Embedding Mind Maps in your Neurology

This visualisation started life as one of the components of the Unleash the Book Inside workshop and home study course.

In the workshops, I found that the students started to get huge flashes of inspiration when I combined mind mapping with simple simple contemplative and meditative techniques. This version of the visualisation is more generic such that you can use it on any mind map whether hand drawn or computer generated. Note though, if you do use software mind mapping, it’s a good idea to use a print out first. This visualisation takes a mind map and embeds it into your cellular neurology such that two things start to happen.

Firstly, you commit it to memory much better.

Secondly that you become better at noticing coincidences and serendipities associated with elements on the map. For example, if your map contains your goals and ambitions for the year, you start to become luckier. If you are writing a book, you come across information and ideas that help you in ways that seem uncanny.

You can play the visualisation here

An MP3 version comes with the Unleash the Book Inside Home Study course ..


Making Time to Write

timedistortion_200There are two really common reasons why authors get writer’s block.

The first is a lack of inner confidence about their writing ability.

The second is a belief that they simply don’t have the time to write.

The blocks caused by lack of confidence can be caused by an innocent criticism of something written earlier – like an essay that got a black mark at school perhaps.

These types of blocks are something we deal with in my Unleash the Book workshop and Home Study course.  The solution is to identify the old gestalts and replace them with new patterns that are much more useful.  Note though that this doesn’t mean deleting bad memories though as these are useful source material for a writer.

To deal with the second type of block, there are many excellent books on how to improve your time management.  One I specifically recommend for authors is Time Management for Dummies by Clare (no relation) Evans.

Books like this are brilliant at pointing out where you can claw back time by better managing your day.  Additionally, I would like to propose a more lateral and fundamental approach to time management – and that’s to change the perceived speed of time itself.

Now this might seem far fetched, or in the realms of Doctor Who or Back to the Future, but scientists are coming to the conclusion that our reality – our space and time – are linked to our consciousness.  In fact, it’s more accurate to say that it’s our very consciousness that actually creates our reality.  So all you need to do to change time is to make a change in your consciousness.

I am sure you have heard about athletes who have been “in the zone” – a sort of timeless place – or perhaps you have had a light bulb moment where in less than a second, you get a flash of inspiration – a whole picture for a new idea.  If you were able to MRI scan your brain at this moment, you would see both the right and left hemispheres light up in synchronism.  For that split second you were Whole Brain (or even Whole Mind) Thinking.  A brain scan would show that your brain was generating alpha and probably even theta waves.

Now you can access this state while meditating. When I mention this to authors, their first reaction is that they don’t have time to meditate.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I can testify that 20-30 minutes meditation before a writing session will deliver not only the time back by a factor of 3 or 4 but also much better quality writing.

“But I can’t make my mind go quiet,” is normally the next protest swiftly followed by, “I’d like to meditate but I don’t have time to learn how.”

Myebook - Unleash Your Book Inside with Meditation Machines - click here to open my ebookWell, if you hear yourself saying this, help is now at hand.  You don’t need necessarily to enter an ashram for two months. Although, if you did, it might well be time well spent …

Meditation machines are now available that help get you into both alpha and theta states.  I have been using a for over a year now and even though I am reasonably adept at meditation, I can testify that they really do work.

I’ve written a free companion guide for users of meditation machines to specifically help authors through writer’s block and to tap into their creative muse …

… you can access it online here

After a few weeks of use, you will even find it easier to enter the meditative state without a machine and while you are in what is normally thought of as the waking state.

For a writer, this become significant as time seems to stretch out so that in a single hour you write what would normally take a whole morning or afternoon.

The benefits to your productivity are therefore immense and you will be amazed at your output in all areas of your life.  People who have used machines even get comments of how well they look.

So, if you’d like to take the time to try a meditation machine, they are available from Meditations UK on a 30 day money back guarantee …



I’ve just finished reading Steven Taylor’s excellent book called Making Time – it explains in great detail on how this all works and how you can start to control time to your advantage.

More details here …

What publishers are looking for

Did you miss the London Book Fair Masterclass?

If so I can highly recommend this half-day workshop, hosted by James Caplin and Caroline Taggart, to help you get your non-fiction book off the ground.

