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writer, best selling writer

Why You Never Have to Be a Starving Artist

Many writers still have this tired washed-up romantic notion of the starving artist. And yes, it is difficult to sustain one’s self as an artist in our culture, but not impossible and there are infinite ways to help people, make a good living, and devote your life to writing and creativity.

So banish that starving artist notion from your head. Nothing could be less romantic than having no money. In order to nourish your creativity and your life in general it’s nice to have some abundance to help you along. This takes a major mind shift for many of us toward a mindset of prosperity.

Please know that even if you have a more creative mind, your mind is malleable and can change. Also know that when I use the word “prosperity”, I’m not talking just about money, but abundance in relationships, work, community, spirituality, and creativity.

How do we cultivate prosperity as writers? Let’s take a look…

Practice Gratitude

Prosperity is all around us, we just have to look for it. And then we have to be grateful for it. Practicing gratitude can be as simple as enjoying the sound of fresh rain or the feeling of warm sun on your skin. Or practicing gratitude can go a step further by helping others. For when we have abundance in our lives, we can share it to help others become prosperous, too.

A wise man once said, “I’m drinking from a saucer because my cup has overflowed. In this life I have reaped more than I have sowed.”

This may sound like the words of a wealthy man, but in fact this man had been blind for 40 years, had leprosy for 60 years, and was on his death bed. He was poor and had no family, and yet he felt like his life was overflowing with abundance. I think it’s no coincidence that he was also a poet; his gratitude showed up so prominently in his poetry that he received one of the highest poetry awards in his country.

This is just one example of the effects gratitude can have in creating abundance in your life.

Surround Yourself with Prosperous Writers

People who have achieved prosperity are often excellent motivators. I’ve learned this firsthand from teaching alongside and hosting writing workshops with best selling authors like Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert. At the Elizabeth Gilbert writing workshop in California last year, you could feel the whole room “waking up” as Liz shared her writing wisdom. Everyone felt like their cups were overflowing that day; at one point there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Prosperity is contagious if you surround yourself with the right people. This goes back to practicing gratitude. Oftentimes, people want to share their prosperity with others. So, get out there, network, make friends, and leverage one another so that we’re all living lives full of abundance.

Get to Work

Becoming a prosperous writer is not without putting in some time and effort. No one is going to do the work for you. If you have a story to tell, you need to get it out onto the page and into the world. This requires dedicating yourself to your writing practice and a commitment to improve your writing skills.

Attending writing workshops, writing retreats, learning how to write a novel or how to write a memoir, and taking writing courses (either with an in-person instructor or an online writing course) are all ways you can dedicate yourself to your writing practice while improving your writing skills at the same time.

So, cultivate gratitude to create a feeling of prosperity, surround yourself with successful writers to get motivated to create prosperity, and get to work so that you can truly be a prosperous writer. Now is your time to shine!

If you’d like to learn more, join me this September 2016 for Writing as a Path to Awakening, which is a daylong writing workshop and writing retreat in San Rafael, California. Click here for more details.

Dave Eggers LIVE Event Accommodations

Are you excited to study with a best selling author? I know we are! We want to be as helpful as possible for our event attendees, so we’ve compiled a list of accommodations that are in the area. Haven’t registered yet? Get info about the event here: Dave Eggers LIVE

If you are looking for a more affordable option than the room rates at the Meritage Resort, here are some accommodations that are a short driving distance to the event. This list is not based on personal recommendation, but on price and location. Prices are an approximate only. For reviews, we advise checking TripAdvisor before you book.

Wine Valley Lodge
4 stars on TripAdvisor
3.5 miles (7 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $89-$199/night

Chablis Inn
3.5 stars on TripAdvisor
8 miles (12 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $139-$149/night

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Napa Valley
3.5 stars on TripAdvisor
3 miles (6 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $195-$245/night

Motel 6
3 stars on TripAdvisor
8 miles (11 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price from $100/night

3 Palms Hotels
3 stars on TripAdvisor
4 miles (10 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $169-$299/night

Chardonnay Lodge
3 stars on TripAdvisor
8 miles (13 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price from $156/night

The Napa Inn
4.5 stars on TripAdvisor
5 miles (12 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $199-$329/night

Best Western Plus Inn At The Vines
4 stars on TripAdvisor
3.4 miles (8 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $215-$300/night

Fairfield Inn & Suites Napa American Canyon
3.5 stars on TripAdvisor
6 miles (9 min drive) from Meritage Resort
Price range $221-$300/night

Didn’t see anything you liked? Another option is to use kayak.com or airbnb.com to search for available accommodations.

Why Summer is the Best Time to be a Brilliant Writer

Why Summer is the Best Time to be a Brilliant Writer

Guest Post By Jasmine June Cabanaw

Summer has always been my favorite season for writing. The nostalgia of sitting against a tree in the sweet smelling grass with a pen and notebook in hand is more delicious than an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day. As a child, I never stopped to wonder why I enjoyed writing the most during summer; I simply relished it and lived in the moment the way children tend to do.

Now that I’m older and have the wisdom of several adult years behind me, I understand why summer is the best time to work on being a brilliant writer. Some of my favorite reasons are below. Can you add anymore to the list?

The Great Outdoors

Growing up in a place that had four seasons meant I had limited time to write outdoors. And while I loved my childhood home, staring at the same walls day after day was not exactly inspiring. But then there was summer!

The brilliant writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The earth laughs in flowers.” In that single sentence he showed us that nature is poetry. The great outdoors is inspiring for all creative types, but especially for writers. And summertime is when nature is in full bloom. So take advantage. Go out, get inspired, and write!

Summer Vacation

As adults, we may not have two months off during the summer like we did when we were kids, but it’s certainly the season when most people take at least a short vacation. I don’t know about you, but as a kid my summer vacation always naturally turned into writing time.

Why not keep with that tradition as an adult? Too often our writing careers start to feel like work. Summer is a great excuse to take a writing vacation and write for pleasure like you used to. Check in with yourself, go back to your roots, and write your days away!


I am so grateful to the adults who spent their precious summer hours volunteering at my local library. There was nothing more exciting to me as a kid than sharpening my pencils, picking out a fresh notebook, and trouncing off to the writing workshops at the library.

Summer is when kids are out of school, so it’s a perfect opportunity to give back to your community while advancing your writing craft at the same time. Teaching is a great way to look at writing from a different angle. It’s a refresher, helps you connect with other writers, and allows you to be a mentor. Your local library is a great place to look for volunteer opportunities, but also ask around at schools and community centers.


Attending summer writing workshops doesn’t have to end after childhood. There are plenty of options for adults, too, and I’ve found that there are more course offerings during summer than any other time of the year.

If getting out to a workshop or writing retreat isn’t an option, consider taking an online writing course and having your own writing retreat at home. You can even throw a little online writing course party with some of your writer friends and take the course together. Grab your pals, fire up the barbecue, sink your teeth into some juicy watermelon, put your pen to a fresh piece of paper, and write! Sounds like summertime fun to me.

Join the discussion! Do you have a favorite season as a writer? Can you think of other reasons why summer is a perfect season for writers? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!