Release Your Blocks
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In this episode you will learn:
- 02:00 What if I feel like I’m not meant to write a book?
- 04:00 How do I figure out what to write about?
- 08:00 What if other people think my idea is stupid?
- 10:00 How do I know if I’m really an expert in something?
- 13:00 Will my book idea come right away?
Full Episode Transcript:
Well, Hey, everyone, its Angela Lauria, again, welcome to class three of free your inner author.
So we’re at about the halfway point now and there should be some stuff coming up for you. Maybe you haven’t done your homework or maybe you just find yourself thinking oh my God I am maybe I’m just not cut out to write a book. Maybe the timings not right for me. And if that stuff is coming up for you, I just want you to know, that means you’re doing everything perfectly, just like all my other students. So that is how you should be feeling right now. What I find with the people that I work with is the more abstract you keep your book writing, the more it can be like this nice idea. someday I’m going to write a book. It’s like this far off fairytale. And when you start to make it real, like we’re doing with this class, what’s going to come up is, well, Angela knows the one and only way to write a book, and I can’t answer her questions, or I can’t do her homework, or I can’t make the time to get these assignments done. And therefore maybe I’m not meant to write a book. Or it could be something like, well, if I can’t pick an ideal reader, I’m not meant to write a book, whatever is coming up right now. That’s what’s going to hold you back. Right? And so whether you did this work or not that stuff was going to come up anyway, we want it to come up. Now that’s actually part of the process.
So I get really excited when people say, oh, maybe I’m not meant to write a book because I know once you break through that wall, your book will be written superfast. So I have heard people talking about thoughts that keep them from writing over and over again, and Seth Godin has a book. It’s a really short book, it’s called the dip. And if you’re in that spot, I really recommend picking this book up. It’s it’s all calling a book might be even generous. It has a book cover, but it’s really like a long magazine article. I don’t even think it has chapters. And in this book, he talks about pushing through that dip that hard part that most people don’t push through. He says it’s there for a reason. And that’s where you are now you’re in the dip of writing a book. So we comment on this. Hi, I’m gonna write a book. And then you have to go through this dip to get to the other side where that As written, so if you are feeling this way, don’t worry about it. We’re going to talk about some of the specifics of that feeling today. And hopefully, we’ll talk about how to deal with the things that are holding you back. Okay. So one of the things that comes up at this point in the process is the issue of narrowing your book topic. A lot of my students know they want to write a book, but they aren’t 100% sure what they want to write about, or how to pick from three or four or five different ideas that they have. And this process sometimes can exacerbate that and make that even harder. So let’s work on that today. Go ahead and grab a piece of paper and write down for me the answers to these questions or actually write down yeah, write down the answers. And if you have time, write down the questions too.
You can find these in the transcript as well.
Why do you want to write a book? What’s your book story? What’s the story you would tell that how you came to write a book and why are you taking this class. These are the kinds of questions I asked on my radio show book journeys. I asked, Did people say you should write a book? Like people said, My God, you have to write a book, you have so many crazy stories. Is that something you’ve said? Or something people have said to you? Or have you gotten positive feedback on your writing? Maybe you wrote something as small as an email or a thank you card or a Facebook post, and somebody said, Wow, you’re such a beautiful writer. So I want you to think about how that sort of feedback makes you feel. And just really check in with your body. Think about the last time you got a compliment on your writing and write down some notes about those feelings that came up. Is there anything that you write about where you feel like, I don’t know where you feel like you lose track of time or that a normal person would maybe even struggle to write 100 words and somehow you’ve written 1000 and you’re not even sure. Does that happen to you? Are there topics where you can’t stop writing? Are there topics or ideas or something that you feel really compelled to share? something you’ve discovered a hard lesson for you but where you feel like you have to tell people maybe you find yourself talking about something in the grocery store. Okay, where in your life have you learned your most important lesson? For me this came through weight loss. This came through my divorce, but I’ve had some really important lessons. So do a timeline of your life and think about those big pivotal moments. What were the lessons that have been most helpful in your life along the timeline? Okay, and then this is kind of a cheat, but here’s a shortcut to the timeline. If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll