Who better to learn writing a book from than best-selling author Gabby Bernstein?! In this episode, I sit down with my dear friend to ask ALL of the questions you may have had about the book-writing and publishing process, from how to come up with ideas, to overcoming writers block, to choosing between self-publishing and traditional publishing, to scheduling your writing days and so much more.
If you’ve always wanted to write a book, join Gabby’s Bestseller Masterclass and learn the exact steps, plus receive my Channeling Your Creativity Meditation as my exclusive bonus. Get more info here! www.iamsahararose.com/gabby
Make sustainability sexy with your pair of Wolven for 25% off at wolventhreads.com with coupon code SAHARA
Get 15% off your BluBlox pair at www.blublox.com/sahara
Try Betterhelp for 10% off at www.betterhelp.com/sahara
Discover your soul’s purpose in just 21 days with my 21 Day Dharma Discovery Journey: iamsahararose.com/dharmadiscovery
Join Rose Gold Goddesses, the sacred sisterhood collective all about embodying the Goddess within at www.RoseGoldGoddesses.com
Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor
Order My Books Eat Feel Fresh + Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda: www.iamsahararose.com/books
By accessing this Podcast, I acknowledge that the entire contents are the property of Sahara Rose, or used by Sahara Rose with permission, and are protected under U.S. and international copyright and trademark laws. Except as otherwise provided herein, users of this Podcast may save and use information contained in the Podcast only for personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. No other use, including, without limitation, reproduction, retransmission or editing, of this Podcast may be made without the prior written permission of the Sahara Rose, which may be requested by contacting [email protected]
This podcast is for educational purposes only. The host claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information presented herein.
By Sahara Rose[00:12]
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes You, Your Soul’s Highest Evolvement.[00:20]
I am super-excited for this Episode because a question I get asked all the time is “How do I write my book?” And this is a question that I had so pressing in my heart, in my early 20s, when all I wanted to do was write books. I have always been a writer and I’ve just resonated with taking my thought and putting it into words, and the hardest journey for me was to figure out how to turn that into a book. And I know I get asked by so many people “How do I write a book? How do I get a book deal? Do I self-publish? What does your writing process look like?” and so much more. And this is really a topic that I am so passionate about and also a topic that I love discussing about with other authors to see their own journey because writing a book can really look like so many different ways.[01:09]
Each of the now four books that I’ve written have shown up in its own form. Some of them I have done by really being organized and having a table of contents, others were just kind of channeled and came through, and I have other book-writing projects that never really saw the light of day because I didn’t have enough structure and organization to it, so I’m always curious what other people’s writing processes are like and truly, there is no one better to talk about this that someone who had written nine books, and that is Gabby Bernstein.[01:40]
So, many of you are already familiar with this incredible woman, she has been on the Podcast before, she’s a dear friend of mine. I actually was so excited, we were speaking on the same stage a couple years ago and ended up hanging out the whole weekend and becoming friends. And she is someone who I really admire in my own journey.
Before my first book came out, going to the bookstore and seeing her book, as a female spiritual author, was so inspiring for me and really showed me that it is possible and that there are other spiritual women who are out there who are getting their messages heard. And it really allowed me to see that there was also space for me to share my voice as well.
So, I never could’ve imagined that, one day, I would be interviewing her on her book-writing process.
So, she is someone who is just so organized, so deliberate, she has such a New York energy to her (that’s where she’s from). So, I loved interviewing her and really asking her all of the questions about book-writing.
If you guys listen to this Podcast and know me, you know I basically channel all of you guys and all the questions that you probably have in your head, I’m like “What about this? What about that?” and she really answers all of them.
So, you’re going to get so much value, so much, just, awareness about what writing a book could look like and also her tips, tools and strategies, and at the end of the Episode she shares a really incredible opportunity for you to actually learn how to write your best-selling book with her process. And I’ve included a free bonus for you guys, I’ll be sharing about at the end of the Episode if you’d like to join. And head over to the show notes now if you want to click on that link and learn a little more about it.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Gabby Bernstein back to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, I’d love to share with you this special offer.
If you’re like me, you just want to be comfortable and wear clothes that are super-soft and stretchy but also not damaging for the environment – well, I’m super-excited to introduce you to Wovlen, a sustainable yoga apparel line that was actually founded by my dear friend Kieran who is also a woman of color.
