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One of the hardest parts of any change is making peace with traditions.

Traditions are a wonderful way to mark the various holidays and occasions. But often, people forget that as their lives change, it’s reasonable to expect the traditions will too.

Traditions are only good so long as they serve the needs of the people participating in them. Holding on to a way of doing something, because that’s the way they’ve always been done, causes emotional pain when things are changing.

This upcoming Thanksgiving marks for me yet another way of living the three days to mark this national occasion. …

Finding the power of creating your experiences

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Can you name a decision that has changed the course of your life? A pivotal moment when by choosing one direction over another, you know that it’s changed the course of your life? Sometimes it’s hindsight that gives us that knowledge, but other times, we know it in the moment. That moment when you choose to practice self efficacy.

One of the hallmarks of self leadership is the belief that you can meet and handle any challenge that comes your way, aka self efficacy. That term is not in everyday use, but it is powerful and different from self worth, or self esteem or even self confidence, because it relies on pairing both the belief and the action to create change in your life. …

Don’t miss out on the lessons from 2019

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Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

Are you already looking ahead to 2020 and mapping out your goals and strategies for the year to come? Before you do that, have you considered stopping to consider the lessons you’ve learned from 2019? Or even asked yourself what your successes, shortfalls and perhaps failures were?

As a solopreneur it’s easy to skip over this step, because there are always a thousand other things to do. Plus, let’s face it, looking forward to a new year is a fun exercise and full of potential. …

Embrace the two and your writing will only get better

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Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

I hated grammar in school. It bored me, even though I love to write. It seemed a colossal waste of time and was complicated. All those terms- participles and gerunds and such. It was like learning another language, one which didn’t seem worth the effort. Or so I thought. Too bad Steven King had yet to write his book “On Writing” because I might have taken more notice. Even more, if he’d been my English teacher!

Since writing comes easily to me, I didn’t see the point on spending time studying terms about how to put sentences together. I sure as heck didn’t want to be doing pages of exercises to enhance my understanding of my first language. …

The magic of a growth mindset and effort

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Photo by Pavel Brodsky on Unsplash

Everyone is busy planning for 2020 and that’s great, but don’t forget to have a look at 2019 and what this year has meant for you. What were your wins? What chances did you take in your writing, or relationships or your hobbies? What went well and what didn’t? And perhaps most importantly, what level of effort did you bring to the table?

A new year and a new decade are full of potential and it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of what you want to make happen. Before you do that why not take a bit of time to slow down and review your efforts of 2019? …

How long haul writing changes you as a writer

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

“You must be thrilled that your book is almost done!”

I’ve heard that from several friends and family as I approach the reality of my first book coming into print. The expected answer is an enthusiastic, “hell yes”, so it’s uncomfortable when as the author you feel otherwise.

Thrilled? Excited? No, not really, more like satisfied and that’s only been in the last few days.

I’d begun to wonder if there was something wrong with me for not doing a happy dance of jubilation. I mean, come on, I’ve been working on this for almost a year and a half. The truth is, I feel detached. …

It turns out that writing is the easy part

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Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?

That’s the question I posed to myself after completing my book, only to discover that book distribution is a whole other area to consider. Imagine my surprise when I found out that retailers update their lists every 4 to 6 months. This meant that while my book was ready for the retailers, the retailers weren’t ready for my book.

My initial reaction was disappointment and frustration. I’d worked so hard to get my book ready for December, anticipating that it would then be available for sales to my friends and family. I’m under no illusion that there will be any sales records broken the first time as a self-published author. …

Research those quotes and avoid losing credibility

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Photo by Juan Alexis Mora on Unsplash

I read something today that made me laugh, and sadly that was not the intention of the quote. I’m sure it was meant to be inspirational, but it missed on two marks. The first was that it didn’t make sense. The second was that it is highly doubtful that the individual named as the source would have said such a thing.

Here’s the quote that was used.

“The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. “

And who was attributed this pearl of wisdom? Confucius

Perhaps Confused might be more appropriate. Mechanics? Sharpening their tools? I don’t think so. Carpenters would make more sense, yes? Which goes to show that just because you found a quote doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accurate in message or source. …

The more clarity you have the better your book

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Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

There is nothing like finally completing writing your book. It is a moment to be celebrated, but then if you’re a savvy writer, you know that the next steps are every bit as important.

Do you want to take your writing to the next level? Hiring an editor is a no-brainer, but have you considered beta readers? These are the folks you entrust to help your work really shine and to do that, employing the 5 “w” questions used by journalists will benefit you all. …

Hire an Editor

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Photo by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash

Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? I have three words for you. Hire an editor.

Okay, let me expand on that.

You’re not likely to do that for the pieces you write on Medium, but if you are interested in upping the ante on your writing, consider writing a short e-book. Something that requires you to dig deeper than the pieces you typically write.

Then, take some time and edit your writing.

Work at your editing efforts, find the punctuation errors, the typos. Think about word choice and phrasing and when you’re certain it’s the best it can be. …


Frances Hickmott

Speaker/writer on self leadership, resilience & mindset. Founder of My book:

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