Maggie Huffman – Book Journeys Author Interview – May 12 2016

Book Journeys Author Interview – May 12, 2016

Dr. Angela Lauria with Maggie Huffman, author of Whoops! I Forgot to Achieve My Potential and WTF?!? I Still Believe This Sh-t

 

“It surprised me that writing was much more an emotional process than an intellectual process.” ~Maggie Huffman

 

Angela:

Well, hey, hey, hey, everybody! Super excited to be back here on Book Journeys Radio. I am actually broadcasting today from lovely San Diego. Just spent the morning walking on the beach with one of our authors, Mike Hrostoski and am super excited now to be talking to another Difference Press author as we do every week on Book Journeys. It’s about how they went from having an idea for a book to actually getting that book done, out in the world and making a difference. Today we’re going to talk to a two-time author and life coach, uhm, business coach, therapist, intuitive life coach Maggie Huffman. Maggie is the author of two books, Whoops! I Forgot to Achieve My Potential and WTF?!? I Still Believe This Sh-t? Maggie, thank you so much for being with us!

 

Maggie:

Oh, thank you for having me. I’m excited.

 

Angela:

Well, let’s start off by telling people about Whoops! and WTF?!? What’re your books about and..?

 

Maggie:

Okay. So, uhm, Whoops! is my first book – Whoops! I Forgot to Achieve My Potential – and it’s, uhm, for – anybody who wakes up one day, and says, “Wow! How did I get here? This isn’t what I’d planned for my life… How do I get back on track or do I wanna get back on track? Is it too late to get back on track?” you know, all of those things that start swirling in your mind, and so, Whoops! is a plan to – it’s a process, it’s a plan to help you figure out – okay what do I wanna do NOW? not what do I wanna do back when I was a superstar at, you know, 22 or whatever. What do I wanna do now and how do I do it? How do I make those kinds of changes in my life? How do I do it in a fun, totally immersive kind of way? How do I make it a fun process – not just an end state – not about a goal?

 

Angela:

Mmm…

 

Maggie:

And then the second book, WTF?!? is for people who try to do that and they find that they keep making the same mistakes. They keep, you know, ending up where they don’t want to be and that’s really about discovering what are outdated beliefs, how do we find them, root ’em out, change them, and really get a belief, which by the way are just thoughts, were thought many, many times ’till we think that they’re true and they become belief; the how-do-we-get-those-thoughts aligned with who we wanna be, what we wanna do, where we wanna go.

 

Angela:

Love it! So, uhm, so, a lot of people who listen to this show have a lot of ideas for books and clearly you have at least two, and I suspect there’s more.

 

Maggie:

Uh huh…

 

Angela:

And we’ll talk about that…

 

Maggie:

Uh huh…

 

Angela:

How did you pick that topic, especially for the first book, but even for both of them, how did you narrow down all of your ideas into a single topic or concept for the book?

 

Maggie:

So for… actually for both of them and for the one that I’m gonna be working on, I actually looked at what I’m doing. So I am a coach, and I really looked at how do I help my clients the most. Where am I most impactful? What are they thinking, you know? What are the thoughts that are going through their head and how can I best help them? How can I best serve them? And instead of trying to figure out anything, you know, theoretical, I just really, really looked at what I – what I’m already doing and what’s the most effective. And then of course, I wanted to amplify it, but I… I… I, uhm, yeah, I really looked at where I am and where they are.

 

Angela:

Mmm hmm, and so were there moments when you were writing either of your books that you had ideas for other books to come in and if so, how did you handle that?

 

Maggie:

[chuckles] Yes, all the time. I think that was probably… One of the… At the beginning, in my first book, that was one of the hardest things for me to manage, uhm, because I thought, oh, I need to throw everything in, right. I mean it has to- I need the kitchen sink and I need the refrigerator, and I have all this stuff that I want everybody to know, and, uhm, I found that I was, you know, initially getting really off-topic and off-message and I – I finally – I… did what I do with a lot of other things. I would just write the idea down on a Post-It and stick it on a page and say, I will get to that later. When I’m all done, if it’s missing, I can add it, if not, it’s another book. The idea of having more books in the future made me feel really, really rich. So then I didn’t have to… bend it all on this one book.