I live in Wolven’s joggers, you actually can see me in them in my Yoga Journal cover shoot spread as well as in a lot of my dance Tik Toks and reels, and the best part is, they’re actually made out of recycled BPA-free bottles. There are about 27 recycled bottles in each pair of pants.
The fabric is super-soft, breathable and odor resistant, meaning you can wear them more and wash them less.
Climate scientists agree that reducing carbon emissions is our single most important objective to reduce catastrophic climate change and protect the environment for our future generations.
In addition to being climate neutral and good for the planet, Wolven created the innovative 4-way top, a top in which you can reverse four ways, from print to basic. Their sacred geometry prints are designed in-house and the basics are inspired by the colors of Mother Earth, including their turmeric, which is one of my favorite colors.
Each piece is designed to hug and accentuate your natural curves, all while providing support and versatility.
You can get 25% OFF your Wolven order at wolventhreads.com with coupon code ‘Sahara’, and you can find that link in the show notes.
[05:01] End of Advertisement
Welcome back Gabby to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here again!
It is always good to be with you! You’re one of my favorite people to reconnect with randomly. You’re like one of those balls of sunshine that I randomly get to see you once a year, whether it’s on Zoom or in person, it’s like this bright light happens inside me.
Thank you! And the question that I’d love to ask you again is what makes you your highest self?
Oh, so many things. I would say what makes me my highest self is being authentic and untethered, yeah.
And I really think, right now, we are so in need of authentic and untethered voices. It’s so challenging every time we go online and we’re not sure what to believe, what’s true, what’s false, reading between the lines, and it can sometimes just feel like the greatest breath of fresh air to read something that comes from the heart.
And so many people right now, too, have experienced so many challenges and lessons and deeper revelations that they’re wanting to share. And that’s why I’m so excited to be interviewing you today on writing a book because it’s a question I get by so many listeners of “How do I get started writing a book? What does it look like? What is the creative process like?” and there’s really no one better out there to ask than you, who crafted multiple New York Times’ best-sellers; someone who has deeply inspired me and I feel really paved the way for female, spiritual authors. There truly has never been a female spiritual author like you before and you really are a pave-maker who has really allowed us to see what is possible.
So, first of all I want to acknowledge you and thank you for that, and just learn more about your writing process.
So, the first question I’d love to ask you is how do you get an idea for a book? Is it something that just hits you? Is it kind of the conglomeration of different lessons you’ve been learning recently? What does that process look like?
Well, I’m actually laughing to myself before I even answer that question because I’ve written nine books in 11 years and right before I got on with you, I’m in the process of writing a proposal for a cook book actually, that I won’t be writing the recipes, I’ll be writing the spiritual elements of it, but what I find so funny is I’m just sitting here and I’m like “She’s asking me what makes me want to write a book” and I’m in the middle of trying to write the proposal for this next one. So, I can answer that with a lot of authenticity in this moment.
I will write a book, often, there’s two reasons:
1) based on what I sense the reader needs at that time – given the circumstances of the time; given what I’m intuitively and spiritually being called to bring forth, from a timely perspective.
2) I write books based on what I need for my own healing and my own personal growth at that time.
Every book I’ve written has first and foremost been written for myself. I write it as a part of my own recovery and my own spiritual growth and enhancement.
The fact that these books heal me, allows me to know that they will heal the reader; that they will support and serve the reader.
I love that so much! And when do you get that spark of “Yeah! This is going to be a book!”?
Way too often! So, I’m laughing still inside loudly because I was on the phone with my agent, I’m talking 5 minutes before we got on, and I’m like “Okay, I’m telling you about the proposal for the cook book” and he’s like “Okay, but when are you going to write your children’s book because Harper One want to write a children’s book with you (oh, we can take out Harper One), because this publisher wants to write a children’s book with you”, and I’m like “Okay, yeah, I really want to write a children’s book! Wait, I’ve got the biggest idea for that!” and then 5 minutes later I’m like “Oh yeah, I’ve got this book writing course called The Bestseller’s Mater Class. I want to write a book-writing book!” he was just like “Slow your roll girl!” But that’s like any agent’s dream, right? But the answer is I always have the spark of inspiration; my team has to work at the speed of Gabby; I actually have to often slow myself down so that I can not take on too many things.
I love that! And I feel the same way! And then, when do you feel like someone needs to have gotten through the lesson to write a book on it? I often see people, they want to write a book about a certain lesson, but can you be in the lesson and write the book or how far after really completing that lesson do you feel like you’re ready to write a book on it?
