Feel Your Way onto the Bestseller Lists

Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve lit a candle, gotten cozy, and listed my yearly goals on pretty paper. I do this twice a year, in fact — once on my birthday in late summer, and again before midnight on New Year’s Eve. My success rate is pretty decent with these things, which is why I keep doing them.

But I’ve gotta admit that these lists (and making them) has increasingly bored the crap out of me. So much so that this year on my birthday, I barely did it — gave myself maybe 10 minutes to script down a few ideas before I could get back to having real fun. It felt obligatory vs. celebratory, which made me a bit sad.

I wanted to feel, as always, continued (and even more) creative fulfillment, connection with loved ones, vibrant health, and financial freedom.

The problem? I didn’t feel inspired by putting those desires down as is, nor alongside things like, “I’d like a bigger refrigerator,” “to get more organized,” and “to read a novel uninterrupted under a palm tree.”

I was thinking, “These goal lists used to be fun, but they really aren’t anymore. I wonder how I can get the magic back?” In an attempt to inject the joy back into this once beloved practice for this coming New Year’s (which was only four months away at the time), I bought a new journal and an expensive 18-karat, gold-tipped fountain pen in Carmel in which to script my newest desires. But the excitement quickly wore off.

Next, I bought a bigger journal hoping that would help. But after a day, I could tell it wouldn’t and gave it away. Then, I bought a really BIG artist’s portfolio sketchpad with a leather case and a heavy handle, hoping the size and weight would ramp up my enthusiasm. It did. For about three days. Until I turned it into a diary.

I was back to being frustrated about what I was going to do about my lackluster vision for visioning my future list on December 31st.

Then lightening struck.

Well, really it was just Danielle LaPorte, who I guess you could say feels like lightening. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. Among many other things, Danielle is my co-author for Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and the bestselling author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Crown Archetype).

Over the past two years, she’d shared with me that she was developing a new way of goal making called “The Desire Map”, but we were always busy chatting about other things and I didn’t get the skinny.

Danielle recently showed me a preview, however, and I about lost it. I literally had tears running down my face. She’d nailed exactly what I’d wanted but couldn’t find. What I’d needed, but didn’t know could exist. That’s because it wasn’t yet in physical form. Until now.

If you’ve been on my newsletter list for a long time (you are a subscriber, right… if not, click here to sign up), you’ll probably remember a blog I posted a few years ago where I talked about infusing your publishing goals with feeling. I included a list of my most favorite publishing moments — the types of things you dream about experiencing when you’re still unpublished (or, God forbid, your book came out, but you’ve yet to experience many of your publishing goals).

My desire was (and is) to share inspiring visuals for what you have to look forward to.

Each dreamy moment was a real-life success I’d experienced, and I hoped would elicit deep and profound feelings inside of you. I’ll include that list below, in case it comes in handy when creating your very own Desire Map.

Let me close by saying that the idea that Feelings fuel our ability to manifest isn’t a totally new one. But how are you supposed to structure this feeling/desired-centered way of creating? It all sounds very illusive, doesn’t it? And tricky to stick with, seeing as how our emotions and attention spans are so fleeting. Being the maverick visionary that Danielle is, she’s figured out a way to add the structure, hand holding, and magic to this all-so-important mapping of our desires business. That’s what’s very, very new.

I can’t wait to open my copy of The Desire Map this week and dive in deep. Let’s do it together! Leave me comments about how it’s going for you, and I’ll do the same. And, to help juice you, here’s the list of some of my past (and some recent) goose-bump publishing moments–that, no surprise, were fueled by a lifelong desire to FEEL the freedom of living life as a working writer… since as far back as I can remember.

May the items on this list give you an even clearer idea of what the writing life looks and feels like for those of us living the dream, and what you want to experience and feel on your path to bestsellerdom.

… getting a call from a top NY agent that he’s read my work and wants to rep me.
… said agent flies out to visit me, and sits a spell — gifts in tow.
… hearing Mr. Agent on the other end of the line, saying: “You’ve got a book deal!”
… flying to the East Coast to meet with my publisher/editor, and sitting with fourteen executives in their conference room before being wined and dined by all of them at a nearby restaurant.
… holding my first book in my hands at a publishing conference… no words.
… media tour… radio, national TV, book signings, limos, green rooms, make up, hair, fruit baskets, congrats from nursery school chums and old boyfriends — weird/surreal.
… sleeping in gorgeous hotels and chillin’ on my agents’ couch (surrounded by mountains of manuscripts).
… podiums. Interviews. Standing O’s. Paychecks. Lines of happy readers sharing the love. Sweet dreams and new book ideas.
… seeing my work in magazines, newspapers, online, and displayed in bookstore windows.
… wanting to write a column and soon afterward getting a magazine gig doing just that.
… gig turns into West Coast Editor, flights to big cities, interviews with icons, and years of cover stories.
… reading book excerpts, my son and family beaming from the front row.
… getting stopped by strangers… “Didn’t I just see you on CNN yesterday?”
… making the bestseller lists, big and small/sweet.
… more book offers.
… taking my son to Simon & Schuster, where 20+ people file out to hug and love on us—giddy mother and son… before an amazing group meal at a trendy restaurant (gotta love these foodie publishers!).
… being handed the NYT bestseller list, where I was totally shocked to see my name… then came the congratulation calls and the tears.
… book and magazine awards. A university award, even though I never graduated.
… opening fan letters from old people, grateful people, kids who say they’ll live differently because of what they’ve just read. Whoa.
… more bestsellers. More awards. More ease, peace, downtime.
writing retreats and new friends joining me from around the globe.
… people I admire suddenly following me on twitter.
… people who used to judge me now wanting to be friends.
… people I admire calling to tell me they want to work with me.
… being named one of the best on the web. Talk about goosebumps!
… showing my son by example that he can do whatever his heart desires.

