Glennon Doyle Melton w/ Martha Beck & Me on the Beautiful Writers Podcast

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Oh my God, you guys. I can’t wait to share today’s Beautiful Writers Podcast episode with you! I’m totally addicted to Glennon Doyle Melton and her new book, LOVE WARRIOR. I’m serious. No exaggeration. You’re not even going to believe how good this memoir is.

Glennon’s blog, Momastery.com, reaches about a million people daily, and and her non-profit, Together Rising, has raised more than 4 million dollars to aid women and children in crisis around the world. Who does that? NUTS!

To be honest, I nearly missed doing this interview. I was hesitant to continue with the podcast without my D by my side (Danielle LaPorte, who you may or may not know announced on last month’s interview with Marianne Williamson that she’d be officially stepping down as “co-host” due to the growth of her business). D will make appearances in the future, but that’s not the same thing as being my monthly partner in delicious word crime—my favorite being when she’d quietly drop an “F” bomb under her breath but you all couldn’t hear it:)).

But when O, Oprah magazine columnist Martha Beck said she’d be my guest co-host for July, and then bestselling memoirist/novelist and writing professor Dani Shapiro said she’d be my guest co-host for August, I immediately trusted that the show should go on, and that there was a plan I could trust in. I had to just keep doing the reach out, admin, research, and then show up. And then watch that plan unfold.

I couldn’t help but be a little worried about WHO would show up to be interviewed, though. Danielle and I’d already chatted with so many of my rock-star author wish-list idols: Elizabeth GilbertDr. Brené Brown, Seth Godin, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Steven Pressfield, Martha BeckDani ShapiroMary Karr, Leeza Gibbons, Gretchen Rubin, Robert McKeeKyle GrayJillian LaurenSara Manguso, and agent Laura Yorke.

What if no one wanted to play? Like the time I decided to hold a “rebirthing” party at my house in my twenties and NO one showed up! (I couldn’t understand why breathing until you hyperventilate and then reliving birth trauma wasn’t a draw. I mean, the facilitator was a little militant, but this was about HEALING, people! And I was serving chips and salsa!)

But if no one came to this little party, I’d be letting Martha down. And Dani. And you, for that matter. You, our amazing, ravenous, huge-hearted listeners. You’ve been so supportive of this show… sharing it, publicizing it, 5-star reviewing it, and downloading it nearly 150,000 freaking times already! Again, that’s nuts for something this fun and easy.

You and your enthusiasm for this podcast have helped launch it onto all sorts of “best of” lists, and allowed me to do more of what I’ve always loved so much—interview world changers. I’d started my career interviewing celebs for magazine cover stories and my first book, and as soon as this show hit the iTunes Literature list on day #1, I felt like I’d come home. Full goosebumps and total heart fulfillment.

So, I took a chance and sent an email to another one of my idols—Glennon Doyle Melton. Worst thing she could do was say no, right? Pressure. But not the kind that could kill me. Fortunately, I’m used to pressure. I secretly think I like it. (I’ve been going to therapy to find out why the heck I would be so crazy, but it turns out there might not be anything wrong with liking to push yourself. That is, as long as you make time for sleep. I do! And don’t ignore your partner or your kid. I don’t. The man works during the day—what a concept!—and the kid is all grow’d up.)

Any who…

Glennon said yes and sent Martha and me advance copies of the book we’d been dying to get our paws on!

So, without too much further ramble, here she is! As you’ll hear, Martha and I are self-described giddy fan girls with this New York Times bestselling author of, CARRY ON, WARRIOR. Her new memoir, LOVE WARRIOR (Flatiron Books), is now available for preorder and the reviews—“astounding” (Rob Bell), “epic” (Liz Gilbert), and “blew me away” (Brené Brown)—barely hint at the mind-blowing experience that is this book.

We can’t say for sure where Glennon’s magic fairy dust comes from. Could it result, perhaps, from her raw, extraordinary honesty? (You may remember how Martha told Danielle and me during her episode for this podcast last year that: “Every time you get more honest, you get more magical.”) So, that’s her secret, I’m guessing. But either way, I hope you’ll listen in. Only then will you learn why, in comparing herself to Glennon, Martha says she’s putting her own head in the toilet:). LOL.