I think you can be in the lesson while writing it, but it really depends on the topic. So, for instance, when I wrote the book “The Universe Has You Back” I was living in a really, really, really dark period of my life, I had just remembered a dissociated childhood trauma and then I was contracted to write a book about transforming fear into faith. So, in the process of writing that book I was healing myself. So, while I was going through it, while I was writing it, and so I think that was appropriate for that book. Whereas, this new book that I’m writing, that will be out on 2/22/22, the new book I’m writing is all about undoing the traumas from the past so that you can be standing in your greatness in the present. And that’s my book on trauma recovery. And there’s no freaking way that I could’ve written that book 5 years ago, 2 years ago, even a week before I started. I started writing a year ago, when I was steady enough, when I was healthy enough, when I was grounded enough, when I was in enough recovery, when I knew that my words wouldn’t trigger others, so that I could be a safe container to hold the conversation to keep people safe in that conversation.
So, the answer sort of has to depend on the topic. If you’re going through a break-up and you want to write your break-up book, that might be the best time to write your break-up book because you’re living it, but if you’re unpacking a traumatic wound from childhood that you just remembered, after 36 years, you might not want to write that book the first day that you remember. So, yeah.
I love that answer. And when you start writing a book, does it look like you’re just kind of in front of your Microsoft Word just writing away or do you put together a table of contents first?
I am – so, I use the word untethered upfront. When I write, I write as an untethered force of light, that’s my title at my company, I am not the CEO, I’m the Untethered Force of Light, at the top of the page of every book I write ‘Untethered Force of Light’. The only way I can be untethered and be a force of light as a writer is to have a very detailed outline and to know where I’m going and to know the journey that I want to take the reader on and to know the core message of the book and to do all that heavy lifting and organization upfront so that I can riff between the lines so that I can be untethered, so that I can have fun and just be free because I know exactly where I’m going. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to write yourself into circles. There is no freedom in not having a clear outline; it’s actually quite the opposite.
And this is something I teach all writes in my course “The Bestseller Master Class”, I give a full module just on core message; an entire module just on the outline, and that where I start, if you don’t have your core message – core message meaning the through-line – what is the promise of this book? An example, often, is the subtitle of the book. So, right, ‘Super-attractor’, the core message ‘methods for manifesting a life beyond your wildest dreams’. Okay, I know what she’s talking about!” If every chapter doesn’t connect to that core message, then it has to be used in another book or deleted, or whatever.
So, the clarity and the organization and the forced organization, frankly, because I’m not the most organized person but I’ve taught myself to be, gives me the freedom to be untethered in the writing.
I love that so much and I can so agree that table of contents helps you move so much faster too, because I have found when I don’t have a table of contents and I’m just writing, I end up, you get on a tangent on one thing and you’re three pages in into this one point that feels like the most important point you have to keep writing about and then you basically have to get rid of all of it and it ends up being a sentence.
So, I would love to talk about ‘killing your darlings’, sometimes as writers, we get really precious about our words and we don’t want to let go of things, what is that process like to you, to be like “Nope, this isn’t going to fit in the book”, do you kind of save it in a file for other books, is that hard for you, what is it like?
Well, I think that the stuff that I need to move is different than my darlings, because the stuff that I need to move is usually good stuff that is awesome and channeled and I’m just like “But that just doesn’t fit in this book, save it for the next one or put it in a blog or put it in a social media post, or do something with it”, But the darlings, oh my God, one of my darlings are, I always write “In the times we’re living in, we are called to…” my husband’s always like “Are you kidding me with this stuff” because it’s consistent, so I’m very easy to strike through that, I look for it, I find it much more easily now. I think in one of my books, I think I’ve written, I can’t remember what the word was but my editor found the same word like 99 times, it was something, it had to be cut.
Do you ever find the challenge of you’re writing and you’re in a specific tone or mood and then you come back to write and you’re in a different tone and mood and then it sort of feels like a sort of different voice’ Do you tend to choose what the tone of the book is going to be like before and consistently write like that or do you edit that more later on in the process?