 

Angela:

So, do you think… Had you wanted to write a book, uh, before… So you wrote your first book, I think, almost a year ago now… uhm, you’ve gotten two books out in a year… Have you wanted to write a book in the past?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, I sort of thought about it. I actually wrote a really, really crappy book when I was 27. Uhm, I wrote my memoir, like, you know, how ridiculous is that? Twenty seven and writing a memoir! Uhm, so… and I never did anything with it, but I… I knew I could write enough… to write book, but I really honestly did not know that I wanted to write a book. It wasn’t something that I carried with me until the idea just came in full bloom. It was like, yep, you need to write a book.

 

Angela:

And why do you think… Why do you think that happened? Why do you think you had so much clarity around that?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, I think it was… it was ready in me. I think I understood that, uhm, I needed to write a book about – well actually, it’s because the concept of a nonfiction book opened up for the first time.

 

Angela:

Mmm…

 

Maggie:

You know, a book doesn’t have to be a story. A book is so much more powerful than that. So, once that opened… once that became a possibility for me, it was like, “Oh, yeah! YEAH!”

 

Angela:

Got it. So did you have a vision for what success would look like with your book before you started?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, yes, but it morphed along the way. So, my vision for success was, uhm, writing a book and having it be accurate and very well written, uhm, you know, well constructed, you know… critically, uhm, quality. It… you know… of quality, and actually isn’t what success looks like to me now.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Maggie:

So, along the way, I, uh, the idea of making a difference with my book really took hold and that changed what success meant. So success then became finding my ideal reader, connecting with my ideal reader – really connecting – uhm, sharing my ideal reader and speaking to my ideal reader in the book in a meaningful way – making a difference.

 

Angela:

Mmmm.

 

Maggie:

And all that other stuff about, you know, whether the grammar was a hundred percent perfect and the sentence structure was awesome, became irrelevant.

 

Angela:

So fascinating.

 

Maggie:

Yeah, I think, uhm, you know, writing a book means so many different things to different people and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with, you know, having perfect grammar or having something beautifully written like that is definitely a great goal but I think the problem for people is that they have – they don’t really know what their goal is. So they have a bunch of these different ideas and they’re all meshed together and they’re not really thinking about weight, what do they actually really want here in picking something and being clear about it? And really that we lean to, uhm… a lot of writer’s block. So that will stop you if you got a lack of clarity.

 

Angela:

So, I’m wondering, did writer’s block show up for you and if so, how did you deal with it?

 

Maggie:

Writer’s block interestingly showed up for me more in my second book. The first book that I wrote, I wrote it in a… in, uhm, three days in a 3-days-to-done process and it was, you know, it’s very disciplined. I’m going to write… So, I’m going to write this chapter, this topic… so many words in this two-hour block and then I’m gonna take a break and then I’m gonna come back. And so you don’t have a lot of time when you do that, uhm, to go off on little head trips and to, you know, waste time yelling at yourself, or mind chatter. There’s just no time for that and, the second book, I said, “Okay, I’m gonna write this in a more relaxed pace and, uhm, oh boy that opened up so much time for that mind chatter and that was really what was behind my… a lot of my writer’s block – things that really did surprise me, like uhm, who am I to be writing a book? Uhm, when I’d already written…

 

Angela:

Uhm…

 

Maggie:

You know, who – who am I? That thought that you suck… That came in.

 

Angela:

And so, you think you recognized that? That when you saw that, that came up? What… what do you…? A lot of times… for them, like, people go get a certification and go try to answer that question, uhm, by – oh, this is my favorite one – I’m gonna interview a hundred people, who are… and… I give you the credibility… So, how did you answer yourself when those questions came up?

