Category Archives: Purpose + Livelihood

How to Write a Query Letter in 2016 That Gets a Response (Also in 2016)

how to write query letter LAY 2016

The query letter is the gatekeeper of publishing at higher-tier magazines and respected online journals and websites. It’s also the bane of some writers’ existences—because it’s not quite writing, and yet it is.

The query letter is about pitching without sounding sales-y, representing yourself without coming off arrogant, and offering your unique touch and personality—but not too much.

It’s you offering yourself, your ideas and your inspiration up for judgement. And it can be really terrifying.

I’ve coached writers who would rather write thousands of words and spend hours of time researching their article or manuscript than write 200 words to an editor explaining what they’re up to. And sometimes, they never even write the query letter, because they’re too scared of rejection.

Trust me, I’ve been there many times. I’m actually there right now, in that I’d rather write this article to help people than write a query letter for the piece I just spent two weeks traveling around the country researching and immersing myself in. (At least I’m honest.)

In fact, I’ve been on both sides of things. As an editor for everything from quarterly print magazines to websites to weekly newspapers, I’ve deleted or not responded to more pitches than I can count. (Well, someone’s counting, because since I became primarily an independent writer and entrepreneurial journalist, karma has returned the favor with handfuls of un-responded emails.)

Based on more than a decade of experience on both sides of the fence, I’m going to give you a simple formula—but not too formulaic—to write a query letter that gets read and responded to by editors. And by “letter,” I mean “email,” because 2015.

Continue reading How to Write a Query Letter in 2016 That Gets a Response (Also in 2016)

What’s Up Next for Live All of You in 2016!

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I did not want to post this video.
 
Hell, I do not want to post this video, right now.
 
Ugh! Cringe! Blarg!
 
It all goes through my head:
 
“Stop saying ‘um,’ stop playing with your hair, stop saying ‘like,’ why are you so bad at explaining things to a camera…”
 
I still can’t decide if I absolutely hate filming videos and I shouldn’t do it, or if this means I should dive into it and two years from now I’ll be like: “Wow, I’ve come so far! Look at me on my come-so-far throne!”
 
I don’t know. But, I’ve got to try. I feel pulled to try.
 
My word for 2016, since words are a thing now and I like words, is ENGAGE. I want to feel engaged, alive, present in everything I’m doing—whether that’s reading The New Yorker in my bathtub, or speaking at a conference. I want to be there, embodying whatever serves in the alchemy of the moment.
 
So, this video is where I explain what I have planned for 2016 for Live All of You (the first half of 2016 at least, apparently, according to Socially Awkward Video Amy). I actually am really excited to refresh my site, continue sharing more, and do it all from love.
 
So, cheers to that. No really, cheers, I need a drink.

Like this video? That makes one of us! Feel free to subscribe or like it at the bottom via YouTube. Thanks for still being my friend after watching!

Year in Review: My 7 Most Popular & Beloved Posts of 2015

I love flowing with the energy of people around me.

I love the static charge of Mondays, the crisp walk into the start of September, using both to nudge me into my work day/s.

In May, I follow the energy of play bubbling up, going on solo road trips to festivals before doing 100-Day workout challenges in the summer.

And this time of year—I’ll admit it—I adore the energy of the end-of-the-year transition into the new year.

Resolution-haters be damned, I love reviewing the past year and making intentions in the clean landscape of a blank slate. So, I took a look at Live All of You’s 2015 stats and decided to share with you what I found.

Google Analytics, thank you for helping me figure out my most popular 7 posts!

Here are Live All of You’s Top 7 of 2015:

Continue reading Year in Review: My 7 Most Popular & Beloved Posts of 2015

I’m Discontinuing My Coaching and Course. Here’s Why.

I want to write you an honest letter about “coaching.”

It seems to me that the word has become diluted.

In some forms, coaching has become another way sell a quick fix—to sell the belief that if you pay for an hour of coaching, what you want to be “fixed” will automatically be fixed.

First of all, that’s a lot of pressure on a coach! Second of all, it’s practically impossible.

Anyone who tells you they can transform your life in 60 minutes is selling you a lie.

And, it might not be on purpose. There are people you can spend an hour with who can completely shift your perspective, calling you to your gifts and how to live your life through them, showcase them and offer them up for value in the world…

But that still takes work, time and energy after the session is over.

Someone looking for an hour-long quick fix with no additional input or intention afterward is not going to find what they’re looking for.

Because the only person who can transform your life is you.

And so, in an effort to dive into and evaluate this, I’m putting my one-time coaching and current course on indefinite hold.

Why?

I want to offer more value to people, I want to put less pressure on myself, and I want to feel valued in what I’m offering—to the point where I don’t have to constantly market or cobble together one-time clients to make an income for myself.

Besides, for most coaches, a one-hour session isn’t just that hour. It’s at least an hour of preparation beforehand, perhaps sending a client a questionnaire and reviewing it, perhaps more. Then, it’s maybe 30 minutes each way of transit time to and from the session if it’s in-person (a lot of mine are). Then, it’s another hour of writing and curating a follow-up email with action steps, strategies and notes from our session as a keepsake.

That’s four hours minimum of work, not counting the marketing to reach that client.