I think that because I’m a motivational speaker first and writer second, I don’t know why I identify like that, I write so many books, but I do see myself as a speaker first. I always write in my spoken voice, and so the voice doesn’t change much, and even if the mood changes, the voice is the same. And so I think, because my biggest, I don’t have any literary background, other than writing nine books, but I haven’t had any writing training and traditional publishing training or anything before I wrote my books, I think that was a blessing for me because I found my voice at a very early stage in the process – and so, that’s consistent for me, no matter what.
I love that so much! And do you tend to set a routine for yourself, of “I’m going to create the space and write between these times” or is it more whenever the inspiration hits?
Both. These days it’s more routinized because I have a son who is 2.5 years old. And when I was younger and I was writing (I’ve pretty much been writing a book a year), so when I was younger and I was writing and I didn’t have a child and as many responsibilities, I would write my book on airplane of the book tour of the book that I just launched. So, I’d be writing the next book, so I would write a book, launch it, sell the next book and then be on the freaking airplane of the tour writing the next book, which was fine because it was coming out and I had a deadline and I love writing on planes.
I do have a little bit of a routine which is coffee, mornings, are my writing time, I will never write at any other time, usually I don’t write past noon – morning is when I write, it’s my magic hour (my magic hours). I need to have the uninterruptable, as my friend Danny Shapiro says, as a writer, to be uninterruptable, because when I write, I just can’t – I have to have all the tabs gone; I am a multi-tasker, but the more space I clear, the better the writing is.
I feel you! Do you put your phone in another room or on airplane mode, or do you just kind of get in the zone and forget?
I turn off all the other tabs, just in one tab, I write in Google Drive and I’m just in the Google Drive tab (there’s no other tabs up), my phone is probably on silent.
Do you find yourself getting distracted or do you take breaks throughout the hour or do you kind of just sit and flow until the muse runs out?
I sit in flow, so it might flow for an hour and I’m done for the day. I don’t bang my head over the people, I just let it out, I let it out.
I love that so much! And yeah, I think my best writing has always come in those times that it’s unforced and it’s just coming through me, but sometimes to get to that place it requires a bit of discipline and motivation when you’ve especially never felt that feeling before, but then eventually I feel like the muse shows up.
Yeah, I think that it’s not about how long you’re writing for, it’s about how free you are when you’re writing.
Absolutely. So, I want to talk about completing a book. Now, I’m sure a lot of listeners have started writing something but haven’t completed it. What do you do to stay on track, stay motivated, stay focused, especially with running a business, having a son and so many other things in your life?
I am the most unorganized, routinized person there is! So, I have a lot of routine but I also have a lot of freedom in that routine. And because of that I’ve never missed a deadline, I’m early usually when I drop a book to my publishers.
I think it’s also sort of in my nature to be on time. I also find that completion is something that brings me ease. And some people like to just do things at the last minute – I like to get shit done! So, that’s helpful when you have a deadline – is, I stay on track, I’m consistent, I start early, I give myself enough time and space, I know, sort of inner clock, when it needs to get done.
This new book, I wrote most of it in early 2020 at a crazy time and then I knew if I did that, I would have plenty of time to go back and rewrite it, which I have to often do, rewrite a lot of it. So, I don’t miss deadlines, I’ve no trouble with completion.
Before you had a publisher and deadlines, was it ever challenging for you or would you set a deadline for yourself?
I just think it was just always in my nature to get stuff done. I think that that, it’s just something that my mom taught me, and almost to a default at that time. Now, it’s much more balanced but I think when I was younger, I would get things done because I would be anxious if I didn’t. And so, now it’s much more just in my nature and it’s just part of my inner clock and I just make it happen. It does give me ease to be complete, I do think when I was younger it might have been a little more destructive.
I feel you. I sometimes feel the sense of urgency, of like “Something is unfinished, I need to finish the thing”, and yeah, it does give you the feeling of relief and satisfaction after. And then, there’s another thing to write and create, and that’s the joy of life.
We’ll take a quick break so I can give a shout-out to our sponsors.
This Podcast is sponsored by Better Help. It is so important to have someone that you can openly talk to about your issues and what’s going on. Sometimes we use our friends as therapists, but that’s really not what they’re there for. Our therapist is our therapist!
And I know in my life, it has been beyond helpful to have someone hold space for me so I can openly speak about what’s going on in my mind, and have someone to reflect back my thoughts at me so I can find more clarity and overcome any anxiety that I have been feeling.
So, I am so excited to be partnering with Better Help. Better Help is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. You can even message your therapist throughout the week for additional support.
