Michelle Vandepas, our guest for this episode, shares insights on who should reconsider writing a book. It’s not about writing ability but a genuine internal calling. If there’s no passion or desire, the process may be overwhelming. Writing involves exploration, time, money, and internal growth.

Who Shouldn’t Write a Book?

  • Michelle emphasizes that being a bad writer is not a reason not to write a book.
  • Discuss the importance of feeling a calling or nudge to write a book.
  • Michelle shares examples of individuals who initially focused on external stories but later found the heart of their books in internal transformations.
  • Importance of personal exploration and internal calling to write a book.

Getting Started with Writing:

  • Hosts ask Michelle about the process of getting started with writing a book.
  • Michelle advises against immediately diving into a structured outline and encourages journaling first.
  • The importance of exploring emotions and finding the underlying message before outlining the book.

Writing Challenges:

  • Hosts discuss the challenges faced by those who hate writing.
  • Michelle encourages those who dislike writing to explore the reasons behind their aversion.
  • Various writing hacks and strategies, including transcribing podcasts or having someone interview you.
  • Michelle emphasizes overcoming self-limiting beliefs and fears associated with writing.

Working with Editors and Ghostwriters:

  • Hosts inquire about working with editors and ghostwriters.
  • Michelle explains the role of ghostwriters in crafting a story in the author’s voice.
  • Overview of different types of editors, including developmental and copy editors.
  • Emphasis on the collaborative process between authors and editors.

When to Approach a Publisher:

  • Hosts inquire about the ideal time for an author to approach a publisher.
  • Michelle discusses different publisher programs and how authors can enter at various stages.
  • Highlight the flexibility offered by GP Publishing in assisting authors throughout the book-writing process.

Michelle’s Generous Offer:

  • Michelle shares a special offer for the audience, providing a 25% discount on a program to help authors write their books.
  • Details on how to access the offer, including the website link and coupon code (sixFIG).
  • Hosts express gratitude for the generous offer.

Closing:

  • Hosts express appreciation for Michelle’s insights, wisdom, and the generous offer.
  • Remind listeners to check the show notes for the offer details and links.
  • Thank Michelle for joining the podcast and look forward to future collaborations.

Helpful Links:

The Marketing VA Advantage 

Six Figure Business Coaching 

Mastering Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs

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Transcript
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Welcome to the six figure business mastery podcast, where every week,

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Kirsten and Jeannie dive into the essential topics to fuel your business

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growth from copywriting to course creation, mindset to video marketing.

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They've got you covered tune in for expert guest interviews on all things.

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Hello and welcome to the podcast.

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We're really grateful that you chose to spend a little time with us today.

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And I'm excited to introduce you to our amazing guest.

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Her name is Michelle Vandepas.

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She is from GP publishing.

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She's an author, a TEDx speaker, a business coach.

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She's also the co founder of Grace Point Publishing, who are

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innovators and collaborative.

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Partnership publishing to help you get your book actually published.

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That's what they do.

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So today we're going to talk about who shouldn't write a book.

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So Michelle, we're so grateful to have you.

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Welcome.

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Thank you.

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It's so good to be here.

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I'm really curious if you get your point of view on who

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really shouldn't write a book.

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Yeah.

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So it's not if you're a terrible writer, that's not what it is.

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So most of us have a nudge, a calling, something in our heart, something

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that says, Oh, I should write a book.

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If you don't have that.

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Don't do it.

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Right?

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It's like, I give an example of I have no nudge calling a desire

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to jump out of an airplane.

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Right?

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So I don't need to do it.

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It's not part of my life's path.

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It's not part of my mission.

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It's not on my heart.

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If you don't and I've talked with people who are like, yeah, I've

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never really wanted to write a book.

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People tell me I should, but I've never really don't.

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Right?

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It's a lot of work.

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It's a lot of internal exploration.

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It takes time.

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It takes money.

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It takes editing.

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It takes personal up leveling and internal fighting with yourself, right?

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So it's an exploration.

