• Writing A Cookbook: Plan For The Obstacles

    Obstacles Quote3If you want to write a cookbook, I guarantee that obstacles will appear the minute you state your intention. Obstacles block your path and hinder your progress. Sometimes, you’ll hear an obstacle called a barrier, stumbling block, hurdle, or snag. No matter what it’s called, it can stop you dead in your tracks. Sometimes you jump over obstacles. Sometimes they make you retreat and give up on your project. The sad thing is that most of the time, even when we give up, we had the opportunity to overcome the obstacles – but we chose the easier path. Let’s take a look at what obstacles are, which obstacles we can control, and some tips on how to overcome obstacles when they appear.

    Obstacles can be material or non-material, real or imagined. For example, a blood clot, concrete barrier, or wall are real obstacles. We can physically touch or see them. They block the flow of blood, traffic, and people. It’s possible to physically remove these obstacles and allow the flow of blood, traffic, or people to continue again. With a cookbook writing project, though, barriers are frequently non-material or imagined barriers. We can’t see or touch them. But, they still block our path to our goal.

    In my time as a cookbook coach, I’ve heard clients describe their obstacles to writing a cookbook. I’m too busy. I don’t work fast enough. I’m not creative. I’m too old. I can’t think of what to write. I work during the day. I have kids. I travel too much. I’m confused. I’m overwhelmed. The economy is bad. People might not like my book. It’s summer, and I want to go to the pool. I can’t define my cookbook concept. Any number of barriers have come up. Some of my clients gave up because of the obstacles. 

    The good news is that we can control many of these obstacles. Our emotions, judgments, attitudes, perspectives, desires, decisions, determination, and thoughts are ALL within our control. We can alter the effect these obstacles have on our projects if we learn how to go around them and move our book projects forward.

    Then, there are obstacles we can’t control: the economy, life circumstances, other people’s behavior and judgments, or disasters. But, even if these out-of-our-control obstacles have a real effect on the world, we do have control over how we think about them. We don’t have to let our thoughts about the economy, other people, or disasters define what we do.We can decide to proceed in spite of these obstacles. Even though we can’t control them, we can control ourselves.

    Why focus on obstacles at all? Because the obstacles will appear. They always do. Obstacles are almost inevitable when you embark on any new project, especially a project that requires effort and possible rejection. When an obstacle presents itself, this is your chance to either overcome it or let the obstacle stop you. You can either embrace the opportunity or retreat and turn back without your cookbook. In order to overcome obstacles here a few strategies that may help: 

    Shift your perception. Change the way you look at things. The old saying is that “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Acknowledge that the presence of an obstacle doesn’t mean it’s an end to your dream to write a book. It just means an end to your old way of thinking. Start to think differently. Challenge yourself to see something in a different way. Seeing an obstacle as something to overcome and not stop me was the first perception I had to change. And in 2017, my perception of what I can accomplish has shifted a great deal. I’m challenging myself to a lot of new projects, new opportunities, and new ways of looking at things. And all of the results happen because of a change in the way I look at things. 

    Direct your actions. Specific and deliberate action will help to get you over almost any obstacle that comes your way. It might be an action like deliberately changing the way you think (as described above) or deliberately changing a routine, but either way deliberate actions will get you closer to the results you want. I am trying to be more deliberate about writing content for my blog, and testing recipes for my new cookbooks. Progress is visible and a series of directed actions have helped a great deal.

    Manage your energy. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise to keep your energy level at it’s best. When you live with higher levels of energy, it’s easier to overcome obstacles than when you live with low energy. I always feel pretty energetic. I go to bed at a reasonable time, try to eat less refined carbohydrates (which make me sleepy), and drink a lot of water. A stroll through the neighborhood several times a week helps me feel better and sleep better too.

    Focus on what you can control. Maintain belief that most obstacles are within your control and that with effort (and directed actions) you can overcome them. Define the obstacles in you life and determine the ones you can control. With writing a book the thoughts someone else might think about me, or my work, could stop me from proceeding. I definitely can’t control someone’s else’s thoughts or judgements, so I choose to not even let them get in the way.

