In this episode Dr. Lauria explains how you can be the hero or the victim of your book journey. As an author you are the director of your experience. It will look to you sometimes like the things effecting your book are coming from outside of you. Maybe your editor will drop out of society and move to the mountains without wifi and take your manuscript with him. Maybe your publisher will close down 2 weeks before you publish. Things will happen but your ability to stay in the driver’s seat is the single most important determining factor in your success.
In this episode you will learn:
- Right now, if you are the victim or the hero in your book journey
- How to identify your thoughts about being an author and use them to make the journey easier
- The story within the story…. You writing and publishing your book is it’s own story outside of the book. Lots of people will be interested in it!
- How to envision your book success effectively – 2 of my favorite techniques (book vision board and cover)
- The most important question you can ask yourself between now and when you book is released (If I were the hero of my book journey, what would I be doing right now)
Featured on the Show:
Overview of The Monomyth
Joseph Campbell – The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Difference Process Handout
Nonfiction Authors Association
Listen To The Show:
Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to page up with Dr. Angela Lauria Episode 13. making yourself the hero of your own. Welcome to page up a podcast for authors and transformation, featuring advice on the basic fundamentals of selecting a book topic and overcoming writer’s block to advanced techniques for publishing and marketing nonfiction books. Now, get ready to press page up on your book with your host, best selling author and publisher, Dr. Angela Lauria.
Hey everyone, Angela Lauria, here I am excited about this week’s episode because we are talking about one of my favorite topics, making yourself the hero of your own book journey. So that’s all really weird and jargony. What do I mean by that?
So the way that I have come to see people’s book journeys is that there really are two stories going on. Once the story that’s happening is the story of what you’re writing. There’s your actual writing journey. And then there is the story about the story. The story about creating this book and I came to learn this through book journeys. That’s my other podcast and sister show, which you can subscribe to through iTunes. And what I came to see in over three years, I’ve interviewed well over 100 authors. And what we talked about a little bit was about the content of the book, but the book they wrote became the play within the play. And the story itself was about the journey of accomplishing this goal. And just like any goal, whether you know, it’s a marathon or maybe a goal to raise money, or a goal to travel to every country in the world before you turn 50, or whatever your goals are.
The challenge of writing a book takes on a life of its own for some people. It’s a short, seamless journey. For some people, it spans decades, and has a lot of drama to it. But everyone’s book journey is unique. I don’t think there are any accidents. I think what is happening on your book journey, it’s already begun. This is part of it, maybe this is a significant part for you. Or, you know, maybe this is just a blip that wouldn’t make it and the final cut if we were making the film about your book journey, but one of the things that has helped me in working with authors is to put the story of creating the book into its own context. And you may be familiar with Joseph Campbell’s the hero with many faces. Well, I think of our authors as that hero from the monomyth. Joseph Campbell sort of laid down The 12 stages of the hero’s journey, and I watch it. It is my great honor to watch. Dozens, even hundreds of authors go through this journey every year. We’ll do 100 books this year. And each of our authors, their journey looks different, but they are all on the hero’s journey. So I want to walk you through this. And I want you to put yourself in this timeline. You could be anywhere in this timeline. And I want you to see how putting yourself into the hero’s journey changes this.
So what when you’re writing your book, it’s going to look to you like there are so many things affecting your book that are coming from outside of you. But when you change your perspective, when you change the story, and you just cast yourself as Luke Skywalker, you can’t yourself as, as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and You are the hero of this journey, then those things coming outside are what needs to happen for you, in order for you to stand in the fullness of your role as hero. So yes, things are going to happen. Maybe your editor will disappear with your manuscript and move out of Wi Fi range. Maybe your publisher will close down their business two weeks before you publish, like things are going to happen. And it will be easy for you to come up with stories that make you a victim, stories where you are the victim in this hero’s journey, right? And that’s not only no fun, but it’s not going to get you your book as quickly or effectively or efficiently as casting yourself as the hero so you Your ability to stay in that role of hero to stay as, as Ariel, to stay as Snow White, even though you got to poison apple and you’ve been put to sleep, to stay in that role as the main character in your book journey, who the protagonist who we want to win, that is the single most important determining factor in your success. And if you let the bad guys push you into the role of victim, the chance of actually finishing and making the difference that you were born to make goes down significantly. So if you’re familiar with the hero’s journey, there is the information the hero knows. That’s the sort of tip of the iceberg. Maybe 20% of the information is above the surface and the hero knows it. And then there’s all the information that the hero does not know yet.