Enjoy, Beautiful Writer!

Gratefully yours,

Linda xx

P.S. Please forward this to anyone in your life struggling with any kind of addiction (or, well, life itself). Martha and Glennon have the BEST insights I’ve ever heard on getting free.

P.S.S. Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? Do so now and you’ll never miss an episode:).

Jul 30, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Prayer for Sanity

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Dear God, today we pray for sanity. There’s so much fear. I think of two of the wisest voices we have, Ta-Nehisi Coates (the best writer on race in America – Between the World and Me), and Dr. Bobby Smith (handle Visions of Courage, a blind cop who was shot in the face at a highway checkpoint by a wanna-be cop killer). How I pray everyone could read their books.

One of the greatest blessings of my life was being Bobby’s eyes to write his book The Will to Survive. He shared stories I’ll never forget… about how even the most pure-hearted cops struggle to keep their hearts open amidst so much pain. Imagine, you love a neighborhood and move into it with your wife. But on your rounds, you answer domestic abuse calls where in this house, a man bloodied his young wife; in another, a dog was abused, in one more, a cigarette was put out on a child’s head. Suddenly the neighborhood/town is no longer a haven in this man’s mind. Kids scream at him and call him PIG and there’s nothing he can do.

That cop comes home from work and his wife, smiling, says: “How was your day, baby?” Does he tell her the truth? If he does, how will she handle his reality? Will she lose her sense of optimism and wonder? Will she fear her fellow man? Often, he silences his words, tries to handle his stress alone, to his mental and emotional detriment. Cops have some of the highest suicide, substance abuse, and divorce rates. And sometimes–rarely, statistically–they snap, become ticking time bombs of panic and fear and danger.

Fear, as we know, is what every black person alive feels in this country. To quote Ta-Nehisi in his letter to his son: “And I am afraid. I feel the fear most acutely whenever you leave me. But I was afraid long before you, and in this I was unoriginal. When I was your age the only people I knew were black, and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.”

Thank you, God, for easing our fears. For filling our hearts with empathy, calm, and the light of your love.

Yours,
Linda

P.S. Let’s be like The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah and be “pro cop AND pro black.”

Jul 9, 2016   /   Read More   /  

From Tears to Triumph: Marianne Williamson on the Beautiful Writers Podcast

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Just up: Marianne Williamson for this month’s Beautiful Writers Podcast. Danielle LaPorte and I were blessed to get the chance to dish on some really juicy insider publishing stories with this spiritual teacher and author of of 11 books (4 #1 NYT bestsellers). I know you’re going to relish being a fly on the wall for this one. We also talk with Marianne about her gripping new book, Tears to Triumph: The spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment(Rumor has it that being an artist can sometimes make you feel vulnerable and teary; there’s powerful intel here about honoring your deep sadness AND navigating this world with more joy and miracles versus suffering.) As a Book Mama, I also loved hearing her talk about being “pregnant” with a book.

I gotta say, it’s the most incredible experience for me to let my curiosity run wild during these interviews. How often in real life do we get the chance to ask our favorite people so much about the “how” and “why” of their journeys?

Marianne doesn’t need much by way of a formal intro, but then again, reviewing her resume was so mind blowing, I can’t resist giving you a few more pearls before you listen in:

… Marianne Williamson is the founder of Project Angel Food (a meals-on-wheels program serving homebound people with AIDS in the L.A. area); she’s a co-founder of The Peace Alliance (supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace), and she works tirelessly to end poverty (worldwide). And you thought you had a lot to do! Ha. In 2013 she ran for Congress and brought the revolutionary concepts of love and forgiveness into the political arena. Though not everyone was ready for such a profound message, I believe it’s needed more NOW than ever.

tearstotriumphNewsweek magazine has called Marianne one of the 50 most influential baby boomers, and with this new book, the brilliance continues…

Also, Danielle has a big announcement at the end of the show—about how the Beautiful Writers Podcast is transforming. I hope you’ll listen all the way until the end.

