Welcome to episode 18 of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.

In this episode we cover –

  • The manuscript process
  • Not losing your spirit in the editorial process
  • What to do when your manuscript needs some TLC
  • Getting caught up in the complexity of the process
  • The power of goal-setting
  • Getting your mind right to get your words write
  • The words will love you back if written out of love
  • How the PYP process is geared toward Type A overachievers/go-getters


The Publish Your Purpose Podcast: An Author’s Journey features the unique relationship between an author and their publisher. This podcast follows author, Mark David Gibson, through the publishing process of his memoir “Served in Silence.” Alongside him you’ll hear from Publish Your Purpose Press Founder and CEO, Jenn T. Grace, as she navigates Mark through this journey. This authentic, empathetic, and at times comedic duo will take you on the journey from having an idea in your head to holding a book in your hands. You’ll go through all of the emotional ups and downs with Mark as this podcast covers his experience in real time. You’ll learn how to be better prepared when you set out to write your story. Whether you are writing a memoir or any non-fiction where a piece of your story is shared, you’ll be better equipped for success after having listened to this show.

Jenn and Mark have volunteered and donated their time. If you’d like to support the show on Patreon you can do so for just a couple of dollars a month, which is less than a cup of coffee! Your contribution will help with the hosting and transcription of the show. Support us on Patreon at Patreon.com/PublishYourPurpose.

Music provided in this episode was provided by www.bensound.com.

Read the transcript below or download the PDF by clicking here.


Publish Your Purpose

Episode 18

Jenn: All right Mark. Welcome Back.

Mark: Hi there! Wow, am I glad to be back!

Jenn: It’s been maybe at least a month but it feels like it’s been way longer than that.

Mark: Yeah it does. With the holidays in there, the month of March, the manuscript schedule, I assure you everybody out there watching, it has not been just sitting around on our laurels, that’s for sure.

Jenn: Oh, that is an understatement, for sure. So, before we start, I want to share some random statistics of our show because we were talking about it before. This is kind of fun. We should call out the people that are tuning in. I have our list of our US based audience (because we’re in the US and that’s our primary audience) but we also have New South Wales, Australia, and Finland. Which I think is really awesome.

Mark: It is! Super shout out to them!

Jenn: Hell yeah! We don’t even have… like Canada is not on our list! How does that even make sense? They’re our neighbors. Especially since we do have a Canadian author. I’m going to make her listen just so we can say that we have a Canadian listener. This is just for the podcast itself. If you’re watching on YouTube we don’t have the statistics for that.

We also have 14 states of people listening. Which is pretty cool. There’s some people in Virginia who are tuning in to us. Virginia is overwhelmingly the highest following, followed by California and Connecticut

[Jenn is based in CT]. So, if you are in VA, CA, or CT we would like to hear from you. I want to know who you are. They are overwhelmingly much larger than the other states. I thought I’d share that little tidbit because I think it’s kind of cool.

Of course, now you and I are going to make this a competition to figure out how we can get all fifty states and every country in the world, because… why wouldn’t we?

Mark: That’s how we roll. Come on Georgia [Mark is based in GA]!! We’ve got some good things in store for Georgia. We’ll pick those numbers up soon.

Jenn: We sure will. We’ll talk about that in a future episode is my guess.

Today we wanted to talk about having a love affair with your manuscript. This is an idea that you threw out a couple of weeks ago. For scheduling reasons, we haven’t been on our every other Friday schedule, but I want to try to get into your mind and have you share the last month or so, the process, and how you actually had that Aha moment when you feel like you are genuinely appreciating your manuscript that you’ve been putting all this work into.

Mark: [Recaps podcast and who Jenn and Mark are and the team at PYP press]

I’m saying this out of love and respect for the process, a peek behind the curtain for authors that are going it alone or with a publisher, here’s a sneak peak of what’s going to be happening in your world, in your life. It’s going to be different for everybody, but here’s the main crux of it.

You’re on a deadline. You’re working with editor, a publisher, and you’re going to be working with other people that require you to finish your step before they can start. That can get a little stressful. Especially for over-achieving people that have social lives, professional lives and decide to write a book and do a half marathon and all these things. I thought it was important to bring this up to you and our listeners/viewers, because the manuscript is coming from you, from your heart, from your mind and we can get quickly caught up in the process.

I had an aha moment, right in the throes of editing. Editing is not the super sexy stuff of publishing a book. It can be difficult. It’s not fun. If you go at it with manageable expectations, then you’ll understand it’s necessary. I’ve had the complete joy of working with my editor.

I felt so bad, Jenn. I was at a conference and the lady sitting next to me… I’m bubbling over with energy about my book… my publisher and my editor… and my strategist. And I wanted to give her a hug. She’s sitting there and said “I haven’t even talked to my publisher in six months.” I said “I’ve got mine on speed dial. Are you kidding me? The editor, she’s on it, like every week.” I felt bad.

Jenn: You didn’t share that with me. I feel bad for her too. Yeah. That’s so common though. That’s really the norm, more than not. Unfortunately.

