Writing a book is amazing AND extremely confronting and challenging. In this episode, I sit with one of my besties to talk about it ALL– the excitement, the nervousness, the fears. We get REAL over the behind-the-scenes of writing and launching a book that every author I know has experienced but people really don’t talk about online. We share the lessons we’ve both learned, the challenge in sharing your story when other people are involved and getting over the shame of revealing parts of your past that don’t represent you today. I share about what it was like to write about my story with my family in Discover Your Dharma. Rosie speaks about n the brink of launching her first book, You Are Radically Loved, and the full spectrum of emotions that comes up right before you’re launching your book into the world- quite similar to having a baby! You hear both of our very authentic perspectives to just cue you in on the behind-the-scenes initiation of writing a book. Enjoy!
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Episode 419: The Behind-The-Scenes of Writing a Book (That No One Talks About) with Rosie Acosta
By Sahara Rose
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.
I’m recording this watching the most beautiful sunset right now. It is hot pink and orange, and it’s reflecting on the water, and it’s just such a beautiful reminder to take a moment to honor that sacred pause. Every sunrise, every sunset, we are given the opportunity for renewal, we’re literally witnessing our planet move into her new cycle. And we, too, are these beautiful eternal and cyclical beings.
And I know, for myself, sometimes I can be like “But I want to create so much and I have all these dreams and goals and aspirations”, and it’s beautiful and it’s what keeps us alive, like writing a book. And, like we’re going to be speaking about today, the desire to create is never-ending. So, it is so important to even, within those periods of inspiration and creativity that you have, to also find that stillness and pause, to really be able to be in that infinity loop of creating-reflection, creation-reflection, is really how the magic happens, and for the long run.
So, writing a book, for me, was that thing that just really set my soul on fire. When I was going through my health challenges and my body was shutting down because I went through Perimenopause when I was 21 years old, and doctors kept prescribing me different medications, and no one really knew what was the root of my issues.
I discovered Ayurveda and healed myself through it, and what allowed me to make sense of everything and see that yes, I had been through this challenge, but I’m able to share that wisdom with others. So, this idea sparked – that I will write a book and I will share my modern approach to Ayurveda with others who are going through Perimenopause or Amenorrhea, or digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, whatever the thing is, because I know that I’m not alone in this. And that’s what led to my desire to writing a book.
And I had never been an author before, I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book, but I just started writing and writing and writing and writing, and figuring it out from there. And this desire in me, of writing a book, was really just such a game-changer because it allowed me to move past all of the obstacles that showed up, all of the challenges, and yes, there were many, but seeing my experiences being passed along through someone, through a book, especially because I spent my childhood in libraries and bookstores, and my last name literally means author – Kitab means ‘book’, so Kitabi is author. My ancestors were the first authors in the Persian Empire, so writing a book is literally in my blood line.
And since then, I’ve written that book, well, I wrote “Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type”, which is the first book, which actually never got published; then I wrote “Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda”; then I wrote “Eat Feel Fresh”; then I wrote “Discover Your Dharma”, so, I’ve written four books now. I created the Yogic Path Oracle Card Deck and Guidebook, as well as the Yogic Path Journal, so, I’ve also created Dharma Coaching Institute, which is an entire 6-month training program on becoming a Spiritual and Soul Purpose Coach, and my Rose Gold Goddesses community. So, writing has been a huge part of my career, and it wouldn’t have started had I not had that desire within me to write a book.
So, if right now, you are also feeling that call, and maybe you can’t even totally understand why, but you just know that certain life experiences you’ve had, you know that you’ve gone through them for a reason, and that reason is to help others, then, writing a book is just such a powerful way of doing so.
And the behind-the-scenes of writing a book is definitely not one that I knew about before, starting the journey, and now, being friends with so many authors, I have these different conversations that I feel most people on the outside don’t really know. We think that “Oh, I’m just going to write a book and then it’s just done”, and I think it’s important to also see the challenges in writing a book, how confronting it can be, and how difficult it can sometimes be to share your story, rather, it involves things of your past that you’ve been ashamed about or stories that involve other people, like it was for myself, of sharing the story of my family and my father disowning me for wanting to embark on my dharmic journey.
So, in this Episode, we got really real about writing a book. And really, the intention being to have a conversation between two authors, myself now, who’s written numerous books, but for Rosie, who, recording this, was on the brink of launching her first book “You Are Radically Loved”, which we’ll talk more about that book and her story in this Episode, and you kind of see, when you’re in it, I can imagine, that it’s like birthing a baby, that when you first get pregnant you’re really excited and then you’re like “Oh shit, now I’m pregnant and I feel sick and I’m anxious and I’m scared”, and you go through so many ups and downs in the journey, and then you’re really excited one minute and then you’re about to push and you’re like “I can’t do this! Just get it out of me, I can’t do the pushing part”, and then the book launches, and so, the baby launches in the world and it’s the best thing ever.
So, I really see the book and baby journey as very similar in those ways, and we really speak about the full spectrum of emotions that comes up in writing your book, launching your book, the things that you might not know, the way that the book industry has changed in the past decade with social media becoming a big focus and authors being expected to market the books themselves, and this is just a really great behind-the-scenes conversation if you are interested in writing a book and you’re ready to hear it all, and this isn’t an inspirational pep-talk by any means, it’s just giving two authentic perspectives to cue you in on the true initiation of writing a book.
And I think it is important to have conversations like this because we can see something from the outside and just see the finished product and think that it came so easily. And I just have so much respect for any author, whether you’re self-published, traditionally published or whether you wrote a memoire, fiction book, self-help book, whatever it is, because I know the blood, sweat and tears that goes into writing a book, and just painstakingly reading over every single line and sentence and word over and over and over again. And it’s just such a level of commitment and dedication because those words are going to be printed onto those pages indefinitely, forever, that is your book, and there’s no editing it, there’s no going back, it’s not going down the social media feed, it truly is a crystallization of you, and with that comes a lot of nervousness.
So, in this conversation, we really dive deep and get honest about all of that. And I’m not going to say I hope it inspires you to write a book, I’m just going to say I hope it gives you what you need because in that we’re able to see that life isn’t always fun and sometimes there are challenges that we need to move through. And moving through those challenges is what allows joy, true joy, not fake joy, but authentic joy to come through the other side. And I speak about how that definitely happened for me, sharing my story in “Discover Your Dharma”.
So, Rosie Acosta is an incredible yoga teacher, meditation teacher, who’s taught the likes of LeBron James and Coby Bryant and many others, she is one of my best friends, she’s been on the Podcast multiple times, she really is like a Buddha, while being a 2Pac at the same time, she brings both energies in, and I just love her essence because she just has this Momma Bear energy that will cheer you on and also give you that tough love, and just has such a perfect balance of the two, and I know you’re going to love her a well.
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Rosie Acosta to The Highest Self Podcast.
And before we get started, if you are interested in actually having a career helping others with their spiritual growth, align with their soul’s purpose, incorporating tools like Breathwork and Meditation, to help people become their most abundant selves.
Well, if you are interested in this opportunity, then I invite you to join me in Dharma Coaching Institute. This is my accredited school where you will become trained in just 6 months to become a Certified Spiritual Life Coach as well as a Soul Purpose Coach.