And, if you haven’t yet heard us dish with our previous guests… Elizabeth Gilbert, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, Steven Pressfield, Mary Karr, Leeza Gibbons, Gretchen Rubin, Martha Beck, Dani Shapiro, Robert McKee, Arianna Huffington, and more… be sure and click around after Marianne’s episode. I learn so much from these interviews myself, and sometimes revisit them when I need a dose of writerly inspiration. With 125,000 listens to date, I’m guessing I’m not the only who does that:).

In joy. And, enjoy!

Linda
xx

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb.

Jun 24, 2016   /   Read More   /  

BWG Moves to FB, Gets a New Site, and Other BIG Developments…

Hello Beauty! Really big changes are going on over at the Beautiful Writers Group, and I’m excited to get you up to speed.

kid_cryingFirst, we’ve got a new home on Facebook with a thriving private community for members (yay!). The response has been overwhelmingly giddy. It turns out, a lot of people hang out on Facebook (who knew? ha!). Our writers are loving the ease of connecting there and are already giving wild amounts of love and feedback on titles, queries, article posts, etc. (Which, I think we can all agree, is a much more efficient way to spend our time than viewing secretly filmed dads dancing, or kids crying even the cutest teary rants from car seats:))

Second, we’ve got a new website, which is making me so happy. The energy and fun and tangible results members are getting via this group (as seen by their latest testimonials), makes me so proud of this little endeavor Danielle LaPorte and I started together.

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Speaking of D (that’s short for Danielle LaPorte, aka: my ANGEL), she announced on last-week’s Q&A call that she’s leaving the group to focus her massively growing empire. (Bummer, I know, but we love that about her, right?… how Danielle shows us in everything she does, how to dream a bigger dream!)

When D first told me she was getting too busy to remain with us, I was sad. We both were. I’ve always felt enormously lucky to partner with her for as long as I have (I think of her a solo-player rock star), and was never sure if I’d remain hosting the group when her time co-hosting was up. But when I saw the enthusiasm from members after we announced we’d be moving to Facebook, a sense of excitement washed over me. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that change is nearly always a celebratory thing when you step up, bring your A-game, get creative, and give more. Whenever I embrace what life is showing me and am willing to expand, magic happens.

I picked up the phone and asked a few friends with new books out (who are already hitting the lists), if they’d like to come on and tape Expert Interviews with me for the group. Juicy, soulful, behind-the-scenes stuff. Um, YEAH… they couldn’t wait.

And I couldn’t either. I’d been so busy finishing my book that I’d missed doing these interviews. Suddenly my sadness about D’s departure led to an enthusiastic recommitment to this incredible group, and excitement for how I could make it an even better experience for all of us.

Next, I called my dear friend Samantha Bennett to tape an Expert Interview with me, and see if she wanted to co-host some of the Q&A calls (and support members in the Facebook group with her incredible know-how). Another Yes!

SamanthaBennettSam is that friend who always blows me away with her writing, publishing, and life wisdom. She’s f-ing hilarious, too, a walking, big hearted, billboard of awesome soundbites AND depth. Through her company—The Organized Artist Company—this writer, comic, teacher, and creativity/productivity specialist has counseled hundreds of artists in the art of GETTING IT DONE. I knew bringing her onboard would be transformational.

Some of you have already read and LOVED Sam’s book Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day (Seth Godin calls this “an instant classic, essential reading for anyone who wants to make a ruckus”), and she’s just delivered her latest: The Organized Artist Book to come out soon. And, as a member you get the gift of her insights without having to wait for that release.

When you hear Sam describe how she got her first book published, your shoulders will drop and you’ll sigh a big sigh of relief as you imagine catching a bit of that grace and ease yourself. Because she reminds us it can be EASY. Ahhhh….

So, if you’re already a member, log into the group and introduce yourself to Sam when you get a chance:). And if not, join us!