    Maintain inner drive and affirm your goal. Remind yourself on a regular basis your vision for your cookbook project. Imagine what it will feel like to finish your book. Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to pursue the goal. These reminders will help you keep your inner drive alive even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. I read a list of reminders, or some call them affirmations, every morning. These affirmations have to do with my vision for my self, my books, my family, and business. It’s like an athlete imagining their best performance. Then when the day of the event comes, their winning image comes to mind and their performance follows suit. 

    Commit to the goal. Commitment is the foundation of overcoming obstacles. With strong desire and a deliberate choice to stick to what you set out to do, then all other options fade away. Commitment narrows the path but provides the freedom as you work within the boundaries that are often needed to get something finished. Obstacles become stepping stones instead of blocking the path. I have a several hard and fast commitments, but commitment to my word and commitment to myself ranks right up there as ways I can overcome obstacles.

    Everyone experience obstacles when they set out to do something new. Obstacles are present with any goal. Life’s too short to let something that’s inevitable, like an obstacle, separate us from our dream. When we set out to write a cookbook or start a new project, it’s not uncommon to feel certain emotions to appear that could  stop us from doing what we set out to do. We have a choice at that point. We can quit and let the obstacles defeat us. Or, we can use our mind,  our will, and our actions to overcome the obstacles. That’s when it’s time to tap into deliberate strategies to push us forward to success with our goals, including our cookbook writing endeavors.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • How To Write A Cookbook: Don’t Quit Before You Start

    Don't Quit Before You Start2This story is about Felicia and Grant, two aspiring cookbook authors. Both Felicia and Grant think to themselves, “I’d like to write a cookbook. I’m not a cookbook author yet, but I am good at cooking, food messages, and the practice of translating food and ingredients into recipes that resonate with my audience. Plus, I connect well with people, and I enjoy writing about cooking. I love cookbooks and sharing recipes with others. Those I share my recipes with love the food they prepare, and this gives me great joy.” Both of their stories starts the same.

    The next day, they both wake up and think, “Maybe I can write a cookbook. I have an idea and an audience who will love the work I produce. They already love my blog, or are thriving in my nutrition practice and they are always asking me recipes. It seems, though, like writing a cookbook is a massive project and seems difficult. Where do I even start? I feel confused. What do I do first? I’ve never done this before. Who would even care? I’m not a Food Network star, and I don’t write for a major food publication. Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? My cookbook won’t be as good as all those other cookbooks I see for sale anyway, and what if there’s a mistake in the book? I will look foolish, and people who hate my book and my mistakes will laugh at me behind my back.

    The next day, Felicia decides never mind. I can’t do it. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough energy. I don’t know what to write my cookbook about. I don’t have enough money to hire anyone to help answer my questions. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. No one will care. I don’t want to figure the process. I don’t think I’ll write a cookbook.

    That same day Grant goes on to decide never mind about all that. I can do it. I will schedule time to work on the project. I will take care of myself and manage my energy so that I have all the I need to work on the project. If needed I will invest money in myself and my project and get questions answered. I will figure this out. I’m not afraid of the effort. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow. I can develop new skills such as perseverance. I realize effort is part of the journey and with the effort, I can do something new. I’m not going to let my fear of making a mistake stop me. I am committed to this project and to reaching my goal. I am willing to do what it takes and feel excited about the result.

    The End of Their Stories

    The final result for Felicia and Grant is entirely different. Felicia is still not a cookbook author. She didn’t write her cookbook. She quit before she started. She let her thoughts about confusion, looming deadlines, and overwhelm stop her in her tracks. 

    Grant, on the other hand, focused on turning large goals into smaller tasks that were easier to accomplish. He took care of himself and managed his energy. He worked with a writing coach and found resources to help him with his cookbook proposal. He worked with commitment, determination, and perseverance. Grant feels excited when he thinks about becoming a published cookbook author.

    How Are These Two Authors Different?

    With these two aspiring authors, the beginning of their story is the same. The end to their stories is different.

    Felicia gave up before she even got started. Grant, on the other hand, decided to put forth the effort, and focus on the project. He reached his goal.

    The difference between Felicia and Grant is their mindset. Felicia has a fixed mindset. Grant has a growth mindset. Felicia avoids challenges and is afraid to fail. A good analogy is she takes the escalator and not the stairs. She thinks that because she’s never written a cookbook before, and now that she is aware of the scope of the project, that she can’t do it.

