a terse reply to my request to write full-time for the paper, he told me my writing clips revealed I did not have what it takes to write about business.

Ouch.

A year and a half later, I celebrated the publication of my first book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Money on Wall Street that, along with the other four books I have published, have sold almost 500,000 copies to date. I am grateful to the magazine, newspaper and book publishing editors and executives along the way who helped me achieve this first dream: John Wasik, Hugo Ottolenghi, Tom Seidell, Dennis Fertig, Bill Barnhart, Barry Pruett and my father, the late Robert K. Heady.

As writers, you were created for adventure, pursuit and pioneering.  Pitfalls, rejection letters and tears might accompany you.  Writing is a lifelong quest of discovery and growth. Kinda like a relationship when you know it’s good and healthy but the potholes hurt. Unfortunately, writing demons surface and keep a bigger dream wound tight in a button jar. Like a runner who trips over her own feet while training for her first marathon, dusting off the pebbles embedded in her legs, you get up again (I had to out of sheer embarrassment because my friends saw me, but I did set a personal record).

If you know where you are going, you will get to the finish line. So, if your ultimate life as a published author is waiting to be lived, what steps are you taking to bridge the gap to pretty much squash the uglies?

Do you disable your dream by believing the writing demons who lie to you and give you the very thing you fear (which usually is the very thing you create)? Or do you pack up your tent and shake off the “I’ll settle for what they tell me” mentality, knowing that something greater is writing your story as your write your book?

I have done both.

In their book, The One-Minute Millionaire , Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen offer a suggestion in a novel-like story set inside this financial tome on how to deal with unhealthy thoughts that bar you from success:

Imagine that demon as a person, a tiny person, in the palm of your hand. And then purse your lips and blow them away.

It’s amazing what you will see on your literary landscape when each one of your critics are reduced to dust.

If you want to be published and believe you were meant to share your message with others, make it official.  Find a place where you can be alone and write about it. Not the project you are working on – but about your writing. Claim it. And then remind yourself often about this resolution of yours until it becomes such a part of you that nothing ever tears it away.

When you believe in the vision, the story of you and your book will find its happy ending.

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Authors – Your Time for Publishing Success is Now!

People are writing books now more than ever before and with good reason.  There has never been an easier time to achieve a lifelong dream of becoming a published author!

Christy Heady has been a published author for more than 20 years.  Since starting on her path as a published author and writing coach, Christy has written four books, is currently writing her fifth book, and collectively has sold more than 500,000 books during her career.  All her clients have gone on to publication or representation, and their work featured in radio, TV, print and online nationwide.

When you sign up for Christy’s Author Strategies Coaching Session, you will receive personalized attention directly from Christy.  For a two-hour coaching session, the fee is $350* (special Groupon Promo begins April 7th, 2014!).

During the past five years, Christy has worked with many people on how to excel at their craft and establish their author platform so they can shift from their places of doubt and fear about their work and move into becoming recognized in their areas of expertise.  So whether you are a business owner, stay at home mom, professional working woman or longtime novelist, when you work with Christy you will learn the strategies and important craft techniques to bring you and your project into your desired sphere of excellence.

To begin your Discovery Q&A Process with Christy, which is the first step in signing up for an Author Strategy Coaching Session, please complete the Contact Form below.

 

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Can you write … happier?

When I stopped writing as “the how-to” girl and began to take the craft of writing seriously, I was challenged.  My writing needed to mature.

My latest blog at Working Mother Magazine covers this in detail.  And, I have learned how to infuse more joy and rely less on a formula in my writing:  http://tinyurl.com/lfmrnhv

The writing craft will always be a work-in-progress for me.  It is a lifelong endeavor, and one I wish you much joy with, too.

To your writing success,

 

Christy

 

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Who is your ideal reader?

Quick question.

If you were to bump into several of your ideal readers for your book in a coffee shop, grocery store or waiting in line at a theme park, what questions would you want to ask them that would relate to your manuscript?

Steven Covey, the late New York Times Bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, often tested his material over and over again before he wrote his books.  He did so by gathering information from people as he trained them on the concepts he intended to write about.

That’s not to say you must refrain from writing your manuscript at all before it’s tested.  Not at all.

What I am saying is that given the opportunity for some impromptu demographic research … what would you ask those people if you had the chance?