 

Maggie:

I… Well… So… You know, of course I did have a first reaction, like, “Oh, yeah, I should probably go study or I should do more research, or I should go talk to people – and I did recognize it – that that was pure fraud after coming in, you know,  impostor syndrome. So I did… I did things like… go for a bike ride. I would… something like… variety shows for my pets, you know, turn on creativity in a different way. Uhm, I would write using my, um, a journal or morning pages and that worked where the whole bowl is just – just dumped… dumped from your brain… got it out -streamed from your consciousness, and then I would find that as I worked through that, I would get into… I’d start writing content and I’d be going, “This is good. I don’t need a certification. I don’t need out. I just need to keep going, and that – that worked really well for me. Yeah, that – finding other creative outlets and then just clearing the crap that was in my head. That worked.

 

Angela:

So, for you, what was… what do you think was the biggest surprise, uhm, during the process of writing your book? Uhm, what kind of surprised you the most that was different than maybe the fantasy of writing a book?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, I think… at a really… at a really, uhm… Fundamentally, it surprised me that it was much more an emotional process than an intellectual process. Uhm, I thought that it was gonna be all about the act of writing, the… the uhm… the effort of, like I said… like editing, all that… and… that wasn’t it was all about for me. It was a personal process. It was that defi… defining the book, connecting with the reader, stepping into the concept of being an author, which is, for me, very different than being a writer. I wrote crap all the time in my professional life, but that’s different than being an author and and the fact that that identity was different for me, surprised me.

 

Angela:

Ha! Fascinating. So, uhm, I think that what happened, uhm, is that people think it’s just about the technical execution and they don’t realize identity stuff is gonna come into play. How did you… How did you manage that? I know you’re a life coach, and did you have tools that you used to coach yourself or… How did you approach that? And really, I’m asking that for people who are listening and kind of know that’s gonna come up, and then have some ideas for how to manage that when it does come up.

 

Maggie:

So, I definitely had some tools that I’d like to use. I have some rituals that made me, uhm… First off, I gave myself permission when I recognized, oh, this is a different journey than I thought it was gonna be. I gave myself permission to, uhm, have that kind of journey rather than a technical journey, uhm, and then I created rituals that allowed me to step into that mind space and that – that person – become that person. Like… For me, there are rituals like lighting candles and breathing and having certain colors around me – things like that – and uhm, maybe listening to a certain piece of music or something, just, you know, really giving myself that kind of, hm, that kind of faith but also guided meditations so I could begin to envision… and then a developmental editor, an editor, you now, coach, had the luxury of that, which was phenomenal. So, when I – If I got stuck, myself – you know, I was able to reach out and ask and was almost always told, yep, that’s normal. Here’s what works for me or here’s what works for me, or, you know, uhm, process, you know. That’s you doing the stuff… That’s the caterpillar becoming the butterfly – not always pretty but it is what happens.

 

Angela:

Totally. Okay, so I wanna talk about timing. So, two books in a year, uhm… I know you’re already starting your third one within the same year. Most people would say that’s impossible. Uhm, so, why do you think you were able to do this so quickly and… You know, let’s say you had five years to write these two books, do you think that would have been easier if you had more time?

 

Maggie:

No. No. The last question first. It would’ve been much harder if I had five years because the goal wouldn’t… If I took five years to write a book, the goal is not writing a book. The goal would then be.. be “writing a book,” you know, I’m writing a book, not “to have written a book.” And there’s some more really… Within reason, the more time you have, the more you wanna throw in the kitchen sink and the refrigerator; the more revisions you want to make, and also, as you… as I go through time, I change. So, the more time you have, the more change is going on in you and the more your ideas change. You lose that moment of clarity, uhm, that you have in a shorter duration. There’s always time for another message. There’s always time for the message to change, but the moment of clarity that you have when you’re inspired to write a book when you choose to write a book, when you decide “this is my time,” that’s a commitment that has a moment of clarity and that’s what needs to get in the book. I mean, I just believe that. That’s the way the universe is structured. That’s what needs to be in the book. o, it’s not impossible at all because – because that’s the way the universe is structured. You don’t have to incorporate everything.

 

Angela:

Mmm…

 

Maggie:

Does that make sense?