Another Expert Interview I just posted is with Kute Blackson—who gets a big, beautiful CONGRATS for becoming a #1 AMAZON BESTSELLER last week for his new book, You. Are. The. One. (just out via Simon & Schuster).

ImagePeople see me raving about my female clients all the time. But I’ve written for and with amazing men. In 2009 when Kute and I crafted his proposal, he was offered a deal with strings attached (they wanted him to change his message). Kute said, “Thanks but no thanks,” and walked away to do his soulful work in India and Bali, which taught me a lot about holding to a vision.

Kute has evolved, as has his story. But some of my favorite parts are still here! I LOVE this book so much, and the reviews are incredible. He’s just been interviewed by Larry King and Fox & Friends, and by ME!… for the Expert’s series exclusively for BWG members, and I think you’ll be blown away by how he uses SOUL in everything he does… including publishing. And it’s paying off.

There’s so much more going on, but I’ll leave that for further posts.

Thanks for listening. Happy Summer. And, thanks for being part of my tribe. I can’t wait to see you over in the BWG.

Until then, Write On!

Linda
xx

Jun 21, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Arianna Huffington: Sleep for Creativity (and Everything Else…)

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You know her as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post—a position that garnered Arianna the title of “the 52nd most powerful woman in the world” (Forbes, 2014). But for the girl who once shared a one-bedroom apartment with her sister and single mother in Athens, Greece, it’s the simplest things—like the regenerative powers of a good night’s sleep—that have come to matter most.

It’s Arianna’s crusade, in fact, to share the dangers of not getting enough pillow hours (“sleep deprivation is the new smoking”), and the urgency (fun, too!) of changing our ways. Arianna’s new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time is truly transforming lives—and energizing creativity worldwide. We can’t wait to share this conversation—perhaps the most important show we’ve ever done or could do. So get ready to get more high-quality, restorative, beautifying, sex-a-licious zzzz’s starting hopefully as early as tonight!

Listen to this podcast with Arianna Huffington, Danielle LaPorte, and me here or download it from iTunes.

Love,
Linda
xo

May 20, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Bookmama Tribe

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Last night’s dinner at Il Fornaio in Carmel was so delicious and awe-inspiring. I so love these vulnerable, brave writers already! (Judy, we wish you were here; we’re sending you healing vibes, and will see you on June 27th!)

You just never know what bigger things are at play sometimes. A really cool thing has been happening that I never sought out or expected. Publishers have started reaching out to me to meet directly with my retreaters. Last week I got a call from a senior editor at a publishing house, and in our 30-minute call, I pitched her 3 different clients… whom she loved. As I called them afterward to tell them she wanted to speak with them, it made me realize that in the past year I’ve had the blessing of connecting writers with editors (some via agents, some not) at imprints for Simon & Schuster, Workman, and at Sounds True.

This is so joyous for me, I can’t even say. Like hitting the easy button. (I don’t take a percentage of anything for that; it’s my absolute pleasure and honor to see the universe step up to meet these artists where they are. To have any hand in matchmaking writers with agents or editors is so goosebumply for me. Like goosebumps on the back of my head kind of stuff.)

It seems that when you stay with something long enough, momentum can really pick up speed and carry you and those you love. I love that image and pray it continues for decades to come!

Thank you for being in my little ‪bookmama‬ tribe, and if you’d like to join us for the June 27th retreat, here’s a quickie form to let me know:

Retreat Registration

Have a great week, everyone! Off to a FUN day of magical brainstorming!

XO

Linda

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” —William Faulkner

May 17, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Earth Girl Kicks Environmental Butt

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I’m ELATED to finally be able to announce this: tickets to a MUST-see film by the brilliant Natalie Kottke Masocco are here! Company Town Film is done, people, and it’s riveting! Sundance TV says: “A film like this could literally save lives,” and the list of her backers is a stunning who’s who. I won’t be surprised if this movie gets nominated for an #‎Oscar.