It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can start communicating with your therapist in under 48 hours. So please, don’t wait weeks to find someone to talk to. There has never been a more important time to invest in your mental health because you my friend are your greatest asset.
Again, this Podcast is sponsored by Better Help, and Highest Self Podcast listeners get 10% OFF their first month at betterhelp.com/sahara
So, if you’re anything like me, you catch yourself late at night on your computer with all of these words and thoughts and things you want to research but it’s super late and you know you’re going to screw up your sleep and Ayurveda told you your circadian rhythm really matters so you’re secretly mad at yourself but you still want to keep going. Does this sound a little bit too specific?
Well, if so, I have the solution for you and those are Blu Blox Glasses. So, these are glasses that help block the junk light, all of the artificial light, the blue light that’s on our phones, our laptops, all these screens, even our light switches. I’ve actually changed all my lights to no longer have the blue artificial light that comes through, so it’s a lot more soothing for my circadian rhythm cycle. And wearing these Blu Blox Glasses has been so helpful, I sleep better, I wake up early easier and I don’t have that same digital eye strain.
And if you’re a little skeptical, all of these glasses use science-backed technology tested to ensure they work, unlike other Blue Light Glasses companies.
If you want to get your hands on a pair, head over to blublox.com/sahara for 15% OFF your first pair, and you can find that link in the show notes.
[22:43] End of Advertisement
So, do you ever start writing a book and then realize “Maybe this isn’t the book I’m meant to write” or “Maybe this isn’t the time, I’m meant to write this book later on”?
That hasn’t happened to me, the opposite has happened to me. I’d be writing a book, well, maybe it’s not quite the opposite, it might be the same thing, sort of, I’d be writing a book and one of the chapters in the book, I’d be writing, and “Oh shit, this is a book!” So, that happened with “The Universe Has Your Back”, I was writing “The Universe Has Your Back” and I wrote an entire chapter about releasing judgment, and when I finished that book I was like “Oh, damn it, that’s a whole book”, which became my next book, which was “Judgment Detox”. So, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just that I had to recognize that this was the introduction to what was going to become a book later, and that’s kind of cool.
I love that! And speaking of judgment, what do you suggest to people who are editing while writing? So, they are rereading what they just wrote and kind of in their more analytical mind when writing, what is your process with that?
I would say that’s not good for me, I don’t know, maybe other people, but I like to do is get it all out, write it all out, then maybe the next day review it and give it a little bit of a ‘szsz’ and a little bit of a reorg.
I also work with an editor in addition to the editor at the publishing house so that I feel like there’s somebody just sweeping up behind me. So, when I complete a chapter and I’ve done my own very light edit on it, then I’ll give it to my editor, she’ll do a first round edit and I’ll go on to the next chapter. And then she’ll kind of continue to sweep up after me and we’ll do three rounds of edits. Then when I’m done with those three rounds of edits, she’ll give me a complete manuscript, no ghosting, I write every single word of my book, she just does a reorganization, copy edits, suggestions, things like that, and then I give the full manuscript to my husband Zach and then he literally just goes and tears that shit up and then I have to go deal with his edits. And once I’ve done that, I bring it to the publisher. I submit a really clean manuscript.
So, you don’t let yourself kind of reread what you just wrote? Just kind of briefly, after you’ve finished the whole chapter?
Aha, or I’ll write a few thousand words and I’ll go back to it the next day and say “Okay, am I on the right track?” I complete the entire chapter without revisiting it, but sometimes I will.
And do you ever, or have you ever, had a voice in your head as you’re writing, of like “This isn’t even very good” or “I’m off today”?
Yeah, I’m sure I have. I think that if I’m feeling like thought though, I would stop writing. So, I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever felt like that I’m staying in that place, I never force myself to write.
I love that so much! And for people who are thinking about writing their first book, would you suggest for them to self-publish it, get it out there or try to get a traditional publishing deal?
So, I cover this in great detail in my Bestseller Master Class because I think that a lot of people think they only can get a book out by getting a publishing deal and what happens is, they may not have a platform that’s ready for it, or there may be an issue with the publishing industry at that time, or whatever, so they’re pretty much waiting there to be picked. And as a result of that, they’re sitting on their big mission-driven work.
