So You Want to Write a Book? Get Tips From NYT Bestselling Author Peggy McColl

Glitter recently sat down with Peggy McColl to talk about her love of writing, how many books she’s written, how important goals are, the steps to writing a successful book, the last three things she Googled, and how to jumpstart your success. We love all of her advice! Read on to find more about this amazing NY Times Bestselling author. 

GLITTER: Where did you grow up and go to school?

PEGGY: In many ways, I’m still growing up. I was born and raised in a small town north of Toronto. As a teenager, I got a part time job, and discovered I loved making money. After graduating high school, I took on a full-time job AND I kept my part time job, putting my high-energy level to good use with a 7 day-a-week work schedule. This cut into my leisure time, but I loved the freedom those 2 paychecks afforded me. To this day, I’m just as energetic, and I still love making money. At this point, it’s become a habit, however, my balance of work and leisure time is a wonderful balance.

GLITTER: Did you always have a love of writing?

PEGGY:  I never had a desire to write books.  It wasn’t until the new millennium that I was inspired to help people understand in layman’s terms how our thoughts create our life experiences both positive and negative. The thoughts we think create OR destroy our lives – so watch what you’re thinking.

GLITTER: When did you write your first book and how were you inspired?

PEGGY:  In 2001, I wrote my first book On Being: The Creator Of Your Destiny. Through studying personal development, I saw such positive changes in my life that I was inspired to write a book that would positively impact the lives of others.

GLITTER: How many books have you written and can you tell us about some of your favorite?

PEGGY:  To date, I’ve written 12 books. They’re like my children, each is special, but a couple really stand out for me.  My book, Your Destiny Switch (subtitle:  Manage your key emotions and attract the life of your dreams) is based on many powerful techniques I discovered and applied in my life, resulting in lasting positive changes. Another favorite is Be a Dog With a Bone. I wrote it because I realized my success in realizing my goals had everything to do with the way I pursued them, with tenacity, like a dog with a bone. Without that kind of determination no one gets anywhere in this world. I have always held fast to my dreams, never allowing anyone or anything to dissuade me from their achievement. This is another habit I have formed – clearly defining my goals and watching them ALL materializing with ease.

GLITTER: Can you tell us about your motivational speaking and some of the places you have appeared?

PEGGY:  When I was 19, I attended my first personal development seminar, and it completely changed the direction of my life. Bob Proctor was the speaker, and his words inspired and motivated me to the core of my being. As an author, teacher and motivational speaker, what drives me is to have the same transformational effect on my audience. My goal is always to replicate the effect Bob had on me. Being an effective and empowering speaker is vital to success if I want to effectively get my message out to the world. It’s the most challenging experience of my career, but oh so rewarding.

GLITTER: How did you get into publishing?

PEGGY:  After writing my first book, I explored my options for getting my book out to the world.  One option was to secure a Literary Agent who would shop my book to a traditional publisher who may or may not offer me a publishing deal. I didn’t like the idea of waiting around for a publisher’s approval, so I decided to simply self-publish my book. Since that first book, I’ve self-published and worked with publishers on all my other books with great results. Having made all the mistakes, I eventually figured out how to do it right and I found myself in a perfect position to help other authors with their books.  And I am proud to say I have helped hundreds of authors successfully launch their books.

GLITTER: Why is goal setting important?

PEGGY:  Does your car have a steering wheel? Of course it does! A steering wheel empowers the driver to steer the car to its destination. Goals act the same way; they are your life’s steering wheel – they guide you to where you want to go.

GLITTER: How can someone get started on their first book?

PEGGY:  Get a mentor! Enlist the help of a successful author who has achieved the results you want. Find someone who (1) has done what you want to do, (2) knows what they are talking about, and (3) has demonstrated they understand what it takes for an author to be successful. THEN do everything they tell you to do. In writing my first book, I was completely lost. It took several months of trial and error, and tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue before I learned the most valuable lesson every author must know— “5% of an author’s job is writing the book, the other 95% is marketing it.”  Like many first-time authors, I was under the impression that if you write a great book the readers will buy it – wrong. Marketing my books was the most important thing I ever learned about the publishing industry…and I am so glad I did.

GLITTER: What is sound advice for someone to change their relationship with money for the better?

PEGGY: I love that you asked this question!  Love money.  Respect money.  Recognize that you are attracting or repelling money based on your beliefs about it.  Can I make a recommendation?  Subscribe to my free morning money classes online here and receive valuable lessons about money every couple of days.

GLITTER: What are some first steps one can take if they desire to build a brand?

 PEGGY: Decide how you want to be recognized/known in the world based on your unique values/skills and passion.  Answer these questions to reveal some very important information about you and or your business.  What do you love to do?  What can you do better than anyone else? If someone asked you what value you bring to the world, what would you say?  What do you want to be known for/as? What legacy do you want to leave? In what ways are you contributing to this world?

GLITTER: What are 5 things young women should be doing to get a jump start on success?


#1.  Work on yourself.  You are the one common denominator that you will take with you throughout your life.

#2. Fall in love with studying.

