Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Sabrina Shields is the winner of the BABIES IN THE BOARDROOM series. Sabrina please contact me through susanmeier.com with your addy.

Congrats, Sabrina!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Using our vision to drive us

Last week, we talked about fear of success and discussed a few ways to talk yourself around or through that. Because, really, most of this stuff that keeps you from achieving your goals is in your head.

We subconsciously fear being successful because we hate crowds and we're afraid of having to speak in public...even at booksignings. Or we fear failure because we don't want our missteps to become public knowledge. Or we fear success because we fear how our parents, friends or even spouses will react.

We now know there are ways around those fears. First, all of our missteps don't have to be public. We can keep our failures to ourselves. There is no need to post every rejection on Facebook, Twitter or even your own website.

Second, success can also be managed so that we don't have to face the horrible things we imagine at the other end of the rainbow. If you don't like to speak in public, you don't have to. If you fear your mom won't like your sex scenes...ask her. Or write something without sex. Or use a fake name.

Through those lessons on fear of success and fear of failure I wondered if anybody picked up on one really interesting thing ... If you can talk yourself out of your fears, can you talk yourself INTO good habits?


I've always said that "knowing yourself" is any person's greatest asset. And once you think all this stuff through, you will begin to see that the very same tools you use to get yourself out of trouble can be used in more positive, constructive ways.

What do I mean by that? Well, to talk yourself out of fear of failure or fear of success, you used pictures/images and thoughts to show yourself a different "vision" of your future. That vision comforted you. If you hated public speaking, you simply told yourself that you didn't have to speak publicly after your book was published. And intentionally or not I'm guessing a picture popped into your head. That picture was you one, two or five years from now after your book was published. You saw yourself successful...maybe in a suit, maybe on a beach, maybe in a limo...depending upon what your vision of "success" is...and you knew you'd gotten there without speaking publicly.

You might have been at ease, leaning back on the limo seat, thinking, wow, I made it without having to speak publicly. And you were happy. And you got a warm, fuzzy feeling from the vision.

Because that's what our brains do. We don't think...I'm going to become successful without public speaking...and have only dead air or black space in our brains. Nope. Your brain creates a picture of what success without public speaking looks like. I'll bet some of you were even wearing diamonds, drinking champagne, laughing with friends...because our brains like to be detailed. They root around and find the things that mean success to us and they use them.

So why can't we use them too? Why do we have to wait until we have a problem to create a nice vision...a vision that will drive us?

We don't. Vision isn't a merely a problem-solving trick. It can be (and should be) a way to motivate yourself.

So today I want you to think about what success looks like. Are you fat or thin? Are you at your desk? On a beach (because you can afford great vacations now)? At a Broadway play? Is your hair nice or scruffy ... Is there champagne involved?

Your vision can go one of two ways. You can either picture yourself at your desk. Maybe typing the words The End. Maybe you're bent forward, creating a really wonderful scene. Something you know is going to touch readers.

Now, feel what that feels like. Put the picture in your head. You. At your desk. Leaning forward. Concentrating as you create a pivotal scene for your book. Feel the lightness of your heart. The sense of anticipation in your soul, as you know you are nailing this. Maybe because you have great gifts from God. Maybe because you've studied and you now know a lot about nailing great scenes. Maybe because of a combination of the two. Talent and study.

Either way, you are nailing this!

Now, fast forward a few months. You are at a party. Maybe at RWA Nationals. Maybe at a smaller conference. You meet your dream agent/editor. She strolls over. She's heard about your new book. You're a bit surprised. She pulls a card from her jacket pocket. You know, if you're ever unagented (or if you're not happy with your current publisher) she'd like to hear from you.

Now...What does THAT feel like? Does your heart race? Are you stunned. Does that surprise turn to happiness, even joy? Have you made it, or what!!!

Now...imagine that you are in your favorite department store...or a department store that you typically don't shop in because it's too expensive. And you find the perfect dress/pants/suit/blender/refrigerator/purse/necklace. Something you typically couldn't afford...but suddenly you can. YOU CAN. You have some money.