Mark: I know. Working with Heather and getting through that stage of editing process. There were lots of questions. It’s 250 pages, there’s bound to be a question sooner or later from somebody. Heather said “If you’ve got time, I’ve got some time. Why don’t we just unplug and laser focus, we’ll go page by page, paragraph by paragraph.” And that’s when it started to happen. I knew from that moment that “Okay. Although you’ve got to zig and zag, around the hard deadlines, process, process, process, but you’ve got this little infant, this little child, this baby called your manuscript that still needs the love.” I was just so compelled after that final stage of editing.

(For those who don’t know – typically when you’re done with the editing process, you’re going to go into proof reading. That’s really it folks. The bright idea train has left. The manuscript is locked down. What’s in between those covers, that’s it. So any bright ideas you’ve got, go and write them for your next book because this one has left the station.)

But when that happened, I just felt so over-joyed. Just the accomplishment and the love affair with my manuscript… that was like “wow”, “we did this!” We did something pretty amazing and special. If you go back to that place, where we get into our own head, and whatever it takes for us to write. You’re not going to be writin if you’re doing taxes. You’re not going to be writing if you’re burning something on the stove. Whatever it takes to get you into that place; into that very moment that was so real and sometimes raw and sometimes emotional, [so you can write, do it.] So then, when you get done with process stuff, and it’s rigid, hard and then you get the book back and you’re like “awwwww, oooohhhh,”

Jenn: “My baby!”

Mark: “My baby!” It was just so amazing that when you write out of love, and when you write out of happiness, the words that you write will give you back love and happiness. I wrote about some not so great things, some not so glamourous things in my life in Afghanistan and growing up in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. But, all in all, I was able to read it and I was still able to feel that love affair with my manuscript. That’s when I sent you that email.

Lisa, my personal coach here at PYP, chimed in. “But now, when you write your second book, is the first book going to be jealous of the affair with the second?” she asked me!

Jenn: Yup. And notice that there’s not even an ounce of doubt that there will be a second book.

Mark: [Laughing heartily and doubtfully]

Jenn: Yup, you need to get through one before you focus on the next one. It is very common with authors we work with [cat climbs on Jenn’s head]. (Surprised we actually made it this far without her joining us!)

I was going to say… almost all of our authors, before the first book is done, they’re talking about the second one, if not a third, fourth, fifth. It’s not uncommon. It’s not uncommon to want to be doing more. I think that’s part of being an over-achiever, honestly.

I ran a marathon this past January. It was a random day in April that it finally hit me that I had completed a marathon! It was a four month delay from the time that my feet crossed that line, painfully, to the time that I had the “holy shit, I did this!” I feel like it’s not necessarily a love affair with the accomplishment of finishing a marathon or anything like that, but it’s the delayed realization, or recognition. I don’t know if it’s because we’re type A people and we’ve already moved on to the next thing…? I feel like that’s the revelation you had but still while in the process, but kind of out of it. You had that epiphany after the editing was done. And you’re saying “once it goes to proofread, you do not touch it again.” You should not, in theory, be touching it again. So it gave you that freedom, or that space, to just sit with it and fall in love with the fact that you just did this crazy, overwhelming thing.

[13:50 – commercial break]

Mark: I can relate. When I did my triathlon, I knew physically, that day, that I had done a triathlon. But, it wasn’t until some time after the fact, that my aha moment, about the power of goal setting, hit me. I didn’t know how to swim and “I’m going to do a triathlon.” The trainer said “well, that could be a problem.” I was thinking “I just wrote you a check, so that proves it’s YOUR problem!” [both laughing]

It was just the power of goal setting. Just the craziness of the book that Mr. Wonderful was “love it”, you have a lot of good ideas, but we’re going to get that back-burner stuff done first; pull all that to the front. I want you to get these things done, before we go on and do the other things you want to do. The power of that goal-setting, when it happens it can be powerful.

Jenn: I think so. For some people, I think maybe it’s a physical endeavor like a triathlon, or a marathon, or a half marathon or something. I think for other people, it could be writing their book; it could be starting a business. Regardless of what it is, there is so much grind behind the scenes that is not pretty; it is not fun; you are throwing up alone; no one’s there to support you. But then everyone sees your Facebook picture, like “Hey I did this!” And that’s the same thing with the book, right? It’s “holla, the book’s here. We got the cover.” You’re starting to show people the cover and all that great stuff.

Mark: Amazing experience!

Jenn: That’s that first glimpse of “this is a real thing.” This is not just something that I have been doing behind the scenes, painfully alone, for the last six months. It’s finally coming to fruition.

Mark: We do talk about running a lot. For those of you that are watching/listening, whatever you have to do to get your mind right, so that you can write; get your words out; get your mind and your heart in the right spot. I found, and maybe other authors can attest to it, when you come from that frame of mind, the words will love you back. It depends on how you’re writing it. If you’re writing it out of anger, I can guarantee it’s going to give you anger right back. If you’re writing out of compassion and hope and love, then you’re going to get that back too.