start to see what those pivotal moments were sorry, my allergies are driving me crazy. Okay, so what lessons have helped you to break a bad habit or to lose weight? What lessons have helped you with grief loss a breakup? What lessons have helped you find satisfaction in your job or Career or the way you earn money? What lessons have helped you form new friendships and find new tribes? So those are just a few areas to look at there anything that stands out for you that is a special interest? Is there something about your career that makes it unique? Are you the first woman or the first something, whatever? Do you have hobbies? Do you have groups that you connect with in your community? I read a book once this is still on my bookshelf. I love this book. It was called Socrates cafe. And you can google this and you will find it. I think I’m Wikipedia. There’s stuff about this, but this guy loves Socrates and he loved the Socratic method. And I can’t remember what the deal was. I actually remember hearing about this on NPR, and I buy a lot of books because I listened to too much NPR. It’s Edie you’d gone to law school or something where the teachers were really focused on teaching through questioning, and he had this idea that he wanted more people to use the Socratic method. he just, he just frickin love the Socratic method. It was like his thing. So think about that. Do you have a thing like that, that you’re kind of like hot for? Are you ready to write a book that makes a difference and builds your business? Take my short course on how powerful your book can be at creating leads, getting clients and generating revenue and of course, in making a difference with your message. My free course is available right now at page up podcast.com. So he set up at the library in his town, I think it was in Minnesota on Friday nights after the library closed at seven o’clock at night or something somebody called the Socrates cafe and he made coffee or bought coffee and cookies and doughnuts or whatever and he has vited people every Friday night to learn a new topic purely through the Socratic method was usually a philosophy related topic or had some sort of current events or debate orientation to it. And this was in the town, and they grew from three people to four people to five people.
At first it was just his friend sort of humoring him and then that was like 100 Bebo cramming into the library for the faculties cafes. And what his book was, is a shared story of why he personally came to love the Socratic method, the story of how he came to do this project, and then all the elements of what goes into it. And His goal was to get people to set up Socrates cafes in their own town libraries, and this has happened I actually recently looked up in prepping for this class if there were still Socrates cafes in DC and they are they run through meetup groups, so Socrates cafe thing, it’s probably 10 years old. And it’s still happening, that somebody who wrote a book that matters that somebody who’s making a difference. So he thought what was wrong with America, or that what could be improved was talking in a more specific way that wasn’t yelling or debate or what you were seeing on Crossfire this Sunday TV shows, and he he believed that worked. So this guy wrote a book and now all around the country at libraries or wherever these kind of meetup events happen. And they change the dialogue in communities. I think I read the book right around when the internet was kind of coming into popularity. And it was, it was kind of like the first social networking almost web 2.0 idea back in the early to mid 90s.
So that kind of idea can turn from your life. You’re something you’re picking up in law school, to a powerful book to changing the world. That’s what I want for you. So right now pause the video after I say this. Make a big list of all the possible topics you can write about and just test how each one feels in your body and try and connect with. Am I on a hot track here? Is this the right direction just based on how you feel. When you commit to a book, you kind of marry it for the next 234 even more years. So with each topic, ask yourself if it will feel good to be talking about this, this topic this book in five years. So picture yourself, where are you going to be in five years? Do you still want to talk about that? See how that feels. You have a box of books in your car. And let’s say you wrote a book about volunteering at zoos, which would be a great book. By the way, you could visit every zoo in America and talk to other volunteers and you could be a speaker at their volunteer appreciation nights at every zoo in America. You’re going to be doing even more Zoo volunteering or going to get some plum assignments are your main meat in a butter stick panda. I don’t know. You’re going to get volunteer days. It zoos all around the world, you really have to want to live, eat, breathe and sleep, what you’re going to write about, not just for the time it takes to write it, because that is the tip of the iceberg that’s less than 10% of this process. But throughout the promotion phase, writing a book is some time, some small percentage of time when you look overall the life of your book, you can write the book and just put it up on the internet or something, but you’re not really going to sell many copies that way, and you’re certainly not going