Or maybe you're at your favorite beach. You are in the GOOD hotel. The one you always drive by and say someday we're going to stay there. Well someday is here. You can afford it.

What does that feel like? Is your stomach light? Your chest bubbly? Are you swimming in warm, fuzzy delight?

Of course, you are! At first you might have a sense of wonder or disbelief...but work through that. Stay in the vision until you believe it. Until you know what it feels like to do what you want, to be successful, to reap the rewards.


Suck in a breath. Come back to today. How do you feel about writing now? Do you want to work? I'll bet you do. I'll bet you are eager. Because you've just reminded yourself of the rewards that await you if you work hard.

If you study, you will have days when you sit at the desk, focused intently...knowing you're writing a great scene. Knowing people are going to love it. Your sense of accomplishment will be a physical thing you feel. So imagine it now. Use it to get yourself to study those lessons you need to study to become the great writer you need to be.

If you study and work hard, someday you will be at a conference, and editors and agents will congratulate you and they will give you their cards.

Imagine that. Feel what that would feel like.

Then use it to get yourself to sit down and write!

If you study and work hard, you will sell. You will get some cash. And you will take great vacations and be able to afford things otherwise out of reach.

Don't just get the images in your head. Get them in your tummy, your chest. FEEL the emotions you would get if you did the work...and, if you do, doing the work doesn't just become possible, typically it becomes easy.

Make sense?

Learn to fast forward, imagine your life, and use the emotions to drive you!


By the way, if you have questions...you can post them in the comments section. Or even if you just want to discuss this more fully, I'm here. Post in the comments section.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Do You Procrastinate?Fear of Success

Last week we talked a bit about fear of failure. I suggested that fear of failure might be the reason you don't do the things you need to do to achieve your goals.

I said this was easy to fix simply by not telling anyone what you were doing...keeping your goals private, so that if you do fail, and you will, everybody fails a time or two before they finally find their way, there will be no public flogging. No recimination. Only you will know and you will be smart enough to pick yourself up and get back to work (I'm just adding that part today.)

So what if your problem isn't fear of failure? What if you're afraid of success?

Oy, yoy, yoy...as my Baba used to say. Afraid of success? Now, that's a problem.

It sure is. Because that means you believe something bad will happen if you become successful.



Does that mean you believe there will be nuclear war? Maybe. More likely, though, you think something more awful, more personal will happen....like your husband will be upset that you're more successful than he is. Or your mom will be embarrassed by the love scenes in your book. Or your kids will wear paper bags over their heads to school because their mom had the audacity to get interviewed by the local paper. Or your friends will be jealous. Or your writer's group friends/critique group will be upset that you've passed them by and they will dump you.

Wow. No wonder you procrastinate. I wouldn't want to face any of that either...Or did I already face all that?

I did.

Well, not all of it, but I have friends who did. And you know what? They not only survived, they thrived.

But lots of that stuff is also just stuff. It's just stuff your subconscious tells you because IT'S afraid of success. You're not. You want the money. You want the accolades. You want to be interviewed by the local paper.

So how do you handle fear of success?

First of all, you have to figure out which things really do apply to you and you have to counteract them or work through them. Do you really believe your mom will be embarrassed by the love scenes in your books? Then fix that. Either write books with no love scenes (as I do) so your mom doesn't have to be embarrassed. Or talk to your mom and ask her. She may surprise you. Or take a pen name so none of your mom's friends have to know it's you who's writing the hot love scenes they're probably reading! LOL

No matter which of the fear of success things you suffer from...there's a way around it or through it.

The trick is figuring out your own buggaboo. Do you hate the thought of book signings? Tell yourself you won't do them.

Afraid of PR...we all are!...then pick only the things you can handle. I have two great advertising people from local papers who create my ads. I don't have to. I love to speak to writers groups, so I do that. But I'm not wild about talking about my books one-on-one, so I avoid those situations.