    Grant on the other hand was willing to put in the effort to make his cookbook come to life. He wants to use projects to learn more and become a better version of himself. He embraces challenges and isn’t deterred by the fact he hasn’t done this before. He sees writing a cookbook as an opportunity to grow and develop skills of perseverance, commitment, and energy management.

    My Hope For You

    My hope for you is that if you want to write a cookbook that you never quit on your dream. I will admit it’s hard, a big project, and may leave you feeling confused. And yes, others may judge you and evaluate your work. But just because something is hard, confusing, or puts you in a position where others may judge you, doesn’t mean you should stop and quit on your dream before you even start.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • Why Join a Mastermind Group?

    Mastermind Groups 2Last week I introduced the concept of a Mastermind Group and how a Mastermind Group can be beneficial for support, growth, accountability, and positive mental energy when it comes to your business, career, or personal life.

    I like the idea of joining a Mastermind Group and can see at least five advantages belonging to one:

    1. There is typically an application process to join a Mastermind Group. This screening process ensures that members are committed to the Mastermind Group and that group members are not in competition with each other.

    2. Decision making is enhanced because a Mastermind Group serves as a personal board of directors and advisors to group members. These members come together to help each other decide what to do and create a plan to work on their goals.

    3. There is a spirit of collaboration to achieve more together, as well as a spirit of assistance because members brainstorm ideas to implement goals.

    4. Networks grow to include the members of the Mastermind Group as well as to include the network of each individual member collectively.

    5. Members gain a broader perspective to solutions to their problems through the shared-solutions that a Mastermind Group offers. This “Master Mind” is the best part of a group. It’s a wisdom and brain-power that allows members to think big as they access the collective wisdom of all the group members.

    If you would like to apply to join the Hungry For A Cookbook Mastermind Group, you can read more about the Mastermind Group here.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. 

  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Writing A Cookbook

    Five Cookbook Writing Questions

    Writing cookbooks has been a rewarding experience for me both personally and professionally, and the fact that I’ve repeated the process more than once is a testimony to the fact that I believe in the process. I also know that good things happen when you write a cookbook. Examples from my experience are enhanced creditably, expanded professional opportunities to speak and teach, and heightened self-awareness related to time and energy management and procrastination,  not to mention the benefit my readers receive from using my cookbooks. That in and of itself is almost reason enough!

    While writing cookbooks is rewarding, such a project isn’t for the faint of heart and in most cases requires a team of dedicated professionals. The pre-publication involves you as the author and perhaps a book coach, agent, acquisitions editor, recipe tester(s), and maybe even a ghost writer. The publishing of the book requires a copy editor, designer, photographer, indexer, printer, distributor, marketer, and sales person.

    As the author, you decide which publishing method best aligns with your goals – either become an independent publisher and hire the professionals to do all phases of the publishing yourself or work with a publisher who handles most of the publication tasks on your behalf.

    Let’s assume you have the skills, passion, and knowledge required to write about a topic and you have your cookbook concept clearly defined. You still may wonder if you have what it takes to write a cookbook and what else you many need to consider.

    Here are five questions you can ask yourself before you decide to write your own cookbook. If you have a handle on these items, then the work that follow during the pre-publication and publication phases will be easier to manage. This helps to ensure the best possible outcome of writing you own cookbook and getting it published.

    1. Who am I writing my cookbook for?

    Be sure you specifically know who you are writing your book for. Here are three common cookbook audiences:

    Family and friends – I suspect that if you want to write a cookbook, you’re an experienced cook or baker, and as a result have recipes to share. Your family loves your home-cooked meals, and your friends think you’re the go-to person to bring a signature casserole or cake to a party or get-together. They all want you to share your recipes, and you know this because they’re always asking you for your recipes.

    You may be wondering if these reasons are compelling enough reasons to write a cookbook? Yes, it’s a good enough reason. Your audience is on the small side, but they are important. Your recipes and style of cooking for friends and family need to be preserved. Plus, if they’ve asked for recipes, they will enjoy recreating the dishes you make when they cook for their friends, move to their apartment, head off to college, start their family, etc., a cookbook written for them will fill that need.

