What Motivates You? [Episode 40 of The Writer’s Way]

Hello Writers!

On Episode 40 of the Writer’s Way, Laurie and several guest authors share what motivates them to self-publish and market their books. Take a listen and be motivated!

Joining me for the first time?  Start at the beginning HERE!

Find the episode on YouTube HERE!

Would you rather listen on the go?  Go HERE!

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For Joanne Penn’s content marketing website go HERE.

Find Demetra Yuvanu’s book ‘Now I Know How’ HERE.

Mary Nhin ‘Arial the ‘UnicornPreneur’ series can be found HERE.

Find Amanda Cottrell’s book ‘Divorce is a ‘D’ Word’ HERE.

Daphne Loveling’s book ‘Iron Heart’ can be found HERE.



Laurie: This week on the Writer’s Way podcast, some of my friends are sharing about what motivates them when there’s obstacles in their writing and publishing journeys. I hope you stick around.

Announcer: Welcome to the Writer’s Way podcast where we celebrate writers who have completed their books and inspire writers who haven’t. Join Laurie and her guests as they talk about writing, books and life in between chapters.


Laurie Wright: Learning as a Motivator

Hey writers, it’s Laurie here from the Writer’s Way podcast. Today we’re going to talk all about motivation. What motivates you? I would love it if you wrote me a comment and let me know because I’m sure we’ve missed some things.

I reached out to some of my author friends to ask them what motivated them to keep going. When it comes to me, what motivates me is learning, for sure. I’m obsessed with learning. I, I tell myself no more courses, but I am a course junkie and whenever something good rolls by I’m like, I’m not going to sign up. I’m not going to sign up. I’m not going to sign up. And then in the back of my head I’m thinking, I know I’m going to sign up, just sign up now. Why wait?

I recently learned about design, which was so exciting. I think if I had another life to live, I would probably, be more interested in graphic design.

And Money as anOther Motivator

I’ve learned about content marketing from Joanna Penn. Joanna Penn is excellent. She’s a nonfiction and a fiction author and she’s been around for a long time. She’s definitely one of the old guard and she has so much to learn and share about. I will link to her website in case you want to check her out.

What else motivates me? I’ll be honest. Okay, let’s get real here. Money motivates me. And it sounds almost a little bit dirty saying it, a little bit base, but the truth is I love the freedom that money gives to my family. So my book successfully selling and earning money has allowed my husband to semi retire. He co-owns a business so he can’t completely step back. Not yet anyway, but I have plans. Don’t tell his partners that. But because of my book sales, he’s been able to drastically cut down, which has really improved his quality of life and our family’s quality of life. And we just don’t have those worries weighing on our shoulders anymore.

That’s highly motivating for me. So when I reached out to some of my friends, because I really wanted to provide an episode here that would reach everybody and speak to all different parts, my friends had different things to say. And so there’s something here I think for everybody.

But like I said, leave me a comment if we’ve missed out on a really big motivator that you have in your life and that keeps you going because this is a tough job. This isn’t for the faint of heart. My friend Mary will attest to that. Mary is super successful. She’s very consistent. She’s killing it in the indie author world . So she’s got some words of wisdom here for us.


Mary Nhin: Get a coach and meet other self-published authors

Hi, I’m Mary Nhin and I am the co-author of How to Win Wimbledon in Pajamas that I co-wrote with my son Kobe Nhin. It’s been a really great project and a very fun and eventful one, but I will not lie to you. There have been times where I have lacked motivation. So I think the biggest struggle that we faced was lack of motivation at certain phases of the journey. How we overcame that, we used several strategies, that just came naturally.

Though one of the most important things I think is to find support groups and to be surrounded by people who are self published also. So seeking out other self published authors and you know, hanging around with them or reading their posts, looking at their websites, researching. I also think that hiring a coach, whether it’s a writing or a self publishing coach, that’s essential.

So I’m just going to compare and make an a little analogy here. If you were, if you had a goal and if you had a weight loss goal and started on a maybe let’s say an exercise and nutrition journey, it’s hard because sometimes you lack of motivation. And I think that’s really what people struggle with when they’re losing weight during their journey is lack of motivation. So it’s the same way with self-publishing.

