write your life
Have you ever wished your life was a novel, and that you were the brilliantly brave antagonist of the book, overcoming your inner demons and fighting the good fight in order to live the life you've always dreamed of? Well, I'm here to tell you it IS possible (more or less). After all, what is life if not a blank book waiting for us to fill each page with our own wonderful, thrilling, magical story?
The sad thing is, many of us forget that; we just let life happen to us instead of going out and making things happen. So what's stopping us? Money, sure. Circumstances, maybe. Lack of time, certainly. But when we really get down to it, the main thing stopping us is ourselves: our mindset, our attitude, our open-mindedness (or lack thereof), and most importantly, our fear. Fear of going outside our comfort zone, fear of what people might think – and fear of what will happen if we actually succeed and achieve all of our wildest dreams. So we self-sabotage. We tell ourselves there's nothing we can do. We allow our pasts to dictate our future. We let the novel of our life write itself, no matter how mundane, stressful, or depressing that book may turn out to be.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way! Whether you're a writer or nonwriter, you can complete the specially designed exercises in this book to help you come to terms with your past, learn how to really live in the present, and – most importantly – take the steps you need to get yourself on the right path... a path that will take you right to your dream life. You are the author of your own life, so pick up that pen and get writing!
As well as writing your own life, by buying a copy of Write Your Life you'll also be giving children all over the world a head start in life through reading, with 5% of all book profits going straight to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library!
Write Your Life: The Ultimate Life Hack For Achieving Your Dreams is coming soon!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw
Do you want to change your life? Change your path? Change your story? What if I told you that, at any time and for any reason, you could sit down and completely rewrite your story? Would you do it?
We are the authors of our own lives, but many of us never even pick up the pen; we just let life happen to us without ever deciding what we really, truly want – and without putting a plan into action so we can accomplish our goals and achieve our wildest dreams. Instead we just go with the flow, letting other people write our stories for us. We let them dictate our purpose in life, telling us what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Life is what you make it. Life is what you write it to be. And you can write whatever you want.
We have just one incredibly short life on this earth, but many of us never find our purpose, the reason we were put here on this planet. Well, what if I told you that your ‘reason’ for being here – your ultimate purpose – isn’t some ethereal thing blowing in the wind that we’re never quite able to catch, but is actually something you choose and create for yourself? We may not know the big purpose behind the existence of humankind, but we can certainly figure out our own individual purposes, and perhaps that’s enough. Perhaps that’s everything.
Do you wake up every morning less than enthused about getting up and starting your day? Do you wish there was something more? Something else? Something better? Surely there must be more to life than toiling away at a job you hate for 40 or 50 years until you retire? Surely there must be more than living paycheque to paycheque, always worrying about money or security? Surely this constant battle is not the point of life – this ‘meaning’ we’re all meant to be searching for? Surely that’s not our ‘purpose’? Putting it bluntly, what would be the point of that? I’m sure that whoever or whatever created this wonderful, beautiful, magnificent planet didn’t have this hideous stressful struggle in mind for the people who live here. Why create this amazing world only to fill it with miserable, unfulfilled human beings just trying to make it through the day?
Find your purpose – and if you can’t, create it!
If you feel this way, you’re not alone. It’s how many people feel all around the world, and it’s how I felt up until around 2014, which was when I started making a series of life-changing decisions that led me to this point, right now, when I’m writing the introduction to a book I believe can help hundreds of thousands of people change the way they think, transform the way they look at their lives, and help them achieve the dreams they’ve been ‘chasing’ for years. That’s my purpose, my meaning, and I got here not by coincidence or by some kind of miracle, but through endless hours of research, studying, and working to change my perspective on my past, my present, and – most importantly – my future. It’s taken me years and years to get here and to gain clarity on what I really want, but with the help of this book you can get there far sooner – and with the Write Your Life Method, you’ll even have fun along the way. You just need to be willing to think outside the box, take a step or two outside your comfort zone, and do the specific writing exercises and action steps I’ve laid out in the following chapters.
It may seem a little weird and even a little crazy at first, but what’s the point in life if we don’t get a little weird and crazy every now and then? Our life is our own to live, but even more importantly, it’s our own to design. And I’m not going to design mine to be mundane, predictable, and uninteresting – who would? – I’m going to design mine to be as amazing as I can make it. What’s the point in aiming for anything less? Some people might say it’s too hard or too difficult, and yes, that’s true – stepping outside your comfort zone and working towards your dreams is hard. But so is spending your entire life slogging away for a few pennies here and there and hating the existence you’ve created for yourself. Choose your hard. I know which one I prefer.