    Clients or customers – If you have a nutrition-focused business, and you help your clients with weight loss, disease management, or wellness, I suspect that food preparation might be part of what you teach them. You also know their challenges when it comes to food, cooking, and nutrition. You know what motivates them to cook, and you know their barriers to cooking. Your cookbook can help them live a healthier lifestyle and provides a preset way to connect with them in the office.

    If you own a restaurant or catering business, your customers will enjoy a book with your recipes as a souvenir of their visit, or to remember their special occasion.You can imagine your clients and customers buying your cookbook from you, your website, or an online retailer.

    Certain groups of cooks or bakers – For this audience description, let’s say that you have mastered the art of making homemade candy with a process that simplifies the process on rainy, humid days and you feel excited and motivated to share it with home bakers, crafters, DIYers, and those who make candy for holiday gifts. You think a cookbook would be a good way to reach your audience, so you set your sights on getting your book published by a traditional publisher. You envision your book for sale at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and other locations.

    To help identify the audience for this group for your particular concept, write down details about the knowledge or cooking experience you want to share with them. Describe the cooks or bakers you most want to connect with. Define their age, gender, income level, and cooking experience. Keep them in mind when writing your cookbook or cookbook proposal.

    2. Who are my competitors?

    If you plan to write a family and friends cookbook this step may not be necessary, but if you intend to publish your book via either the traditional- or self-publishing route, there are two reasons to study other cookbooks:

    Competitive title research
 – You need to research competing cookbooks to show how your book will fit into the current publishing landscape. The purpose of studying competitive books is to generate a list of cookbooks that are similar in their audience, concept, and category to the book you want to write. This list is then shared with potential agents and editors so they can visualize where your book fits in the context of other published cookbooks. It’s important to realize that the goal of the research isn’t to prove that your concept is unique and that you don’t have any competition. In fact, the opposite is true. You want to point out your competition to validate your idea and then add why it’s time for you to write a similar book for this audience and what you plan to add to the conversation regarding your perceived cookbook concept.

    Inspiration and design research - 
The study of published cookbooks can be a source of inspiration as well. While looking at other cookbooks pay attention to what delights you – cover design, paper, fonts, interior colors, photography, recipe or text layout, trim size, or other features. Parts of other books that attract (or repel) you are clues about the type of book you may want to write.

    A word of caution, don’t let the study of other cookbooks deter you from writing your cookbook. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to see so many cookbooks already published. When we see these books, we may feel doubt that we can see a cookbook project through to publication. The best remedy for this feeling is to acknowledge that there are hundreds of cookbooks published each year, but the exact book you want to write hasn’t been written yet because you haven’t written it. Your message can only be communicated in a way that you can write it. Use the study of published cookbooks to motivate you and not deter you. Work hard and commit to moving forward with your project.
 A common mistake during this phase is to get too caught up in research. Research makes us look busy, but the reality is that excessive research slows down progress on writing your proposal or book manuscript. Even though research is necessary, it’s important not to spend excessive amounts of time on this step. I recommend scheduling approximately three 2-hour blocks of time on your calendar over the course of two weeks. During each 2-hour block of time visit either a local bookstore, library, or perform an online search.

    3. How do I want to have my cookbook published?

    This answer is important, so you know the path that you are on and the next steps. Here are some common methods to get a cookbook published that you can choose from:

    *Organize recipes with an app or recipe software and print my cookbook at home or in cooperation with a quick-print shop

    *Operate as an independent publisher and self-publish a PDF of recipes, an eBook, or print book

    *Pay a publishing company to help publish the book as a print book and eBook

    *Secure a publisher (without an agent) to handle all aspect of publishing my book

    *Retain an agent to help find a traditional publisher who will publish my book

    The method of publication you select may be different than another cookbook author. Rather than comparison with what others are doing, I recommend you focus your energy on your reasons why you want to write a cookbook and then choose the route to the publication that best matches your goals.

    4. How does my audience know me and hear me? What is my presence in the marketplace based on?

    Your author platform serves to help your audience get to know you better and establishes an ongoing presence in the marketplace. It’s how they see you, hear you, and begin to develop a relation of trust with you.