Happy Interviewing.  :-)

11 Mar 2014
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Thrilled! My New Position Blogging for Single Moms

When the publisher of Single Mothers.us reached out to me to ask me to contribute a weekly blog to a new Web site, I was elated.  Overjoyed, in fact.  I think the 11 million or so single moms in the United States alone need as many solid resources as possible.

I said Yes.

This week marks my debut on the Web site http://singlemothers.us, and I look forward to watching it evolve and grow into the vision the publishing team has for its online pub and community.

I’m honored to be part of the team and look forward to providing weekly blog posts for the community.  Stop on by, have a read and leave a comment or two.

And if you know a single mom who needs some encouragement, please … pass it along.

Thank you!

 

Warmly,

 

Christy

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

 

I am considering hiring a writing or book coach.  How does your initial process work?

If you have an idea or project you are working on and are interested in working together but uncertain how to proceed, simply email me at christyheady@gmail.com to receive a Discovery Q&A worksheet. It is a simple, short questionnaire that helps me learn more about you, your project and your immediate goals. Typically clients send it back to me completed within a day or two. Then, they schedule their follow-up 30-minute consultation call with me so I can answer any other questions and we can both determine if this would be the best fit for us.

 

What can I expect during my 30-minute consultation call before hiring you?

This time together gives us both a pretty solid idea on whether or not it would be a natural fit. During our call, you will be able to ask me questions about the process, what service is best for you, address your expectations, and discuss your goals. I do not provide specific feedback about your project during this initial consultation. Based on my experience, both my clients and I have been able to tell whether or not working together will help them achieve their goals from these calls. I have been able to accommodate the majority of women and men who have sought my expertise to help them with their needs but not all inquiries result in securing a spot on my production timeline either due to the lack of seriousness by the prospective client, personalities or timing.

 

I want to hire you. What is next?

Welcome! I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with you. You will receive an Editorial Agreement specific to your service and/or project. Once I receive your signed copy, I schedule your coaching sessions and/or project on the calendar and an initial non-refundable retainer is due within three (3) business days of my receipt of signed copy of your agreement. The Editorial Agreement protects you as the author and your copyright of your work. At this point during the process, you will receive a Writing and Your Goals Worksheet to complete once the Editorial Agreement is signed.

 

What if I signed up for an editing or writing project with you and want to add on several coaching sessions? Can I get a discount?

Absolutely. Clients who have secured spots on the production calendar can opt-in for a la carte coaching sessions at a 30% reduced rate off of my hourly coaching fee.

 

When do you schedule your coaching calls?

 

All coaching calls or in-person strategy sessions are set to Eastern Standard Time (EST) and are typically held at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.; however, I have made exceptions on occasion when clients need to work around this timeframe.

 

I need to cancel my coaching session with you. Will I still get billed?

No. Clients are expected to provide at least a 24-hour cancellation notice prior to their coaching session dates. You will not be billed, but the initial $50 deposit to reserve your coaching session will not be refunded, but it will be applied to your next session if rescheduled within 30 days.

 

How often do you keep in touch with me during the production on my project if I do not sign up for coaching sessions?

I touch base with clients consistently on Mondays and Thursdays either via email or phone to provide them a status update. Although I am working on your project on a telecommuting basis, silence does not mean lack of productivity. Often times during the production process I will reach out during the week or for serious deadline-driven projects over the weekend via email with questions, feedback or additional materials needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Mar 2014
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My 3 Secrets to Becoming a Successful Author

One of the best ways to become a successful published author is to eliminate the Fred Flintstone attitude and verbal slayings.

Here is what I mean: It is the “ricka-fracka-ricka-fracka” negative mutterings (didn’t Fred sound like that when he got mad?) that often bubble up from within that color your writing mind – for the worse. Business or life coaches refer to this as getting in your own way.

I have been there. And sometimes I still face those same challenges.  If not, I would not be human.

So, give yourself some grace.

Easy for you to say, Ms. Heady, you might declare under your breath from your side of the computer screen. You have sold half a million copies of your books. I just want to sell my book to someone who I am not related to by blood or marriage.

Yes, you are right. I have sold that many books. When I began my career as an author, however, I had sold none. I began right where you are … at the beginning.

You begin each manuscript at its beginning. No matter how many books you have sold in the past, you begin each manuscript at its beginning.