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And if you're not called to do it, there's no reason to do it.

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You don't have to do it.

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It's not like one of those things you must do to be in business

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or to have a successful life.

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But I do think there are a lot of experts out there and gurus

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saying you have to write a book.

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Right.

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If you want to get on stages, you have to write a book.

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If you want to build a big audience, you have to write a book.

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So I do feel like that a lot of those people, a lot of people

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are being told that right.

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I like the fact that you're going to follow your natural instinct.

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Right.

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It's not true.

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There are plenty of big time coaches, successful entrepreneurs

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who have not written a book.

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Now, eventually, you may change your mind, right?

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Eventually, you may say, okay, now, I think I'm ready to write a book,

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or now I want to write a book.

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There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs that sell all kinds of

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things from Tires to have restaurants, all kinds of things who don't have a book.

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Right?

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And there are restauranteurs and chefs who do have a book.

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So it's totally up to you and your internal calling, but being

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a bad writer is not 1 of the reasons to not write a book.

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Perfect.

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So if people are thinking, hang on a minute, I should write a book.

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Yeah.

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And I'd like to, I feel like it's in my bones, it's in there

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and it's ready to come out.

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How would I start?

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Where do I go about?

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Yeah, so the mistakes isn't quite the question, but I'm going to say the mistake

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most people make is they think they have to dive in with a table of contents and

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an outline and a structure and all that.

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And I suggest we take a step back before you do all of that.

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And just journal for a while, a while might be an hour, a week, a month, a

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year, we don't know, you will know though I trust everybody's internal guidance

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system to know what's right for them.

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Because when you journal.

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And you're just mind dumping, you're going to get to something

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underneath that's really valuable.

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So if everyone's told you, you should write a book about your weight loss

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system, you'll start journaling about that being like, yeah, I could

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write about a weight loss system.

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But then really, maybe what's underneath all that is how.

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Exploring your emotions helped you actually lose weight or maybe

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what's underneath was when I finally found my personal style.

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I didn't need to lose weight or want to lose weight anymore.

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I just wanted to look good.

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Right?

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So sometimes if you just journal, you get underneath what the

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real subject is not saying.

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You shouldn't write a book about losing weight if that's what

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you want to write a book about.

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But sometimes there's something underneath what other people are telling

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you you should write the book about.

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So when you get to that, that's where the magic starts to happen, and that's

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when you can start outlining your book.

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But you've got to get to what your real expertise is, where your real

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voice is, what it is you really want to say that's going to be from your

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heart that makes you stand out from every other person out there who

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might have something similar to say.

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Do you have any examples?

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Because I know you've worked with lots and lots of clients.

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Do you have any examples of people that you've worked with?

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They just knew their book was about this, but then when you guys started working

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together, it really, they found out it was like something completely different.

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Absolutely.

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The most famous book, maybe that we published 1 of the most

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famous is about a woman who.

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Uh, broke her boyfriend out of prison, and her story was all over America's

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Most Wanted and CNN, and she's been all over the news, and she brought us

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her manuscript, which was her story, but when we started really digging in

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together, and she's talked about this, so I'm not outing her, right, but when

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we really started digging in together, we realized that what she really wanted

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to write about was not her story that everybody already knew, but her internal

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transformation, and what she went through, and what led her to that decision to

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actually become a criminal, right?

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She'd been like, stay at home mom.

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And what was that process internally?

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And when she really leaned into that, the story just took off

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and it totally changed direction.

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I have another woman who wrote a book about Having a stroke and it

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was started out about all of the medical stuff and what was going on.

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But again, it turned out to be her transformation and what happened

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years after she had the stroke and how her life changed and what

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she learned from that experience.

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So it's not that the book will change subjects, necessarily, but the motivation.

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And the heart part might come out, we hope will come out more.

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So does that happen to the writer?

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Or does that happen in discussions with like you, the publisher,

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or can it happen in both places?

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Yeah, it can happen in both places.

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And that's a great question.

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Very often we get manuscripts and we read them and they're dry and

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it's not because of the writing.