    Your platform forms the foundation of most of the promotional work you will do for your brand, business, and cookbook. Through the various parts of your platform, you can stay in touch with your audience and build a relationship with those who are interested in what you have to say. Every aspiring cookbook author, including those who want to self-publish their cookbook, needs to have a way to connect with their audience. Also, if you desire to have your cookbook published with the help of an agent and traditional publisher the fact that you already have an established platform makes ou more attractive as a prospective author.

    One reason to define your audience early in the process of writing a cookbook is to help you determine if building a platform is necessary. For example, if your audience is your family or college-aged kids, a platform isn’t essential. But, if your audience is middle-aged professional women who suffer from heartburn, then your platform is necessary. You need to have a way to get in touch with these women. You need to be present to them somehow, and they need to be able to find you, hear you, and see you as an expert in the treatment of heartburn through food and nutrition.

    5. Am I fully committed to this project?

    “Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. [S]He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if [s]he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” 
— Lawrence Clark Powell, author.

    Commitment is defined as the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something. Commitment to your book project is an essential ingredient for successful completion of your book proposal, manuscript, and ultimate publication and book promotion. In the end, your willingness to commit to whatever it takes to finish your book defines the success of your book.

    Commitment involves focus, concentration, the creation of a space and place to write, and development of a routine for writing. It’s also important to adjust your mindset and avoid the mid-project slump when you may feel like giving up. It’s at this time in particular that you need to remind yourself why you are embarking on this project and to focus on energy-producing emotions such as optimism, discipline, productivity, and energy.

    There are obstacles to writing a cookbook. Examples include day jobs, home lives, community involvement, children, and travel demands that keep occupy our time. Other obstacles include the realization that there are agents who won’t represent you and your idea and editors that don’t want to publish your work. But at the same time don’t let this overshadow the fact that there are agents who DO want to represent you and editors who DO want to publish your work. Another obstacle is your inner voice and thoughts that leave you feeling confused, unsure, and overwhelmed. Obstacles are present with any goal. Your job is to commit to the goal and work to overcome the obstacles. For example, when you identify the obstacle, “I can’t write this book because I’m too busy with my day job”, change it to an action such as, “I will wake up one hour earlier four mornings a week to work on my project”, or “I will set aside weekend mornings and double up on my writing time”. Schedule doable goals, stick to your plan, and your obstacles become stepping stones instead of blocking the path.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, float your idea in a cookbook proposal, and search for the perfect people to help you with your project. It’s only through the risk of asking and possible rejection that you will find the perfect publishing arrangement for your book idea. And it’s only through commitment to your project that any of the work required with be completed.

    Taking time to study your answers to these five questions lays the groundwork necessary before you move forward with the next steps in the cookbook writing process. Any time you invest in identifying your audience, defining your competition, choosing your route to publication, building your platform, checking your commitment will pay dividends when the project starts moving forward, and your dream of writing a cookbook is closer to becoming a reality.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Hungry For A Cookbook Mastermind Group forming soon, learn more here.

  • Mastermind Groups

    Mastermind GroupsWhen I graduated from chef school, one of the first books I read was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I can remember the night I visited the local bookstore, most probably to look at the cookbook section, but found myself in the Business and Money section of the bookstore reading this book. I still have the book (with the date of purchase recorded on the inside first page) and I read parts of the book regularly.

    Written in 1960, this book is considered an influential book for the achievement of personal goals, financial independence, and a spirit-filled life. In the book, such concepts as self-direction, organized planning, auto-suggestion, imagination, faith, persistence, and mastermind association are reviewed in detail and have helped countless individuals realize the power they have to create their future.

    In his discussion of “the power of the Master Mind,” Hill says, “economic advantage may be created by any person who surrounds himself with the advice, counsel, and personal cooperation of a group of people who are willing to lend wholehearted aid, in a spirit of perfect harmony.” Hill believed in the power of association with others. “When a group of individual brains is coordinated, and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in that group.”

    So what’s the take-home message for those of us who have projects, careers, businesses, and families? The message is that if we band together in a spirit of harmony, with a common purpose, we too can use our experiences, intelligence, and knowledge to benefit one another. It’s in this spirit of cooperation that I have become more interested in mastermind groups.

    Mastermind Groups are a win-win for everyone involved. If you feel stuck, alone in your work, or unable to move forward with a project, then joining a Mastermind Group may be perfect for you.

    What is a mastermind group?