How do they overcome that lack of motivation in their weight loss journey? A lot of people sign up for classes to be around other self minded weight loss-ers and or they may hire a personal trainer or some sort of fitness or nutrition coach and or both.

Know your vision and stick to it

So these are all strategies to help combat lack of motivation. But I think it really, what it really comes down to is your purpose, your mission, your vision. I think we, Kobe and I were very clear on what our mission was for this book series, and it’s all about mental toughness and to help kids, other kids conquer their frustration and anger, during high pressure situations such as sports events or speaking engagements or whatever the high pressure situation is.

So, I think that if you don’t have a vision or a goal that you can get very sidetracked. And or if your goal isn’t correct or I’m sorry, not correct, that’s not the word I want to use. If your goal is not sustainable, then I think that you will lose motivation in the long run. So if you have long-term goals that are truly impact a lot of people, it can definitely sustain you throughout the whole journey and combat lack of motivation.


Laurie Wright: A Tough Review

Mary talked there for a bit about her motivation and about that need to be mentally tough and it’s so true. As an author, doesn’t matter if you’re a children’s author, people still go after children’s authors. I had a message last night from a fairly new author that took one of my courses and she was upset and needing some feedback about a bad review. She said it was her first bad review. I think it was a one star and they were very thorough. There was many paragraphs explaining why the book was not good enough for this mom’s needs. And you know, that’s her honest opinion. So, there you go. What I told this author was reviews are really there for readers and not for writers and that I don’t even read my reviews anymore because I guess I’m just not that tough yet.

Okay. So let’s hear from my friend Amanda, who is a teacher and who shares with us how her life has changed as a teacher. And I love this. You teachers out there are really gonna resonate with Amanda’s story and how she, her publishing has affected her relationship with her students and about how all those things she’s teaching them in class now makes so much more sense. And they’re okay with all that editing, for example, because they see their teacher having to do it as well.

Okay. Let’s hear from Amanda.


Amanda Cottrell: Self-Publishing has changed me as a teacher

Hi, Laurie. My name’s Amanda Cottrell. I am here to answer your question about how our life has changed, since publishing. I am a teacher. I teach grade three and the books that I’ve written or all children’s books, I’ve written five books in total. Three of them are just mine. Then two of them I co-wrote with friends.

My life has really changed as a teacher since publishing. The reason why is because the kids see my book in the library, my books in the library, the librarian says they’re always signed out because they’re always wanting to read what I’ve written. But the kids also see me as a writer, just the same as they are. I show them my rough drafts, I show them my scribbled journal where I probably don’t even spell half the things properly and there’s no punctuation.

Amanda’s transparent editing process is an inspiration to students

They can see my whole process and they show it to them always before I read them any of my books or if we’re doing something specific where I want them to build books. Actually right now in my classroom we’re writing facts, books about animals and so they see the process of an actual author – me. Then they see it in themselves, where they know, when they see all my scrap notes, that a book doesn’t just come out magically, in its perfect form.

They also are able to find my mistakes and I ask them to try and find my mistakes and I give them a prize from the prize box if they find any mistakes on a draft that I’ve written. So, they love it. They love trying to find my mistakes, which is so fantastic because then they’re being editors and the class works together to be editors. So really it has changed me as a teacher. My books are all written to help my classroom and to help kids and if it helps one, if they help one kid, great.

What will Amanda do with her residual income?

You also asked before if there’s anything fun we’d done with the money we’ve made so far. I’ve spent most of the money basically on going back and continuing to advertise. But I do hope that someday I do start to sell enough books that I have some residual income to start doing some fun things. And if I do start doing that, probably I’ll be skiing a lot more with my daughter, specifically in Fernie because that is my all time favorite hill. So that’s what I’d like to do with the future residual income from the books. Right now most of it just goes back into trying to get the books going and selling and advertising.

But I do make, it’d be about 30 to $50 a month so far after my advertising costs. So we’ll start, I need to organize my finances a little bit better so I can actually be tracking it a little bit more and, and making it into a little bit more of a business rather than my side teaching job that I just do for fun.

And the kids love it. They love that I illustrate the books. They love that they see me writing along with them, even if I’m writing at home, but they, they see that I, that I’m using writing, that it’s not just something boring that they have to do in class. So, it’s really changed me as a teacher and I just love it.

