Expanding Visibility – Sharing Your Ideas

Tracking Wonder - Sharing your ideas

Waiting for a challenge-free life before we expand our work’s visibility and sharing our ideas is a fool’s errand.

Thought leadership demands that  you own your authority in order to create impact.

Karen had a big art exhibit approaching in two weeks.

Large finished canvases lay stretched in two rooms of her studio in upstate New York, where she and her husband had moved seven years earlier.

While she prepared one of her final canvases, their three-year-old boy wandered off into another room. By the time she had come out of her artistic flow to search for him, she found the gleeful boy in the next room covered in paint and sprawled across one of her canvases. Two others were ruined.

How she responded and the perspective she has gained in the past several years reflects the wisdom I am seeing and hearing among numerous business artists.  Read more

Books That Matter to Author & Consultant John Jantsch


Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

John Jantch offers consistently useful, grounded marketing advice for business owners and thought leaders who want to attract and engage their customers with real value. His blog is among my go-to for practical know-how. John’s influence skyrocketed when Thomas Nelson Publishing brought out his book Duct Tape Marketing in 2007. He has since built a team of certified consultants and produced more useful books, including SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Website Designers, and Entrepreneurs. I wanted to know what books stick with the “sticky” marketer. John’s influences range from an architecture design philosopher to Holden Caulfield to Deepak Chopra. Enjoy. Read more

Books That Matter to Author, Consultant & Speaker Jenny Blake

Tracking WOnder -Books That Matter-Jenny Blake

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Few people bring joyful mindfulness to entrepreneurship and to pivoting toward the next best thing the way dynamo Jenny Blake does. When corporate life nearly spent Jenny’s soul, she discovered the power of meditation and other mindful practices to help be her best during the most demanding career transitions.

Jenny’s book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One (Penguin Portfolio) lays out a clear 4-part Pivot Method for high-net growth and impact individuals to craft more meaningful work. In this Books That Matter feature, Jenny shares the book that helped her through her pivots and why she’d dive back into Arabic for Dummies if she could.

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Do You Need a Publisher for Your Book?



Last week we discussed the six areas to consider if you plan to self publish. This week I’m spinning the lens around to examine at the same key areas you need to know to publish your book and how publishers add value in each of them.

The first is the most abstract and difficult for most authors to appreciate, but if you own a business you likely can appreciate the “hidden value” you bring that sometimes not even your employees or contractors can appreciate. That is, capital. Read more

Books That Matter to Author & Teacher Roger Housden

Tracking Wonder - Books That Matter - Roger Housden

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Few people speak and write as eloquently about the role that poetry plays in our lives than author, teacher, and writing guide Roger Housden.

Books such as Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Twenty Poems to Bless Your Marriage (and One to Save it) have delighted countless people to the daily pleasures and insights that poetry affords us. New World Library recently published his latest book Dropping the Struggle: 7 Ways to Love the Life You Have.

Since Roger is a beloved author 22 books, I wanted to know what books have mattered to him over the course of a rich life of writing, relating, and teaching. In this Books That Matter feature, Roger shares his thoughts on publishing and the next book he’d write if the stars aligned. Read more

The BIG Book Myth: Does Your Book Have to Be BIG?

tracking wonder - Big Book Myth

Consider the book you want to write.

Why do we get caught up in thinking we have to write a 300-page “big” book or nothing? That’s the question my pal Charlie Gilkey invited me to consider, and that’s the question I want to get perspective on.

Do you think that to write your first or next book, it must make a cannonball splash? That it needs to be The Book?

The Book comes fraught with expectations. The Book must range from 250-350 pages. The Book must bring you into the limelight – or re-establish you there.

If that rings familiar, how is that expectation serving you? Read more

Guidelines for Crafting Story

Image: Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

So who’s your Story about?

I generally feel a wee bit disoriented right after shaping a book proposal.

What’s it worth? I wondered. What if my agent rejects it? What if this is all a fool’s errand? What have I done with my life? Okay, I don’t go quite that far.

Last time this happened, my six-year-old peeked in my study. She wanted to show me her outfit – a summer skirt and a short-sleever atop a long-sleever.

“I just couldn’t wait any longer to wear summer clothes,” she said as she twirled around the study. And at that moment, I remembered again why I’m writing this book, why I’m building Tracking Wonder, why I utterly adore engaging readers. Read more

The Story Learning Gap for Authors & Business Artists


Maria AC (ernieland, Flickr)

Maria AC (ernieland, Flickr)

For a long time, I’ve been listening to what business artists and writers need to write their books, and I’ve been surveying what events they can attend.

I’m seeing a gap that may implicitly hold them back. It’s a gap that may create subtle fear in people wanting to write and publish their books. Seeing this gap drove me to create a very different kind of writer’s and author’s event.

Here’s what I mean. Read more

Books That Matter to Die Empty Author Todd Henry

unnamedTwenty years ago, conversations around creativity revolved around creative thinking. Lateral thinking. Metaphorical thinking. Design thinking. Those thinking models remain useful, but what we talk about when we talk about creativity today exceeds creative thinking.

We talk about living creatively and being creative, not just thinking creatively. One person whose work in this field I admire and who’s leading part of this conversation is Todd Henry.

Todd brings a refreshing voice of sanity to being a creative professional or entrepreneur. Think Marcus Aurelius or Thomas Merton meets David Allen’s Get Things DoneThe Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice offers creatives a practical dashboard to maximizing how to come up with ideas while staying healthy.

His new book – Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day – works from this idea: “Don’t go to your grave with your best work in you. Die empty.” It’s as much about character as it is about creativity. He takes little – how we spend time, how we spend money, how we eat – for granted or outside of the creative life.

What books have shaped Todd’s thinking and living? In this Books That Matter feature, you will discover the books that shape this ethical creative’s pragmatic heart and mind. And his view of publishing’s future sounds spot-on.  Read more

Myths About Writing Talent vs. The Writer’s Inner Game


Myth #1: Successful, gratified writers mostly have talent.

Myth #2: Marketing & platform-building are the most important qualities for any writer to have a long-term career these days.

A few years ago, a question troubled me. Among the many creatives and professionals, especially writers or aspiring writers, I noticed that some writers prevailed over the long run and others didn’t. Read more