Some of you know “Naters” as my long-time right arm in my business–the gal who swooped in when my marriage ended and I was on the floor… she helped me start my retreats… she also stars in the video for The Boyfriend Log. Natalie is hands down one of the most talented, amazingly authentic, beautiful, and courageous people on this planet. From the minute she walked through my door in her boho chic and vegan boots, I knew I’d do anything to keep her in my life forever. The daughter I never had, but could pay for. Ha. (Actually, more like borrow money for.)

Natalie started working with me when Tosh and I were writing Generation Green–she was passionate about the environment, and wanted to learn everything she could. She was ultimately headhunted to produce for the Brave New Foundation. (We were a teary mess when I couldn’t match the money they were offering, but I was so proud of her.) Nat produced a documentary for them on the Koch Brothers. While doing that, she learned a LOT about the environmental crimes taking place (and killing people) in Crossett, Arkansas, and went on to spend the next five years creating this film. Talk about persistence! 

The world-premiere is next week at the LA Film Festival… Tuesday, June 7th at 6:45pm at the Culver City ArcLight. (I’d NEVER miss it, if I weren’t already teaching in Carmel that week… But go if you can, and give her a huge hug from her second mama!)

Natalie had never witnessed what fighting for human rights really looks like, until getting involved in this community’s battle for clean air and water.
Crossett residents are experiencing the same injustice as folks in Flint, Michigan and Porter Ranch, California. It’s the same story. Government regulators criminally looking the other way. A company taking advantage of working folks and poisoning its community. Although the film is finished, the film’s life is just beginning, and her goal is to get real policy changes in Washington to help folks in Crossett. 

Tickets on sale NOW!

Can’t wait to see the changes this movie brings about.

Thanks for supporting the cause.

Linda

xo

May 12, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Girls Rule & Other Publishing Success Stories

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to attend one of my writing retreats in Carmel—and wondered if signing up was right for you—allow me to share part of a blog from past retreater, Kelly Noonan.

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(She’s the one in the white pants, second from the right, with a few of her besties on a boat… obviously not writing in Carmel at the time, but having big fun nonetheless.)

I have a few spots left for the year. Here’s a quickie form to fill out if you’d like to chat about joining us.

Kelly has traded blogging time as of late for writing, producing, and directing a groundbreaking documentary she was developing at her recent second retreat earlier this year. It’s called HEAL, starring Dr. Bernie Siegel, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, and so many others–more on that soon. (I was elated, by the way, to introduce Kel and the good doc–Bernie’s a beloved pediatric surgeon and the bestselling author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles. Opening up my Rolodex is too much fun for me at my retreats.)

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Here’s Kelly’s experience, followed by several other recent testimonials. #Grateful

I used to pride myself in being just one of the guys. I was one of three girls playing AYSO soccer at the age of 5; I played on an all boys tee-ball team when I was 8; could throw a spiral by the age of 10; started surfing and skateboarding at 14; snowboarding at 15; and throwing caps with the best of them my junior year in high school (sorry mom). Boys were cooler, less dramatic, and more attractive. My theory was confirmed when I went away to Berkeley and joined Pi Beta Phi. I justified the decision at the time because the girls in the house were the coolest, least dramatic and most grounded on sorority row. Or so I thought. After a year of living in a house of hormones, I was done. Not that these girls weren’t (and aren’t still) awesome and brilliant, but maybe I just wasn’t used to fast female connection…

Did I mention I love sports? I spent half of my 20s dating a gambler. On any given Sunday, you would find us posted up in a sports bar with his picks and parlays displayed in front of us on his trusty yellow legal pad. I learned the ins and outs of football and loved the thrill a little bet brought to every game.

At the age of 26 I broke up with the gambler (… a whole ‘nother crazy blog post about chemistry and addiction…) and moved back to LA to pursue my dream of acting. Many of the girls I found myself sitting next to in various acting classes/audition rooms tended to be (in my judgmental eyes) hugely insecure and annoyingly self absorbed. So, I continued to float in my comfort zone with the guys and a few best girlfriends, most of whom I had known since elementary school. That is, up until last December. I woke up one chilly winter morning and realized my soul was craving authentic expression and space to just be. And by “being” I meant creating something on my own terms. Not a casting director’s or screenwriter’s. So upon the recommendation of a very powerful life coach (Andrea Quinn) I signed up for Linda Sivertsen’s BookMama writers retreat in Carmel. Was I a writer? Not officially, but I had always loved storytelling and maybe I would be inspired to write something overlooking the ocean from our cabin in the woods. I just needed to carve out some “me time,” and if paying a hefty price to ensure I did so was the answer, than so be it.