In addition to being an accredited coach, James is author of five non-fiction books including the best-seller Instant Gardening.

Caroline is editor of the exciting new directory for aspiring writers Writer’s Market UK & Ireland, author of the best-selling I Used to Know That, co-author of My Grammar and I (or should that be ‘Me’?) and an editor with 30 years’ experience in non-fiction books.


The workshop begins with an overview from Caroline of what publishers are really looking for in a potential new author. You then experience three activities which help with:

The Passion: how you come across to potential publishers, what works and what doesn’t.

The Pitch: what an effective outline contains and how to write that all-important covering letter.

Publishing now: the truth about the modern world of publishing; how to use networking to find a way in and some vital practicalities: to write, phone or email? How long can you expect to wait for an answer? How to use the Internet to get your work noticed.

Conclusion and a glass of wine

Dates:  Saturday 16 May, repeated on Saturday 27 June, 2-5 p.m.

Place:  James’s home in Notting Hill, West London

Price: £65 + VAT, payable by cheque in advance, £70 + VAT if you pay on the day. Tea, biscuits and a glass of wine included

Numbers:  a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 in each class

More details & to book:  please email Caroline at ci.taggart@btinternet.com

LBF: How to get published masterclass

lbf08_header_rightI had the great pleasure of attending the London Book Fair ‘How to get published masterclass’ on Saturday at Earls Court.

The LBF assembled a stellar panel skillfully chaired by Danuta Kean. From the world of publishing, Bill Swainson from Bloomsbury and Simon Trewin from United Artists gave up their Saturday mornings –  as did authors Kate Mosse, Lola Jaye & Gareth Sibson.

The messages that came across were pretty consistent. From a publisher’s perspective they were these:

  • Even in the current economic climate, there is cautious optimism about the future (for publishers, agents & authors)
  • Both Bill and Simon are passionate about what they do & excited what each daily round of new submissions might bring
  • That publishers and agents are human beings too – and very approachable (if done correctly)

Their top tips were:

  • Do your research into which publishers & agents take your type of work
  • Unsolicited submissions to publishers have less chance than those via agents
  • Keep submissions short but show passion, influences and professionalism
  • Be patient – the time constant for a publishing deal is 12 to 24 months
  • Do’nt approach them if you are not 100% happy with your work and don’t approach too early
  • Don’t be arrogant &, as Simon said, “Don’t imply that you are a genius & I am a moron.”

From an author’s perspective, here’s the best tips from Kate, Gaye and Gareth:

  • “Don’t give up your day job” – Lola
  • “Writing a book is like training for a marathon” – Kate – i.e.  a little exercise each day helps
  • “I will be a brand” – Gareth – getting the back story about your book in front of a features editors can be much more useful than getting a literary review
  • Be prepared for the long haul & hard work
  • Make writing part of your day & your life
  • Read as well as write
  • Self publishing is a viable route forward for new authors

Even as an already self-published author with two more books on the way, I found the masterclass really useful.  I can also confirm that, if you send a submission to Simon and his team, they do actually read it and reply to you within the time they state on their web site. The feedback is really useful too.

Did I learn anything new?  If I am completely honest, not really but it was really encouraging to hear these consistent messages from such industry luminaries.  I left in the knowledge I was doing all the right things and it’s just a question of application, dedication and being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. This alone made it well worth attending.

Would I recommend it to aspiring authors for 2010? Definitely.

If you are serious about getting published what better way than to hear directly from people who have been there and done it – and done it successfully – and a visit to the Book Fair itself to better understand the industry is well worthwhile.

Thanks again to the panel for giving up their Saturday morning.

Some suggestions for the organisers for 2010:

  • Kinder lighting for the panellists’ eyes
  • Perhaps 5-10 minutes from sponsor Authorhouse to explain the excellent service I know they provide to new authors
  • A representative from world of epublishing

Useful links …

London Book Fair

Danuta Kean

Bloomsbury Publishing

Simon Trewin Literary Agent Submissions

Kate Mosse

Lola Jaye

Gareth Sibson – Chasing Bridgit

Gareth Sibson – Single White Failure