We teach you everything you need to know from how to coach to how to sign clients and many, many different Dharma Frameworks that you can use such as The Dharma Discovery Method, Archetypes, and so much more. So, you’ll actually know step-by-step what to coach people on, what practices to use, what frame works for them, to have the most incredible transformations. And we spend the last 2 months of the program teaching you everything you need to know on the business front.
So, if you’re interested in learning more, head over to dharmacoachinginstitute.com and you’ll be able to learn more information and join our wait-list for when doors open back up this March.
I am so excited to invite you inside! We’ve had such incredible success stories from our now two rounds of over 800 Coaches that have trained with us, and I’m so excited to welcome you in. Again, head over to dharmacoachinginstitute.com to join the wait-list and learn more!
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Welcome back, Rosie, to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here.
So great to be here, as usual! I love this community so much!
We love you too! And the first question I’d love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?
I think, right now, I love when you ask this question because I always feel like I have to tune in to see what is present, because I like the experience to be dynamic, as opposed to static. So, that being said, connecting with the people that love me, that makes me feel my highest self.
So, you’ve, most recently, written this book that, today, when this Podcast is out, just hit the shelves on 02.22., which is so exciting, and I know so many listeners desire to write a book and I know for myself, it was like this far-off dream and I was like “One day I’ll write a book” and it’s happened, and multiple times, and each time has been its own initiation.
So, I would love for you to share a little bit more about your process of writing the book and first of all, how the original idea planted within you?
Yeah. It’s such a great question because I’ve not talked about it, because I’ve not written a book before, and I’ve just not been asked this question. And it’s a great question because when you think about it, respectively, especially if there’s people out there who have a desire to do it, there’s two things: there’s the desire to write the book, and then there’s actually the process of writing a book; which are two completely different things. You can spend your entire life fantasizing of becoming an author or you can actually become an author. And it’s not an easy feed, it definitely does take a lot of dedication and organization and time, just depending on what route you want to go.
For me, I wanted to write my own book and I wanted to create it from beginning to end. I didn’t necessarily want, I mean, you and I, know so many people that don’t want or have book and didn’t write them themselves, and I think for me…
…Which to me is mind-boggling!
Why do you want to write a book if you’re not going to write it yourself?! It just doesn’t make sense to me!
Yeah! You know what I think it is, to play a little bit in the defense, is, I think some people are really insecure about their writing. Maybe they feel like they don’t have the best grammar or they don’t have the best punctuation. Or sometimes, when you get an idea, you’re trying to put it on the page, is way different. You and I can have hours-long conversations, but we were to write it, how do you write that in a concise way, without repeating yourselves over and over? You really learn a lot about yourself in this process, you set up for it, it’s been such a transformational process.
I remember when you were writing “Discover Your Dharma” and what a toll that took on you, just to be able to channel and get it all out. There were some issues that you encountered, having to rewrite things or having to move things around, and I had the same experience. But I find it very fascinating that people don’t use it as an opportunity to explore more, if you’re insecure about your writing, why don’t you hire a writing coach or you find somebody that can help you feel more confident, because I think it’s an experience that, it could be really fun, it could be a really fun experience.
For me, it wasn’t always fun, it was a very intense, transformational process, and I’m a big fan, obviously, I’m a yogi and I’m a big fan of digging into all of the stuff that lies beneath the unconscious mind, and to really bring those things out. When you are out in the world, trying to teach something or relay information, I’m a firm believer of you have to do the work, first, before you decide you’re going to teach it, because I can give you incredible advice, but if I’m not embodied in it, if I’ve not experienced it, I feel like it’s vacant, there’s no substance there. And I personally don’t resonate with people who haven’t gone through the process. So, I wanted to go through the process, I’m not saying I wanted to have the writing process be a difficult experience, it just innately was a difficult experience when you’re writing about your own personal story.
For me, that was by far, the hardest part about writing “Discover Your Dharma”, was writing my stories. And it’s so interesting because for some people, writing stories is what comes the most easily and natural for them, like your book, is really story-based, whereas for me, it’s more like channeling universal wisdom comes more natural to me, but writing about my story is like, there’s just so many ways I could tell it, and there’s other people involved, and what will they think, and my interpretation of the circumstances are always changing too. But that’s what I loved at the same time about writing because it’s like the deepest therapy that you can do because you’re looking at those events of your life from this bird’s-eye perspective, where you’re not angry, you’re not therapizing it, you’re having to come to neutrality around it, to share it.
And I remember for myself, writing about the story about my parents, which was the most challenging part, the first, maybe 20 times I wrote about it, there was always some charge, there was always some “They don’t understand me” or something, and I actually gave the book to this woman that I know, who’s like this incredible freedom coach in her 70s, and I was like “What do you think, reading this as a grandmother?” just to see, because your book is going to be read by so many different people in different walks of life, that something that may resonate with you and your peers may sound totally, maybe childish or selfish, or whatever, in someone else’s. So, it was really interesting for me to give those passages to different people and hear their interpretations of it, and that allowed me to, just to fuse some of that heat that was around it and just see the events for what they were and come around to this beautiful conclusion of those lessons needed to happen for me, so one day I could pass that wisdom along.
Yes. And I love that you’re saying it in that way because it gave you an opportunity to examine the experience from a different perspective which I feel is innately healing. In order for us to have a healing journey, I feel like that’s what is necessary, we need to take that eagle-eye view from above to be able to examine all the facets of a scenario that we think is completely, I don’t know, dualistic, in a way.
So, I have a question for you, because you did write, and it’s some of, I think, that the story of you finding your Dharma, and going off, and having your journey in this experience that you had with your father, you have to just be able to write it, you can’t – if you start thinking “Oh, what’s this person going to think” or “What’s that person going to think”, it’s going to stop you every time because you know, you’re such a conscious person, that you know what your experience was, but now you’re thinking about the other person, “Well, what was their experience like?”, how do you do that when you’re telling a story, how do you maintain that, sort of, subjective view of a situation without going into doubt of yourself, doubting yourself, doubting the message that its coming out – so, I’m curious, when you first wrote it, because I had a same situation when I was writing about getting arrested. I actually didn’t want that story in the book at all, and I actually fought two different times to get it taken out because I’m just like “Oh my God, I don’t know, this is not good”, but a situation with family members, there are other people involved, for me, it’s just like, okay, this looks bad, but for you, there’s somebody that’s still in your life and it was a very, very hard encharged situation.
So, at what point did your dad find out about this? Can you explain that process as you were writing, were you writing and just saying “Here’s to my editor, I’m putting this in the book and then I’ll think about it later and maybe I’ll take it out”, or were you like “No, this is in, I’ll deal with the whatever, if there is an issue, later”?
Well, I first just want to say how funny is it that both of our stories that were the most groundbreaking, that people – the first thing I want on the podcast is “Tell us how you got arrested, girl! We want to hear that story!”, and you’re like “I don’t want that in the book”. And for me, the first thing people ask me is “Tell me about your relationship with your family”, and I’m like “That was the thing I didn’t want in the book”, so it’s like that thing that – and for people listening, that thing that you might be ashamed about, that thing that you feel like doesn’t fit into the picture, or you don’t want people to know about you, or it doesn’t look right, that’s the magic, that is the thing that is going to help people relate to you and realize that you’re a human, but fuck, it’s hard as hell to share!