That hefty price turned out to be worth its weight in gold. What happened that week in Carmel was simply profound. My whole perspective shifted when I realized how powerful women can be when they come together to support each other in purpose and creativity. I had been missing out on this delicious field of energy that inspires, supports, encourages and loves! We laughed, we cried, and we listened as each of us shed our masks and expressed our deepest fears and desires. We were total strangers from all over the globe, yet we felt extremely connected because of nothing more than the fact that we were all women seeking authentic creative expression. It was awesome.

I still love dudes. I am with an amazing one right now and hope to be for many years to come. I still love watching and betting on football. But I now look at the women in my life as my soul sisters. I see the beauty, courage, and brilliance in every woman I meet. I relate and connect rather than judge from afar. And I’ve learned that as much as I love my man, I still need my close girlfriends to laugh and cry with, and lovingly push each other to become our most powerful, authentic selves. I finally learned what men have known for centuries. Girls rule. —Kelly Noonan

Holy smokes, I loves me my Kel Kel. Writers rule!

These gals—below, some of whom you may have seen here before—are also fiercely committed to their creative goals, and have become treasured friends. I just may have the coolest job anywhere. What isn’t debatable is that being able to help them–and you–have an easier and more fulfilling artistic path is a sacred, sacred honor.

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“Linda is pure magic. With her rare combination of keen editorial insight, unparalleled knowledge of the industry and relentless optimism, she’s the kind of writing coach and friend a writer can only dream of. She’s also a little psychic – only a few days before my debut novel MIRROR IN THE SKY was picked up by Razorbill/Penguin, she sent me a text with a picture of the perfume Terra Nova, the original title of my manuscript. ‘Found this in my bureau today,’ she said. ‘It’s gonna happen soon!’ And of course it did.

“Linda believed in me when I didn’t, knew just when to encourage me to push through roadblocks, and when to offer a sympathetic ear. She is endlessly empathetic, fun to work with and has the ability to see exactly what you’re trying to execute in your writing – even when you don’t. I feel endlessly grateful to be a beneficiary of her big thinking and incredible talents!”

—Aditi Khorana, author of the upcoming Mirror in the Sky (Razorbill/Penguin, June 2016)

Elise Museles

“After YEARS of talking/dreaming about writing a book, I took the leap of faith and attended Linda’s retreat. I can’t believe it took me so long and I can’t wait to go again! Not only did Linda help me clarify my message, she also offered a fresh and clear perspective on how to share it with the world. Since then I’ve been published in three books, released my own book, and am now working on the next book proposal with Linda’s incredible support and guidance. If you’ve been thinking about becoming an author, go spend a week in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s indeed where magic happens!”

—Elise Museles, founder of Kale & Chocolate (.com) and author of Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover, Barron’s Educational, Jan. 2016

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“Linda is one well-connected mofo. In our very first session at Carmel she sent my book proposal to multiple literary agents. BIG ones. Like, agents that were so big I nearly peed my pants.

She knew exactly who would be right for me. By our second day together I already had a promising lead with an agent at a big, badass agency. I ended up signing with that agent (at Writers House) and a month later we pitched my book to publishers. MULTIPLE publishers were interested–including a top publisher who said my title was “too edgy.” That’s a deal breaker for me.