It all started with one dream, one chapter, one book, one agent, one publisher, and a HUGE AMOUNT OF DESIRE. While your road to publishing has its unique footprint, remember the feelings you’re going for. In your desire to see your book in print, for example, how do you want to feel when your agent calls with the great news? How do you want to feel knowing that the details of your life experience are now out in the world helping others heal? How do you want to feel when you see your name atop the New York Times bestseller list week after week? Fun, right? Oh yea.

That’s where the juice is — the feeling. That’s what matters.

Let’s do this. Together. (Even before New Year’s.) It’s going to be big. I can’t wait!

To find out more about The Desire Map, click here.


Dec 5, 2012   /   18 Comments

18 responses to “Feel Your Way onto the Bestseller Lists”

  1. That is where the juice is. The creative juices flowing what a great gift to begin the new year. I can’t wait to open the email and keep inspired. And the last line on your list, showing (your son) all our children that they can do whatever their heart desires. Thanks Linda and congrats on your Best on the Web.
    And thank Danielle.

  2. Linda–Your writing is as yummy as you are in person (sign up for a retreat if you haven’t been!!!) What do I feel when I imagine my writing future? The moment I get my book deal? Electricity up and down my spine, giggles burbling up from my soul, and the tickle of fine champagne in my mouth. xxoo

  3. linda says:

    Thanks, Tamara! You’re showing your children too! Got the good news about your book expansion. Will email you with ideas shortly:) xx

  4. linda says:

    Hey Jennifer! Was just thinking of our time in Carmel… Miss it, and miss you! LOVE your juicy details on how you want to feel upon seeing your memoir in print. Can’t wait to celebrate with you! xx

  5. Linda, thank you so much for this post! You just added some serious fuel to my heart!
    I can see my book floating in the Universe, being manifested without form (yet). All I need to do is to connect within and up, and bring the book down into paper. This post is what I needed to read to glue my butt to the chair and make this happen!
    Thank you for so much inspiration!
    Loving you,

  6. linda says:

    Love your enthusiasm, Mercedes! But are you sure you want to GLUE your butt to the chair? Ha! That would hurt! :) Seriously, you’re fantastic. xo

  7. Blair French says:

    You had me at “woo-woo nut ball California style.” Loved it!! xxoo

  8. linda says:

    That’s because you are one:) Scratch that. You should be one! Aren’t you moving to Carmel soon? Ha! xx

  9. There’s nothing better than desire. So excited to see Danielle harness its power and give us permission to own it, use it, love it. A breath of fresh air. :)

  10. Kelly says:

    You and Danielle have inspired my book project beyond all imagination with Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and I am ON FIRE with my baby (who is still an embryo at this stage but growing day by day). Can’t wait to dive into The Desire Map. It sounds life changing. I live in Spain but fantasize about one of your retreats one day… x

  11. linda says:

    Wow! Thanks Kelly! Danielle and I love hearing these things… I would be honored to have you at a retreat one day. Looking very much forward to it. In the meantime, happy writing. xo

  12. Beautifully said, Linda! Feeling and thinking positively is the source of unlimited power, as I’ve discovered in my real life. 2012 has been the best year ever… I’ve manifested a beautiful romantic partnership, I’ve created fantastic marketing materials for my book project, and I’ve got a vision board on my wall that will help me hit #1 on the NYT Bestseller list someday. And much of this has happened because of your fantastic support, coaching, love, and brilliant insights into publishing. (Okay, you don’t get credit for my new romance, but definitely the rest…) You’re awesome!

  13. linda says:

    I can’t believe you’re not giving me credit for your new romance! Ha! That’s fantastic:) So happy to be on Team Matthew. I learn as much or more from you as you’ll ever learn from me! Adore you! xx

  14. Donna K Wallace says:

    I have books published and royalty streams, but little residual joy. After too many years of emotional exile, it’s time to dream again. I need a fairy, a mama, a mid-wife, a juice machine, heaps of delight and enthusiasm. Since I subscribed to your posts, Linda, you’ve been just that for me. Thank you!

  15. linda says:

    Wow. Donna. What a beautiful thing to say. I don’t know you (yet), but I’m so grateful to you. You never know when you post a blog who will find it, or find it comforting. Thanks for making my day! xo

  16. I love this! So glad that you found some new inspiration from Danielle. I’ve been writing these lists for as long as I remember too and am amazed how well the small amount of visualization pays off. I just wanted to say, I totally think its okay to have “inspire millions” next to “get a new refrigerator” on your list. Those day to day things are what build your life and world so that you can accomplish the big stuff after all. :) Hope I can make it to one of your retreats one day! Thanks for posting this!

  17. linda says:

    Thanks, Erinina! Love your insight. Looking forward to meeting you in Carmel one day too! Hugs! xx

  18. I am actually happy to read this weblog posts which carries lots of helpful
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