So, yeah, the first time I wrote the book, I didn’t even include the story, and I remember the editor is like “Can you share a little bit more about your journey, we know nothing about you”, I’m like “It’s not about me, it’s about the wisdom, I’m just a channel for it, I don’t want to add my personality!” I’m like, why can’t I be like Eckhart Tolle, just this mysterious writer?!
Right? That is so funny!
And, so, then, I wrote the story, just writing it all out, stream of consciousness, just, it was probably 10 pages long of everything I could remember about that experience that I’ve obviously replayed it in my head, but just getting it out on paper, or on laptop really. And then, from there, it was like “Well, fuck, I definitely can’t put this in it”, and then, from there, there was that refinement process of “Okay, let me…”, and it would go back and forth, but sometimes I would edit out all of the really severe parts, that it just sounded really blah and basic, and then there were times that I would bring parts back in, like my dad calling me the scum of the earth, or dead to him, or these really intense things that, if he head that printed, it would just take me exactly back to where I was. So, I’m like “I don’t even know how long I have left with my dad; we’re on good terms; is it worth me writing it in this book, when I could ruin that again?” It’s like, I’m either having to write it and share it with the masses and help them at the risk of losing my relationship with my father permanently. So, it was that push and pull of how much can I share without it jeopardizing our relationship? However, I knew, any amount of me sharing, was not going to be okay with him.
So, that’s when I started to have different people read it and really sit with it. And yeah, and what I did too, was, in the story, I would kind of flash back and forth to how I felt and how he probably felt. So, I felt, and I never said ‘he said this’ or ‘he did that’, I would say “I felt that my entire life was a lie and that they told me to follow my dreams, and here I am living them and I’m dead to them”, he probably felt “I came to this country, trying to give my family a better life and wanting to survive, and here is my daughter, taking that all for granted and potentially putting her life at risk”, so then, people who are in that parent’s perspective could also relate to that same thing. So, I included more of both of the stories, but eventually I did get to this point that I’m like “Well, I can’t not have my story in my book, so I need to just print it”, and I did not ask for permission of having that story in because I knew the answer would be no. So, I just got it printed, and it wasn’t until the book was about to come out, during Thanksgiving, a few months before, that I had the conversation and I told him, and it was actually interesting because my dad didn’t, he wasn’t really angry about it, he was like “Okay, well, if that’s your story, you can share it”, it was more my mom who was angry about it, because, you know, sometimes moms care mora about reputation and what people will say. But I’m so glad that I did it – you know, and every scenario is different, and I wrote it in a way that I didn’t picture him in a bad light, I just shared really an immigrant family story that a lot of people can relate to. But, for example, if someone’s writing something and maybe it’s about – but at the same time, I kept coming to the conclusion of “It’s my story to share”. So, even if you were in an abusive relationship, that’s your story to share; even if you did have a narcissistic mother, that’s your story to share, you don’t need to dish out all her secrets and say, verbatim, everything she said to you, but you can share how you feel and that, in itself, of owning your story, I think is one of the most healing parts.
Yeah, I totally, one thousand percent, agree. And thank you so much for sharing that because I’ve been wanting to ask you that, it’s a very nuanced question, because I was there, obviously, in this process, when you were going through this, but I am curious from the page to saying it out loud, what that process was, so thank you for sharing that. And again, for the people that are listening to this, that want to write that story, that are wanting to create something that is going to heal the world or change people’s lives, are wound is our message and healing is non-linear; our wound is our purpose sometimes, and it doesn’t mean that we have to live in this wounded state. You talk about this victimhood mentality, I definitely know, for myself, I grew up around a lot of that, a lot of this victimhood or this blaming everybody else for my issues, and not taking agency in my own life, and that’s really what created this desire to have my message be about empowerment, taking spiritual empowerment of your own life. And you do that, in my opinion, by really knowing who you are and starting to write your own story.
In the chapters, there’s a lot of writing prompts. In the beginning there’s this discovery process that has to happen in order for us to really find what those truths are, because that was a really intense experience for you to go through. And some people might even hear it and say “Oh my goodness, how do you still have a relationship with your father after him telling you all those things?” Or, for me, going through the process that I went through and having similar situations, some of that are not in the book, you know, where I felt like “Yeah, if this would’ve got printed, people might not understand.” And I say that, also coming from an immigrant family, there’s just certain types of responsibilities that you have to, sort of, honor your family, and for me, getting arrested, was one of those dishonoring things.
Here I am, I have inherited this paradise and I don’t want it, and I’m doing everything in my power to break this opportunity, to just not care about life because what I understood. One thing that I talk about all the time and I say it on my podcasts or I say it in the book, you can’t teach what you’ve not been taught. And so, for my parents, they weren’t taught “Oh, this is how you raise a child to follow their purpose”, they did not learn that. Our parents’ generation just learned “Better opportunity. Get an education. Get a good paying job with benefits. Have some children. Get married, be happy, done!”, you are successful.
For my parents, even the bar was set way lower than that. My parents just were happy seeing us go to school, that was it. It wasn’t “Oh, here, let’s go to college or decide to open a business or whatever”, it was like “You survived another day, you were amazing!”
So, what was helpful for me, in this book-writing process, was to really weigh the things in my life that were those pivotal moments that changed my thought pattern, that changed my thinking. And I talk about samskaras, and obviously, again, I’ve been a long-time student of yogic philosophy in the yoga sutras of Patanjali. There’s a lot of emphasis on these mounds, samskaras, their impressions that lie in your mind, they may be in the subconscious mind and they’re always depicted as mounds at the bottom of a lake, and we can have all types of samskaras, we can have good samskaras, we can have unhelpful samskaras. And these samskaras, these impressions, these afflictions of the mind, are our habits, they are what create our auto-pilot system, it’s where we go to when we are reactive, it’s what we do every day. And so, if you have a desire to create something, to write a book, what are you doing every day in your life to create that process? What is the track that happens in your mind? Are you able to motivate yourself to write every day? Did you make a decision that you want to, maybe, record yourself talking first and then transcribe it onto page? For some people it’s helpful to do that, for some people it’s helpful to actually have pencil or pen to paper. I’m a typer as well, so when I write, I’m like “Yes, kudos”, because I also do the laptop typing situation.
I love journaling but that to me, journaling is more of an intimate thing that I do when I’m journaling my own feelings or my own process. I’m actually curious for you, when do you actually put pen to paper?
Yeah. My journal, but I don’t hold my pencil the right way so it really hurts my hand to write.
So, I write, just like as a child, I picked up a pencil, to this day is how I hold it.
Are you serious?!
I would like to see what you do.
I’ll share a picture online, but, yeah, I’m with you on the typing. But one question that I have for you – so, my story is a little bit more about my family and other people being involved, but for you, it was your own story of something that carried, maybe, some embarrassment or shame, or “I don’t want people to think differently about me?”
So, first of all, can you share what the story is and then what was your process like writing about it? Because I think a lot of listeners have something like that, they’re like “I could never write that in a book!”
Yeah. It’s so interesting because I think about it now and it wasn’t something that I shared, ever, especially in my yogic career, I’m out to the word, teaching all these workshops about the four desires and yoga nidra, and how to live your purpose, how to be a better yogi. And at the same time, I didn’t think it was a noteworthy experience, there was a lot of shame around it, there was a lot of, just, I thought that it was mundane because everybody around me, at one point or another, when I was young, growing up in East LA, in the 90s, everybody got in trouble with the law.