I did not have any goals other than to do my very best. I faced the same doubts, fears, and trepidations you may have. In fact, I almost backed out of the deal of writing my first book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Money on Wall Street because I was uncertain if I wanted to be associated with a title with the word “idiots” in it. I even tried to talk the editor into changing the title. When he explained to me that my potential book was the first of its kind spun off the company’s highly successful computer series with millions of copies in print, I shut up.

If I did not take a chance, I would have been the idiot. I got out of my own way.

And I was humbled.

Along the way, when I wrote my books, I kept these three rules in mind and in this order. They have served me well:

#1. Remember your reader, first. Period. My father, the late Robert K. Heady who was the founder of Bankrate.com, taught me this important lesson. He wrote a consumer banking column for Tribune Media Services and ensured each column was written for one specific reader in mind: Aunt Tilly. Nowhere in our family tree could I find an Aunt Tilly, so one day I asked him about her. His reply? “Aunt Tilly is a fictional widow who lives in a small house or trailer park smack in the middle of the Midwest. She watches every penny she gets from her deceased husband’s pension and no one at the banks care about her. I think of her every time I write my column.” His column was read by millions of readers. My Dad also wrote about Mrs. Gottrocks, but I will share her whereabouts and investment portfolio holdings another time.

#2. Keep in mind it is not about the money. Looking back, I realize I did not have any set financial goals for book sales or royalties; I was open to the adventure. If I had monetary goals, I can say without hesitation today I would not have enjoyed the journey as much as I did. My focus was on doing the best job possible, serving the publishing company whom I partnered with well and helping as many people as I could. When I received a month’s royalty check one time that exceeded $20,000, I cried of course. For me, it never was about the money.

#3. Be nice. It is not about you, either. To experience success as a published author is a mindset that requires commitment beyond putting words to a page. Fred Flintstone ricka-fracka attitudes are typically results of unconfessed emotions that at their core mean you are upset things are not going your way.  Right?  You will experience the success you want when you begin to savor every bite of thankfulness and balance it with the sweet notion of truly believing in yourself as you do your very best.

That was my recipe for success. When I teetered or fell out of line with those three basic ingredients, I learned many lessons.

As I sit down to write my fifth book, Parenting with Grace, Gratitude … and Guts! My Journey Through the Wilderness of Single Motherhood, I am starting where I began long ago: at the beginning.

You will gain much success for each book you write when you start at the beginning.

I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. The woman reader whom I think of is a single mom with three children in elementary school. They all live by a bustling highway in a small mediterranean home in Riverside, California; the only thing that separates her home from the traffic noise is a tall, thick concrete wall between her house and the highway. I do not know why I chose that vision, but that is the person who has been placed on my heart. I do not know anyone in Riverside, California. But somehow I know she is tired, wants some hope, and needs encouragement.  I have a story for her.

Dear writer, what do your readers need? What can you do for them? Can you picture him or her? What are their joys? Pains? Challenges?

I bet when you answer those questions, your riches will come in unexpected ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When you want to experience a paradigm shift in your writing

When you discover your truth that yes, you can actually get your book done in spite of whatever hurdles may present themselves to you, you will discover that nothing is impossible.

I have coached, mentored and spoken to hundreds of men and women about writing, marketing and publishing.  My clients have found great joy and received great ease to the labor pains of their writing and marketing challenges.  After we spent concentrated, focused time on their work and their writing goals, they all walked away with results, as they share here.

Finding someone whom you can trust with your heart’s calling is key.  I am known for being open, warm, friendly, and simple.  I do not believe in gimmicks.  But I do believe that if you want to work together on moving forward, you must be serious about what you are doing here.

If you are struggling with the idea of wanting a career as an author but nagging doubts and lack of support run rampant in your life, I would encourage you to email me directly at info@christyheady.com so we can determine your best course of action so you can finally get some peace, answers and direction.

Typically, writers will consult with me in a  two-hour Author Visual Strategy Session when they are not sure where to begin, or they want to know if the path they have chosen for their work is the best one possible.  Some already-published authors want to hone in on marketing specifics and strategic planning to squeeze out more success for their previous book or new manuscript; they often consult with me either in a two-hour session or a half-day retreat to get their needs met.  The six-month coaching package is perfect for writers who have to balance a day job with the desires of their heart to get their book published and need help with direction, a plan and accountability.  In all my coaching and mentoring, I mix truth-telling with fiercely loving support and encouragement.

