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Orna Ross

Hello! I'm Orna Ross, novelist, poet, and founder-director of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). As part of my mission to see authors and poets become creatively and commercially independent through self-publishing, I run the Go Creative! Planning Program for Authors and Poets on Patreon.

I first devised this Go Creative! planning method some years ago, for myself, when I realized that the same process that produces a book produces everything… including money. 

Consciously applying the creative process to the business aspects of publishing and running our busy non-profit changed everything for me. Creative planning has enabled me to fully enjoy every moment of my life as a wife, mother, friend, writer, self-publisher, and founder-director of a non-profit with thousands of author members worldwide.

The Go Creative Planning Program

When asked “how do you do so much and never seem stressed?” by other authors, I started to reply “Creative planning” and of course they wanted to know more. I began sharing it with a few authors. Then a Kickstarter campaign in 2023 showed me that there was wider interest and I now make it available to all.

This program is open (places permitting) to any author who wants to make a living from writing and publishing. Based on the principles outlined in my book my book, Creative Self-Publishing, which itself is based on more than a decade of working directly with thousands of of other self-publishers, the method is tried, tested, and proven again and again (see a sample of testimonials below).

The method:

  • Draws deeply on your creative passion and mission to emphasise the links between your values as an author, and the value you offer your readers.
  • Recognises that self-publishing authors must wear three very different hats: maker, manager, and marketeer.
  • Focuses on profit, runs a pay-yourself-first policy, with a “money day” check-in twice monthly.
  • Sets creative intentions and tracks progress: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly.
  • Incorporates creative rest and play into your weekly plans as well as creative work.
  • Fosters creative joy in growth.

It's supported by a first-class author community, and a swathe of resources from me, and the free offerings from the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Planning Workshops and Resources

The Go Creative! Planning Program is my way of offering more personal attention to authors than is possible through the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

I see every day how so many indie authors are working hard but not necessarily making progress as self-publishers. Their books are not selling. Some are unclear about the time, investment, skills or resources they need to succeed. Some don’t pay themselves a salary, or even enough money to cover their tax bill, when the time comes round. Some are stressed, confused, overwhelmed. Others are depressed, even despairing.

I want to see all authors profit, creatively and commercially, from their publishing but I know that most won't. Not because they're “not good enough” but because writing and publishing books are big creative challenges. If we don't know how to respond creatively, the inevitable mental and emotional challenges can derail us.

I believe that, for an indie author, business development is personal development. To write better, to publish better asks us to dig deeper and reach higher.

Good planning for an author is not a matter of ticking boxes. There are psychological and spiritual dynamics that need to be understood and integrated. When I say spiritual, I don't mean religious. I mean connecting with our own creative spirit, the energy and impulse that moves us where we want to go.

This simple, integrated, holistic planning process delivers optimal flow to authors of all kinds. (Scroll down to see Testimonials)

Creative Writing, Creative Publishing

Making a living from writing books is not one but two big challenges: becoming a good writer and a good publisher.

Like learning to write, learning to publish for profit is a process. It's challenging but it's also very doable. There is no quick fix or magic bullet. You just need to know what to do, how to do it… and then do.

It's not just a matter of understanding best practice (though that is essential), but of understanding what practices work best for you.

If things aren't working for you, there's a reason. And the reason resides in you.  You're experiencing some form of creative resistance or block and there are tried and tested processes and practices that can get you back into flow.

Go Creative! planning uncovers resistance, banishes block, and fosters flow.

What I'm offering is not conventional business planning but a unique program designed especially for authors that:

  • emphasises the links between your values as an author and the value you offer your readers
  • draws deeply on your creative passion and mission as an author and as a publisher
  • recognises that self-publishing authors must wear three very different hats: that of maker, manager, and marketeer
  • incorporates creative rest and play into your weekly plans as well as creative work.
  • encourages a growth mindset and pay-yourself-first policy

By returning you to core publishing-for-profit principles and practices, this program dissolves resistance and procrastination, busy work and overwhelm, so you can set good creative intentions, build on successes, and keep making progress.

Be prepared to surprise yourself as you devise plans that align with your highest priorities, then map your intentions and log your accomplishments each week.

Resources include:

  • 3 Planners: Workbook, Quarterly and Monthly
  • Content Library: Workshops, in video, on all aspects of Go Creative! planning, accompanying downloadable workbooks, and a bonus copy of Creative Self-Publishing (latest edition).
  • Monthly Planning PDFs – Downloadable and printable date-based planners issued in the final week for the coming month
  • Monthly Themed Workshops, including quarterly review and forecasts
  • Personal attention and feedback. All questions answered. Nobody left behind is the policy.
  • Go Creative! Planning Community: Hosted on Patreon: an open group for chat and two private tiers for accountability, exclusives and monthly workshops.

