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News & Events for C. Dennis Moore

YOUR BUSINESS DOESN'T HAVE TO BE NEW, JUST MAKE IT UNIQUE

Posted 12/7/2017

One of the roadblocks people face when trying to decide whether or not to take that leap and start their own business is the thought that “there’s nothing special about this. There are millions of these out there. I need a NEW idea.”

Well, no you don’t. You just need to take an old idea and do it in a way no one has before.

That’s the philosophy with which we approached Midwest Creativity Coaching.

There are TONS of life coaches, writing coaches, dating coaches, any kind of coach you can think of, if you know how to use Google, you can probably find one. So why get into a business that was already so saturated with people and content?

Because we don’t do business like they do.

Research all the other “writing coaches” and you’ll find a lot of them come at you with products. I’ve got this 5-hour webinar, I’ve got this 6-week course, and it only costs $500 to get started.

Get started? What’s it cost once you’re in? And let me get this straight, you’re selling a one-size fits all course that, if I follow your instructions, is going to guarantee me huge success?

But how can that be when every situation is unique?

See, at Midwest Creativity Coaching, we don’t have any 6-week courses. That’s not to say we never will, but if and when it happens, the content will be scalable for your needs at that time. But that’s in the future. Know what we have now?

We’ve got people. We’ve got writers and creators who know that what works for them might work for you, and it might not. But that’s why we’re committed to working one on one. We just want to hear your story. We want to hear your method and help you pick it apart and put it back together into a shape that works and makes sense for you and what you want to accomplish.

I was working with a writer recently who had been in something of a creative slump, only to realize it wasn’t a slump, but a flood. He had so many ideas and things he wanted to work on that he froze and wasn’t doing any of them.

After an hour--maybe 90 minutes--on the phone, he had his projects sorted, his goals solidified, and a workable schedule so that now, two months later, he’s more happy and productive than he’d been for at least a year prior to that one 90-minute phone call.

He now has an accountability partner and every Monday they check in with each other’s goals for that week--as well as defining specific penalties if they don’t meet them.

Don’t worry, no one’s spouse is getting shoved into a room with an electrified floor or having their little fingers cut off.

But this is what we aim to do with Midwest Creativity Coaching. We help individuals who are having trouble being the consistently productive artist they WANT to be and help them figure out how to BE that. With nearly 100 years of collective experience under our belts, whatever your issue or hang-up, we can help you sort it out and get your creativity back on track.

And best of all, the initial consult is a free phone call. Book your call now to be one day closer to living your best life.

And don’t think you can’t contact us because writing isn’t your thing. We have a marketer, a creative writing teacher, a filmmaker, a musician, and an audio book producer on staff, so whatever your medium, we’ve got you covered.

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GET READY TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Posted 12/6/2017

You ever wanted to say forget this noise and be your own boss?

That’s a rhetorical question; of course you have. We all have. I’d be willing to bet you’ve had a hundred different ideas on businesses you could start that would all be great successes and you’d never have to work for a BOSS again.

But how many of those ideas have you ever taken ACTION on?

Myself? In all my life: 2.

I wanted to be a writer, so 26 years ago I started writing and have been working almost every day since then on making that one of, if not THE, primary source of income. But one thing I’ve learned about writing and being a self-published author is that money is not guaranteed. I’ve had months where I made $30. For the MONTH. I’ve had months where I made $3000. And that was at a time when I generally brought home about $1500 a month on average, so those months were SUH-WEEEEEEEET.

But they don’t last. And even if they do, you can’t count on them to last. So you have to make other plans and form other goals.

About a years ago I was listening to a lot of motivational and self-help pod casts and I thought I never hear anything like this aimed at writers. You just don’t hear about writing coaches. Later I found out that, yes you do, I just wasn’t looking at the time, so of course I didn’t see it. When I started looking, it was everywhere.

Still, though.

I thought, of all the writers I know, I’m pretty motivated, I’m very organized, and I’m passionate as all hell about writing and publishing. So why couldn’t I be a writing coach?

Maybe because I was falling prey to my own insecurities that said You have no writing education, no training, and you know writers who not only went to school for writing, but teach writing FOR A LIVING. What makes you so special to think YOU could be a writing coach when there are people like THAT in the world?

Good question. So I spent about 6 months pondering that question and trying to come up with an answer that would either convince me to take that leap or turn my back on the goal and just keep writing my own stuff, quietly.

And 6 months later--6 months ago from now, in fact--I got my answer.

WHY NOT ME?