#3. Stay in the study.  We don’t go to school and finish and we’re done!  You are in a constant state of evolution.  You are either getting better or you are getting worse.  Which side of the equation do you want to be on?  Stay in the side of growth.  I started actively studying personal growth when I was 19 years of age.  It was one of the single best things I have ever done.  I am 58 years of age at the time of this interview and I continue to study.  I will study until the day I die.

#4.  Become outcome focused.  See yourself in possession of the goods that you desire.  Visualize every day and connect to the feelings of having that which you desire.

#5.  Be accountable to another.  It isn’t enough to say you are going to do something.  Commit to someone else what you intend to do and provide them with updates.  Your chances of success are greatly increased when you do this.

GLITTER: Lots of people feel they have to work hard to be successful and some never see relief. After the hard work is put in, what’s your advice on taking advantage of that hard work?

PEGGY: You are asking the author of a book called “Darn Easy:  Work Half as Hard, Earn Twice as Much While Living the Life of Your Dreams” a great question.  Life is not meant to be hard.  Work is not meant to be hard.  Yes, we must be disciplined.  Yes, we must be diligent.  But, working hard can tire people out and it does not bring out the best in them.  Take care of yourself.  Create balance in your life.  You can do what you love, and do it part time and make a fortune.  Easy or hard is your choice.  I choose easy.  I suggest you choose ease as well.

GLITTER: What are some of the major things that hold people back from living their dream?

PEGGY: I would say the major things that hold people back are their beliefs, their willingness to take action and their habits.  You must have a strong, positive belief system about yourself and what is possible.  And, continually take action.  I create an accomplishment list each week with items that are action-oriented toward my goals.  I ensure that my actions are a part of my daily activities.  I make it fun and enjoyable.  I create check-lists for myself of the disciplines that I will follow to get me to where I want to go and I check things off.  My grandson started school this year and he has an agenda that the teacher sends him each night.  The agenda shows his parents what he has been working on, how he is doing and what he needs to do to complete certain assignments.  We all need our own agenda to schedule in activities, measure our progress, track our results and ensure we are moving in the right winning direction.

GLITTER: Can you tell us about Your Destiny Switch?

PEGGY:  There was a period in my life when I was not getting the results I desired. I knew there was a correlation to my results based on my emotions and the level or intensity of expression.  I changed my approach to my goals by determining the dominant emotions that were required to accomplish certain things.  And, once I determined the emotions that I knew that I needed to express on a regular (daily) basis, I created my own destiny switch to measure and monitor my emotions.  I created “systems” to switch from negative/destructive emotions to positive/creative emotions and I share all of this in my book, Your Destiny Switch.  It is a powerful book that has and is changing lives for the better.

GLITTER: Favorite places to visit?

PEGGY: My two favorite places on the planet are Carmel, California and Whistler BC.  Both on the west coast, in two different countries and different environments.  Whistler is in the mountains in British Columbia.  I love to ski at Whistler and I love the ambiance there.  It is a fun place to visit. Very relaxed and full of life.  I also love Carmel, California because of the sense of peace that I feel when I am there.  I love Pebble Beach and I have golfed there on a couple of occasions.  I love the energy of the ocean and the vastness that it represents. I also love the opulence in the area.

GLITTER: What’s your favorite tech product?

PEGGY: I love all technology products created by Apple Inc. I love my iWatch, my iPhone, my MacBook and my iMac.  I switched to Apple products several years ago and absolutely love everything they make.  I managed to get my entire family switched over too (from PCs).  When I graduated from high school I started working for a technology company. For most of my career I have worked in the technology industry.  I love technology because it is always changing for the better.

GLITTER: You have helped so many people find success, how does that make you feel and what’s the process like.

PEGGY: Every day I approach my life with one question in mind:  “How will I serve?”  I believe I am here to make a positive and beneficial contribution to the lives of millions of others and feel blessed to do so.  I love helping other people who love helping other people.

GLITTER: How do you spend the first hour after you wake up?

PEGGY: The very first thing that I do is write in my gratitude journal.  As soon as I have finished writing in my gratitude journal, I read my affirmations and my goal statements.  And, then for 30 minutes I study.  Once all of that is complete I move on to other things – sometimes an early morning walk, and sometimes I will go straight into my office and start working. I love mornings and find them to be the most productive time of my day.

GLITTER: Name the last three fun things you Googled. 🙂

PEGGY: I Googled Earl Nightingale’s words for a quote that I included in my Morning Money Class about planting seeds in the ground.

I Googled “Why is Joel Osteen so successful?” because I was curious.  I love his videos and books.  And, since I have studied personal development for close to 40 years, I was curious as to what caused Joel’s success to grow to what it is today. He has millions of viewers each week. I find that intriguing.

I also Googled “How did Joel Osteen become so successful?”  Similar question to the one above but a bit different.  I was fascinated with what I found.  At the end of the day, here’s what I believe the answer to this question is:  He is successful because he deeply cares, works diligently, and gives tremendous value by serving the world in only positive ways.

GLITTER: What’s next for you and where can people follow you for daily inspiration?

PEGGY: I am on a mission to grow my Morning Money Class subscription rate.  I would love to have millions of subscribers.  At the end of the day, my “next for you” is about growth for others and making a positive contribution.  Every day I get to serve others and I thank God every single day that I get to do just that.

People can follow Peggy here