I also often discount my one-time session coaching (another dilution I’m stopping), depending on the circumstances.

Which often means I end up not feeling valued, because I’m not valuing my work at the level I need to be. And this translates to the client not receiving optimal value either.

This work is valuable, but I have little space to do it if I’m worrying about making a sale every time I send an email.

So. I’m discontinuing my coaching and current course indefinitely.

And I’m offering a one-price package in case you want to grab them before I take them offline on Jan. 1.

One price. Three things. No other options.

You’ll get:

  1. My Manifest Like a Mofo 9-week online course (Cost: $188)
  2. A 60-min Coaching Session to be used before Jan. 15, 2016 (Cost: $200)
  3. My Holistic Day Design Productivity Atlas* (Cost: $21)

That totals to $409.

Right now, you can grab all three for $177. You can also gift them to someone.

coaching package 2015Here’s the only link to grab the $177 package. That’s my final offer.

Also, if you don’t use your coaching session before Jan. 15, 2016, it will disappear into the ether (which is the same place it will go if you aren’t ready to put in the work after the session is over). :)

(*I am going to keep offering my Holistic Day Design packet and my Revive & Strategize Weekend, but those will be undergoing some major renovations in the coming months.)

I cannot even explain how freeing and exciting and nerve-wracking this feels inside me. How terrifying, really. I’m someone who believes in money channels. That money flows through us via channels, and we can turn them on and off… And, I ask myself: Do I really want to close off this channel? What if another one doesn’t open up?

And yet… I can’t help noticing the feeling of freedom and aliveness writing this to you.

So, I’m doing it.

To open up to new ways of being and offering, and really focusing on what I want to share and create that can be of immense value.

Here’s to an amazing 2016.

How Mélanie Berliet Lives All of Her: On Sharing Your Story & Taking Risks In Your Work

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This is part of the Live All of You Interview Series! For more on what this is all about, head over to the intro post and make sure to sign up to find out who I’ll be interviewing next.

Mélanie Berliet is an immersive journalist and author who has written rich pieces about her experiences—the shadow and the light—for publications like Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Esquire.

When I first discovered her work, I was enamored. Enthralled. Seduced. I spent hours online devouring her writing.

I thought she would be perfect for this interview series. When we agreed to meet at Kaffe 1668 in Manhattan, she told me that at the start of her writing career was the revelation that she should enjoy what she does.

“Our day-to-day existence is so dictated by our occupation,” she told me. “For a long time, I didn’t think too much about what really interested me, but then I started to pay attention to what I was doing in my free time, which was reading and writing constantly—and I wondered if I could make it into a career.”

That was her first step. She persevered, putting her work out there and applying to different magazines and publications.

“Some of my most successful pieces were initially rejected,” she said. “It’s hard to be a writer, making no money to start. But if you want it badly enough I do believe you can make it happen. It takes perseverance.”

Mélanie writes some pretty risqué stuff, diving into society’s underbelly with undercover stories about sugar babies, plastic surgery and the now infamous Ashley Madison website.

But she doesn’t spend energy worrying about what people think of her.

“I got an up close look at how short and fragile life is [when my sister died], and it doesn’t fucking matter what people think,” she told me. “When you take risks in your work, it’s going to touch people more. I didn’t realize that for a long time, but I was internalizing it. Do I think about what my parents would say, people ask me? I don’t give that a second thought.”

I am now grateful to call Mélanie a friend, and am so excited to introduce my audience to this amazing woman.

Read on for my interview with her!

Continue reading How Mélanie Berliet Lives All of Her: On Sharing Your Story & Taking Risks In Your Work

The 12 Nonfiction Books That Have Changed How I Live In the World

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As I was purchasing the Kindle version of Big Magic today (note: everything Elizabeth Gilbert writes/says/does should be on an artist’s priority list of conscious consumption), I realized I hadn’t written about my own list of books that have changed my life.

So with no further adieu, here they are!

These books have completely helped me upgrade my communication, relationships, business and health in the last few years, and I’m super grateful for them.

Continue reading The 12 Nonfiction Books That Have Changed How I Live In the World

Unveiling The “Live All of You” Interview Series

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For the last two years and change, I’ve been doing personal interviews with vibrant, successful entrepreneurs, creatives and independents who are living all of themselves in the world.

Aligned with their truth, these people are weaving magic in the universe, helping others and coming alive—every single day.

My specifications? I sought out people who are truly showing up and expressing their full, authentic selves—no matter how messy or shadowy—in the world.

Inspired by “The Way I Work and “How I Work” columns in Inc. and Lifehacker, the Live All of You Interview Series will focus on play/purpose integration and insight into what it means to live fully and attract what we deeply desire in life, work and love.

I believe that feeling fully expressed in our body, spirit and soul is the secret to living our greatest life. And these entrepreneurs, writers, teachers, coaches, explorers, and leaders prove it—every day.

Continue reading Unveiling The “Live All of You” Interview Series

Behind the Scenes: How I Add Value to My Coaching with Show Notes

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One of the biggest (and most fun) ways I add value to my coaching practice actually happens after our call or in-person jam sesh is over.

After every session, I email what I call “show notes” to my clients.
Continue reading Behind the Scenes: How I Add Value to My Coaching with Show Notes