There is no list of mandatory PR things. You can pick and choose!

Like Facebook? Do it. Hate Facebook? Don't do it.

The trick is (again!) know yourself. Do what works for you and let the rest alone.

If you tell yourself that you're going to have to become as public as Lady Gaga to be successful and you're an introvert...you will shy away from the writing that you love. But if you tell yourself that you will not force yourself to wear your underwear on the outside and prace around at booksignings...you will do less exciting, less public PR...chances are you will write.

So what's the bottom line? Don't let things that are going to happen in the future control you. By the time your book comes out, all PR might be done by monkeys in little red suits. If you worry about things that won't happen for two years, you only stop yourself.

If you tell yourself you will cross those PR bridges, mom fears, and child disownment, when they come...and let yourself relax, you will write.

And that's what you want to do...write!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Do You Procrastinate? Again...

Last week, we talked a bit about being overbusy and procrastinating...looking at our schedules to find a place where we could find a block of time to do our work.

If you did the assignment of looking at your schedule and finding your block of time...give yourself a round of applause.

If not, maybe your procrastination problem isn't finding time. Maybe you have fear success or fear of failure.

Most of you who read this blog are writers. You THINK you want to be published. But every time you sit down to write....oh, my...you are bombarded by thoughts like...Really? You think you can compete with the likes of Nora Roberts? Seriously? You think your book is going to be that good?

Or things like...change that opening...it's not good. Or, go back to the beginning and start over. Don't move forward.

Or things like...this book/story/article isn't working. Stop this and go work on another idea.

Things things are not your internal editor. Nope. They are fear of failure/fear of success nudges that you are getting from your subconscious.

You can't fight them with opposing comments...Well, you could. You could say, Yes I am good enough...Now get lost subconscious. I want to write this book...and for some of you that would be enough.

But for some of you it won't be. It might work for one day then you'll find yourself fighting those doubt demons again.

You guys have to look deeper. You have to figure out why you fear success or failure so much that you let your subconscious drive your insane.

So look deeper. Why do you fear success? Why do you fear failure?

Most of us can say, well, duh. I don't want to put myself out there and then be embarrassed.

So don't put yourself out there. Don't tell anybody that you're working on a book. Let it be your own special project. A secret, like a lover that you race to at the end of a long day or first thing in the morning. Don't share. Then, if you fall flat on your face, no one will know. It's sort of like when you wear a thong for the first time...you don't tell anybody. You just do it.

Your writing should be that private. Until you sell your first book. Then you are allowed to stand on the rooftop of your choice and shout.

So that's fear of failure. Don't set a benchmark. Don't tell anyone what you're doing. Keep your work a secret and work on it for your own pleasure until you get it right...

Fear of success is a little more complicated... We'll look at that next week.


And don't forget SECOND CHANCE BABY! Pick up a copy and help feed my cats...and pay my mortgage. LOL (Actually, now that I think about it that's not a joke.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why Do You Procrastinate?

Right now I'll bet you're gasping, saying, How does she know I procrastinate? Because everybody does. If there are times you find it difficult to do your work, be comforted in the knowledge that everybody procrastinates sometime.

Enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling of being normal, then shake yourself out and ask yourself if you want to be normal.

I don't. Anybody who knows me well is now laughing. I don't do normal. Just ask my cats -- or my kids.

The thing is we're all different. We've all been given different gifts and talents. The question is...do you want to be the same as everybody else, or do you want to be the person you were made to be? Do you want to use the gifts God gave you?

Of course you do.

So why don't you?

Well, you could be overbooked and busy. Especially if you're still in those childrearing years. Oh Lord. I think back on those years and wonder how I surived. It's a miracle that it was in those years that I got published. But, there's an old saying...if you want something done, give it to a busy person!

Why? Because we're more organized. But we also know that to get anything worthwhile done, we have to sacrifice.

