5 Gifts That Help Nonfiction Writers Succeed

holiday present for a writerThis holiday season, while you are out purchasing gifts for your friends and family, take time to purchase a gift or two for yourself–ones that help you succeed as a nonfiction writer. You have an enormous amount of potential, but you need to help yourself fulfill that potential. Make sure you have what you need to move toward your goals in the New Year. And spend just  bit on yourself; you are important, too.

The Importance of Personal Growth

I recently attended the Expert Industry Academy’s annual conference, an organization I joined to help me reach my goals. I was struck by the fact that a good number of the speakers mentioned that they have spent an enormous amount of money in the past on personal growth courses and continue to do so today. In fact, as they get more successful and make more money, they spend more on personal growth activities, such as coaches. (I wrote more about this here.)

My son is a dancer. His body is the tool of his trade. He must care for it and work with it to improve his dancing. As a writer, your mind is your tool. You must constantly find ways to spark your creativity, develop your intellect, hone your knowledge of your craft, and increase your productivity. You must develop what in my new book, The Author Training Manual, I call an Author Attitude. This entails having willingness, optimism, objectivity, and tenacity. It also means examining your thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions to determine how they affect your ability to succeed. Tihen you must make changes in all four areas, if necessary, so you can create new thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions that are more likely to help you succeed—more likely to help you reach your potential. That process involves personal growth or personal improvement.

Without personal growth you stay stuck where you are, doing the same things you’ve always done. And if those things aren’t helping you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, you are doomed to fail.

5 Gifts to Help You Reach Your Potential

Make a list of the gifts that could help you reach your potential—or your goals—this year. Here are five ideas:

  1. Buy a book (or buy 12—one for each month of the year) to help you improve in some way. Purchase books on goal achievement, writing craft, social media, focusing your thoughts, getting published, changing habits, etc.
  2. Hire a coach. It can be difficult to change without accountability to and support from someone else. That’s why so many people utilize the services of a coach. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands of dollars per month to hire one nor do you need one for years, but consider committing to one for three months to a year to help you achieve some large goal.
  3. Take a course. Personal growth and writing courses abound. Find one that fits your interests and your budget. You can take them in person or online. Sign up. Attend. You won’t regret it.
  4. Join a group. Find groups that support you in growing and changing in meaningful and positive ways. This can make a huge difference in how fast you make the necessary changes in your life.
  5. Purchase audio programs. If you don’t have the time to read or to go to groups or the money for program or a coach, buy or download personal growth or writing programs for your favorite listening device, such as an iPad or iPhone. You can listen to these when you drive, walk or run.
Keep Your Focus Broad

In recent years I’ve focused primarily on improving myself in only one area: work. That means I tried to help myself meet my writing, publishing and blogging goals. In the process, I turned my back on my greater personal growth. This left me and my life unbalanced. Recently, I’ve begun focusing on improving myself as a whole person once again. And this helps my writing and my ability to succeed as a writer as well.

Indeed, we are not just nonfiction writers. Our careers are part of our whole life. The fact that we are writers is part of who we are as people. No distinction should be made between work and life. It is all life.

So as you seek a present for yourself, be sure to keep that in mind and purchase something that helps you grow in a balanced manner.

Do you have general gift suggestions that will help nonfiction writers succeed? If so, leave them in a comment. (Please, no promotion of specific products.)

Happy holidays!

Photo © Abdone | Dreamstime Stock Photos


  1. Nina, do you have any suggestions or advice on where and how to find a coach? I have no idea where to start but this is not the first time I’ve heard this suggestion. Also, any recommendations on groups/e-courses for some of the self improvement stuff? I recently signed up for Sea Change program from Zen Habits, but I was wondering if there was anything better. When I Google this sort of thing, I’m always wondering about paid sponsoring, etc because often the reviews don’t seem entirely genuine.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Denver,
      What type of coach do you want? Book, blog, results, life…I do results coaching (which includes a bit of life coaching as well and my Kabbalistic Conscious Creation Coaching) and book, author and blog coaching. I can recommend life coaches, as I’m still in training, but I do this.

      The courses from The Landmark Forum are quite good and not too highly priced–for general personal growth. Anything from Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield or Tony Robbins for personal growth. Also…Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer (spiritual and personal growth) and Brendon Bouchard (more info product related).

      Does that get you started?

  2. That helps tremendously, actually. I need to look into the types of coaching more, but I struggle with sustained campaigns of finishing what I started, so I am thinking that I need a results or life coach potentially. I will look into this, thanks!

    • Denver,
      A results coach would help…as would any type of coach. If you are writing a book and use my services, for example, I offer accountability as part of what I do. I do the same as a results coach. The point is to chunk your tasks down into manageable pieces, make you accountable to me (or someone) for finishing them, and then help you feel successful in completing pieces and moving steadily toward “done.” Let me know if I can be of service.

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