So, it wasn’t like I was different and it wasn’t like it was something that – in a way, yeah, there was a lot of shame around it, and the shame came from dishonoring my family, my parents, really, upsetting them
But I was 15 years old, I was a sophomore in high school and I’d already been in trouble with the authorities. I had gone through a really difficult time, I experienced living through drive-by shootings and I saw somebody get stabbed, I’ve seen somebody get shot. I was processing, or not processing, really, having PTSD and having all of these issues. I wasn’t sleeping, I was depressed, I was in a terrible relationship that was just awful and I was just making bad decisions, I didn’t really have any mentors or people modelling, upstanding citizen examples in my life. So, everybody was just doing the same, tagging walls, getting arrested for graffiti, selling drugs, all of these fun extra-curriculum activities. And what happened – my little escapade was, I was going home after school and I was with a friend, we went to a local park and there were two vehicles parked in the parking lot. There were the same regulars that hung out in this park, local gang-bangers and some taggers and some kids from my school, and there was a police vehicle with a door that was open and there was another car as well (Honda Prelude) door open, they were both running. I guess what had happened was that the police were following this person and they got out of the car and they ran after this guy, on foot. Well, my friend and I arrived right when that had happened and somebody just, kind of, yelled at me and said “Oh hey Rosie, you should get in the car”, and I was like “Okay.” So, it wasn’t like I was trying to steal a vehicle, and I was completely sober, and this is like the worst thing, I can’t even blame being high or anything, I was literally, completely in my right mind, wearing my panda fingerless gloves from Hot Topic, my black hoodie, I was just being an unpresent child. And yeah, I got in the cop car and I sat in there, and I closed the door, and the minute that that happened, there was six police cars that surrounded the car and pulled out their guns, drawn, and they’re yelling to get out and I just – it was completely out of body experience, I opened the door, I got out. When you have people (police officers) pointing guns at you, especially when you grew up in East LA, it’s never a feel-good experience and yeah, it was scary. So, I got arrested and I got booked and they basically welcomed me to a life in the system. And it was that moment, I was like “Okay, this is the moment that you will remember for the rest of your life because you have a choice to make here, and you could either get on board with this experience and become just like everybody else or you can make a change and decide something different.” So, because, as I said earlier, for people that have a story like that, that’s traumatic or dramatic, or noteworthy, again, it wasn’t noteworthy, did I want to write about what happened? No, but it was important because that was the moment that I realized “Oh”, it was almost like I woke up in that moment. The minute that the booking officer kind of smiled and was like “You’re just another one in here, welcome, this is your life now, your life in the system”, I was so agitated and angry, and raging against the machine, like “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me, absolutely not, no, my life is not going to be in the system.” People always ask what was that moment and how does this relate to yoga and meditation because for me, in that moment, it brought me back to my life, it made me realize “Oh, this is a life that I either can live or I cannot.” And my story didn’t make sense if I didn’t include that, it’s like, how do you drop in “Let’s journal about grounding and let’s talk about connecting with nature. Oh, and by the way, yeah, I had this moment where I realized I needed to make a different choice”, that doesn’t make sense, you have to be able to give people a process. And that process for me, was detailing this journey.
And so, writing it was actually not that difficult, for me, because I’ve talked about it in the past and I’ve done speaking engagements and shared the story a handful of times. And I think that what was more difficult for me was to try and think about that person who I was, that 15-year-old girl and say “Okay, if she was reading the story right now, would she read this and wake up?”
For me, it had to be an actual experience, I had to live through getting arrested and going through the whole process, but would somebody be able to read this and say “Oh, okay, this makes sense to me. I can see how you can go from not believing that the world is built for manifesting your life dreams to believing that that is actually the truth.” You grow up in an environment where people are telling you “Oh, yeah, this world is your playground and bad things happen only to people that do bad things”, obviously, I’m a recovering Catholic and so, I believed that bad things only happen to bad people, but that was not ever the case, I saw bad things happen to good people, all day long, every day.
So, respectively, bringing it back to this writing process, coming back to moments where you had to move a mountain, you had to move a mountain in some way, shape or form. And one of the things that I realized in this book-writing process, was, all of these moments in my life that changed me somehow, that are all in that book, every single moment was that ‘aha’ moment that we talk about. And I feel like when you’re honest and real and authentic in sharing those moments, I think that that’s what resonates with people the most.
Thank you so much for sharing all of that! And even hearing that story, for everyone listening, I think, for everyone, it makes them more curious about your life tips and your journal prompts, and the things that you share, because you share how you go to that place. And I see so many of us with this Instagram culture that we’re just sharing the light or just “Say these affirmations” and without the why, why you got to these affirmations, why this is your practice, it doesn’t really stick the same way.
And I think, also, sometimes it’s that labeling of things that have happened to us in the past that make it real. So, for myself, I mean, what my dad said to me is considered verbal abuse, but to say verbal abuse, it’s like “Holy crap!”, I lived through that. Or for you, it’s grand theft auto, but that feels like a really intense label, but that’s the term. But for someone else it could be like “Wow, I was in an abusive relationship”, but it’s not until we – and I think there’s a light and shadow side, that sometimes we get overly obsessed with labels, but sometimes life just – we’re so in it that we never take that birds-eye perspective, that we’re never like “Oh wow, I actually have gone through some shit.” I actually have learned a lot that, in writing the book and giving it a label, giving it a name, giving it terms, you’re like able to almost step back from it and see it as this magnificent and painful learning lesson that makes you part of the statistic.
It’s like, sometimes you think “Oh, things like that happen to other people, but they don’t happen to me”, and it’s like “Oh no, I’m part of the people who have been domestically abused” or whatever the thing is, and it allows you to relate to them on a much deeper level because, again, we can hear statistics all day but it’s not until we hear the stories that they become real for us. So, I think there’s just such beauty in hearing the stories of things that are intense, to add that nuance to it and help others realize that they may even be in it and not know it.
Yeah. No, you’re absolutely right, and I couldn’t agree with that more, that people – yeah, it’s really about reflecting and observing your own life. When I first started teaching, obviously, I’m not teaching a class and sharing I got arrested, but it’s pretty public knowledge at this point, so I don’t mind having a dialogue, and again, it was such a pivotal experience for me. But I feel like everybody has those moments – there’s a story, that again, I talk about this in the book, my first experience with meditation and having the introduction to Parvati, yoga Nandra, going to the self-realization fellowship, when I was, soon after my getting arrested extravaganza, and I talk about how having a spiritual awakening doesn’t have to be this dramatic experience, sometimes it could be as simple as taking a spontaneous deep breath. It could just be that moment when you realize “Oh wow, there is a channel within me and I can go there and I can get into that frequency in a very easy and simple way”, and going back to the book-writing process, I think that I had to go in that bird’s-eye view, as you say, vantage point, to write about all these experiences to sort of disconnect from that egoic self that wants to place items into categories and have opinions about “Oh, this is right, this is wrong” or “I feel a little bit weird about, or shameful about this, I don’t really want to share this”, and we start to censor ourselves in a way where we aren’t being fully honest about our experience. And I think that’s one of the big issues I have with some influencers in the wellness space, is that they’re only sharing these, the sort of end of the process, it’s like “Oh, here are the affirmations” or “Here’s an exercise on how to get there” or “Do this first.” I think that’s helpful for me, but personally, I like what you’re saying, and it’s really about creating that authentic experience for yourself and for the people whose lives you want to impact, and how do you do that? You do that by being able to share those parts of your life that got you from point A to point B. I think that’s what’s most helpful for most people.