At the beginning of the journey, you as the hero, there’s a bunch of things you know about this journey to writing a book, which, honestly, are probably misinterpretations. Because you don’t know about the underworld, you don’t know about what’s happening underneath the surface, you make some interpretations about what actually needs to happen. So one of them we’ve talked about a lot on this podcast, which is, you probably assume the first thing you have to do is write your book. Because you don’t have the information from the underworld and the mentors. That will help you see that’s not the best way to get your book done. There you probably think that the things you have to include in your book based on looking at other books are one thing then they probably are another thing. So in this world of the ordinary in this exposed world, there is a call to action. It’s a call to write? Many of my clients tell me they got that call in seventh, eighth or ninth. I’m sorry, it’s seven, eight or nine years old, not in seventh, eighth or ninth grade, actually seven, eight or nine years old is the most common thing that I hear that they got this calling, they were given a message that they were going to write a book and then they did what most heroes do. They pushed it away. For weeks or for months or for years, they pushed away the call. And what Oprah calls those whispers, got louder and louder. And most of my authors report having some sort of supernatural sign that they know they were supposed to usually work with me, but they’re supposed to work on their book. They’re supposed to finish their book, and then when I talk to them, they are being actually steered specifically to who they are supposed to work with. So if you are pushing away the call to write, that’s fine. But just know you will get louder and louder messages. And you will hopefully get some very clear signs that it’s time to move on and set off on your journey. Now, when you set off on your journey, you are doing what Joseph Campbell calls crossing the threshold. Now crossing the threshold does not happen just by writing some words down. In fact, very often writing can still be a refusal of the call. One of the sheets that I use to know somebody has crossed the threshold is 10,000 words in when you’re 10,000 words in you’ve most likely crossed the threshold. But there are other ways some people cross the threshold without writing a single word and so often And that happens by meeting a mentor. Always it happens by making a decision to commit to yourself and maintain that commitment. But it doesn’t, it’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be easy because this journey of your book is actually preparing you for an even greater journey of being the author.
And so you must be prepared by dealing with challenges and temptations and almost being forced into quitting. There will be tests you will meet enemies, you will face or deal and you will want to give in and those are deals can be quiet or they can be loud and I’ve talked about some of the things that have happened to my authors here. Now, my authors are lucky because they are In the Author Incubator, so they have a team supporting them. You need your Yoda. You need your Han Solo. You need your peeps who are going to protect you from the enemies. So any hero’s movie Ariel is not in this on her own. She has Sebastian and she has scuttle and she has the other fish Who’s that fish that she’s with? Can’t remember his name now that that blue and yellow fish that she’s got with her right? She has friends on that journey. Because there are many bad guys. She’s got to deal with Ursula. She’s got to deal with the storms that happen. She’s got Eric’s family and their desire to have Eric at sea. So there are a lot of things happening on Ariel’s journey, and there will be a lot of things happening on yours, because that’s what was preparing you for your role.
But when you, when you have that help, there’s often a point where you have to make a decision about whether to quit or not. And this happens for all of our authors, usually at a little bit past the midway point. And for us, it looks very funny. So usually what will happen is, we will get a complaint about our program. That is one of the ways that we know somebody’s journey is happening. So there’ll be a complaint that an email wasn’t responded to, or they’ll be upset about, oh, I don’t know something their editor did, but it’ll be a complaint that makes no sense to us. And we know in most cases, of course, we look into any complaints but usually this is just fear speaking. And oh, the other thing that we’ll get is I need to delay my book because I have to do a new website. I realized I don’t have headshots and the person who’s going to do my headshots has agreed to do them for free. But she can’t do them by this date. So I think I have to push my publishing back or I just want a trip to the Bahamas, and I’m going to be gone for the week before launch day. So could I please push my launch backs, those are some of the things that we get, there’s always some percentage of our authors who want to step back from their journey, right at that sort of middle part.
And we coach them through this. So we work on this one on one and in groups because this is a part of the journey. This is actually why you’re here. You need to go through this. And it doesn’t matter how many times I tell them at the beginning of the program, I’ll tell them this is going to happen during this week. And they will think it doesn’t apply to them. And it’s just like if you, you know, if you were to foreshadow to Ariel, that you know, something was gonna happen to her voice, she wouldn’t need to be able to make that connection when she lost her voice. That’s what happens so often with our authors is they don’t even see they’re right in the middle of Act Two of the hero’s journey. But they get through it so far all of them have. That was a little knock on wood. We’ve seen all of our authors make it on the hero’s journey.
And it is at that moment that they accept that they will finish that they are reborn, they are reconstituted, they are no longer the same. caterpillars that came into the program. But they are now in a new formation of themselves. And they accept their role as the hero and they finish their manuscripts, which is awesome. It’s sort of like pulling the Excalibur sword out of the stone, right? When Lancelot does that, but there’s always one more test to come. So after their manuscript is done, then we go to this very big public launch, where they tell the world they are an author, and very often an author of a book that has a lot of personal information that they had to prepare to share, prepare to be vulnerable, which is often part of the hero’s journey. Because our real strength is Rene Brown has taught us all is in our vulnerability that’s required of heroes. And so what happens is this last test Before they return to the world of the ordinary is the book launch.
