Featured in another episode of Book Journeys with Angela Lauria last week was author Rachel Rose Alexandria who talked about her book Woman Overboard! Six Ways Women Avoid Conflict and One Way to Live Drama-Free. The book’s premise is that many relationship problems especially of women can be attributed to the avoidance of conflict that could be counterproductive to getting into higher levels of leadership and success. The first half of the book discusses six ways that women avoid conflict, namely distraction, overwhelm, self-flagellation, shut down, blame and passive aggression. The second half is devoted to the solution that Rachel created, which is called the self-rescue system.
Rachel actually started out with a different book in mind and was already midstream into her writing, but while she was doing alright with it, it wasn’t really inspiring her. Only after talking to another author who was helping her design a speech did she come up with something that she hadn’t realized she had the secret to, and that was handling conflicts. This concept became her consuming passion for a year and she talked about it non-stop and tested it out with clients and friends. She at first imagined it only to be an e-book or pamphlet, but when she taught a class on it while writing the book, she found herself needing to add more and more information. So she ended up writing more than she thought she would. She likened her writing process to a person running a marathon for the first time who has barely trained for it. With a background in poetry, she said she was good at writing short little things and being done quickly, so it was really blood, sweat and tears for her. She had her great times when inspiration would strike, but what she found somewhat productive was scheduling writing dates with people.
One of the features of her book was the drawings that she made to explain her concepts. She said that making these simple stick figure representations freed up her creative energy because she didn’t get stuck on how it had to look as long as it conveyed the message. And she was surprised that when she posted these drawings on Facebook, people just loved them. It was something she never expected or planned but somehow, as she describes it, “something bigger and magical just worked out there.”
Rachel describes having her own book as like having a kid and then hearing that your kid is off making the world a better place. For her, when a book is in someone else’s hands, the reader’s relationship with it is their own and she no longer has an active part in it. Having created some sort of entity that is also helping change the world is, for Rachel, one of the most amazing things that has come out of her being an author.
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.