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It's just there's not enough heart in them.

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It's very difficult for a writer to give us a manuscript to start

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with and be open to feedback.

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And then when we say we'd like more of your heart, we'd like

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some more personal stories in it.

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Sometimes you're like, oh, I can't do that.

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But that's where the transformation comes both for the writer and for the reader.

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I would think that would be scary because you're opening yourself

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up to criticism and to show your warts and all to the world.

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That's usually the, what happens is something horrible happened,

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or you made a bad decision.

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And so that's why I like people to journal first, if they can, um, but

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if they didn't do that part, and they wrote an outline, or they wrote a

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manuscript, or they have 10, 000 words, or whatever it is, we'll evaluate it.

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We'll work with them.

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We'll help them.

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And I would guess that journaling people, I don't want people to

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get bogged down in the tactics.

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You can do it in a Google Drive file, you can handwrite it, you

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can, don't get too wild and crazy about where am I going to journal.

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And the reason I like to call it journaling is because it takes away

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the pressure of thinking someone else is going to read it and it

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allows you to just self explore.

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Like I said, it may just be an hour, it may be a year.

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We don't know that piece.

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If you get lots of clarity and excitement in an hour after

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journaling, that's amazing.

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And I would guess that's your individual portal to opening up that inspiration.

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So keep journaling every day and start your writing.

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Like I said, I would be a terrible writer, but what about

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someone who really hates writing?

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They just don't see themselves as a writer.

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They don't enjoy writing.

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Can we still write a book and should they still write a book?

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Yeah.

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If you're called to write a book, you should write the book.

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So if it's in your heart, if it's something that you're a little bit scared

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of, you should probably write a book.

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If it's something like, I don't want to do this.

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Oh, but I know I have to do it.

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Then you should probably write the book.

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Right.

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I don't love to write.

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And that's one of the things I like to talk about because as a book publisher

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and someone who's helped so many writers, I think it helps identify with the other.

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Portion of the population that also doesn't really like to write so much,

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but I know it's important for me to write for my own personal journey for me to

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explore what I want to say and also to be an example and also to lead the way.

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So there's some tricks and some hacks and some things.

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Often I'll take bits of podcasts that I do.

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And rewrite them or get bullet points from it.

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If I think, oh, I want to write about that.

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I'll go back and listen and transcribe some of it.

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You can audio text yourself.

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You can have someone interview you.

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These are all.

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Things that we use all the time.

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They still need to be rewritten though.

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You can't take a conversation and publish it.

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It doesn't read well, but they're hacks to get you started.

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Sometimes I'll just take one subject, I hate writing, and I'll just write

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about that for 15 minutes and just see what comes out and not worry

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about editing or anything yet.

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And then maybe I'll do exactly the same thing tomorrow on exactly the same bullet

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point, and I may get the same writing but I may get something different.

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And if you set a timer for 15 minutes, it's not so bad.

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All of us can write for 15 minutes, even though we may not like it.

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And so part of it is getting over yourself of the belief that you hate writing.

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Because if you're called to write, it's probably a belief, a fear, a

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procrastination, scared you're not going to write the right stuff, afraid that

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someone's going to judge you for it.

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It's probably not that you hate writing so much.

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There's something else usually there.

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But there's all kinds of hacks and tricks and outline programs and so forth.

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So, I write exactly like I speak, which is obviously a problem.

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So I guess my question would be that for someone like me, who would definitely

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write exactly the way I speak, is there like a editor or a ghostwriter or someone

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else who could come and take that?

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And that's something they read.

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Like, I don't really understand like what a ghostwriter does.

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What do they do?

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Do they write the book all by themselves?

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Do you give them all the points when they write it?

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Like, I don't understand any of that.

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So, a ghostwriter will interview you.

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Maybe once a day, once a week, depends what your contract

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says, and then write your story.

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So you're not writing anything, they're writing your story.

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You may have the opportunity to go read it and give feedback about points

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of the story that you don't like, but you're not going to write it, you're

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not going to have any chance to edit it other than the point of the story.