Thankfully, an indie press–ECW [who, according to Publishers Weekly, is “one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America”]–courted me and I fell in LOVE with the editor. SOLD! Somebody pinch me! I wouldn’t have found my agent without Linda. Seriously, just give her all of your money and go to Carmel. #WORTHIT”

—Sarah Vermunt, author of the upcoming book Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work (careergasm.com)

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“The Carmel Retreat feels like a dream now. Except that in so many ways I now divide my life into BC, Before Carmel, and AC, After Carmel. BC I was terrified of investing money in my writing, nervous about getting the most out of the week, worried I wouldn’t be able to write. All of that seems impossible and ridiculous in my AC hindsight.

Carmel was the best money I ever spent on myself. I wrote 2,800 words in four days. Figured out a title and a plan for two projects. Met the most extraordinary group of women who will be my friends for life. And maybe most importantly, I came back not only reinvigorated in my commitment to my writing, but with a new momentum throughout my life. I’m back at the gym twice a week, took up transcendental meditation (thanks to my Carmel roomie!), and generally feel more optimistic about a future that I now deeply believe includes success in my writing. You are truly magic, Linda. You have an extraordinary ability to bring the right people together at the right time, an uncanny gift for facilitation (the perfect title, the perfect edit, the perfect plan), and a very special way of bringing forward the best in those around you. The supportive, girl power, creative experience you’ve created is like no other and one that I will treasure always.”

—Allison Hill, CEO/President of Vroman’s and Book Soup Bookstores in Los Angeles

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“Working with Linda over the last couple of years has been a gift to me in finding my voice, translating that to paper, navigating the publishing world, and learning so much of what I’d really had no clue about. She’s been a great friend, collaborator, confident, and guide since our first conversation pre-Carmel 3 years ago. Our work together helped me get to the place as a writer where I could work with a big house and share my voice — effectively — on a much larger and broader platform. You’ll want to have Linda with you as you navigate the world of words and impact. A little bit goes a long way.”

—Anese Cavanaugh, author of Contagious Culture, McGraw Hill, Nov. 2015

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“Linda literally changed my life! Going to her Carmel Retreat was a huge stretch for me. I was super scared and yet a little voice in me was a total YES. So I said a prayer, put it on my credit card, and hoped for the best. Within days of registering for the retreat, I signed two new clients, which helped me pay off half the cost before I even got there. Thanks, Universe!

By the end of the retreat, Linda had helped me sort through whether to pitch my book direct to my dream publisher or go with an agent, which has been a lifelong dream. She hooked me up with my first choice of a NY agent before the retreat was up, and a week later I signed with that agent, who not only agreed to represent my next book, but also brought me in to ghostwrite for one of my longtime, personal (s)heroes. (I’m now working with her on her next bestseller—details coming soon!) Also after a brainstorm with a friend at the retreat, we’re working on a super cool book too.

In one week I filled the next few years of my writing career with dream projects. Plus, Carmel is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited; we ate delicious food; and I left with some amazing new girlfriends and a forever friend in Linda. How’s that for wow?”

—Suzanne Boothby, journalist, author, ghostwriter, Asheville, N.C.

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“Linda inspired me to go ahead with one of my book ideas I presented at the retreat in Carmel and wouldn’t let me change the title. Every time I read a poem she got so excited, grabbed it, and said she’d felt ALL of those emotions while going through her divorce. Linda and our amazing group of women gave me the confidence to continue writing and finish the book. I’m so grateful. The retreat was a real turning point for me.”

—Tamara Mendelson, author of Divorce Poetry: Breaking Free, Createspace, Sept. 2015

Thank you for being in my tribe. I so look forward to chatting with you about an upcoming retreat. Time flies so quickly (how is 2016 nearly half over?), but together we can quicken your learning curve, catapult your results, and laugh a lot. That’s my favorite part. I can’t wait.

Talk soon,

Linda
xx

May 10, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Getting Down & Dirty Vulnerable w/ Visionary Women…

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I want to share an opportunity I recently loved participating in.

The Inspiring Women with Soul Summit is a yearly gathering of strong, empowering female change-makers revealing their most hard- and heart-earned insights about what it means to live your highest calling.

I don’t normally commit to summits, but when I was invited to be a part of this free event (with 30+ other women who are not only awe-inspiring and trail-blazing in their own right, but with several who have been instrumental in giving me more courage to tell my story), I saw it as an honor to share the stage (mic) with so many incredible souls.