Personally, I know exactly what it’s like to wake up every morning dreading the day ahead. After all, I used to be stuck in a dead-end job… or, more accurately, a long string of dead-end jobs. I tried many different occupations over the years – canal boat cleaner, chambermaid, call centre operative, data entry clerk, administrator, administrative assistant, shop assistant, cinema worker, cinema team manager, and more – before I realised I needed to make a more radical change in my life. I was working minimum wage jobs because I didn’t think I deserved to earn any more. I didn’t think someone like me – a quiet, reserved introvert who found it difficult to speak up in pretty much any situation – could ever do more with my life than work long, crappy hours for someone else, doing menial or basic tasks. So I didn’t even try to do anything else.
These limiting beliefs held me back for years, but eventually I reached breaking point. I’d had enough. I didn’t want to do it anymore – I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed to take action, and not just in the form of applying for yet another low-paid job that had nothing to do with my interests or dreams. Instead of looking for meaning and purpose in a ready-made role, I needed to create that role for myself, create my purpose for myself. It was going to take guts, but even though I was terrified, I knew I had to do it. I didn’t have any other option. Life is so ridiculously short and I didn’t want to spend the few years I had on this earth hating my job or waking up every day filled with a deep foreboding feeling. That doesn’t help me, and it certainly doesn’t allow me to help anyone else. I knew that if I was to have any chance of living an exciting, fulfilling life, I had to push myself right out of my little comfort zone and out into the strange and wonderful land of uncertainty, instability, and pure, unadulterated, wonderful fear. So that’s exactly what I did.
It was during a family holiday to Majorca that I made the decision to quit my low-paid job and start my own business. I’d had such a nice time in the sun, far away from work, but the whole time I was there I’d felt this underlying dread knowing that as soon as I got back to the UK, I’d have to go back to a job I hated with all my heart. Surely that heart could be put to better use elsewhere? At this point I was 27 years old, I was living with one of my best friends in a share house in my hometown, and I was working part-time as a team leader at the local cinema while doing freelance copywriting gigs on the side. On the last day of that holiday, as I sat in the gorgeous Spanish sun looking out at the beautiful blue water, I brought up the subject with my brother, who’s run his own businesses for most of his working life. Prior to coming on the holiday I’d tried running a Facebook ad asking if anyone needed an editor, and from that ad I’d got a couple of clients and had made quite a good profit (this was back when Facebook ads were only a few years old, and weren’t quite as complicated as they are today). Because of this initial return on investment, my brother encouraged me to go after what I wanted and to make a living doing what I loved – writing. I knew I didn’t need ‘permission’ from anyone to do this, but it certainly helped knowing that someone else thought I was capable of doing it. I wrestled with this decision as we headed back to England – but in all honesty I’d already made up my mind – and on my first shift back I handed in my notice. I started my own proofreading, editing, and ghostwriting business right then, as well as continuing to self-publish my own novels and non-fiction books. I never looked back.
It took a while to get things right and for everything to click, but now I get up excited for the day ahead, knowing that I don’t have to suffer through a long commute to get to work, knowing that I don’t have a boss to please or endless pointless meetings to attend, and knowing that I get to write my life the way I want to write it… every single day. I used to dream of working for myself, and now I get to live that dream. But it’s better than that – better than I could possibly have ever imagined – as now I also get to help others achieve their dreams, whether that dream is writing their first ever book or changing their life through writing. That is my purpose, the meaning I’d been searching for. And I created it myself.
join our insta challenge
Here at the WTA we love to know when our readers are actually sitting down and doing the work, so we have a challenge for you. Post a pic of you either reading the Write Your Life book, or writing down your answers to one of the exercises, and tag us in it, along with the following three hashtags:
If you’re feeling brave enough, include some of the writing you’re doing as part of the exercises in the caption. We’ll share it on our page, and we’ll also enter you into a draw to win a signed copy of the book and some other Write Your Life goodies.
If you DM us on Instagram with any wins you’ve had because of this book, we’ll also give you a shout-out on the WTA insta account! @writetogetheracademy
write your life book
You may have some concerns about whether or not this book is for you, which is completely natural. With so many books out there, how on earth do we choose what to spend our precious time on?! So, I thought I’d address these concerns, fears, and limiting beliefs here.
Q) Is this book just for women?
A) Absolutely not. As with all the WTA resources, all genders can benefit from this book. Women may resonate more with the book simply because it’s been written by a woman, and the examples I use are personal to me, but that doesn’t mean the exercises won’t work for all genders. I want this book to be useful to any person, of any age, from any country, with any background – as long as they have the desire and the drive to change their life. Yes, your experiences may be different, but the principles I use are universal, and (if you need to) you can tweak them to suit your own life and your own circumstances.
Q) What if I don’t have time to do all the exercises?
A) We make time for what’s important, and ‘not having time’ is just a story we tell ourselves in order to get out of doing the hard things, or to avoid changing things in our life we know we need to change. Getting up 15 minutes earlier every day in order to read a chapter or do an exercise isn’t going to kill you, or perhaps you could do some on your lunch break, or maybe you could watch one less show on Netflix once a week and put that time towards your self-development. If this is really important to you, you’ll make time. If it’s not, you won’t. In which case, this probably isn’t for you anyway. Be honest with yourself about why you want to do this, and if you discover that it’s a priority, make it one. It’s that simple.