So, I am a huge fan of teaching people the exact methods for getting an agent and a publisher, but also, most importantly, the exact methods to finding your path to self-publishing journey because you can self-publish, have a successful book and have that same book republished years later by a publisher. So, there’s no shame in the game with self-publishing, let me tell you, it’s something I may very well do at some point in my own career. Sometimes it can be far more abundant for people.
So, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way but I do believe that if the traditional publishing path is going to hold you up and keep you from putting your book in print, then self-publish.
I love that advice so much! And yeah, I think, especially with the paradigm shifting and Covid happening and so many distribution channels not even being open right now, the very reasons why so many people traditionally published in the past may not even be there right now of, we’re not really walking into a bookstore as much as we used to, or Anthropologie or whatever places that we are buying a lot of things online, which you could just self-publish and have it basically look exactly like a book and be exactly on Amazon. Plus, I believe now, that you can even self-publish on audible.
You can, I believe you’re right.
Yeah, which is super-cool! Do you tend to find that people resonate more with your written book or audible, audio books or is it sort of equal?
My audio books almost sell more than my hard cover, at this point, maybe equal. A lot of people buy both, they like to read it and listen. Because I read my books, because I am a motivational speaker, because of the nature of the books, I think that people really like to listen to them, and I also think that audible is such a hot thing right now, people like to listen to the books.
Recording my audio book was one of the hardest things. I thought it was going to be so fun and so easy.
It’s so hard, it’s so hard!
They were like “Your stomach rumbled!”
It’s no small thing! The first time I did it, I remember I was like “Oh, no! I don’t think I’m not going to make it through!” And then I got better as time has gone on.
Do you record them at home now or do you go to a studio?
My last audio book, which was an audible original, they sent me all the equipment, I recorded it in my home, yeah, it sounds great.
Was that easier?
In some ways yes and some ways no because I was still zooming the tech side of it, so I had to set it all up, my husband helped me but I’d have to set it all up and test it and send them the files. No, it actually wasn’t easier but it was… But I’m building a recording studio in my office, in fact, so for the future it’s just going to bang it out, maybe I can have somebody there helping me.
Yeah, totally. My friend did it while lying down on her bed, just recorded it at home just lying down, I’m like “I need to do that next time.”
That’s a good idea!
So, I’d love to hear your advice – a lot of people, they have an idea for their first book and it’s a memoire, their story, and often times the advice they hear from publishers is “It’s not a good idea for your first book to be a memoire because people don’t know you yet, they may not want to hear your story”. So what is your advice on a first book idea? Should it be something that’s more of a guide without a personal story or would you say just go for it and start with your memoire (given also the challenges of writing about your own personal story)?
I think it depends on the type of author you anticipate becoming. For instance, my friend, Danny Shapiro, who is a memoirist, her books are memoires, she had to start somewhere. So, it’s not like she was writing self-help books, although they have a lot of deep personal growth in them.
If you’re like us and you want to write personal growth, spiritual books or non-fiction, then maybe you don’t want to start leading out with a memoire, you do want to kind of qualify yourself as a teacher. But if you’re someone that wants to write fiction or wants to write memoires, then you would want to start there. So, it sort of depends on the style of book you intend on or the style of author you intend on becoming.
Totally! In my experience, writing about my own personal story has always been the most challenging thing because there’s so many nuances to it and perspectives, especially when there’s other people involved.
So, what is your advice on writing something that maybe has to do with someone else, like a parent or a person in your life that you want to share your whole truth but you also know that that person is going to read it?
Well, you either have permission or you change the name and the sex and make them unrecognizable.
Love that! Yeah, I know, for so many people it’s hard because you want to share about your childhood and things you overcome and maybe you don’t want your childhood friends and family to know or you don’t want your parents to hear what you really felt about your childhood or all of these different things that come with sharing your story.
Listen, the book I’m writing right now, it’s like my husband is editing it and he’s just coming into my office being like “I think I’m depressed” because the stories that he’s lived through with me, even though if it’s not directly connected to him, it’s stuff that’s triggering for him because it’s reminding him of when I was suicidal with postpartum depression or remembering trauma, it’s really hard shit. So, people in your life may struggle to hear the book, they just might put it as, speaking of stomach growling, my stomach just started growling.
It’s always happening it’s just the microphone makes you hear it. Yeah, I feel you, it was definitely the hardest thing for “Discover Your Dharma” sharing about my story with my family etc. and yeah, knowing that it’s your story to share and when you’re putting something out into the world, it’s also involving their perspective, so it’s definitely the greatest healing process, I think, I’ve ever gone through, especially with that. Yeah, so much wisdom that can be gained.