What, just because there’s someone in the world who is probably more qualified, that means I shouldn’t do it, too? When I started writing there were other writers in the world, with more experience, but I did it anyway, and soon realized that while the world is chock full of writers, none of them are ME, none of them will write the stories I’ll write, so hell yes I should do it anyway.

So recently I began working with a team of other writers, as well as musicians, filmmakers, audio book producers and marketers and we created Midwest Creativity Coaching.

But this blog isn’t to pimp that. This post is about starting your own business and some of the steps you’ll have to take in order to do it.

So let’s start simple: GETTING READY.

Before you ever start a business, it’s a great idea to sit down and determine what your goals are for this business. When I started writing, I just wanted to be read, then I wanted to be published, then I wanted to be reviewed, and then I wanted to make some money. It didn’t have to be millions of dollars, but enough that I wasn’t bragging about pocket change either. I just wanted to write something that made me enough money to make a small difference. And I did.

With Midwest Creativity Coaching, our goals are different.

To determine your goals for your business, there are 8 things (courtesy of START YOUR OWN BUSINESS, by the staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.) to answer for yourself before you do anything else.

1) The most important reason for being in business for myself is:

2) What I like best about being in business for myself is:

3) Within five years I would like my business to be:

4) When I look back over the past five years of my career I feel:

5) My financial condition as of today is:

6) I feel the next thing I must do about my business is:

7) The most important part of my business is (or will be):

8) The area of my business I really excel in is:

These are your personal goals and objectives and figuring these out before you get started won’t GUARANTEE success, but they’ll give you a solid footing when you do get started.

Don’t skip this step. I know you want to get right into thinking of a name and designing a logo and all the fun stuff, and sitting down and writing out your goals before you even have those isn’t glamorous, but trust me on this. Anything goal worth achieving is worth writing down because we’re more apt to work toward something concrete, some idea we have fixed solidly in our minds.

In his book THINK AND GROW RICH, Napoleon Hill says you should WRITE DOWN all the things you want, the goals you want to achieve, the milestones you want to meet, and BE SPECIFIC, write down WHEN you want to meet these goals or get that expensive sports car or make that first million dollars, and to read the list aloud to yourself three times a day.

No matter the method or the reason, everyone worth listening to agrees on this one thing: WRITE IT DOWN.

Figure out what goals you want to meet with this business and be as specific as possible. Don’t say “I want to be rich”. Say “I want to make $XXXXXXXX by XXXXXXXXX”

With Midwest Creativity Coaching, we’re just getting started and making $XXXXXXXXXX isn’t on our radar just yet. For now we just want to help other writers and artists and creatives work through whatever it keeping them from realizing and achieving their own goals and dreams. In these early stages the key word for us is: Service.

Hopefully this post has been able to do that for you.

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AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR MORNING RITUAL

Posted 11/1/2017

Recently, in my efforts to make myself a better person, better artist, more productive and all around happier, I read Og Mandino’s books THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD and THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD II: The End of the Story. In it, Mandino lays down his “rules” of success. In the book, the reader is supposed to spend a month on each “scroll”, reading it three times every day for the entire month, before moving on to the next one, but the scrolls are actually longer than just their topic. Mandino goes into more detail than here, but I’m not going to copy word for word his books. Instead I decided to adopt a “version” of his lessons and use them as daily affirmations. And so far they’re working wonderfully.

So your assignment as a creative is to integrate these twenty affirmations into your morning ritual. You DO have a morning ritual, don’t you? If not, you better get one (contact me here and I can help you with that). They are as follows:


Today I begin a new life.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

I will persist until I succeed.

I am nature’s greatest miracle.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

Today I will be master of my emotions.

I will laugh at the world.

Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. I will act now.

Who is of so little faith that in a moment of great disaster or heartbreak has not called to his God?

Never again will I pity or belittle myself.

Never again will I greet the dawn without a map.

Always will I bathe my days in the golden glow of enthusiasm.

Never again will I be disagreeable to a living soul.

Always I will seek the seed of triumph in every adversity.

Never again will I perform any task at less than my best.

Always will I throw my whole self into the task at hand.

Never again will I wait and hope for opportunity to embrace me.

Always will I examine, each night, my deeds of the fading day.

Always will I maintain contact, through prayer, with my creator.

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THE FIRST STEP TO YOUR BEST LIFE--AND IT'S FREE!

Posted 10/31/2017

Have you ever wanted to hire a coach but didn’t have the hundreds or thousands of dollars they charge? Keep reading.

