The Author Incubator

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This Bites

I was taking a nap the other day when my 7-year-old son, Jesse, woke me up with an exciting announcement.

“Look!” he said beaming with joy as he showed me a handful of chocolate malted milk balls.

“Cool!” I replied, wondering who the generous mystery neighbor was who shared them.


I reached out, grabbed one of the candies and popped it in my mouth. As I started to chew. I was confused because it was a much harder crunch than I expected from a malted milk ball.

Instantly I realized it was, in fact, NOT a malted milk ball at all – it was something very, very, very different than a malted milk ball, something that really probably shouldn’t go in one’s mouth. I was crunching into an acorn.

Yup – I ate an acorn. Well I didn’t swallow it. But that’s not the point. I jumped in with both feet and I made as big of a mistake as one can making thinking an acorn was a malted milk mall. And yet, it all worked out just fine.

So many authors-in-transformation come to me and they WANT desperately to write a book but they don’t feel ready. They want another degree, another certificate, another writing workshop under their belt before they proceed.

The Great Acorn incident was a perfect reminder for me. As authors, we need to take leaps. If you see a malted milk ball you need to put it in your mouth! And, okay, it’s true, it won’t always work out exactly how you expected but you’ll figure it out.

I spit the acorn out, grabbed a glass of water, and rinsed the taste and texture out as best as I could. I was really mad at myself. Did I seriously want chocolate that badly?

Jesse was perplexed. “Mommy, why did you eat the acorn?” I tried to come up with an answer that would satisfy him.

“Because mommy is silly, Jess.”

Cue fits of acorn-munching-inspired laughter.

We know for sure your book won’t get written if you don’t try. You might not be perfectly ready, you may screw it all up, and you may end up laughing at yourself.  And you know what? That’s really okay.

I’m running the Free Your Inner Author Live! Intensive Workshop in Washington DC over the next 3 days. If you are in the city and want to join for one of the days you can buy separate tickets here


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