Yeah. And I think that’s what’s so great about writing a book, because it’s almost like, on social media, it’s not a safe space to really share your deepest thoughts and you’re kind of putting it into the hodge-podge where everyone’s competing for attention, that writing a book allows you to really open up, and allows people to get to know you on such a deeper level.
I know, I’ve had this Podcast now for 5 years, and you’ve been doing yours for longer, but having a book, it’s just a whole other level of intimacy with the people, even your friends, who know you, it’s like, it’s giving someone a crystallization of who you are in a moment of time. It’s like “Here’s how I feel. Here’s how I think and here’s the message that I believe is the most valuable for the world to hear”, because in writing a book, you truly are – you know, in any moment of writing a book, you’re writing the book that you feel is the message that, if there was anything I was to share right now, this is what it would be.
Yeah, so, I’d love to know, in you choosing to write “Radically Loved”, when did you know “Okay, this is the book. This is what it looks like”? Was it an instant download? Was it kind of step-by-step, how did it happen?
Yeah, it was definitely an instant – initially, it was an instant download. I knew what I wanted to write about, I knew how I wanted to write about it, I knew that I wanted to bring the mind, body and spirit component into it. I know that I wanted to leave, give people takeaways, create a roadmap, so to speak, but it changed – obviously, you were, I know you were, but the listeners don’t know, you were involved, or you knew about the process of going from what I thought this book was going to be, to what it ended up being. And initially, the book was very prescriptive. I had this, just, like you said, I was “Okay, this is what I want to say, this is what you’re going to do, feeling like this, here are the practices, here’s a meditation, do these grounding techniques, ask these questions, get yourself into a safe space”, you know, all of those really great pros, as people that enjoy self-inquiry framework. But the issue was that it wasn’t, it didn’t have my personal narrative in there, enough, and so, it was what you were saying, about “How did you get here”.
So, this is a really great advice book, but why is what you’re saying different than what everybody else is saying? And this is the thing that I say all the time, I mean, we are different – everybody has a secret sauce. So, you talk about archetypes in “Discover Your Dharma”, so, everybody has their own secret sauce that they have, that is unique to them. You have a thumbprint that is unlike anybody else’s in the world; you have a certain way of relaying information or experiences that will resonate with people.
There are people out there that are exactly your audience and that want the message that you have right now, it’s their medicine, they need it. And so, I needed to reconcile the book that I wanted to write, with the book that my publisher wanted me to write, and find the happy medium in between. And I will say, I think that going into this process, having a little bit of a naivety was extremely helpful, because if I knew then what I know now, I think the book would’ve been very different and I don’t know that I would’ve been as open to being my honest, truest, authentic self, and that’s just me being honest.
Thank you for sharing that.
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So, yeah, I’d love to now move the discussion to lessons learned, now, finishing the book, and your book is about to be out.
So, I remember, right before my book was sent to me, I called you and to be honest, this whole thing was not worth it, this is just so much work. I don’t know, I’m doing everything on my own right now and I’m fucking dying! So, but I will say, now, over a year of this book being out, it, one hundred, thousand, million percent, was worth it. And I think it’s like, you’re, right now, at this point, of like, you put in all the work and I think, too, and this is worth the discussion, but guys, even if you get a publisher, you’re still doing 99.99% of the work, that’s just how it goes in this day and age. Gone are the days that a publisher would discover you like Carrie Bradshaw and give you a book deal and do the marketing and get you press, that is gone. And I think there’s the benefit of that, is, influencer culture has taken over and everyone has their own audience, so publishers, who, by the way are struggling right now with bookstores being shut down for over 2 years, and the Amazon stuff not going through and the China supply chains, and all the things that publishers are not wanting to take a risk, and they’re also, typically, old-school, so they don’t really know how to create a social media market plan. So, coming into writing a book, it’s important for people to know that the marketing of the book is going to be on your hands, whether that’s self-published or published.
So, for me, and again, I’ve written three books before, but even with my last one, it’s like, it’s just such a grind, at the end of it, you’re just trying to think of everything you can and everyone you know and all the ways of getting it out there, and I will say, just being totally honest, is, sometimes selling a book is harder than selling a course. And the reason being, because I think a lot of people have books, I’m just being super honest, I think a lot of people have books on their shelves that they’re like “I need to read all of the books on my shelves, I can’t get another book now.” So, you come against this – I kind of went into it like “Once I write this book, of course my audience is going to buy this book! Duh, they follow me! They read my emails, they listen to the podcast! Of course, they’d buy this book!”, and then you come against people like, just not, and I think that it really hurts because people don’t know how much authors put into it and how much of a personal strive that it is. That being said, once the book came out, it didn’t even matter how many read people read it. I don’t even know how many people read it, all I know are the people who are messaging me every single day saying it’s changing their lives and that’s beyond anything that’s quantifiable, and that, for me, has made the process ten times – it’s like having a kid, it’s like it’s hard and there’s sleepless nights and all the things, but you wouldn’t change anything. And having a book, for me, has been the biggest game-changer in my career; the biggest thing that’s shared my message; the thing that has truly set me apart; and has allowed me to dive into my own inner spiritual journey, more than any other tool. So, I will say, for those of you on the fence, know that it’s not an easy journey, but if you can get through it and take that initiative that you’re going to be the one who also needs to get people to buy it and read it, if you can be at peace with all of that, then it will be the most incredible journey of your life.
Yes! Oh, I love it! Yes, everything that you said, yes! And by the way, thank you for being my fucking rock during this crazy ass process, I am very, very fortunate to have a friend like you that has gone through this process and can talk me off a ledge, I’m sure there will be many more of those conversations to come!
Yeah, so, it’s such an interesting experience and I always revert back to that answer, when people ask “What was the writing experience like?” and I’m like “It was really interesting”, because I don’t want to weigh it as good or bad, it was an experience, it was an interesting experience with peaks and valleys, is what I’ll say.
And look, I’ll say what I say about our spiritual practice – it’s, you have to be your own advocate.
You have to be your own advocate. You have to really want to write a book because that’s what you want. It’s not about the money – the minute that you start doing it for “Oh, I want to get on The New York Times” or “I want to make millions of dollars” or “I want to whatever, be on this famous podcast”, there’s no guarantee that that’s going to happen, and if you’re just doing it for – look, there’s some ego involved, absolutely. I would be remissive if I didn’t say there was a little bit of ego in everything we do to be public figures, that’s the nature of it. However, if you are wanting to write something for the reasons other than you have a desire to write or you have a message that you want to create for the masses, don’t do it, because you will be severely disappointed. It’s like being an entrepreneur, obviously we understand this, Sahara and I understand this, it is, you are a full-on business, you are your own marketing, you’re your own (if you’re writing your own book). And for those people – there are people out there that have the money for all of this.