If you’ve been watching this space at all over the last few months, you’ve seen my growing interest in writer productivity and coaching. Well guess what, I’m not alone. I actually have four other creatives on my team, all of us eager to help new and established artists get through their creative or productivity slumps or just help them re-connect with their love of their craft. Or if you’re relatively new to your art, we can help you gain a foothold and establish yourself as a real creative force.

But we can’t do it without YOU. So we are offering a FREE three-month trial period where we help you through our processes (and with a combined 100+ years of experience among us, trust me, we’ve got some processes), while at the same time you help us get our feet wet and work out any kinks in our coaching methods.

This allows you unlimited email access, weekly phone or Skype chats (more if schedules allow), and … well, honestly, whatever else comes up that we think can help you live the creative life you’ve always dreamed of. Because that’s our real focus here, helping YOU be the artist, musician, filmmaker, writer, whatever you’ve always wanted.

If you’re interested in spending the next three months benefiting from our combined experience, and not having to pay a dime to get it, click here and send us an email.

And when you inquire about our Creativity Coaching service, you’ll get my latest book DOING IT WRITE for free. This book is a course in itself, and a first step to living your best creative life.

“Whether you’re a new writer or a veteran, many of the pitfalls are the same. Lack of motivation, writer’s block, outside influences, and lack of belief in yourself can all contribute to relying on the dreaded day job. But if you’re looking for a way to break the cycle and be the consistently productive writer you’ve always known you could be, DOING IT WRITE will help.

This guide starts off with the basics: how to set up your writing space, where to write, desk placement, and even desk organization. Then it moves on to real talk.

Everything is covered here, from making the choice to be a writer, to time management to how believing in yourself can lead to others believing in you too. This book helps you not only set and prioritize goals, but also provides a realistic system for achieving them.

DOING IT WRITE teaches you how to change your mindset and stop being your own worst enemy when it comes to your work. It shows you how to deal with perceptions, your own personal values and rules, as well as your identity as a writer.

And what’s more important, DOING IT WRITE will help you to learn how to maintain healthy relationships with all the non-writers in your life. It will also show you how to live healthier while not having to give up time in the seat every day. This book challenges the notion of writing being a marathon and teaches you how to reward yourself for a job well done. Finally, DOING IT WRITE teaches you how to raise and maintain your own standards and be the hero of your own story.

There are many writing how-to books out there, but DOING IT WRITE is not one of them. DOING IT WRITE is the result of nearly 30 years of experience in the writing field. It’s a how-to-LIVE book, written for writers.”

The time is now, so email us and get started on living your best life, finally.

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WANT TO GUARANTEE FAILURE? GIVE IN TO FEAR.

Posted 10/27/2017

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

--Paulo Coelho, THE ALCHEMIST, page 146

 


That’s not to say that overcoming that fear is going to guarantee success, but bowing to is definitely going to guarantee failure, make no mistake about that.

But fear of failure is a very powerful obstacle, especially when other people are watching. Failing alone behind a closed door is one thing, but to fail with “all the world (the potential of the internet) watching” is another thing altogether. No one wants to fail in front of everyone they know and love.

But wouldn’t you rather fail and say “At least I tried” than get to the end of your life and regret all the things you never did? Believe me, you are going to die. We all are. And since we have no idea when that day is coming, the time to make your mark on the world is NOW.

You might fail. And if you do, you get up and try again. Each failure is a lesson, and we try again with that new knowledge in mind: this is what didn’t work, so I’ll try a different approach to reach the same goal. If you lock yourself out of the house, you don’t keep trying to open the locked door, do you? No, you find another way in.

And that’s all failure is, a locked door. So you regroup and go try another door, or a window. And if all else fails? If every door and window is locked tight and you need to get inside? Break in. NEVER let fear of failure keep you from reaching your goals.

In an interview on the DON’T KEEP YOUR DAY JOB pod cast, animator/director Saul Blinkoff said if the listeners remembered nothing of else of what he said, there was one thing they needed to take away from his interview. At the end of the day, say to yourself this sentence: “Today, no one worked harder than me.” And if it’s not the truth, then you’ve still got some more work to do before you go to bed.

His interview was amazing and inspirational and I encourage everyone to listen to it. He definitely made me realize I could totally be working harder.

But the point to bringing it up is this, he had a dream since childhood, to be an animator for Disney Studios. And he failed. And he failed again. And he failed again. Finally, he gave up. But worthwhile dreams never really die, sometimes you just need a few minutes to regroup. And when he made up his mind this was what he wanted to do with his life, he worked and worked and worked night and day, perfecting his craft, until he got that call: he’d made the cut.