Q) What if I feel guilty about spending time doing this and working on myself when I should be looking after my family/working hard at my job/taking care of all my other responsibilities?
A) I know everyone has different responsibilities, but you absolutely must take care of yourself first if you are to take care of anyone else, and you should never, ever feel guilty about taking the time to improve yourself. Besides, if you change your life for the better, it’s going to have a huge impact on everyone else in your life – and if you’re happy, I’m sure they will be too. Your family loves you and wants you to succeed. Never feel guilty, and never feel like you’re being selfish – that’s one hundred percent the opposite of what you’re doing.
Q) Why should I even bother? It’s not like I’m going to do the exercises and then get feedback on my answers – how will I know if I’m even doing this right?
A) Other than the obvious advantage of creating a life you love waking up to every day, you will get so many other benefits out of completing the exercises in this book: improved mental health, fresh perspectives, an increased feeling of gratitude for life in general, and much much more. In terms of how you’ll know if you’re doing this right, there’s no one set way to do this, and it will be different for each individual. If you’re reading the book and doing the exercises, you’re already winning. However, if you want feedback and guidance… check out the answer to the next question.
Q) It’s all well and good writing down the answers to the exercises, but then what? What if I don’t get around to putting anything into action? Where’s the follow-up?
A) It’s up to you whether you take action on any of the exercises in this book, and on any of the insights you gain from doing the exercises. You need to be the driving force here, and as I said in a previous answer, if you don’t want to make this a priority, you won’t. Having said that, I know that people work and learn differently, and some of us thrive from getting feedback. That’s why I offer exclusive Write Your Life Feedback Programmes, where I can go through the exercises with you, give you help and advice on what to do next, and answer any questions you might have. Please remember that I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist or any kind of medical professional, so I can’t offer you any specific advice on health, but I can take you through the steps, offer feedback on the work you’ve done, and help you with your goals. For more information on the feedback programme, check out this page.
Q) I’ve tried loads of self-help books in the past and they never really help. What makes this one so different?
A) For one thing, I don’t classify Write Your Life as a self-help book; I call it a self-development book. The term ‘self-help’ often gets a negative reaction from people who aren’t into mindset and personal growth, so you might be subconsciously thinking the same whenever you use that term yourself. Change your language and think of this as a self-development programme, one that will help you grow as a person and ultimately transform your life. We often feel like failures when we need to ask for help (which we absolutely shouldn’t, as asking for help is a great thing that needs to be encouraged), so when we pick up a ‘self-help’ book, some of us already feel defeated before we even open the first page. It's time to change that. Anyway, if the books you read don’t really help, you’re either reading the wrong books for you, or you’re not bothering to actually put yourself out there and do the required work. If you’re not all in, then it’s not going to help – whether you think you deserve that help or not. So, change your language, change your mindset, and just do it!
Q) You say ‘write your life’ as if it’s really that easy. It’s not. Life is complicated and messy and we don’t get a say in where we were born or where we grew up. Is this really going to help me?
A) If you believe it’s not going to help, it won’t. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t give things a chance (and you can apply this to any area of your life) then you’re not going to get anywhere. I know it’s complicated and it’s not that easy; that’s why I’ve written a whole book about it rather than just an article or a blog post. While you’re right that we have no say in where we were born or where we grew up (or how we were brought up, for that matter), we do have a say in what we do in our lives going forward, no matter how messy or complicated or full your life is. And that’s kind of the point of this whole book. Some people forget they have a say, and they use their past as an excuse not to take control of their own futures. I get that it’s not easy, and some people will find going through the exercises in this book pretty difficult if they’ve never done anything like it before, but life isn’t easy, so why should this be? The results will be worth it, so give it a try, have an open mind, and stick with it. If you don’t get rid of your deeply embedded negative thoughts of ‘this clearly isn’t going to work’, then it won’t.
Q) I feel silly buying something like this, and I feel too embarrassed to read it or work on the exercises in front of my family/friends. Should I still try it?
A) I could tell you to buy the book on your kindle or other e-reader so no one will know what you’re reading, and to lie about what you’re writing when you’re doing the exercises, but that is what would be silly. You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed about working on yourself and taking an interest in your own personal growth. In the end, people who are aware of and work on their mindset, attitude, skills, abilities, and self-development are the people who are going to be light years ahead of their peers in terms of knowing who they are, what they want, and exactly how they’re going to get it. You’re taking real, positive steps to having the best possible life you can live, and if anyone makes fun of you for it, they’re the ones who should be ashamed (besides, what they think about you and your actions often says more about them than it does about you). There will always be close-minded people – don’t be one of them. For even considering picking up this book or taking part in the programme, you are an exceptional human being, and I salute you!
Are you ready? If so, get the book now!