Manifesting without Effort

 In past posts I’ve written about manifesting the things and experiences you want through affirmations and visualizations, by remaining positive and feeling good. But the simple truth is that it doesn’t take listening to positive affirmations to attract that dream job you’ve always wanted. It doesn’t take ritual morning visualizations to manifest that completed novel you’ve been promising yourself you’d finish. Manifesting can be as easy as setting an intention, putting it out there in The Universe, then getting out of the way and trusting that it’s going to come to you.

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I have the privilege of sitting on the board of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Every year at the PNWA summer writers conference, I’ve met extraordinary new people and have mind-blowing experiences. What’s more, every year they get increasingly better. After the three-day conference is over, it often takes me several days to decompress from such a high-energy event.

As conference time rolled around this year, I wasn’t feeling the magic. Between traveling and major house renovations, I’d had no downtime for a solid two months. The thought of mustering enthusiasm for the three-day conference was starting to mess with my chi. All I wanted was an afternoon to sit around and read books, maybe have a solid satisfying writing session where I could spend a whole morning just creating. On the eve of the conference, I was starting to feel almost depressed and recognized that I would not, in this state of mind, manifest anything all that great.

As it happened, turning it around was simply a matter of deciding that something wonderful was going to happen and trusting that it was going to come. I don’t know how,  I thought, I don’t know when, but it’s coming. In truth, there wasn’t a lot of high-energy enthusiasm behind it. It was just a matter of deciding it was going to happen and trusting.

Thursday, the first day of the conference, began slowly. It was enjoyable, but nothing out of the ordinary occurred. As I turned in at the end of the day I only nodded pensively. I don’t know when, I thought, I don’t know how, but it’s coming.

Things began to get moving the next day. I had a blast moderating a panel with author Megan Chance on writing historical fiction. That night at dinner, through a series of unforeseen circumstances, I had the opportunity to sit by author Deb Caletti at dinner and have a profound conversation with her.

By Saturday, the last day of the conference, I was in The Zone. I moderated a panel that included my agent, Kathleen Rushall; moderated another on writing structure with Terry Persun; and moderated a third with Author Magazine’s Bill Kenower in which he interviewed authors Robert Dugoni and Deb Caletti. Perhaps the most amazing thing took place at the end of the day when, as a result of a last-minute illness, I filled in for a panel member as a speaker along with two literary agents and another author. The high-energy talk that followed was one of those sessions where everything goes right.

What is it you want to manifest? Don’t make it difficult.  Simply set your intention, put it out there in The Universe, and let it come to you.

This blog entry was originally published for Author Magazine‘s Author Blog.

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Brian Mercer is the author of the supernatural YA novel, Aftersight (Astraea Press, 2013). He is also co-author with Robert Bruce of Mastering Astral Projection: 90-Day Guide to Out-of-body (Llewellyn, 2004) and The Mastering Astral Projection CD Companion (Llewellyn, 2007). A board member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and senior editor at Author Magazine, he lives in Seattle with his wife, Sara, and their three cats.

 URL: www.brianmercerbooks.com

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My 7th PNWA Writers Conference

Okay, so, I wanted a cookie.

Every year around three o’clock at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s annual writers conference, cookies appear.  Those big, nice looking ones. And every year I’m busily engaged with something else. But not this year. This year, I decided, I was going to get one of those cookies.

I was volunteering near the power pitching area, where conference attendees were pitching novel and book proposal ideas to literary agents from New York and points beyond. That’s when I spotted the first cookie. A big, soft-looking chocolate chip cookie.

So I made my move, rushing toward the conference center where the daily presentations were taking place. The hallway before the open ballroom doors was crowded with conference attendees all sporting cookies the size of teacup saucers. I spotted the first dessert table, but it was completely picked over.  Only empty trays and crumbs.

I moved on to the second dessert area and it, too, was eviscerated. The rogues! This wasn’t going well.

The third and final dessert table loomed in the distance and I could see now, yes, cookies. Not many. Perhaps a half a tray remaining.  But with the crowd surrounding it, there wasn’t much time left.

As I closed in, Pam Binder, president of the PNWA, gently tugged my arm. “Brian, can I talk to you a minute?”

But I was on a mission now.  It was like that scene in Terminator where you can see everything from the terminator’s point of view. At the top of my head’s up display blinked “COOKIE, COOKIE, COOKIE,” and a little menu along the side was spooling, “Oat Meal Raisin, White Chocolate Macadamia, Sugar,” finally settling on “Chocolate Chip.”

I became trapped behind a woman in her nineties thinking out loud. “Now, which kind of cookie would I like?” She paused thoughtfully, surveying the emptying plate as around her other conference attendees picked off the cookies one by one. Finally, I managed to snake my arm in the fray and extract a cookie.  It was an overcooked, dry peanut butter cookie, but a cookie nonetheless.

“I’m sorry, Pam,” I said, wondering back over to her, “I was just…” I was going to explain why I hadn’t stopped to talk to her but by now she had figured out why and was laughing at me. She and the woman next to her.

“That’s okay, Brian. I just wanted to introduce you to Debbie Macomber.” Ms. Macomber, the laughing woman standing next to Pam, was of course the Debbie Macomber, the stratospherically best-selling novelist and, as it happened, our guest keynote speaker for that night’s dinner.

Busted for the cookie fiend that I had become.

This was just one of several “peak moment” events that took place at this year’s PNWA writers conference. This year’s highlights included meeting my agent for the first time face to face; serving on a panel discussion with her, an editor from Penguin, and another agent and author; and introducing Donald Maass at Thursday’s keynote evening dessert party.

It makes me think of my first PNWA writers conference six years ago and how utterly intimidated I had been. The big deal then was a pitch I had honed for weeks to be delivered to Karen Elizabeth Carr, a NEW YORK AGENT who I had queried three times over the years. But now I would be meeting her IN PERSON. Everyone I knew (and some I didn’t) had heard me practice my pitch over the preceding weeks and by the time I recited it in front of  her at that ten minute private meeting, I was a quivering mess.

Fast forward six years. I’m sitting on the PNWA board, webmaster for and contributor to Author Magazine, and honored to count dozens of literary agents as friends. But if someone told me at that first writers conference that in six years I’d be introducing Donald Maass — high-powered New York literary agent and best-selling author — in front of a crowd of five hundred people, I would have had a fart attack on the spot.

A lot can happen in six years.

What will the next six bring?

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Brian Mercer is the author of the supernatural YA novel, Aftersight (Astraea Press, 2013). He is also co-author with Robert Bruce of Mastering Astral Projection: 90-Day Guide to Out-of-body (Llewellyn, 2004) and The Mastering Astral Projection CD Companion (Llewellyn, 2007). A board member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and senior editor at Author Magazine, he lives in Seattle with his wife, Sara, and their three cats.

 URL: www.brianmercerbooks.com

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