Never let fear of failure stop you. You can fail a thousand times, but you only need to succeed ONCE.

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DON'T GET LEFT BEHIND

Posted 10/26/2017

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart. “When I have been truly searching for my treasure, every day has been luminous, because I’ve known that every hour was a part of the dream that I would find it. When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them--the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

--THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho, page 135

 

This isn’t a new topic, nor will it be the last time I address it. I can blog til I’m blue in the face, I can fill up webpage after webpage with words of encouragement, but no one can achieve your goals FOR you. You HAVE to take those steps yourself.

And sometimes, the things you find, the people you encounter along the way, will add to your life in ways you never could have predicted.

When I started writing reviews for my local literary guild’s monthly newsletter, I was trying to fill space, and to give myself motivation to read some of the books on my shelf (I started reviewing only writing books, forcing an education upon myself as I built up a stockpile of reviews for the newsletter). Then I discovered I really enjoyed writing reviews, so I kept going, and soon I was writing them for a review website, and then I branched out into movies and music, and that led me to writing reviews for The Horror Zine where I met a very close friend, Caleb Straus, who when we met, was seeking reviewers for his movie, IT’S OVER. From that humble beginning 20+ years ago with a little book on how to break into writing comics and a 200 word review, I’ve made a friend for life.

The same goes for everyone else on my team. I met Dave when I asked him to edit a short story collection I was putting together, and I asked him because a fellow writer, Steve Vernon, had asked me to review his collection, NIGHTMARE DREAMS. Again, it goes back to those reviews I started doing as a space-filler. I loved the collection and wanted to work with the editor who helped shape it. David Bain was that man, and one thing led to another and now over a decade later he’s the only writer from those message board days I keep in touch with on any significant level.

But I never set out to 1) writer reviews or 2) make lifelong best friends. Those things came about as a side effect of the real dream: to write for a living. And while I’m still working, every day, toward achieving that goal, look at where it’s led me.

So many times we let fear keep us not only from realizing our dreams, but from even attempting to live them. And that’s got to stop. First of all, how can you ever succeed if you don’t first risk failure? You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. And while buying a ticket doesn’t guarantee a win, NOT buying one guarantees a loss.

We live so long in our comfort zones for a reason, the very same reason they’re called comfort zones. But all comfort zones really do is lull you into a haze and keep you from taking the action necessary to live the life you want to live.

Step outside that zone once in a while and experience the world. Decide on the life you want to live, map out the steps necessary to get there, make a plan, and take action. Not later. Now. Before you get left behind.

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SIXTH RULE OF WRITING: TAKE ACTION

Posted 10/15/2017

You know those few items of clothing you have that used to fit but you can’t bring yourself to throw out because they’re still perfectly good and you MIGHT fit into them again one day? Just throw them out. What are you waiting for? Why are you taking up space unnecessarily? Just chuck em!

But one day, you tell yourself. One day I’ll fit into them again. Sure you will. How, by sitting on the couch all weekend watching Netflix? By ordering more fast food than you need, half for the drive home and the rest for after you get there, so you can eat in front of the television like a civilized person? Just throw those clothes out.

Why am I talking about clothes instead of writing? Because fitting into old clothes takes the exact same thing that writing does: Action.

Just like you will never fit into those old clothes until you get off your lazy ass and DO something, you will NEVER build a writing career on hopes and dreams. You’ve got ideas for a dozen novels and thirty short stories that are bound to be big hits? Great, where are the first drafts?

You know what WANTING to write will get you? What PLANNING to write will get you? What THINKING about writing will get you? Two things: Jack, and shit.

Schedule the time, plot the story, find the characters, and then sit down and WRITE it. Not think about writing it, not research writing it, not join a critique group and talk about writing it, WRITE it. Start to FINISH. Because if you don’t get to the end of the story, you’ve really written nothing at all, haven’t you?

For all the rules that came before this, reading, persistence, love, identity and drive, none of them mean a thing without ACTION to back them up.

As for the clothes, that’s easy. Take a walk. Dude, I’ve been walking 30-45 minutes every morning before I start my day. It took 5 months but I’m wearing jeans I’ve never fit into before. Just get off your lazy ass and move.

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FIFTH RULE OF WRITING: WRITE LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW

Posted 10/12/2017

Since I was born in 1972 and have never been to New York, I can’t vouch for the validity of this story, but this is how I heard it.