    A Mastermind Group is a group of individuals who meet on a regular basis to challenge each other to set goals, brainstorm ideas and support each other in a spirit of compassion, respect, and honesty. Mastermind Groups help participants grow because the other participants are supportive, but can also help to clarify goals through being a devil’s advocate to one another.

    Each Mastermind Group meeting has an agenda, but participation by each group member is key, for the group cannot function without participants who are committed to attend the meetings, set goals, and help others set their goals as they grow alongside each other. Brainstorming and a spirit of community and cooperation are key to the success of a Mastermind Group.

    Anyone can join a Mastermind Group. Typically there are 5 to 8 people in a Mastermind Group. The members have a shared interest, similar skill or success level, and have a desire to make the next months of their life extraordinary. The want to be in a supportive group that helps them reach or exceed their goals. They are ready to let their desire to reach their goals overcome any fear of change or goal setting that they may have.

    Mastermind Groups are organized by an individual who is responsible to gather the group, set up the meeting space, set the agenda for the meetings, and ensure that the meetings run smoothly. Because of the group nature of a Mastermind Group, commitment from each member is crucial. Highly motivated participants who are willing to ask, and give, help and support, and who commit to showing up for meetings make the group successful.

    Mastermind Groups meet at least once a month, but sometimes more frequently such as weekly or every other week. The agenda is the same at each meeting, and every group member has a chance to share their goals and their progress on their goals and gain access to the brainstorming power of the group. Groups meet either in person, on the phone, or in a virtual conference room either through Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook groups, or Skype.

    There are many benefits of a Mastermind Group such as:

    *Emotional support through brainstorming to lead you to answers to your questions, solutions to your problems, or ideas for moving forward with a project or goal

    *Social contact and shared experiences add to your knowledge base and enhances your experience

    *Confidence that your decisions are vetted and decisions are in alignment with your goals

    *Accountability to get your goals accomplished and that you can make progress on your goals

    *Connection as you network and gain valuable support from colleagues

    *Sense of belonging through shared work and knowing there are others who support your goals

    *Positive mental energy through meeting with others and working towards your goals

    You can see that a Mastermind Group can be a powerful tool for moving forward in your goals related projects, business, or personal life. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time I join a Mastermind Group.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

     

     

  • Manage Your Energy to Manage Your Time

    Managing Energy Managing TimeProductivity always remains top of mind for me. Due to weekly commitments, and a desire for flexibility to spend time with family, the time I devote to work each day is finite. In order to maximize productivity during this time I created a series of daily, weekly, and monthly routines to help stay on track with repetitive tasks related to self-care, business management, and home management. These routines free up my mind and focus because I know that repetitive tasks such as bookkeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning all get done at their their scheduled time. For example, I complete business book keeping each Tuesday. I send invoices, pay bills, and look at my income and expense statement every Tuesday. This habit to do financial work at a scheduled time frees my mind of concerns about bills, payments, and invoices on the other days of the week when I’m working on other projects and tasks.

    Another one of my routines is my morning routine. It lasts about 3 hours every weekday morning from 5-8 am.  During this time I read, get cleaned up for the day, eat breakfast with my teens, clean up the kitchen, make my bed, and listen to either a podcast or an Audible book while I’m washing my face and doing other parts of my “beauty routine”. Recently I finished listening to the Audible book 6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd. This book was recommended by Hal Elrod in his podcast The Miracle Morning and book by the same name.

    In his book, Voogd discusses productivity and time management as one of the keys to a successful quest to earn more income. In his discussion, he makes a clear point that time is finite. It comes, and it goes. This is something we have all heard before.  We all have the same amount of time in a day, week, or month, and there isn’t any way through time management to create or add more time to our days. To maximize our productivity, though, and take full advantage of the time we have what we can manage is our energy. With a higher level of energy and alertness, we are better prepared to focus and take advantage of the time we have.

    This concept while not new did resonate with me. I’ve always known I could control my energy level. But, for some strange reason the way that Voogd explained energy control in relationship to productivity opened my eyes in three ways.

    1. Energy management is my responsibility. No one can manage my energy for me. It’s all within my control. Just like managing a chronic disease, energy management is up to me.

    2. Energy management is directly connected to my habits. In all cases the habits I have created for sleep, food, drink, spirituality, finances, thoughts, social media, email, exercise, grooming, home care, family time, and friendships are my decision. I have control over these habits. I can choose if I have control over the habit or it has control over me.