I remember having this conversation with a dear mentor, a writer friend of mine, who has won, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, New York Times’ bestseller, whatever, all of it, and when I have certain questions or certain experiences, he goes, his best advice is always “Don’t take the blame, don’t take the praise!” Do the experience for the experience because it is your fucking purpose and it’s what you’re here to do, and you’re going to do it and it’s going to be amazing, because you’re doing it and you are empowered within your message and your journey, and if your journey is to write a book, then you write the shit out of that book, you make it amazing, you put every single, all the smartest things you ever said, you put it in that book, you write your heart out, don’t worry about the grammar, don’t worry about anything other than writing your heart and writing your truth, and being honest. Read every single sentence and ask yourself “Is this honest? Is this real? Is this me?”, you’re golden, it doesn’t matter. So, at that point, none of those things matter, that’s the one piece of writing that I want the listeners to know.
The second piece is the egoic piece, the egoic piece of “Man, I’ve gone about for so many fucking people, I’ve gone to bat for so many people, I’ve really done the most for so many authors that I wanted to support”, don’t expect people to help you because this is another lesson that I learned early on in my career, just in general. Nobody is going to come and discover you, nobody’s going to find you the Charlize Theron story, she was at a bank, arguing with the teller and that’s how she got discovered by, of course, one of the biggest agents in the world, and boom, had a successful, A-list movie career, modeling career and movie career. So, that shit does not happen, that’s like a unicorn! And let me tell you something, most of our careers are not unicorn careers, they’re careers that we have to build. But to me, anything worth having, is worth waiting for, and anything worth having, is worth building. I’m a marathon runner, so I know this, that’s been part of my lesson, my continuous lesson that I have to remind myself, I’m like “I’m a marathon runner, I run long distance. I’m built to run and be patient and persevere and rest and continue on and on and on”, the sprint doesn’t work for me, so if it doesn’t work for me physically, why would I think that it works for me mentally or spiritually? It doesn’t.
So, you know, I think that that is a component that we need to really understand and integrate into the mind, body and spirit component, especially when it comes to writing a book. I don’t want to come on here and sound jaded, this is like Rosie the human being. Yeah, I am irritated, of course, it’s frustrating to work really hard and do the most and be my own advocate, and I am not a big fan of selling all my own stuff, I’m just so much better at promoting everybody else’s things other than my own, and so, now I really have to learn that lesson, I have to practice what I preach, I have to be my own advocate, I have to put myself out there because I believe in the message. It’s not me, I’m not trying to promote “Oh, hear me talk about my…”, I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but like, I’m not here to talk about myself, I’m here to talk about an experience I had that I pray will help you on yours, that’s always a desire, that’s why we write books. We write books because we want to be able to aid in somebody’s journey, we want to be that guide, you want to be that shepherd, you want to be the paved way maker.
I know that you’ve had Laura Plumb on the show, and she’s like an incredible Jyotish, Vedic astrologer, and of course I consult with her on my book because that’s what we do. And I was asking her “Okay, my book comes out on 02.22.22, pull up my chart, what does it say” and the one thing that she said to me that really gave me ease, after, of course, having a conversation with you about it was, that I’m living my purpose, that this is what I’m here to do and the minute she said that, it’s not like she said something that didn’t feel real, it was a remembrance. And I feel like, when you do your Solocasts or when you record your Podcast with other people, or you write your books, and the same for me, the work that we do and a handful of people that we know as well, when we go into that state of “Oh, right, I’m living my purpose”, those archetypes, it’s like “Oh, right, that’s who I am. I am that archetype, so I’m living my purpose”, that’s all that matters, the rest falls away, the rest is transient, because it’s going to be somebody else on the list, it’s going to be somebody else on the cover of the magazine, it’s going to be somebody else who’s launched 7, 8 figures, it’s going to be – and that’s okay, and that’s great, because the world is about abundance and it’s about having enough and everybody being able to get the life that they want.
So much that I, and I know, people listening right now, deeply resonate with, and I think one of the biggest things that helped me was, yeah, this book is not really about me, while it’s about me, you know. I want to get it out into the world because I know that my message can help the world, and even if no one reads it, me, writing it, was all that I really needed.
And it’s like having that both/and, of you writing a book heals you, and it doesn’t even matter if not a soul reads it, you changed so much in the process of writing that book, that that in itself is enough. And what lights the way in the process of you writing the book, is thinking about all of the people, one day, who may read it. So, it’s like a both/and, it’s like an attachment/non-attachment, and you need to be able to weave around in the 3D and the 5D.
And I think what you spoke about, of you being such an advocate for other people, but when it comes for your own stuff, like feeling weird to talk about it or you don’t want to come off as silly, it’s such a big thing for women, because we have been trained, from the times we were kids, “Don’t talk about yourself, you’re going to come off as full of yourself, selfish, conceited, a bitch”, all of these things that we’ve heard, so, writing a book and then having to talk about it, it feels so self-promotional. Even when I use the word self-promotional, it has a negative connotation that we don’t want to come across as someone who thinks we’re so important, but at the same time, how are we going to share this book if we don’t talk about it and don’t believe it’s important. And that’s why, probably 90% of the people, on the New York Times listed, at any given time, are men, because it’s culturally okay for them to talk about how their great their books are and everything, whereas, us women, it’s like – I notice this in myself, I’m constantly in my mind battling how I can even talk about my own work without me coming off as selfish, because, yeah, my affirmations to myself, I’m like “I am a creative genius”, but if I told someone I’m a creative genius, they’ll be like “Haha, this bitch thinks she’s Kanye West!” So, it’s that battle that we get to move through and then recognize what’s our own story when we see another woman talking about her book or talking about her business.
I saw this post on Instagram that someone shared, and she’s a therapist and she shares all of these really inspiring, beautiful quotes, and someone commented on her like “Ugh, you have a book coming out, I hate when people I follow on Instagram have books coming out because all of a sudden their content just becomes about selling their book”, and she screenshotted that comment and she wrote this beautiful just reply, of – people don’t realize that the person behind the Instagram, sharing the free content, every single day, is a human that, first of all, needs to live and pay their bills, but also writing a book is not a money-maker at all. Most people I know actually lose money on writing their book because they spend on PR and spend on summits and spend on all these things that we do. And the very fact that we can immediately cancel someone in our minds for talking about their book, they’re not selling a used car, they’re selling the soul’s story, and for you, it’s annoying for you to even mention it, and I think it’s such a problem.
I’ve been on podcasts that the people tell me “By the way, just don’t talk about your book because my audience doesn’t like when people refer to their book”, it’s like, so then, what are we doing here if we have to pretend we’re these clouds that share content, that aren’t a human on the other side. So, I think it’s this bigger conversation that we need to have of being okay promoting, and stop making that word ‘promoting’ such a jaded word.
Yeah, I totally agree! And I don’t know what that’s about that people get so put off by – I’ve had that happen before, with Ads on my podcast, I’ve told you this before, that people send messages or they send me a DM like “I can’t listen to your podcast anymore because you have too many Ads on there”, and I understand their perspective, it’s like, there’s a button that says ‘unsubscribe’, that’s fine, or you can unfollow somebody, that’s the quickest way to alleviate your disdain for somebody’s desire to creative a livelihood.