to make a difference unless you win the lottery. You need to get it out there. Does that make sense? So one of the things you can play around with is setting your writing schedule. So setting your writing ritual that we’ve talked about and setting your schedule, this is when I’m going to write my book, but just free right? So when you get there, let’s say you make a 15 minute commitment. I’m going to write for 15 minutes twice a week. I just want you to sit down For your 15 minutes, and anything you write is fine. Whatever comes out, you can almost think of it like journaling, like whether it’s more of a journaling style or a list of things that you might want to write about. But I want you to schedule some writing time this week, at least 215 minute appointments, and see what you write about, okay by delegating this time is kind of sacred book writing time. And it’s like what we’re doing with your book basket, right? By putting your book basket somewhere visual that you bump into. And if you see something that tugs on you, you put it in there, even if it’s an empty basket. It’s a reminder to your subconscious to your right brain that, Oh, I’m on the lookout for things I’m writing a book. So I want you to do the same thing with your book ritual, which you practice this week and setting at least 215 minute appointments this week to just do some free writing and see what those topics are. That’s gonna be another clue about what your book is about if you haven’t really honed in on it. So doing some of these exercises and trusting that the book you are supposed to write is going to come to you that you’ll notice a theme of a theme. Sorry. Like, let’s say you have 215 minute sessions where you’re just writing and you don’t know what you’re writing about. You might notice they’re on the same theme. And you might decide, well, let me see if I can keep writing on this theme, you might add a third 15 minute session. And if you try the next time, you can’t write on that theme. Maybe that’s not your book. But all you’ve lost is 45 minutes at most, probably less, right?
So most people do this the opposite way. Most people start with their book idea. I’m going to write about self love. And then they just start writing, like writing is the first thing that it’s gonna work. But a lot of times they get stuck. And then they start trying to force it into a book, right? And they’re like jamming what they can write in, and maybe it’s just maybe they don’t have a whole book. Maybe They just have a magazine article, or maybe they have a blog post, but trying to force it into a book, that that feeling that energy of force, that resistance, that’s what causes writer’s block. So in your case, how I want you to be different how I want you to free your inner author is I just want you to be open to Hey, I’m gonna write a book, I’m open to what I’m writing about. And here’s what I’m writing my book, I’m writing my book from 9am to 915, on Tuesday and Thursday, and I’m going to sit down and I’m going to start writing and I have no idea what I’m going to write and just be open to themes or what feels good. So it’s a little counterintuitive. This writing may or may not ever end up in your book, but we’re just asking the book to present itself the right book that you’re supposed to write right now. I think having the conversation with other people, maybe your book buddy or if you’re thinking about, you know the zoo volunteer book, who has Where those people are in that circle, put it out there, put it out there with your friends, something you’re writing a book about, you know, being a zoo volunteer and see what kind of feedback you get. But also be listening to how you feel in your body. So I like these projects. If you say I’m thinking of doing a year long project, here are some ones I like I’m thinking about writing a book, I haven’t honed in on the topic, but this is what I’m kicking around if you put it out there. These are sometimes like vehicles for communication. So people have an idea. Just kind of see where it sits in your body. And sometimes if you have an idea, and somebody says no, that actually makes it even more clear, it’s the right idea like flipping a coin and then being disappointed with the outcome. So listen, I listen for the subtleties in the messages. If you hear the few if you hear the same kind of feedback a few times I would definitely take that as message to Okay, let’s say you have a coaching business. Maybe you do executive coaching at the business level, you need to ask yourself before you settle on a topic, are you trying to grow that business? Or are you trying to scale that business? Would you like more passive income more people buying products and books or whatever? Do you have an email list like a mailing list my strong recommendation unless it makes you really unhappy. But if the ultimate goal is more passive income, which it is for many of my clients, selling more products and running coaching groups and things like that, I would find a very specific problem that you solve something people search for on Google already. This is the key, this is the most important thing for you to look for. If people don’t go to Google and type in self love. So what do for marketing purposes, the subtitle of your book, maybe even the title should include the problem statement the way someone would search for it? Google. Okay, that’s really important.