Speaking of soul… Devaa Hailey Mitchell, our host… got down-and-dirty vulnerable with me about her writing process, including the tough stuff, which I love. (I don’t love that she’s been struggling, of course… but I adore her honesty about the struggle, which I think so many people–probably even you–can relate to.)

Devaa and I went deep and off outline, more so than I typically experience in a summit. A lot of things came up–from creating while you’re bleeding; the hard lessons that appear for what feels like most everyone who writes self-help (an odd reality that will hopefully make more sense after you hear this call), and practical tips for those who ache to write but just can’t find the time.

I took Devaa behind the scenes of the rigorous process of writing my memoir, and about the healing that happens for everyone when you get “it” up and out of you (even if you choose to not publish some or all of what you get down). We discussed how to get your work into the world once it’s done, and the dicey topic of reading one’s reviews (to read or not to read–that IS the question).

I hope you’ll join me/us in this free online gathering with guests Marianne Williamson, Alice Walker, Shiva Rea, Jean Houston, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Lisa Nichols, Sera Beak, our beautiful Danielle LaPorte, and so many others!

Inspiring Women with Soul air dates:

May 1-8, 2016

During this 8-day gathering of women, you’ll also get insights on:

  • Key practices for self-acceptance & speaking your truth

  • Tools for stepping into soul-powered leadership & service

  • Experiencing a sustained sense of peace & love

  • How to increase your ability to flex & flow with all of life’s hiccups

  • Ways to increase your confidence, self-love & self-care

  • A more profound connection with Spirit

I believe you’ll love these candid, intimate conversations, and hope you find them as uplifting and inspiring as I did. It’s time to name and claim your purpose so you can make the contribution you want to make in the world. That’s a topic near and dear to my heart, and I hope I’ve been able to help with that. xo

Join us!

RSVP here for Inspiring Women with Soul — at no charge!

Love love love,

Linda Sivertsen

“THANK YOU for the graceful way you’ve harnessed technology to serve women lovingly during this gathering. You’ve helped us reveal and share our beauty, strength, vitality, courage, creativity and ALIVENESS. What a prayer this is. And what a lifeline for some. Wow! How moving to feel myself to be part of a web of women from so many countries — all listening as our hearts beat faster with connection, each of us with equal access to these life-changing conversations, these moments of historic proportion!”

— Dana Cunningham Anderson (from a previous Inspiring Women gathering)

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

xo

Apr 30, 2016   /   Read More   /  

Martha Beck Virtual Book Tour

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Hello writer!

I’m so excited to invite you to my upcoming fun, candid conversation about magic and creativity with brilliant bestselling author Martha Beck!

It is my absolute delight and honor to host this deep dive with Martha, a friend and role model to me for many years.

We’re going to talk about the “miracles” that led her to write this novel Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening (the first in a trilogy). We’ll get into how the book you want to write “speaks” to you and how Martha follows the threads when it does.

I will also be asking Martha about what she calls the “Great Turning” – a time of more magic coming into the world. Her novel is about how to access and work with this unfolding mystery and wonder.

Elizabeth Gilbert describes Martha’s new novel Diana, Herself as “…a romp, a fable, a myth, an inspiration, a teachable moment, a true hero’s journey, a cautionary tale, and a fairy tale for an entirely new (or rather, ANCIENT) species of fairies.” Elizabeth adds, “It’s rare that so much wisdom can be found wrapped up in such comedy, such kindness, such lightness of touch. It’s a perfect book. I want every woman I know to read it. This is storytelling at its very best, and also at its most important.

If that doesn’t make you curious about what Martha Beck has to say, I don’t know what will!  : )

Join us on May 3, 2016 at noon Pacific Time/3pm Eastern Time for a 90-minute call filled with insight, inspiration, and bewildering fun.

(Did I mention this is totally free? It is!)

Find out more & register to below.

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Big love,

Linda

xx

Apr 27, 2016   /   Read More   /  
 
   

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