Back in the early 1960s, Stan Lee was working for a comic company as a writer and hating life. He hated the stories he was forced to write, he hated the workload, he just hated it all. So he decided he was going to quit. His wife told him, “Well, if you’re gonna quit anyway, you might as well go out the way you want. Write the story. Write the big story, the story you’ve been dying to write. Write the story they wouldn’t let you write and finally write something that makes you happy.”

I’m paraphrasing because, as I said, I wasn’t there. This is just how I heard it.

Anyway, so Stan Lee thinks about it and says, “You know what? You’re write. F this noise.” And he wrote a story that said everything he’d been wanting to say in comic book form. The story he had been wanting to tell was a little yarn about four friends who take a rocket into space and return to earth with strange powers and decide to form a team. He called it THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

Pretty much from that point on history was made and all because, at the end of the day, at the end of HIS days at that job, Stan Lee wrote like there was no tomorrow because, for him, in that job, there wasn’t.

That’s how we have to write every day. Because tomorrow is not promised--that’s from something, a movie, a TV show, DOCTOR WHO perhaps? I can’t remember. What you write today could very well be the LAST THING you ever write.

So make it count. Make the choice. Do you want to go out with some little bitch ass nonsense that ANYONE with half an education could have written, or do you want to go out on your feet, with words people years from now will read and say, “Yep, that was pure [your name here]. Wrote [his/her] ass off til the end.”

Imagine if you were told you had a year to live, what would you write about? You have no idea. How could you? We can’t conceive of a timeline that long, it’s too much for our brains. But if you were told you’ll die TOMORROW…? You’re given time to watch your favorite movie, listen to your favorite song, eat your favorite meal, and spend time with the people who matter most. And you’ve got time to write one more thing. The last thing you’ll ever write. What’s it gonna be?

Every day when you sit down to write, just remember, you might not wake up tomorrow, so make these words today count.

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FOURTH RULE OF WRITING: BE THE YOU THAT ONLY YOU CAN BE

Posted 10/11/2017

Tyler Durden would try to tell you that you are not a unique snowflake. I can see his point, but at the same time, even where identical twins are concerned, no one has lived the life you have lived in exactly the same way.

People may have had similar experiences or come from similar backgrounds, but the singular events and your reactions to them are what shaped you into the unique individual you are.

To that end, when you start to doubt yourself or get down about your writing ability or lack thereof, just remember this: NO ONE can write the stories you can write.

Other writers may write similar stories or create similar characters, but none will write the stories you can write. What you bring into the world is a creation unique to YOU and the life you’ve lived.

Your job then is to use that gift. Use the gift of the life you were given, whether good or bad, fulfilling or not, and write stories that only you can write. This is your legacy.

Don’t concern yourself with what other writers are writing: you are not them and you can’t write their stories. Focus on yourself. Write what YOU can write, because if you don’t, know one else will. Because no one else CAN.

People spout that “you’re not a unique snowflake” line to keep others from feeling “entitled”, and I can support that. There are too many people who think good things should be handed to them because of who they are, without having to work for them. So, yeah, I’m all for the “you’re not a unique snowflake” comeback. But when it comes to a person’s life and the events that shaped them and the stories that result from that chain of events … we’re all unique and the stories we tell are ours and ours alone.

What stories will come from the life you’ve lived?

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THIRD RULE OF WRITING: PERSIST UNTIL YOU SUCCEED

Posted 10/10/2017

Someone asked me once if I ever felt like just giving up and calling it a day. I said of course not. Because how do I know the next day wasn’t the day that was supposed to bring me all my answered prayers?

The same goes for writing. Don’t you ever feel like giving in, not writing anymore, not publishing anymore? There are dry days, dry months with few, if any, sales, and it seems all the effort you put in at your computer is for nothing because you keep talking but the world won’t listen.

Nope. Because that next story might be the one that connects. The novel you write AFTER the one you’re writing now might be the one that makes all your writing dreams come true, but how can you know until you finish this one so you can get to that one?

Persistence is the third rule of writing.

The only way we get better is to keep doing it, every day. Practice. Writing and writing and writing some more, even into exhaustion.

We don’t start our writing careers with a huge catalog and millions of fans. We build them, one story, one reader at time, through persistence. The act of doing the work every day, little by little, step by step, is how we get from where we are to where we want to be.

There are going to be dark days in anything you do, but we get through it and, eventually, the clouds break and the sun shines and we saw where all our persistent hard work has led us. Might be where we wanted to be, might not be. Might be somewhere even better. But we’ll never know until we get there, will we? And we’ll never get there without persistence.

 

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