Sacrifice isn't a very popular word these days. We're more like that song...I want it all. I want it all...and I want it now! LOL

But the truth is sacrifice is a lot easier than you think. In the 1980's and 90's when I was raising kids and writing books and working full time, I rarely watched TV.

Now, think this through...do YOU remember the television from the 1980's or 90's. Do you genuinely think I missed anything? LOL

And if I did...did I catch up with most programs in reruns in the 2000's? Yep. Yep. I did.

So what did I lose? Even if I never caught up...did I lose anything?

Not really.

If you look at your schedule, you will find something like television that you can "give up." There's always something that you can back away from...and when you back away, you will find time for your special project.

So this week, spend some time seriously looking at the things you do every day...and I think you'll find the time you need for those things you need to do to feed your soul.


Hey, if you bought a copy of SECOND CHANCE BABY, thanks! If not...get out there and help me make a living. :P

You'll want to be all caught up when book #3, A BABY ON THE RANCH comes out in June!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Linking Emotion

Last week, we talked a bit about using buzz words to get yourself to work. In the third example I gave, I something like said, "If you like the sense of accomplishment you get AFTER you've done your days work, remind yourself of what that sense of accomplishment feels like."

I called that linking emotion. It's a trick I learned listening to such motivational greats as Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy.

Simply put, the trick is to remind yourself of how you will feel AFTER you are done with the day's work...or the project that you're procrastinating about.

If you cannot get yourself to work, linking in to how you will feel if you get it done is a fabulous way to get yourself working.

For instance, will you feel proud that you got yourself to work? If so, close your eyes and remember what it feels like to be proud of yourself. Soak yourself in that emotion for a good minute or two. Get yourself to the place where you want to feel that pride so much that you're willing to sit down in front of the computer and tackle the project/job that's bedeviling you.

There's another way to link to emotion that Tony Robbins calls the Rocking Chair tecnhique. I go through this at length in the goal setting workshop in the WORKSHOPS section of the website.

Simply put, you close your eyes and visualize yourself 5, 10 and 15 years from now if you CAN'T or DON'T get yourself to do your work. Let yourself FEEL all the emotions of that failure. What terrible things will happen to you if you don't sit down and do this work? Will you set off a chain reaction that ultimately results in total failure? Yikes! Feel those emotions. Feel the catch in your chest and the rumble of hunger in your belly when you can't make enough money to afford food!

That's right. Go to the wall. Imagine the worst thing possible if you don't do this work today? Will you not get your book done? Lose your contract? Never get a contract? Be stuck in your lousy day job for TWENTY MORE YEARS? Or, worse, have to go back to work, but you can't find a job in your profession so you're stuck at Sheetz, saying welcome to sheetz, pump #3 is on.

Or what if you never make money again? What if you're homeless? What if your husband leaves you and your kids want no part of you?

What if?

Go to the wall! Feel the pain! Make it real!

Then open your eyes, shake yourself out, and close your eyes again to visualize the chain reaction of events that will happen if you DO GET YOURSELF TO DO THE WORK. Will you make your editor happy? Get a sale? Get a new contract? Have a career -- in the ten-years-from-now segment? Have a life? Maybe a savings account or a new home from the money you've made? How about a beach house or cabin in the woods? The car you've always wanted? A country club membership?

What good and wonderful things will you set into motion...if you can get yourself to do today's work?

Probably lots.

After you've done that technique, you should be "linked" to the emotions of both the failure and the success of doing or not doing the day's work. You should be eager to get done whatever needs to be done today.

So that's linking to emotion. Very cool, huh?

You can learn how to press your own buttons so that you don't have to be at the mercy of your emotions or you fears.

If you want more on this, check out Tony Robbins' book AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN or his 30-Days to Personal Power program.

Happy Monday!

susan meier

PS SECOND CHANCE BABY releases this week! It's the second in the BABIES IN THE BOARDROOM series. I'm very proud of this series, but also I'm grateful that so many of you bought book 1! I hope you'll like book 2!