Big Story. Big Magic.

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In 2018, in the throes of financial despair, I decided to take a risk.

      I was in the belly of the fiscal whale, where everything around my money was dark and stinky. Think debt, a struggling business, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

      Instinctively, I knew that changing my story was going to require a huge leap of faith. I knew I had to put my butt on the line.

That’s when I heard about a fourth-generation jeweler named Kate (pictured below), who takes women to Europe for one-of-a-kind excursions where her guests sip champagne and buy ethically sourced diamonds. Each guest ultimately creates her dream piece of bling while experiencing an incredible vacation.

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To me, that sounded INSANE in the best way possible. Like, I couldn’t believe people could actually do this kind of thing. It sounded downright Kardashian

      So I put a deposit on the trip, and then I started writing a story where this could all come to pass. Good luck to me, right? The crazy thing is, it’s all fallen into place.

Is it magical? Sure, absolutely. But I also put my butt on the line with a huge leap of faith, and I wrote a story where I became determined to make the trip work.

      I know a big piece of bling isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the point isn't the logistics of the trip, it's that I was determined to not be in a dark financial place forever, and this trip was my flag in the ground, my way of saying I will find a way to make my story sparkle. 

      I wrote about how Lara’s eyes were open to money-making opportunities. I wrote about how Lara met and aligned herself with the right people who could help her at the right time. I wrote about how Lara felt her fear but didn’t let it drive the bus. I wrote about how Lara is grateful for everything at every step.

      We set sail in October, and I know the whole thing is going to be 100 percent awesome.

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This story stretched my faith muscle in incredible ways. I know that if I can manifest this trip, I can manifest anything. Nothing feels impossible with my story right now.

      So the moral here is to write your story big. Write it bold. Write your character (who is you, btw) in new, faith-stretching situations that change her life. The only limitations on your story are the ones you put on it.

      Need ideas for what to write? Click here to download my free guide, 10 Writing Prompts, to jump-start your story and get you putting pen to paper in no time.

   
      Remember, the whole idea behind Author Your Life is that you can write a story about yourself in the third person -- imagining what your character has, what she does, and how she feels -- and this process can impact your real-life life as a result.


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If you need a primer on getting started with Author Your Life, just click here.      

Your story is like a goldfish, it will grow to the size of the pond you put it in. 

xo,
Lara

Writing a Story of Overcoming Perfectionism

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  If you're ready for some truth bombs that are going to explode your heart in the best way possible, then make sure you watch my interview with Caroline McGraw, who says things like, "Mistakes are the holy place." and when your I-want-to-be-perfect self lets THAT sink in for a hot second, it's going to leave your jaw on the floor.

Caroline is a speaker, coach, and author, and she knows firsthand what it's like to want to protect herself by being perfect. It's a concept of self preservation where, if we believe we can just follow ALL. THE. RULES. and not make any mistakes, no one can hurt us. The only problem is, it doesn't work. 

       Caroline learned this the hard way, and her story is one of finding vulnerability and embracing the broken and uncomfortable parts of herself.

      "The thing I'm afraid of is the sacred thing."

      ^ I mean, there is wisdom coming out of this woman's earlobes, people. Click the video below to hear more from Caroline, who will help give you the courage you need to write a beautifully imperfect story. 


Thank you, Midwest Book Review!

"Author Your Life is a powerful key to change that should be on the reading lists of not just would-be authors, but anyone interested in the cathartic experience and potentials of the link between self-examination and storytelling."

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Midwest Book Review gave Author Your Life a rave review, which will appear in their June issue.

I hope you're ready to use the power of storytelling and writing to create a life that is chock full of meaning, connection, and joy, because, if so, this book is for you.  


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Write your story in pen and don't be afraid to scribble out the parts that aren't working! Mistakes are an essential part of the Hero's Journey, darling.

xo,

Lara

P.S. Don’t forget to read about the five simple steps you can take to start your story TODAY.

Writing a Story of Waking Up to Your Own Life

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When Marquina Iliev-Piselli was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, it was a record-scratch on the direction her life was going. Marquina was jumping through all the prescribed hoops she thought she should -- working hard in what she believed was an appropriately "grown-up" career, getting married, becoming a mom -- but she was half asleep in her own life, just going through the motions.

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       Breast cancer was a wake-up call. After the diagnosis, Marquina shifted her life and began doing what she loved and embracing her true self, not who she thought she should be.

       Marquina played air guitar during chemo sessions (see photo to the left by Casey Fatchett). She scrapped her "grown up" career and decided to focus on her passions.

She started a business, Authorpreneur Launch, that helps authors turn their books into bestsellers. And she just launched a Kickstarter for her new book, TOUGH, which features essays from women who survived cancer. 

       Best of all, Marquina is cancer-free and feels more connected to her story and her life. 

Marquina talks about all this in more in our recent interview. You won't want to miss it!  

READY TO TRY THIS AT HOME?

Marquina's unapologetic bravery is a powerful, hair-flying example of what happens when we decide that we have the power to change our story and author our lives.

For one year, I literally put pen to paper and wrote out the story of how I wanted my life to be, the same way  I would for a character in one of my novels. This hand-written experience changed everything in my life -- from my heart to my health to my finances to my relationships and more -- and is the basis for my book, Author Your Life

Wondering where to start your story? Check out this blog post about the five steps you can take today to start your story.


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FREE WORKSHEET, YO!

