Sunday, 25 October 2015

Self-doubt and Inspiration


I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't do this.

We've all heard that voice in our head. I know I have. When you don't have confidence in yourself, the voice is sometimes all you hear. You wake up and you hear it. You even hear it just before you go to bed. The problem: you believe the voice's message, even though it's not true.

I'm here to tell CAN do this. Whatever this is, you ARE capable. You ARE talented. You DO have something to offer.

Trust me, I know. Over the last five years, I've gone from a safe, well-paying job as a financial auditor to a fulltime career as an Indie author where most of the time I don't have the slightest idea how much my next paycheck will be and whether it will cover the rent. And, yes, there's plenty of self-doubt. Not just at the beginning, when I'd sold zero books and wondered whether I'd ever sell any; now, too, after selling more than 60,000 books, publishing 23 novels, obtaining a literary agent, inking an audiobook publishing deal, and having one of my series listed on Buzzfeed as one of "15 Series to Read if You Enjoyed The Hunger Games."

Despite all of the success I've had, my agent and I haven't been able to land the elusive traditional publishing deal that's been my goal since the moment I wrote my very first word.

I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't do this.

The voice is relentless sometimes, but I refuse to listen to it, refuse to succumb to the temptation to give in, to say "You're right," to stop writing and get a more sensible job doing something I hate. Because you know what? The voice IS WRONG, just like the voice in your head, the one telling you to doubt yourself.

You CAN do this. And here's how:


Inspiration is out there, in the experiences we have, in the people we meet, in the sunrise and sunset and the rain. It's in the words we hear, the thoughts we think, in the way our children play. And guess what? Inspiration is the key to defeating self-doubt. Although the source of our individual inspiration changes over time (as often as daily sometimes), it is like building a soundproof room around your brain, where the nagging voice of self-doubt can't be heard. When you're feeling inspired, nothing else will matter except taking that inspiration, listening to its message, and letting it drive you to greatness.

Find your source of inspiration. Write it down. Keep a list of the things that inspire you, whatever they may be. And when that voice comes a-knocking, go back to your list and build your soundproof wall. You'll be amazed at the results.


Sunday, 27 September 2015


For a limited time, I'm once more taking orders for SIGNED books. You can choose from any of my 16 published YA paperbacks, or my 6 published children's books. Unfortunately, they are available for the U.S. only due to the high cost of shipping internationally. The cost is $15 per novel, or $10 per Children's book. These costs include shipping.

If interested, please send me a Facebook message, or an e-mail to with the following information (Note: All orders must be in and paid for by October 10th):

1. Book(s) you'd like to order.
2. Your mailing name and address
3. Whether you'd like your book(s) personalized, and if so, what name I should use.

I will reply to confirm your order and to provide the total cost, which can then be paid via Paypal or directly with a credit card. Thanks for your support and let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

My Books Suck, My Writing Sucks, I Suck

This post is not some silly vampire-related play on words. The title of this post encompasses REAL thoughts that I've had at one point or another in my career, and I'm not afraid to say it. I think many writers go through periods of self-doubt, especially when things aren't going as well as they'd hoped. If I were to ONLY read my negative reviews (1 and 2 star reviews), I would likely be having these awful thoughts all the time. Likewise, if I were only to read my many glowing 5-star reviews, I would think I was the best writer in the world--which I'm not by a longshot. The true quality of my books and writing, however, is somewhere in the middle. That is reality. That is truth. That is what I need to focus on.

I've written A LOT of books. 25, to be exact, 23 published and 2 seeking to be published. Some are clearly better than others, but I should be proud of ALL of them, because I worked hard, focused on improving with each one, and gave a lot of readers a great reading experience.

Does that mean I've reached the pinnacle of my writing ability? NO! I've got a long way to go before I can even hope to emulate my writing idols, like Patrick Ness, Neal Shusterman, Libba Bray, and Dean Koontz. But I'm going to keep going, keep working, keep improving. That's a promise.

So if you're a writer having self-doubts...stop...breathe...remember:

YOU are the master of your own destiny. YOU have the capability inside of you. YOU have something to say.

No, my books DON'T suck, my writing DOESN'T suck, and I DON'T suck. I'm simply a work in progress, as a writer, as a husband, and as a person. And that's okay.
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