Do you feel that every time you write a book, you shift as a person?
Yep! Every time I write a book I shift as a person – yes! My books heal me, my books teach me, my books challenge me to be a better version of myself. If you’re going to put your face on the cover of “The Judgment Detox” book, you’d better get your shit together. If you’re going to put your face on top of “The Universe Has Your Back” you’d better stay positive and really believe and practice what you preach. Oh yeah, being an author is a privilege in that it challenges me to walk my talk.
Yeah, most definitely! I think, some of us, we chose to learn lessons by transmuting them and teaching them to others and then we get another karmic lesson and then we transmute that and write a book or share about it in some sort of way – that’s just how we’re going to live our lives, forever.
That’s right, that’s right!
So, what’s your advice for people who feel like “Maybe I’m not naturally a writer”, do you suggest that they voice record themselves writing a book and then try to edit it later? Do you think it’s a learned skill or something that some people were just born with?
I think that if you have a story to tell, there is a way to express it. I had no literally background, I couldn’t string a sentence together. My first book, I was guided to a writing coach who just taught me how to create an outline and then that gave me the freedom to write between the lines and the extend radius in my writing and just have fun and be joyful with it. That was the beginning for me. So, I think, if you don’t identify as a writer but you know you have a story to tell, there are many ways to express that story through your writing and you can also teach yourself. My writing is so good now, and it wasn’t that great before. It was always good in that it was my voice and it was clear and the messages were strong, but the actual writing is great now. And that took 11 years of consistent writing. Now I can just sit down and write a book proposal in 5 minutes with a killer intro as I can tell stories well in my writing voice.
I love that and I know you share more about story telling tips etc. in your Bestseller Master Class, which I can’t wait to share about more.
So, what advice do you have for someone who does want to be a first-time author; something that you maybe wish you could’ve told yourself 10+/20+ years ago?
Well, I would have told myself, I probably would’ve said, actually I don’t know, I wouldn’t have advised myself on anything because I think what I did was great but what I would say to somebody else is, just stay open to creative possibilities because you’re going to have all of these stories of doubt, limitation and “I shouldn’t do this” and “How can I do this” and “Who am I to do this, I’m not a writer” and all the bullshit, so if you stay open to creative possibilities that that kind of attitude will keep you resilient and keep you receptive and keep you inspired and keep you open to finding a coach or getting an editor that’s going to help you, or even getting a ghostwriter if you’re someone who’s like “I don’t want to write it, but I’ve got a story to tell”. So, I think there’s a lot of ways to get the book out and you have to just be very open to the possibilities of how you can do it.
I love that so much! And yeah, I mean, I remember when I first was on the journey of writing a book and all the fears and the imposter syndrome and the not enoughness and you know, someone else has already done it so there’s not enough space for me, and it’s just showing up on your computer tab and starting to write. And from that process you get more inspiration, you get more feedback and you refine it, and you get better and then before you know it you have nine books like yourself and counting.
That’s right, you wake up and you have books!
Exactly! And it definitely inspires me, after “Discover Your Dharma” you put so much into a book and then the book launch and then you’re like “I’m not writing a book for at least another year” and then the muse hits and I’m like “Oh, I want to write my next book proposal” and it’s this fun thing. I just love having my thoughts in this physical thing that I can pass along to someone. And I find no course, no think living online, gives me that same gratification that I have knowing, you can even access this for free at the library, I am just gifting this to humanity.
I agree with you completely, it’s a great feeling!
Yes, so good! And I am so excited because you’re going to be really training us more into how to create a bestselling book. I’m so excited for your training that’s coming up in your Bestseller Master Class.
So, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Yes! I know there’s countless authors or aspiring authors out there who want to really level up; want to make that commitment; want to go for it; want to get their book out there; want the direction and clarity; maybe some specific people out there that are like literally “I want the Gabby playbook” – so I created it. I put it into a 6-module course and it’s called The Bestseller Master Class and I can very, unapologetically, and not so humbly, say that it is the best course for anyone who wants to write and market a best-selling book. It sounds like a lot of ego but it’s a lot of fun. So, that’s happening!