 

Angela:

Yeah, totally, and so, uhm, in some ways, you’re saying writing a book quicker is easier. What are the ways that writing a book more quickly is harder? And you haven’t done it both ways, so that’s a trick question, but when you imagine, is the harder a piece of it?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, I would imagine the hardest piece is controlling the number of revisions that you wanna make, uhm, preventing yourself from going back and starting all over because you have a new piece of wisdom that absolutely changes the way everything must be, you know, uh… I would also think that there’d be so much more time to go through all those distortions, all those… all the, uh, emotional stuff, and not necessarily for your benefit. Like you see another… You see the book that you thought you’re gonna write, somebody else wrote it in a different voice, their life experience, whatever, but you start to compare yourself. So, then you think, oh, I have to do something different now, or, I’m not good enough, or they’re better than I am. There’s so much more room for that… I would imagine.

 

Angela:

Yeah. Totally. And in it I think there’s like a much more “ninja” level of self management, uhm, because it’s happening so quickly. You have to be able to access those tools and know what’s happening when it’s really the identity issues, that who-am-I-to-write-this-book issues.

 

Maggie:

Uh hmm.

 

Angela:

You know, you don’t have time to figure that out over six months if you’re writing the book in three months. You have to be able to identify the issue and coach with yourself or coach with someone to solve that issue in like 24 to 48 hours as opposed to…

 

Maggie:

Yeah.

 

Angela:

So, let’s talk about…

 

Maggie:

Also…

 

Angela:

Go ahead.

 

Maggie:

It’s also possible to just defer it, you know. If you’re in a short period of time, you just say, “You know… I’ll worry about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m gonna continue doing what I’m doing.” Well, you can’t do that over six months.

 

Angela:

Mmm hmmm. So, uhm, so let’s talk a little bit about the publishing process. Uhm, what about the publishing process was different than you expected?

 

Maggie:

Uhm, so does it… By publishing, do you mean… do you include… are you including the editing piece?

 

Angela:

Uhm, you know, what I’m really interested in is getting it in the world. Like once it was done, getting it published and promoting it, I think people often have a very, uhm, if you build it they will come, sort of imagination, and so how was that different?

 

Maggie:

[chuckles] Well, it isn’t. It isn’t “if you build it, they will come” and there’s no cornfield and there’s no Kevin Costner and, yeah, it doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop. The launch has a magic and an energy, uhm, that’s amazing and it is sort of self-perpetuating. I find I have a postpartum kind of reaction because so much – so much have gone into the birthing of this book and it’s such a high during the launch and, you know, publishing on Amazon, giving… choosing to do an ebook first, and having some days that Amazon lets you give the book away so you can really, uhm, really promote it, you can really get people’s interest and get reviews and all that energy is really fun and then it dies down and if you don’t have a plan to put – to keep… keep the momentum going, that’s when… that period will die down. That’s when I get postpartum and I have to, uhm, gear myself back up, because it’s – it’s ongoing. It’s… You have to, uhm, create awareness and remember why you’re doing the book and, for me the book is – both of my books are about awareness, credibility, and to support my, uhm, my practice. Uhm, not to just make a living off of a book. So the commitment, the long term commitment, to keeping my book alive and in people’s… in people’s awareness, took a lot of energy. I… I… and I…

 

Angela:

Mmm hmmm.

 

Maggie:

I don’t mean that in a soul-sucking way. It’s just that’s part of… It’s not… It becomes part of an ongoing thing that I do… that we have to do.

 

Angela:

Yeah, I think that, you know, there’s a lot of times, when I talk to people, they’ll talk about their book and use this term “passive income.” So they’ll go, “I just wanted a little passive income” and you can make money from your book sales for sure, but it just sort of, uh, there’s a lot of work to do to sell a book for, you know, $5 or $15 and so, I think people are surprised to learn that there is an effort no matter what kind of publisher you work with. If you self publish or you go for the hybrid publisher like us or if you work with a traditional publisher, you know, a couple books might sell themselves, but you don’t just put it up there and then, you know, magic happens. There’s a commitment and an energy that you have to keep giving to it for your book to give that energy back.

 

Maggie:

Yeah.

 

Angela:

And it’s a very… It’s almost like when your kid goes to college. There’s a change in the relationship with your book when you’re creating it, then after it’s launched… and that energy has to change.