And the way that that is really that’s the cycle that I get to see over and over again. And when I see it, I picture all of my authors with a, you know, kind of with their, with their adventuring gear on backpacks and hiking boots and ready to see the world. And I see them as heroes. And what I strive to do is to create an environment where they see themselves as heroes. But if you’re not in a community, like the author incubator, how do you see yourself? Have you ever thought of yourself as being the lead actor or the protagonist in the book about your journey to create your book? Are you seeing yourself As a victim who maybe doesn’t have enough time or doesn’t have good enough software, or you maybe don’t have a quiet enough space to write, do you see yourself as a victim? Or do you see yourself as the hero of your book journey? One of the things I ask my clients to do is to identify if they’re the hero or the victim of their journey, is to identify what their primary thought is about their book. So if I were to pull you, let’s say, once an hour, for a full day, if once an hour, I asked you very quickly, what’s your thought about your book right now?
What would be that dominant thought?
Would it be this is hard? Would it be I’m scared would it be what if I can’t do it? Or would it be I don’t know how but I’m going to finish This. You know, in our last episode, we talked about the hero’s journey. And we talked about how the mantra for the hero’s journey is, this is much harder than I expected. And that’s okay. So what’s your mantra for your book journey is that I’m ready to dive in and face whatever it takes to get this done.
If you can, and be honest with yourself, because here is the thing, if you can identify what it is that your dominant thought is, now you have tools to change those thoughts. And if you are doing something that is throwing you and putting you in this space, if you’re thinking I had a client like this, so I know she had 500 interviews she did and she had this story that she had to transcribe all 500 interviews. And then read them and pick out the good parts before she could write the book. But just doing that felt so big that she could never get around to it. So her primary thought about her book was like, Jesus, this
is a lot of work.
And it’s just really felt so overwhelming. So what I asked her to do is to think about writing the book without using those interviews. Now, she had spent years doing those interviews for the purpose of writing the book, and that felt hard to.
But there are ways that you can change your circumstances as well as your thoughts about what you think your book might be about, it might not be. And in her case, when I asked her to start thinking about writing the book without using those interviews, a whole nother book actually just rose to the surface and was written quite quickly. And actually a partner to write it with sort of appeared out of nowhere, when she did that. So, I want you to cast yourself as the hero and I want you to script words for the hero. What? What should your mantra be right now, if you were casting this show if you were the director, if you were the author, I’d say it that way, if you were the author, not just of the story within the story, your book, but of the story of the creation of your book. If you were writing that, what role would you write for yourself? One of the techniques I use with my authors is actually step five in the 10 step process to writing a book that makes a difference. It’s called envisioning your success. And the envision your success step can look different to everyone. But it’s really acting as if your book is already done. So I give you The publication date, we know the date your book is going to be published. And so how can you live into that? How can you feel as if that’s already happened? Maybe it’s something like buying thank you cards for the first 10 people who review your book, and really picking out those thank you cards and maybe even writing them out in advance, even with names on them. I have absolutely written thank you cards to people for reviewing my book long before they ever reviewed it. And they’re so fun to send by the way.
Maybe it’s something as simple as a book vision board, seeing yourself speaking or teaching workshops or consulting with clients. That’s great. I love vision boards. I’m not gonna lie but I really want you to get practical and live as if not just looking at your vision board but If you were an author, would you have a shelf for your books in your office? Can you clear that off? Would you have a fantastic pen for signing books? Can you invest in that pen from Tiffany’s and that fantastic book? In that fantastic pen design you design your book with? Um, what are some of the other things that you would be doing if you were an author? Right. Would you be reviewing other books? Would you be talking to other authors? Would you join an association for nonfiction authors? There’s a great I’ll put this in the link in the show notes. If you go to the Author Incubator comm slash 13. For this episode, there is the nonfiction authors Association, and I will include the link to that. Would you be a member of that and think really I’m going to tell you I probably wouldn’t. I am because of my business. But I met somebody who joins associations. But if you are awesome, what different networking groups would you be in? Maybe you’d be in the National Speakers Association. But I want you to put yourself in the future when your book is done. And think about how your life is going to be different and start living like that already. The most important question that you can ask yourself between now and when your book is released, is this question, this is what I’m going to leave you with today. And I want you to answer this question in the show notes. So go to the Author Incubator comm slash 13 and answer this question for me. And then I want you to ask yourself this question, at least once a day from now until your book is published. So get a pen and paper if you don’t have one or open up a document. Don’t do this if you’re writing although if you’re driving I’d love you to even pull over. Because this is why you are listening to this call here is the most important question that you can ask yourself between now and the day your book is released.
If I were the hero of my book journey, what would I be doing right now?
If I were the hero of my book journey, what would I be doing? Right now? answer that question for me in the comments. That’s the Author Incubator comm slash 13 will take you to the show notes and you can answer that question. I can’t wait to hear what you would be doing right now. I love I love love love hearing from you guys. So drop me a note or leave a comment and we will be back next week.
This has been another episode of Page Up, where we help nonfiction authors write a book that makes a difference. If you like the show today, be sure to tell a friend and leave us a review on iTunes. Check out houses to show book Johnny’s also on iTunes. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list at WWW dot the author incubator.com where you can learn more about how you can get your book written.