Don't forget to grab this FREE worksheet that leads you through my absolute favorite exercise from the new Author Your Life Workbook. It's all about how we can write a story where our inner Garbage Person (you know, the inner monster who tells you you're too weird, no one likes you, you shouldn't try anything...) isn't running the show. 


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Oh hey, have you heard about the haunted mural I went searching for in Northern Wisconsin? let me tell you all about it — and how it changed my life and kicked off Author Your Life — right here.

I believe in your story like Thanos believes in population reduction.

xo,

Lara

The Haunted Mural that Changed My Life

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A year ago, I took a road trip to the Roadhouse Bar in Hawthorne, Wisconsin. I'd heard from an episode of the Spooked podcast that there was a haunted mural there, and I wanted to see it for myself.

I talk a lot about this haunted mural in the first chapter of Author Your Life, and the Spooked story about it had a big impact on me.

The insane thing is that not only did I confirm that this haunted mural exists, but I found a piece of it that had been removed and was now living in a neighbor's garage (!).

Most importantly, this missing piece of the mural had two saloon doors on it. Now, this is significant because the two saloon doors play a huge part in this haunted mural story. Finding those doors was like finding the holy grail of spooky stories.

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Finding this mural really truly meant something to me. If you'd like to read more about it, just click here to have the first chapter of Author Your Life delivered to you for free, and learn why an old painting in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin changed my life forever.


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Don’t forget to download your FREE guide, 10 Writing Prompts, to get your story cooking with gas.

And if you’re wondering where your Hero’s Journey begins, it all starts with Answering the Call. You can grab my FREE Answering the Call guide here.

xo,

Lara

About That Whole Drinking Thing...

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When I wrote Author Your Life, I chose to put a lot of brutally honest content into the book, including the moment I realized I was drinking waaaayy too much. 
       It wasn't something I was proud of, and it wasn't like I was jonesing to talk about how I'd found myself in this kind of awful and humiliating place. But I had to include it if I wanted to write an honest and authentic story.
 

Specifically, I wanted to share HOW I discovered I was drinking too much.


       You see, I thought I was mostly doing fine getting through this thing called life. I worked hard, was a good colleague, paid my bills on time, mowed my lawn, volunteered, waved at my neighbors...I was a GOOD PERSON. I mean, sure, I knew there were things I wanted to change about myself, but I didn't know drinking was one of them.
       That is, until I did one fundamental writing exercise. I wrote a letter to myself from my body. And it went like this:

Dear Lara, this is your body,
and this is what I want to tell you....

       I let the pen just flow after that, and what came out was my body asking me to please stop putting poison in it.
       When I saw the words, I knew my body was talking about alcohol. And I knew I had to start re-writing this story before I found myself in bad, bad shape.
       The fabulous, you-win-the-prize news is that this writing exercise can work for you, too. You can put pen to paper and ask your body to speak to you. Or your heart. Or your highest self. (Just don't ask your brain this question. She's too loud already.)

Author Your Life is as raw and honest as I could make it.

But it's also as hopeful as I could make it.

Because I'm not in the same place I used to be, and I owe that to the power of writing. 
Just like the writing exercise I shared above, I packed the book chock full of tips and prompts and steps so you can apply this work to yourself too. If you haven't picked up a copy of Author Your Life, click the button below to get started. 

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Don’t forget to download your FREE guide, 10 Writing Prompts, to get your story cooking with gas.

And if you’re wondering where your Hero’s Journey begins, it all starts with Answering the Call. You can grab my FREE Answering the Call guide here.

xo,

Lara

Feeling Your Feelings is Hard

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If it were up to me, I’d tell my feelings to do a rope-free climb like that guy in the Free Solo documentary, and I’d cross my fingers the whole time that they’d plummet to their demise.

Because guess what? I don’t always want to feel my feelings. They’re often part of an old story that I’d rather not look at, thank you very much.

But as annoying as I can find them, and as much as I sometimes wish they weren't there, I’ve learned that I need to feel my feelings. Because if I don’t, they find other ways to make themselves known. Like when I find myself shoving carbs in my face and over-eating, it’s usually because I’m trying to tamp down a feeling that’s trying to bubble up, and if I’d just let it to the surface and hang out with it, I might not have to eat every single Triscuit in North America.

I’m still learning to feel my feelings and welcome them in like a friend, instead of trying to shove them off rocky edifices. And it was a big part of the Lara's Life journey when I first started. 

In Lara’s Life, I began simply by writing that it was possible for me to feel my feelings. If you want to, you can start there to.

[Your Name] feels her feelings.

If it’s helpful, you can also use this story prompt to give more detail to your character and how they let themselves feel their feelings:

[Your Name] is in a flower-filled field with blue skies above. In the middle of the field is a single metal lockbox. [Your Name] approaches it cautiously and lifts the lid, only to pull out a feeling she hasn’t wanted to acknowledge is there. Now that it’s out, [Your Name] looks at it. The feeling is [name of feeling] and [Your Name] decides to...

Expand the story by giving your character an opportunity to investigate the feeling like it was an object. Where did it come from? Does it have anything to say? What will your character do with it?

However you decide to do it, making your feelings part of your story will lead to a happier ending in the long run. 


Many thanks to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI, Michigan chapter!) for hosting me as a guest on their blog talking about how the Hero's Journey is actually a template for real life. Link to the post is here if you'd like to give it a read!


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Is your story sort of blowing chunks right about now? Read what to do when your story sucks.

Don’t forget to download your FREE guide, 10 Writing Prompts, to get your story cooking with gas.

Roses are red, violets are blue, write your story what are you waiting for.

xo

Lara