I say this all the time, I give so, and you do too, so much free content, there’s so much free content in the world for people that can’t afford to buy a book, I mean, a book is like $16-$20, people can’t afford to buy books.
You can get it for free at the library if you want.
Yeah, exactly! Those people that can’t afford to buy books, those are not the people saying those comments, that’s what bothers me the most. It’s the people that have some sort of trigger within them go off, when all of a sudden they don’t want to get sold something. It’s a hard line to tow because we need to, first of all, survive and make a living. The free content that people consume, somebody has to pay for it somehow. You have a producer that produces the podcast, maybe you have somebody to write show notes, maybe you have an assistant helping you, maybe you’re doing it yourself, you’re creating your own content on Canva, that costs money, your hosted podcast costs money, I mean, people don’t realize the cost behind running a business. And yeah, like you said, authors spend thousands and thousands upon thousands of dollars on book launches and at the end of the day you want to be – you write your content, you create your content for your people that are following you, that are there because there is something about you that they like, but the problem is that sometimes people follow people because they want to be triggered by them, it’s like being in an abusive relationship. So, I feel like there’s certain people out there that are just not happy and they want to make you go into their frequency and they will do everything in their power to get you out of your creative state. I’m glad that she responded, I follow that same influencer too, and I loved that, I loved what she wrote, and it was true, all of it was true. I think we need to stop apologizing, as women, we’re so conditioned to apologize for everything, to be humble – and look, I’m all about being humble, I get it. I have Kendrick Lamar playing in my brain playing 24/7, I understand the intention behind humility and at the same time I get to practice what I preach, to be able to advocate for myself. I can advocate for myself when it comes to my spiritual practice, my practice fortifies me and I know it fortifies so many people. I know so many of my students, I want them to feel empowered to advocate for themselves too. So, I feel a little bit disingenuous if I’m sitting here, telling you, Sahara, to go out there and call your people and promote, and your book is out and let’s get it in front of the masses, while at the same time, when it’s my turn, I’m just like “Ugh, but no, I don’t want to. I don’t want to call that person or I don’t want to ask people for things or to help me”, or even my listeners, I’m like, I want to be conscious about how much I talk about the book. And I have people, some of my listeners DM-ing me saying “Okay, where can I buy the book? Are you going to tell us where to go?” And obviously that’s a sign for me to say that okay, I’ve not been doing it as much as I maybe should be doing.
And look, this is a learning process for me too. I think this is an opportunity for us all to get out of our comfort zones and I’m still very much a student, I, by no means, have everything figured out, but I do know what I know, and I put it all in one book so you can get it wherever books are sold.
Thank you for sharing! Yeah, and I think, too, with the haters, I think that was one of the biggest blocks for me with “Discover Your Dharma” being so fearful of reviews. Because here’s the thing with writing a book – your book goes on Amazon and on Amazon anyone can write a review for you, just like they wrote a review on their new crocs and they didn’t fit, and they wrote a review on the dreamcatcher, it’s already coming undone, and then they write a review about your book as if it’s just an item like that and it’s like “Holy fucking shit, these are the pages of my diary, printed out for you, I have lost relationships and years of my life, for this book”, and they’re like “I don’t know, I didn’t like it! Something was off, I don’t know!” And it is so challenging because it’s like part of, at least for me, part of me wanted to reply so badly and be like “You’re not getting it!” And it’s just the fear, sometimes the anxiety of something happening is even worse than just seeing it; just reading a bad comment.
So, I was driving myself crazy with “People are going to hate it and they’re going to write bad comments and they’re going to cancel me and my career is going to be over”, and all of that stuff. And I think it is a huge initiation to walk through, to be vulnerable and be honest and write those stories, and be okay, that people might not get it, and they might write a review that something about you just rubbed them the wrong way or whatever they want to say, and that’s not your fault, that’s not your problem, in fact, your book is not going to be for everyone. And I think, too, I read in a Ryan Holiday book, right before my book came out, and the exact same thing, it was about how these different Zen Masters, they didn’t take any criticism and they didn’t take any praise, and I’m like “I’m just going to walk through my book process like that.” The criticism means nothing, and the praise, even let that mean nothing, just to be completely in the Zen Buddhist state of “The book just is, and everything else is just an opinion.” And while now I’m at a space that I can really receive the praise, I needed to walk into it almost with this like complete non-attachment, otherwise, I was yearning for that praise so much that when I didn’t get it, it hurt so bad.
Yes! Yeah, I have nothing to say to that. I know how difficult that was for you and I imagine that it’s going to be the same for me, but I just thought of a great exercise to do, as you were saying that, and I recommend everybody, that’s listening to do this, write five reviews for yourself. Pretend you’re five different people and write yourself, whatever your book’s about, write five reviews for yourself. And I feel like that really puts things back into perspective of like “I’m going to do that the minute we get off”, I’m like, okay, so what would I say about you or “Radically Loved”? What are the things that sit out to me, if I were to just read? I did the audio book, so, after I did the audio book, you’re always going to be your own worst critic, right? You’re always going to be your own worst critic, but there were some good little nuggets in there that stood out, that reminded me of “Oh right, this is why I did this”, or “Oh, if somebody reading this, remembers just this one thing, I’m happy”, just that one thing. And so, I can look back at that and write five different reviews, five different ideas that really resonated with me. And notice if your reviews, if you have negative reviews, or if you go into this framework or this impression or samskaras of “I’m not good enough” or “I really didn’t like this part”, or whatever, just notice, be aware of that’s where you go, that’s a little alert from the divine saying “Hey, we’ve got to pay attention to this, let’s bring some more energy and love and compassion to this part of you because she needs some attention right now, she needs some hugs, some love, some TLC.”
So good! So, to finish this off, do you have any final tips for people who, they’ve heard it all and they’re like “I still want to write a book and I know it’s part of my Dharma; I know it’s part of my path”, but any tips that you want to give the version of you before you began this process?
Oh, yes, this is really great! I’ve got five tips.
You’re ready! Five reviews, five tips, let’s go!
Literally right now, the number five is really just coming in strong right now.
The first one is, write is out. Whatever comes to your mind, don’t worry about structure, don’t worry about the table of contents, just write down, just five paragraphs, five sentences, we’re sticking with the number five, five sentences of what is coming out for you, what you want this book to be about. That’s the first thing.
The second is, find a friend or a support group, people that will advocate for you, that will encourage you, keep you accountable. I think accountability is a big thing for writing a book. Setting a schedule and having somebody keep you on track, so either hire a writing coach or a friend that will help support you, not give you feedback, I’m not saying that, just somebody who will support this dream. So, find your writing guardian angel. That’s the second.
The third is, commit to, a little bit, every day, writing, 5-10 minutes, or a word count, if you’re doing maybe 100 words a day or you’re doing 500 words a day. I journal every morning, I do 500 words a day, every single day. Sometimes it’s just random things, whatever’s in my mind, it’s always after a meditation practice, but I do it, regardless, every day, 500 words. You don’t have to do that much. I started with 100, so, start off small.
The fourth thing I will say is, create a meditation practice or listen to a meditation, just let your mind get clear. Don’t try and think about the book, don’t try and think of stories, just yourself time, 3-5 minutes a day, of just letting your mind rest. And inevitably, what happens is, you’ll start to think about what you want to write about, but that’s not a bad thing, maybe that’s when your ideas come in.