Click here to join the Go Creative! Planning Program  (places permitting)

Go Creative! Planning Workshops

On the last Thursday of each month (at 5pm UK time), we gather to plan the coming month, using planners designed for indie authors and that organises tasks under Maker (words and books), Manager (process and pace) and Marketeer (sales and promotions).

The planners build in creative rest and play as well as work, and incorporate a “money day” check-in, twice monthly.

We do the work, there and then in the workshop, so you leave with a completed plan and a clear vision for your next steps. The live event is also an opportunity for you to have your current questions answered. Places are limited, so all can receive personal attention during the workshop.

If you can't attend live, you can ask any question, any time, through the email facility in Patreon. Other resources–downloadable PDFs, a Facebook group, and accountability system–keep you on track, all year long.

If you're tired of muddling through, always feeling like you're behind, if you're feeling stuck or uncertain, if you “love writing but hate marketing”, following this method can change everything for you–connecting your writing and publishing passion, giving you a sense of purpose, meaning and accomplishment that makes engaging with readers a creative joy.

Once registered, you will receive an online link to attend, together with printable PDF worksheets and planners to download, 24 hours before the workshop begins.

Join the Workshop Program here (places permitting), which gives access to past workshops in replay–and find out what's up this month.


Joanna Penn, bestselling author, award-winning entrepreneur, and host of The Creative Penn podcast

Orna’s events have been life-changing for me. With wisdom, kindness (and the occasional kick in the pants!) she is able to cut through the noise and focus on what’s really important for creatives. Her f-r-e-e-writing exercises have helped me with my books and my business. I highly recommend her.

Mark McGuinness, award-winning poet, creative coach, and host of The 21st Century Creative podcast

Amid all the hype about the latest tools and technologies, we don’t hear so much about wisdom, compassion, and hard-won experience. Orna Ross has all of these in spades, and is generous in passing on her knowledge. I value my conversations with Orna and always come away with a valuable new perspective on things. I’m sure you will too.

Suzanne Power

Orna Ross is a genius. She combines incisive knowledge of publishing, huge appreciation for words, great humanity for the writers producing them, and invaluable materials – all to get to the heart of your writing life, and provide the scaffolding of your writing business. She has worked with me as both mentor and as a facilitator and I think the world of what she does and how she does it. No ego, true presence and a brilliant talent.

Her ethics and her examples are ones to trust and to follow. I will continue to do so and consider myself lucky to have the chance to.

Dave Cohen

I spent nearly four decades working in comedy thinking my precious art should not be sullied by anything as vulgar as marketing. In the last couple of years Orna has taught me that if you can think creatively about it, keeping control of and marketing your work is as important to a writer's career as the work itself.

Karen Dodd, Suspense Author

As the author of two books and one on the way, I feel fortunate to have found Orna and her coaching at just the right time in my author career. She has a way of winnowing in on exactly what the intimate, small group needs as we went through our various challenges together. Orna presents information clearly and through her willingness to answer all questions, she fosters a trusting and compassionate relationship between mentor and participants.

Our group is made up of authors at all stages of the process—some were even traditionally published. After each session, we leave with our handouts and a written plan that we can implement immediately. I can’t recommend Orna’s Go Creative sessions highly enough.


Orna has exhaustive experience being an authorpreneur both from her own personal journey navigating the publishing space as an author and working with/mentoring other authors who are walking the same path. I find these workshops to be a distilled essence of this highly specialized knowledge that she has gathered through time.

As a result, this is highly effective and beneficial for an author in terms of the multiple hats that we wear as an authorpreneur. Orna defines them as – maker, manager and marketer. The pay yourself first approach that I got to learn from the workshop is how I'm going to be structuring my business as I believe it's going to set me up for success. Also appreciate the flexibility of attending only the workshops on topics that I most want to learn about and the Q&A time at the end of the session.

Beth Ball, Epic Fantasy Author

I learn so much in each of the sessions, and I really appreciate all of the work you do to help us with both strategies and mindset on the indie author journey.

Belinda Strotheide, Writer and Business Trainer

I just wanted to take a few minutes to say how much I appreciate your creative planning training. My college degree is in business, I’ve spent years listening to entrepreneurial training, I’ve helped businesses, nonprofits and communities think through the process and formulate their plans and goals. You have helped me see the process in a new way. A way that lets me view it creatively, with the business aspects as a framework rather than the focus of the activities. Thank you! Also, thank you for your sensitivity and respect toward the individuals in the meetings. I also like how you push us to go for the deeper truth of who we are creatively and address the real reasons we may get stuck. A really BIG THANK YOU. What you’re doing is so very helpful.

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