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They will try to do it in your voice, and they'll get to know your voice, and you're

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going to pay for that anywhere between.

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Probably 20, 000 to 100, 000 for a really well ghostwritten story.

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And we have ghostwriters that will do that for you.

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And we've worked with ghostwriters.

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And lots of people use ghostwriters, especially for business books,

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because you'll get that money back if you get a consulting fee

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or speaking fee or something.

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But what you're talking about isn't ghostwriting.

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What you're talking about is you write in your voice.

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That's great.

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You get stuff written.

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That's perfect.

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You get it down on paper, on the computer, things in your head, it's out.

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That's absolutely perfect.

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Then it becomes an editor that you're going to work with.

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And the next step would be to have a developmental editor look at

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it, or a manuscript review editor look at it, just to see if it's

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in the right order, if it flows.

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If you should move the order of like chapter two and chapter three and

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flip them if there's big holes in it like someone who does not know you

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just to read it just for content.

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This makes sense.

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Then the next step after you get that feedback.

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The next step is then have.

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Copy editor go through and clean it up.

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So every sentence doesn't start with I, but you don't speak like that.

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So this is not anything to you because you don't speak like that,

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but just to go through and make sure that it can still be conversational.

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So you're very conversational, and your writing is probably full of stories.

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So we're not taking any of that up.

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We're just tightening it up a little bit.

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And that's what the copy editor will do.

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Yeah, sometimes, even if we're writing a blog post, because often as business

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partners, we say we, and then it might switch to I, so we have to watch

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that throughout things that we write.

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Is it coming from me or I?

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Yeah, and that editors do that all day, every day.

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That's just part of what an editor does.

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Make sure that all your tenses are consistent.

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Make sure that you're if you're in 1st person or not, it's

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consistent all the way out.

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Those are things that editors do.

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They're really good at it.

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Thank goodness.

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I would think that I think my biggest issue would be remembering everything or

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remembering some of the details because I know sometimes the stories, the best

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stories have the really tiny details that were important to know, or that grab

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people and brought them into the story.

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Absolutely.

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And as you write it, you will remember details and you can have

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someone interview you about a specific story and you're writing

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it so you get to make it up as well.

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You do, you get to make it up.

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It's your story you get.

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And when people are giving stories of real life examples, I usually encourage them

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to take two or three different stories and merge them so nobody can recognize

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themselves if they're reading the book, unless you have very specific permission.

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Right.

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Yeah, that's a good point.

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So we're always embellishing and changing the facts a little bit.

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Anyway, because if you're writing something, you're not doing like an

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autobiography or a biography where all the facts have to be exactly right.

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You're telling stories to illustrate a point.

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At what point should someone come to a publisher?

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Should it be when they have an outline or when they feel like it's almost done

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and they need an editor or any of those?

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Yeah, any of those.

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Every single publisher works differently.

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We have a program to help you get your book written.

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We have a program to help you publish your book.

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We have a program to help you market your book and become known.

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Based on your book, right?

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Some publishers only work on that publishing piece.

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So it depends on the publisher, but we have 3 programs and you

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can come in wherever you are.

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I think that's amazing.

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And I think it's perfect timing because I think with everyone getting ready to

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go into 2024 or 2024 has just started.

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It's going to be a great time to think about is this the

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year I'm going to write a book.

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And if it's in your heart, if it's in your mind, my team and I help you.

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Perfect.

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Thank you so much for joining us here again today.

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You always bring such wisdom to our podcast.

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We're so thrilled that you are here.

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We appreciate you and we appreciate all the insights that you bring, and

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for aspiring authors out there, be sure to go check out your website.

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Thanks for listening to the six Figure Business Mastery Podcast.

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If you enjoyed listening to this episode and you are ready to leverage video

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marketing on all online platforms, or maybe even start your own video

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podcast, then you need to check out the Done for You and Done with You program

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at the marketing va advantage.com and take your business to the next level.