    3. Energy management means managing habits so they enhance my energy and not deplete it. What energizes each us is different, but the key is to know what habits produce energy for you and what habits drain your energy. For example, if drinking two glasses of red wine in the evening interferes with your sleep and the lack of sleep makes you feel groggy the next morning, then it might be best to revisit the habit and look at ways that you can drink wine and not reduce your energy levels in the morning.  Another example is if spending time with a certain friend or family member energizes you and gives you a positive perspective, then create habits to get together more often with that person.

    As we head into a new year, it’s beneficial to pay more attention to our habits. Decide if a habit is enhancing or depleting your energy. Determine if your current energy level allows you to be as productive as you can be, or do you feel like taking a nap during the middle of your work day due to low energy. My goal is to use habits to create energy so that I can maximize productivity with my business and cookbook projects. By maximizing productivity during my work time, I can spend the other parts of my day and weekends in pursuit of hobbies and activities I enjoy.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • Food Trends 2017

    Food Trends 2017It’s time for my annual Food Trends update, this time of course focusing on predictions and trends for 2017 in food, nutrition, restaurants, and ingredients.

    I find the focus on regional American cuisines and plant-based eating refreshing as well as the return to home cooked meals for Generation Z. This is a lot to digest, but included are some nice links to PDFs from Sterling-Rice Group, Baum + Whiteman, and the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot Culinary Forecast for 2017, as well as a list from Global Food Forums, that they keep updated as new lists and trend reports are published.

    Global Food Forums: 2017 Food Trends
    Top trend lists in food, beverage, and nutritional product trends for 2017

    National Restaurant Association: What’s Hot 2017 Culinary Forecast

    Sterling-Rice Groups: 10 Cutting Edge Culinary Trends for 2017

    NPD: Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

    Washington Post: Plant proteins, healthy fats and more 2017 food trends

    Tasting Table: Our predictions for the most delicious food and drink tends of the year

    Eater: Every Single Food Trend That’s Been Predicted for 2017

    Kim Severson: The Dark (and Often Dubious Art of Forecasting Food Trends)

    Linked-in David Craig: 2017 Food Trends Roundup

    Oldways: Five Food Trends to Make 2017 The Best Year Ever

    QSR: 12 Fast Food Trends for 2017

    International Food Information Council Foundation: Functional foods, sustainability, protein, CRISPR, What’s Healthy

    Baum + Whiteman International Food + Restaurant Consultants:
    13 Hottest Food & Beverage Trends in Restaurant & Hotel Dining for 2017

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • The Power of Showing Up

    show-up

    One thing I’m going to try this year is to use the phrase show up to define my actions. With projects that need my focused attention, as well as activities in other parts of my life and business that are important, I think there will be great benefit from the daily reminder to show up in everything I plan to do. For example, If I promise I’ll call someone, schedule lunch or coffee, send an email, finish a project, attend a function or party, or sign a contract, it’s important for the sake of personal integrity and business relationships that I do what I say I’m going to do.

    Accountability and dependability have always been important to me, and I work hard to be accountable and dependable with others. At the core of who I am, I don’t like to others down. The sad reality, though, is that I often let myself down. I think about doing something for myself, or dream of a personal goal, and I might not follow through, or if I do, it’s not with the best of what I can give. So I wonder if I can’t count on myself, who can I count on?

    I see this challenge too when I work with individuals who want to write a cookbook. When they get into the work of writing recipes or a proposal, they don’t show up for themselves. They end up working on other projects and meet other deadlines for everyone else, but they fail to commit to their own project and dream. Even after discussions about time management, planning, and using a calendar to schedule time to take action, they use the scheduled time to work on their project. In short, they didn’t show up.

    This idea of showing up for ourselves can have more than one meaning, and both were discussed at length in a podcast I recently listened to. In the The Life CoachSchool podcast with Brooke Castillo, Brooke stresses the importance of showing up for ourselves in two main areas: how we present ourselves, especially when we work alone part of the day, as well as how we plan and schedule our goals and show up to get the work done to accomplish our goals. Below is the link to these two podcasts.