And so what I wanted to do to introduce that course is I’m giving a free training on your Four Steps to Become a Bestseller and that’s an hour-long free training which you give the links to in your show notes and then if someone’s actually interested in The Bestseller Master Class, you can put the link directly to the course in there.
I am so passionate about helping people get their stories into print; helping people bring forth their truth. I am a midwife for books, I have been in the devotional midwifery of many fantastic authors like Amy Porterfield, I’m helping now in her journey, and Chris Carr and Sophia Amuruso and maybe even you at times. There’s so many beautiful authors that I have had the privilege of supporting because it is a gift I have that I have lived through, I have expressed, I have proven, for myself and for the student, and I’m really thrilled that I can share that direct path with anyone who feels that they could use that support.
So, you can start with the free training and check out the Master Class, you can go straight to – you’ll put both link in here, and it’s really going to be great!
I love that so much! You know, when I had my idea for my first book, it took me 2 years to even figure out what’s a table of contents, what do I put in it, what do I not? Two years of me just figuring out that I could’ve just written three books in that period of time.
And if you take the Master Class, it’ll take you two weeks because the first week is going to be the core message, the second week is going to be outline. We help you guide yourself towards your best publishing path.
So, I’ve got E-book experts, I’ve got my long-time agent and publishers, I’ve got experts in creating book proposals, there’s a whole Module on how to write a proposal that sells. And here’s the best part in the course, is, I give my 6-month marketing plan, the Gabby Playbook is all in there. So that’s all in the Bestseller Master Class Digital Course and we’re going to have I open for a little while and we’ll just let everybody know about it.
Love that so much! So helpful! I mean, I think you’re such a great marketer too, and I always just love seeing you show up on so many podcasts and IG Lives and you really have such a passion for sharing it. and I think so many people out there maybe have written a book but maybe didn’t do the marketing or they expected “Okay, I just hit publish and I don’t know, people are going to read it” and that’s not really how it goes, so I think that that second side of it, marketing of the book, it really is just as important as writing it, if not sometimes even more important because that’s what’s going to eventually create that word of mouth.
Well, what I say to the authors is, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your great work is read; it’s your responsibility, so you can’t just be a great writer and just pretend like nothing happened after that. I demystify a lot of the marketing, and like I said, I give a 6-month marketing plan, so I give the step-by-step path to get people there.
I love that so much! And yeah, I see so many people, they feel the sense of “Oh, well, my publisher should market the book for me”.
That’s not going to happen, no!
Not going to happen! And everyone I know who has expected that has ended up feeling unhappy or even jaded, and thinking “Book-writing is not for me”, but it really is your responsibility and it’s a privilege because if you don’t want to go out and talk about our book to everyone, then who’s going to do that for you?
Exactly, exactly, exactly!
Love that so much! So, you have your training coming up, I’m going to have that link in the show notes. And if people choose to get The Bestseller Master Class, which I totally recommend, I have a free bonus available for you! So, I am actually creating a meditation, specifically for unlocking your creativity in the book-writing process.
So, if you’re someone that’s like “I know I want to write but I just can’t get into the zone, I get really distracted”, I’m going to be guiding you to a meditation that you can play before you show up for your writing every single day, to get you embodied, grounded and ready to receive that channel going through you.
So, be sure to use the links in my show notes so you can get access to that!
Yay, well thank you so much for sharing today Gabby. I learned so much and it really has re-inspired me to write this book that has been on my heart and I’m like “Maybe I should wait longer, until after “Discover Your Dharma” is out, I’m like “No, I’m going to start writing that proposal right after this.
Get writing! Go girl! Yes, today! Awesome, I love you, it’s so cool to do this!
Yes and thank you for being an inspiration for all of us, we’re so grateful!
[41:10] End of Interview
How amazing was that Episode! I hope you are feeling inspired, invigored and enlightened to write your first book because the world needs to hear your medicine.
If you’d like to join Gabby in her Bestseller Master Class, head over to iamsahararose.com/gabby you can find that link in the show notes and there you’ll also be able to take advantage of my free creativity meditation. This is something that you can listen to right before you start writing to get yourself in that vibe, let the channel open up and the words to flow through you, So, if you want to get that bonus for free, for joining her Bestseller Master Class, head over to iamsahararose.com/gabby and you can find that link in the show notes.
Thanks so much for tuning in and I’ll see you in the next Episode. Namaste!
Episode 370: How To Become A First-Time Author with Gabby Bernstein
By Sahara Rose