 

Maggie:

That’s a great analogy, your kid going to college, ’cause yeah, you don’t stop… you don’t stop supporting the book and giving it – definitely, it’ all about the energy. You don’t just stop. I don’t think, even if there’s passive income, nothing’s passive about it.

 

Angela:

Hmm hmm mmm.

 

Maggie:

“Passive” is not the right word.

 

Angela:

For sure. So, in our last few minutes, uhm, I wanted to get your advice… Oh, and I should… I’m just gonna go back over this stuff before I ask this question. Maggie Huffman, who we’re talking to today, she is the author of Whoops! I Forgot to Achieve My Potential and WTF?!? I Still Believe This Sh-t? and you can find out more about Maggie and get her book on Amazon, but you can find out more about her and the work that she does with her… with her clients, uh, and her book at talk2maggie.com. Uhm, so go ahead and check that out. You will see both of her book covers there and she’s also got a cool quiz that you can take, uhm, to learn more about your belief. You could take her belief quiz there and read more about her book. So, Maggie, in our last couple of minutes, I wanted to ask you, uhm, if somebody wants to write a book or they haven’t been able to finish it, maybe they have any… even… books they narrowed down on that topic… I’m sure you could ask this all the time now that you’ve written two books in a year. Uhm, but what advice would you give to someone who think, “I really need to do my book” but they haven’t done it? What would you say?

 

Maggie:

Honestly, the first piece of advice I would say is talk to Angela, um, and they can see if… because that’s just… If there is anything… such thing as magic – which I believe there is, uhm, working with you is magic, uhm, and I, out of just, you know… you’re… Put it out there for the universe… I have… That’s the first thing I have to say to them. But then, the second… well I’m not sure or I need to think about it more. Uhm, I think I would say two little pieces of advice. The first is: How badly do you want to get your message out there? Is it… Is it important and consider the fact that you might be very selfish by not giving somebody something that they need. So, all of your deliberations and worrying about am I good enough and all that, in a way can be selfish and that can help you get through it, if you… That’s just not so important. And then… I think the second thing is, uhm, a piece of advice that was important for me, was, come to terms with your own voice. This is your book, your voice. You don’t have to write somebody else’s book. And there’s a belief that comes with that that makes it doable. I mean, when I settled into the fact that this is gonna be my voice, I didn’t have to be Professor Huffman and I didn’t have to be, uhm, you know, somebody who’s gonna be on The Oprah show. I just had to be me – It was so much easier and a lot of things just… a lot of blocks just fell away, so, uhm, that’s my piece of advice. Find your voice and recognize that that’s what it’s supposed to be.

 

Angela:

Absolutely love that! Absolutely love that! Now you have heard… Her newest book is WTF?!? I Still Believe This Sh-t? So have – a new book coming out in September, I believe? Maggie?

 

Maggie:

Yep. Yeah, yeah.

 

Angela:

Awesome, so get on her list. Uhm, go to talk2maggie.com for that. Uhm, I am gonna be out here in San Diego, uhm, for the rest of the week, super excited talking to lots of entrepreneurs and life coaches about their books and how they can make a difference, uhm, and then I will be headed back to D.C. We’ve got a red carpet launch. I’ve a bunch of new authors coming up in just a couple of weeks, so I am excited about that. I wanted to let you guys know we have a group, uh… You could actually write your book with Maggie Huffman and you would have her expertise, having done this twice. We have a group that starts on May 24th and those books will come out September 1st. Uhm, there are two…  in that group and we, uhm, we’re gonna be changing this format and our prices are gonna be going up, so if you wanna get in at the current prices and in the current format, these are the last two spots available. Uhm, you can head over to theauthorincubatorcom/apply uhm… You go through an application process and watch a video that will tell you all about the purpose, so we can help you identify if you are a fit for the program and if we are a fit for you. At the end of that video, you will have an opportunity to schedule a call with me. So, looking forward to that and we will be back next week.

 

Enter your details below to get the case study now!

Get Access To Your Masterclass Now

Enter your details below to get access to the FREE video training

Get Access To Your Masterclass Now