And then, the last think I will say is, write down what’s it’s like for you to have finished your book. What is that present feeling like? “I just finished writing my first book and I feel _____!”
There is it, your five tips! Start today!
Start today! Yes! I’m with you, I’ll try to think of some of mine, maybe I’ll have five. But, yes, to the ‘just write everything out’, it’s so hard for me to think of the table of contents, it’s just super stream of consciousness. So, sometimes it’s like, yeah, for me, often, after breathwork, I’ll just have an idea about something or a new way that I want to re-say the same thing, of just like a new angle or a new perspective, and so I just sit on my laptop and I just kind of let my fingers go and I ride that stream of consciousness.
And for me, the writing a little bit every day is definitely not how I wrote my book, and it’s not how I work, I’m very, I get in the flow of flow of doing something and will do it for hours and then it’s done. So, what I would suggest is to block out – if you are someone like that, who’s super gets on a creative rant and is just channeling from that, block out unblocked periods of time where you can just be on your writing flow.
So, for me, I wrote the first draft of the book whilst simultaneously launching my membership and working and moving, and so many things happening in my life, and it was really chaotic, and then right before I was going to turn my book in, it was winter break and I had 2 weeks of not really any emails, presents, and I rewrote the whole book in those 2 weeks because I was able to get deeper and deeper into my thoughts, that I actually changed the entire last chapter of the purpose of the book, which originally, the purpose was all about ‘your Dharma is you being of service’ and I had the realization that you being of service is to experience joy, and that your Dharma is bridging your highest form of joy and your highest form of service. So, had I not had that uninterrupted flowing time, I wouldn’t have gone to the depths of my consciousness that I’m not able to access when I have an hour in between meetings, it’s like, I’m just operating from the 3ft kiddy pool, but when I have time to go in, I’m going in deeper and deeper and deeper into the water. So, maybe it’s like a Saturday that you can do or getting a cabin for a few days or using your vacation.
Another tip is, when I’m writing a book, I will go MIA on my life, I will not hang out with people, I will not do things. Again, I’m just a very extreme person and I like just – all of my thoughts are about my book, it’s just like I’m living my book in that experience.
and I know, I think Elizabeth Gilbert said she did the same thing, that she goes to a cabin for a month and writes the whole book in that month. And I feel like, I haven’t done the one month, I think that would be pretty awesome for me. So, the imitation is really like – of course, there’s different, if you have kids, things are going to be different, but honor how your creativity comes through because once you know what type of creative person you are, if it’s little chunks of time in the morning, if it’s full days on the weekends, if it’s after having a conversation with someone, if it’s after having a meditation for someone, what brings your creative juices flowing and make that the priority of your life. Because I see so many people, they start writing a book and they stop; they start and they stop; they start and they stop.
So, another tip I have is to give yourself a deadline, even if you don’t have a publisher or anyone who’s counting on the book, to give yourself a deadline. Had I not had a deadline for any of my books, I don’t think any of them would be done till this day, because there’s always more edits, there’s always more you can add, you’re always going to think differently about it, because again it’s a crystallization of you in a moment of time, and you are forever changing.
So, give yourself a deadline, and at a certain point you have to realize it’s good enough, and even if you’re having this whole other wave of exploration of who you are and you’re evolving, and then, great, that’s the next book. But I see so many people, they’re like “Well, there’s this whole other thing that I’m into now, that I want to add into the book”, but then, yeah, that book and what you knew at this period of time is enough to help a lot of people where they are right now. So, let that book go and then open yourself up to for the round two which will be the next book and the next book and the next book. And for however long we’re alive, we can continue to be doulas and channels for books.
The other piece of advice that I have is to also, don’t worry so much about the quantity. I see so many people like “I need to get six books out!” I met this girl and she had not published a single book but she had written six books. So, it’s like, instead of just writing and writing and writing, and think quantity is more important, just out all your love into one book, one idea, let it be a lot simpler than you thought, take out a lot of the other fluff, let it be a super, super simple concept and then put everything you have behind it to get that book out in the world, and that’s what’s going to give your other books the best opportunity to be read.
Yeah. I love that!
So much juicy wisdom! So, share this again, where we can get your book and what we can expect from it? Just a quick little five sentence thingy-thing!
Okay. We’re sticking with the five themes – So, my book is called “You Are Radically Loved”, it’s a healing journey to self-love, and it’s a book about spiritual empowerment. It really is a book to help you pave your own path and get into your own journey. It’s about discernment, it’s about grace, it’s about wisdom, it’s about being real and authentic and honest, and it’s for any seeker out there who wants to deepen their practice, deepen their journey.
So, the book is available everywhere books are sold, you can also go to my website radicallyloved.com, sorry, I’m like, what’s it called? radicallyloved.com or wherever books are sold. And definitely check out the podcast, if you are an avid listener of this Podcast, Sahara’s been on my podcast several times and we’re working on some fun series coming up this year, some collabs together (she’s laughing). But yes, I’m so grateful, I really love this community! Every time I’ve been on this show, your listeners are always so loving and supportive and I’m just really grateful, I’m grateful for you, grateful for them and I’m just happy to be there. Thank you so much for letting me be here, for letting me share my story and talk about my book and I hope that you guys enjoy it!
Well, thank you so much for your truth and honesty. I feel like a lot of conversations around books are like “Read book and everything is great and it will change your life forever more”, and it’s fucking hard!
So, thank you for bringing the honesty and we’re all holding space for you as you emerge into this book launch portal.
Okay, we’re going to need to do another podcast 6 months after your book came out, of how you feel now. This is the right before it’s coming out and it’s like the nerves and all that, so it’s like 6 months later, and now what were the lessons learned. So, stay tuned for that!
[1:25:23] End of Interview
Such an important conversation! I feel like, so often, we don’t get to hear the behind the scenes of writing a book, we just hear the bright and shiny fun parts, but not the parts of sharing your story and having these tough conversations and really letting the pages of your diary be printed for others to see and judge, and to know that, even throughout it all, you are safe and you are living your soul’s purpose.
So, again, I will say that, without a doubt, writing a book has been the best thing I have ever done for my soul’s purpose, it has completely expanded me in every which way, not only as an author but as a human being.
So, I encourage you to step into the shadows, to step into the discomfort of sharing your voice, of sharing your story, of letting your wisdom be heard and experienced by others. It is so healing and so needed to open up that throat chakra.
And I am, right now, creating a new course, all about speaking with soul, because I know so many of you, the main thing that’s holding you back from sharing your message with others is that fear of opening up your throat and being heard and being on camera, and allowing yourself to be seen. So, I’m really excited to support you more with that journey.
Rosie is one of our coaches in Dharma Coaching Institute, teaching us all about empathy in coaching.
So, if you’re interested in becoming a Certified Spiritual Life Coach as well as a Soul Purpose Coach, doors are opening back up this March for Dharma Coaching Institute. So, if you’re interested, you’re curious about learning more, head over to dharmacoachinginstitute.com and you can find that link in the show notes.
I hope you enjoyed this Episode and I will see you in the next one! Namaste!
Episode 419: The Behind-The-Scenes of Writing a Book (That No One Talks About) with
By Sahara Rose