There are also editing and writing services available for writers who have a finished project that needs polishing or who have completed their research and want quality material written to present to an agent or publishing company.

I truly want to see you succeed, so I’ve mapped out a few ways we can work together.

 

 

Teleclasses, Strategy Sessions, Coaching & Mentoring

 

1)  The Writing Studio, 90-minutes.  This Teleclass supports writers and authors by presenting present-day challenges and providing solutions to authors on what they face in today’s publishing marketplace.  $97 paid in full prior to class date.

 

2)  Author Visual Strategic Planning Session, 2-hours.  This two-hour session begins with a Discovery Q&A process prior to meeting.  You will then work on your writing goals worksheets and meet to map out your plan.  During the session, a thoughtful and in-depth review of your work and publishing dreams are discussed to determine how to get you to the next level.  You also have access to my resources of creative writing assignments to support you in your craft.  After our session, you will receive a Visual Strategic Plan in printed hard copy and a creative layout to use as reference tools as you embark toward abundance with your work!  $350, paid in full at end of session.

 

3)  Author VIP Half-Day Retreat, 4.5 hours.   A client favorite, this half-day writing retreat is a laser-focused, one-on-one time with me to help you discover your truths about your writing and how to get you where you want to go.  Location is in South Florida at the Omphoy Ocean Resort & Spa and includes lunch.  $650 .  Virtual package also available, please email for details.  $450.  50% deposit upon signing up for program, 50% due on day of retreat.

 

4)  The Joy of Writing Six-Month Coaching and Mentoring Package.  Working together one-on-one over a longer period offers the opportunity for even greater results!  Six, 60-minute coaching calls are included each month, along with customized creative writing assignments to help you with your craft.  You will also receive an Author Visual Strategic Plan within the first 30 days of program.  $1,500 paid with an initial non-refundable deposit and 5 subsequent monthly installments.

 

Editing, Ghostwriting & Book Proposals

 

1)  Manuscript Editing.    Proofreading, line editing and substantive developmental editing are included.  Project time varies depending upon editorial production calendar.  Project fee varies depending on needs of manuscript.

 

2)  Ghostwriting.  I have worked with professional clients who have a concept and/or substantial research to write a book but do not have the time nor skills to complete their dream book.  Project time varies depending upon editorial production calendar.  Project fees  range from $10,000 to $75,000 depending on amount of initial upfront research required.

 

3)  Book Proposals.  A specialty of mine, I work with you on and write industry standard book proposals for clients using the proposal template I have relied upon for my own success as an author.  Three-to-six month project timeframe.  Project fee varies from $5,000 to $10,000.

 

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What Really Happens When You Make Mistakes

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies. (Emily Post)

 

Raising my hand, I looked at him and nodded.  Me, too, my eyes said, I want to come up there.  I stood up from my seat and with 40 or so other men and women joined acclaimed leadership mentor and best-selling author John Maxwell near the stage.

He had just asked the 1,000-member audience if they were feeling a new beginning approaching.  Were we ready to take a new bold step in our lives for 2014?  Those of us with courage said yes.

Standing in the crowd next to me was a woman holding a small stack of New Believer’s Bibles.  Uh-oh, I thought, and looked around.  Three other people were carrying stacks of them, too.  

Yikes.  I had already committed my life to Christ several years ago and now I am standing with one of the most influential leaders in the world on leadership in front of more people than I can count outside of a calculator in order to be born again.  And now again.  

I had spiritually double-dipped.

My first inclination:  Tell the woman holding the Bibles to keep mine and give it to someone else.  

“I’ve already been saved, it was a few years ago,” I confessed in a quiet whisper as John Maxwell’s voice boomed over the crowd.  The intimate crowd at the front stage was having its moment.  Here I am whispering in between people’s unspoken sacred longings to live lives seeped in holy abundance.

She looked at me – was that panic in her eyes? – and said, “It’s okay, honey, we’ll just pray for you.”

Yep.  Gonna need that.

Later that night, I walked away with two books and a great lesson.  

The first book – the good book, to pass on.  The second?  John Maxwell’s Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn (ahem, wink-wink).  And the lesson – there is no such thing as making a mistake in life.  They are all teaching moments to bring you closer to where you are meant to be.

And here’s how I know this.  I got to share my story with John himself.  1538721_10202032309423323_1136539321_n

What kinds of teaching moments have you had that you can pass onto others?