It will happen to you. Without a doubt. At some point, you’ll be told, “You need to move more.” Hopefully it won’t be coming from a doctor who has just diagnosed you with diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, or worse. But if you’re anything like me, that’s probably how it’ll happen. We only consider change when the pain is too much to bear.

For years, I knew I needed to move more. Even before I went into business for myself, I spent too many hours behind a keyboard and a screen. Sitting truly is the new smoking.

Fortunately, you have…


You’re stuck.

It’s inevitable. At some point in your professional journey, you’re going to hit the learning plateau.

At first, you fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger effect. You think you’re better than you are. But once you get past that mile marker, you head directly toward the Dip as defined by Seth Godin — the place where you do not see results, and you can’t decide whether you should quit or keep going.

Once you decide you can’t quit, you’re trapped in no-man’s-land, having traversed the Dip but unable to find success on the horizon. …


You are not broken.

There is nothing wrong with you, no deficiency to overcome.

Let me tell you what you don’t need.

You don’t need “self-help” gurus.

You don’t need vision boards or acronyms.

You don’t need a life coach.

You don’t need a 5-year plan. Or a 10-year plan.

You don’t need the new productivity app.

You don’t need trendy diets.

You don’t need to join the outrage culture.

You don’t need more webinars.

You don’t need pharmaceuticals.

You don’t need to be fixed because you are not broken.

MY BROKEN SELF

I thought I was. Multiple times, even…


WHAT DAY IS IT?

I feel like I’m losing it. Not just because I’m approaching 50 years old, and that’s when we start to lose track of things. It’s happening to me daily and I feel as though I’m caught in a Netflix sci-fi drama. And I’m not the only one.

Time.

Hours, days, weeks, months, years. A blurry kaleidoscope of memories and aspirations, reflections, and predictions.

Many things seem to be happening at the same time. And yet, nothing is happening.

My days march on into oblivion. I wake up early, usually before 5 a.m. I love the pre-dawn…


I’VE GOT A PROBLEM

Once J.D. Barker began mentoring me on the Writers, Ink podcast, I knew my approach to storytelling would be forever changed. When he told me what I was going to have to do first, I cringed.

I’ve spent more than ten years trying to cater to highly specific genre markets, such as supernatural postapocalyptic readers. Rightly so, I’d focused mostly on reader expectations, conventions of the genre that they’d expect to find as they read these stories. Therefore, I’d always start with the plot and eventually get around to fleshing out my characters.

“If my main…


Before we get into this month’s essay, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who provided me with feedback on January’s essay. Some of you loved it. Some of you hated it. Some of you had great suggestions. This is a blog, not a book. Therefore, it is my place to explore ideas in a public forum while refining them through a feedback process. And you’re a big part of that. …


Photo by Khaled Reese from Pexels

You, and only you, are responsible for your life and what you create. And in deciding what you want, by default, you are deciding what you don’t want. The modern myth of “having it all” is not modern, but it is a myth. You must make choices every single day. You cast votes for some things which are votes against everything else.

I call this process “framing.” Framing is what happens when you decide what is in the picture and what isn’t — what you’re going to focus on and what you’re going to ignore. …


A year in the author life. If you’re keeping track, I started with episode zero. So, yes, it’s been a full 52 weeks of posts.

There were times when I didn’t feel like writing. Times when I wanted to give up and stop. But I’d promised myself I’d do it for an entire year, and I’m glad I stuck it out.

I had some help along the way, a few guest posts here and there. Thank you to those authors who helped me make it all the way to the end of the year.

I’m happy to announce that the…


This is the short version. I’m still working on the long version for those who want to hear it.

I’ve always been “skinny.” I had a “high metabolism” as my high school soccer coach used to say. I didn’t do anything to make my body react that way. Chalk it up to genes, I guess.

As a teenager and well into my adult life, I could eat and drink whatever the hell I wanted. Sure, the sugary stuff and alcohol would make me feel like shit, but it wasn’t like I gained weight. …


Sometimes it comes out of the blue, completely unexpected, almost as if you’re being blindsided by a truck.

This happens in business quite often, and it happens in life as well. You believe you have a stable situation and then, in the next minute, it becomes unstable.

I’ve had something like this happen to me before, and although it’s painful, I know it’s part of life. You are going to get your heart broken when you become romantically involved with other people, but you can’t experience love without taking that risk.

One time, the blow came from someone who I…

J. Thorn

Author, Podcaster, Story Grid Editor, INTJ | Story will save the world. | http://theauthorlife.com

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