Thanks so much. I hope, that helped. Okay. Take care. Bye.


Laurie: Editing Sucks!

I think that’s so impactful for students to see a teacher having the first draft with all kinds of spelling mistakes and all kinds of grammar, etcetera. And the truth of the matter is that editing sucks. It doesn’t matter if it’s an 800 word book or an 80,000 word book. It all sucks. It’s hard, it’s boring. It’s really hard to look at your own stuff over and over and over, which is why editors are so good. Well, one reason why editors are so good.

But I think this is fantastic for her students and for any other teachers who have books out there, share the process with your students because that’s going to encourage them and motivate them to do that boring drudgery, which is editing, editing for grammar, editing for spelling, editing for interest. Because in the end, the end product really is so much better when you put in that time and effort, even though it sucks.

Okay, let’s hear it from my friend Demi. Demi is a lady after my own heart because I think we have the same motivators, but it’s so good to hear it from somebody else, not just me.


Demetra Yuvanu: Learning and Money are also her motivators!

Hello there. My name is Demetra Yuvanu. And I have self-published the children’s book Now I Know How, which is all about motivation, success and focus. So I think I’ll tell you a little bit about what motivates me. What motivates me is learning everyday and applying all kinds of different techniques and information, about marketing this book so I can reach more and more people.

And the other thing that’s very, very motivational is at the end of the month, when Amazon puts a check in my banking account, puts the money in, and I see that it almost feels like it’s just the icing on the cake. All of this hard work and finally I’m being rewarded for it. And the more I apply myself, the more I focus on it, the more techniques, the more, efforts that I make, they don’t go to waste, you know, at the end of the month, I have that extra money in there that I can do just about anything I want with it. So it’s, again, like I said, it’s the icing on the cake. So my motivation and my focus is the learning aspect of it. And also the end result is reaching a lot of people and getting paid for it.

Thank you very much for listening.

Laurie: Tackle your obstacles!

I told you she was just like me. Learning and money motivates Demi and I’m guessing it motivates a lot other people out there too. Okay. My last friend is Daphne. Daphne has such a fantastic story. I’m sorry to make it all about money again, but seriously, she is inspiring and if she can do it, we can all do it right? We just have to stay consistent. We have to stay motivated. We have to tackle those obstacles with help. Like Mary said, join some groups, reach out, ask for help, but don’t be scared to put in the time and the effort that it takes to figure things out yourself as well. Okay. Here’s Daphne.

Daphne Loveling

Hi. My name is Daphne Loveling and the best thing I ever spent my royalties on was paying off my mortgage 18 years early.


Writers, did you hear that? She paid off her mortgage 18 years early. Now I know we don’t all see that level of success, but even a fraction of that success would be motivating. Am I right? So here’s what we’ve learned today. We’ve learned that there’s lots of different things that motivate people.

Comment, Share, and Review!

Remember to share with me in the comments if we’ve missed something that motivates you. And I’m going to take this opportunity to encourage you to keep at it because it’s so worth it.

I think a main key is consistency in whatever you do. Consistency in reaching out and asking for reviews, for example. Consistency in posting on your social media. Consistency on learning. Keep learning because everything that you learn will only make your writing and your publishing better. Please subscribe because next week we’re going to be talking about the big obstacle that I wasn’t aware was the big obstacle. So I reached out to my writer friends not too long ago, and I said, hey everybody, what’s your biggest obstacle? I was expecting writing or publishing, but what I got was something different. So tune in next week where we talk about everybody’s biggest obstacle. Bye, writers.

Announcer: You’ve been listening to the Writer’s Way podcast. For show notes, links to guests information, and to learn more about the Writer’s Way. Check out lauriewrightauthor.com. Until next week, enjoy this chapter of your life.

Laurie Wright

Laurie Wright

Teacher turned author, turned children's mental health advocate. Laurie has given a TEDx talk, gives workshops for parents, teachers, and children, and has published five books in the Mindful Mantras series, all to help combat the crisis kids are currently facing. Teachers can't stop the urge to teach! A course for creatives who want to write for kids is coming soon!
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