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the power of your story

& decide how to harness it

I've done a lot of 1:1 work—ghostwriting, developmental edits, and intensive edits that flirt with both roles—and it's still my happy place with clients. But in recent years, I've felt the itch to do something with all the good things we come up with on those calls. 

One of those things is the discovery process that emerged when folks would book a 1:1 coaching session with requests or questions like:

  • "Do I have a book?"

  • "Can you look at this outline?"

  • "I think I'm ready for editing..."

  • "I don't know if I'll ever be ready for editing."

Eventually, it became clear that we had a certain set of things to name no matter what stage the manuscript was in—and that's what turned a general two-hour call into the discovery session I start almost everyone off with.

This workbook walks you through that same process—on your own, in a group, or with me.

You Don't Get to the Ocean by Accident Book Discovery Workbook

Honestly, this all started as a really ugly Word doc of a series of questions until inspiration struck and I decided to add context and writing space. But it really came together when the brilliant Cindy Curtis turned it into 90 mini-pages of absolute art. (Bias is about the book, not about the Cindy. Hire her. She's fab.)

About the Author

"I didn't mean to become an editor."

This is the one-liner I relied on for years—and honestly, it's a good one. In terms of intrigue and quippiness? I dug it. In terms of getting me off the hook for any kind of commitment to a craft? Even better.


That's why I had to stop using it.


I had to get honest with myself first, and then with you all, that I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. At least in this moment.

That I'm an editor because of a series of choices I made at a series of crossroads that I came to, and that every step of the way made me increasingly qualified to help an increasingly specific group of people in an increasingly powerful way.

I had to come to terms with my expertise in this moment so that I could better help you come to terms with yours.

That is to say:

I didn't set out to become an editor, but I certainly didn't run away from it.

Maybe you didn't set out to be an author.

...but here you are. Clicking around a book editor's website.

So here's the thing.

I don't think you accidentally have a book idea any more than you have an accidental beach day. At some point, there was some intention in that journey—and that intention is worth naming.

I think you made a lot of choices at a lot of crossroads that gave you a lot of wisdom that some specific someone needs.

And if you don't want to run from all of that?


We've got some discovery to do.​

What's Inside

Some folks read the introduction first...some read the end first...some want to know the structure, and I like to look at the middle. So here's a little bit of each, for each of you (oh, and the PDF is totally free below.)

Nonfiction Workbook Table of Contents.png

Intro Preview

Nonfiction Workbook Introduction
When is a book done

Middle Sneak Peek

What does your reader want?
Write to your ideal reader

The End.

Story is powerful
Should I write a book?

Was this just a DIY "Amazon Preview"? Yes. Am I in any way apologetic about that fact? No. (Mostly.)

Printable Pages

OK, let's make this super easy.

You can order the booklet on Amazon if you want the whole thing in hand.

You can grab it as an eBook or get the full PDF download if you're a digital kinda person.

Or you can grab these easier-print versions right here.

Just the workbook pages, section by section.

For those times you need to dig into one specific stage of your project.

For those times you want to have them on hand as we work through it together on a call.

For those times I want to have them on hand as we work through it together on a call. 

Click, save, print. Easy peasy.


Download Access Points to work through:

- Your identity as an author

- Your vision for the book

- Why you're writing 

These are questions I might ask you on a consult call,

and ones we'll definitely get into on the first half of a Discovery.

If you've been stuck on your project because you can't narrow your topics down,

or because you're worried you have to get something unique to the market first,

this is absolutely where you should start.



Download Connections to work through:

-  How your book will show up in the world

- Who it's going to show up for

- How they're going to interact with it

This one also represents important digging we do on the first half of a Discovery.

And it's important to know that we are discovering... 

and that a book isn't always the best way to reach your audience.

The message is the thing, and the audience for that message matters.

If it weren't for them in some way, you could just write a journal.

If you've been stuck on your project because you're trying to do too much,

or you're worried about how your material will be received,

or you're not sure how it'll impact your career,

this is where you'll start.



Download What Comes Up to work through:

-  The core messaging points of your book  

- The arcs of change you're creating

- How your arcs might come together into chapters

It'll be tempting to start here because you're looking for an outline,

but there's a reason I put this at the end of the workbooklet. 

That said, if you're feeling good about your book concept, dig in.

If you've been stuck on your project because you can't sort the material out,

or you're working on seeing the shape of the outline,

or you want to get started with your draft or revision,

this is where you'll go next.


Here's How to Get the Full Booklet



Did you click?!


Go hit "download" and see—there's no email wall there.

Do it—I dare you! 

See? No catch.

OK, yes, this is supposed to be a reader magnet, of sorts. I can't get around the fact that we live in a world where exchanges have to happen and structures need to be followed. Blah, blah, blah. But I'm not one for game-playing, especially around something I created to give you all more access to storytelling tools, not less.

I'm also horrific at keeping up with newsletters, and am of the firm belief that you'll reach out when you need to, when you feel comfy doing so. 

Yeah, I've got a list. Yes, I've got plans to share cool things to it someday. But really? Collecting your email address to a dusty database does neither of us any good. You having access to a little window of my brain in a format that gives you more access to your own brain? That's the stuff we're here for.


The only reason this is even on Amazon is because Cindy made my PDF look gorgeous enough that printing it wasn't the most effective form it could take—an actual, real, live book is much more convenient for all of us to use. Especially at when-I-wear-dude-pants pocket size. So, go to Amazon if you want that on hand. It's priced as low as it can go and still be on their platform. Whatever I make from it goes right to Cindy's coffee fund, because she totally deserves it.

And if you want the free copy—to print individual pages, to get a taste before your copy hits the mail, or because collecting free writing tools is a thing we all do—grab it. No strings attached.


Before you business-building folks come at me for not creating an exchange here, I'll make this request: If you read the book in any format, send a chat or email me one thing you found helpful and one thing you found unclear. That gives me the feedback I need to keep refining cool tools for you, and it helps you develop the reach-out-for-help muscles that will help you get your book done without slogging through it all alone. And that's what I'm here for. Like, in a here on this planet kind of way.

Maybe we keep chatting after that. Maybe you come back way later for something else. Or maybe you use those muscles to go work with someone else. It makes no difference to me—as long as you find what you need to get your story told, I'm glad to've been a part of it.

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