    I plan to get 2017 off to a good start and set my goals for the year. I then plan to schedule what I need to do and show up to do the work.  In doing this, I hope to accomplish all that I set out to do in 2017 not only for my clients but also for myself. 

    Podcast #84 Showing Up discusses the importance of caring for ourselves and presenting our best self every day. Don’t listen to this if you’re in the “work in your pajamas”camp.

    Podcast #126 The Power of Planning discusses the importance of planning and the elimination of indecision in our actions to show up and do everything we plan and say we’re going to do.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 5

    Cookbook and Food Writing LinksFOOD TRENDS

    One of my favorite resources for food trends is Allecipes’ Measuring Cup Consumer Trend Report. This report provides information from the Allrecipes group of home cooks such as how they shop, cook, and eat. Using intense databases and online information gathering, Allrecipes has the unique ability to gather information related to the online activity of their users. Here’s a link to their September 2016 report on Back to Kitchen trends.

    Also, don’t forget to follow my Food Trends Pinterest board and watch FPS for my annual Food Trends roundup in January 2017.

    COOKBOOK CONTRACTS

    I hope you enjoyed last week’s Fall Cookbook Roundup. If you missed it, you could read the blog post here.

    Last week I signed two new cookbook contracts, so I’m getting ready to write cookbook #3 and #4!  I love new projects, and the process of writing a cookbook is one of my strengths. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but for me, it’s easier for me to put together a cookbook manuscript than it is to maintain a food blog. The advantage of a cookbook project is that I get to do what I’m good at (develop, write, and test recipes) and let others help me with the rest (such as photography, design, and production). In addition, a cookbook project is finite, and there is a financial reward. I feel the excitement to get started on the research for the cookbooks.

    With the signing of the contracts fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share a blog post and tool that relate to contracts and manuscripts.

    First, here is a blog post with 6 Tips to Negotiate a Traditional Cookbook Contract. This blog post is NOT professional legal advice because I am not an attorney or an agent. So, if you’re unsure about the way this relates to your specific situation, then I advise you to seek professional legal advice.

    Just like my last cookbook, I plan to use Scrivener as a tool to write the manuscripts. My favorite feature is the way the data is managed in smaller files until it’s compiled, along with the addition of metadata to sort the work I need to do. Here’s a nice video on the basics of Scrivener in case it might be of interest to you when you write a manuscript.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

  • Fall Cookbook Roundup

     

    fall-cookbook-roundupIt’s time for my semi-annual cookbook roundup. Fall and the Christmas/holiday season traditionally creates a busy time for cooks as well as cookbook sales and publication. My roundup this fall includes links to recently published articles about cookbooks from the perspective of food safety, gift-giving lists, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the platform and success of Ina Garten.

    Let’s start with an article that presents cookbooks as a biohazard because of harmful bacteria clinging to their pages.

    And next are 11 best new cookbooks 2016 from the Independent in the UK. Topics for these cookbooks include seaweed, food of Palestine, a new family classics book from Jamie Oliver, foods of Pakistan, Miso cookbook, Cardamom Trail baking book by GBB Show semi-finalist Chetna Makan, food from the Amalfi Coast, Simple food by Diana Henry, Scandinavian comfort food, and Japanese cooking at home.

    This list of cookbooks that add a dash of science to holiday meals includes books that explore the idea of science not just in a restaurant kitchen, but in the home kitchen.

    This is a hefty report from the LA Times fall cookbook roundup and let me draw your attention to their look at the current state of the cookbook industry. This report takes a look at how cookbook sales responded to the digital and ebook response to recipes. In the end, sales have proven that cookbook users want physical books “with recipes that work, are explained well, and that they can follow.” Amen.

    And a follow-up from the Frankfort Book Fair that reiterates that the cookbook sector of the market has been unaffected by a drop in sales unlike other sectors. Cookbooks can evoke emotion and are more visual which helps to explain why hardcover cookbooks still sell well.

    Here’s a list of cookbooks [that] make tasteful gifts for foodies.

    Ina Garten has written 10 cookbooks. Here’s a look at how she does it and what makes her books successful.

    And finally, from the NYTThe Best Cookbooks of Fall 2016.

    And if after all this, you still dream of writing a cookbook of your own, be sure to check out my blog for my Steps to Write a Cookbook Series.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

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