Jenn: Another comparison is just thinking about all kinds of training. My running partner and I live in different states, we meet in the middle, or one of us will go to the other. I am neurotic. I will run on these 3 days, at this exact time, for this amount of minutes, at this pace… I am a crazy person. She is so much more “I’m going to run three days this week, whenever I get there, I get there. If it’s before work, if it’s after work, it’s fine.” We both cross the finish line at the same time. It just goes to show that there are very distinctive differences in how people prepare for any major goal, whether it’s running or writing your book. So for you, your process probably looks very different than someone else’s process, but the commonality (at least for our PYP authors) is that for the most part everyone is very Type A, goal oriented and driven. Most of processes seem to kind of line up similarly.

Which is what I think actually makes the benefit of working with us because we are the same people as you. My neurotic ways are the exact same as yours so I can make sure our process is reflected to make sure I can keep you off the ledge, or I can put you on it at the right times. I instinctively know when it’s okay and when it’s not okay. If that makes sense. Versus the publisher person you were talking about before where she hadn’t even spoken to the publisher in six months! How were they going to be able to serve someone when they don’t really know that person? Seems tragic to me.

Mark: People know that we have been talking about the behind-the-scenes for Served in Silence, but I attribute a lot of my success, absolutely, to the Author’s Academy. There were times when I was in the Academy that I would tell you and people in the Academy, “you know what? I’m not really focused on this right now. I think it’s really important and its important I know about it, but I’m writing my manuscript over here and I’m taking a break…” but, what the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY did is (let’s use the running analogy still, the training, and the spin up to training), when you’re training for a triathlon, you start to learn about – what is the course like? What are the hills in the course? And what is the climate? And all these things. The AUTHOR’S ACADEMY does just that. It gives you a snapshot of what that roadmap, that training schedule should look like. Because the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY is not going to put the words on the paper. That’s not the whole intent, that’s not the purpose, that’s not going to happen. What it will do though, is polish your armor, make you ten feet tall and bullet proof for when you’ve got a stack of papers here called a manuscript- what do I do?

Jenn: Yup. Someone needs to know what to do with them. Because it’s usually not the author. That’s why you need help.

Mark: True or this would have been done nine years ago.

Jenn: But, you know what’s great though? We started working together in June, as of this recording, it’s December and your book is going to be out in March. Let’s just talk about the crazy reality of going from June to March, from start to finish, after it was percolating for nine years. That’s nuts.

Mark: Crazy nuts. I’ve been talking to people in my social circles, in my professional circles… I don’t know if they’re really shocked at the fact, because they know I can’t spell, that I’m writing a book or just shocked that I’m doing it. All kidding aside… there’s a lot of people that just don’t know how to get started and that’s what I love about this podcast and that’s what I love about the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY; and just getting your mind into that frame of mind with like people that know how to do it. I learned (I don’t think I’m going to embarrass my fellow classmates) but I learned equally as much from them each week than I did from the course work and the study work we had to do independently.

Working together from June to now, it’s just an incredible journey. When it seems insurmountable because you’ve got your head down, you’ve got your blinders on because you know nothing else, well then you hear about the AUTHOR’S ACADEMY and it opens up a little bit more. And then you hear about the other resources that are available; then you’re looking through lenses at a totally different path. Let me tell you what happens folks- then it frees up your mind to write. Because you don’t have to worry about who’s going to get [an ISBN number] from the Library of Congress. I don’t care about that. I know it needs to be done. I know it’s very important. I don’t have to use this limited brain space – I want to get my manuscript done.

From our very first phone call, I knew this was the place for me to be. I’m all in it. I’m in it to win. You cautioned me “hey, fourteen weeks, that’s a bit much to get done.” I said “I’m up to the challenge, I’m doing it!” And I did it. With gusto. Was it perfect to all? No. Was it 100%? No. Was it ready for editing? No. It took me some time to really put it back together again. We’re talking about the author’s tips and getting it organized, it was easier to be able to do that because we knew that we had a road map. There were times I knew I could duck out to do writing, duck back into the process, okay- let’s keep that plate spinning, duck back out again to continue to write.

Jenn: That sounds so accurate to what the process looks like. I’m excited for our next episode where I think we should talk about the cover. Before we hit record on this one, we had another idea which I did not write down, so I have to go back to that one. I think the cover is one to talk about too. We’ve been talking about writing and editing for so long at this point. People might be “dear lord, let this thing be birthed already, I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Mark: And you’re going to feel that way too, authors! Trust.

Jenn: We’ll talk about the cover and then start talking about the marketing and the launch and all that stuff.

Mark: Fun stuff.

Jenn: That is the fun stuff for sure. I think it’s worth noting before we close out… We have been saying PYP and we said Publish Your Purpose Press at some point and I’m pretty sure the last time we recorded, we were still PDP. So just a quick note, you may note my banner is a little bit lower. You can’t see the old logo. You can still see Publish Your Purpose. We rebranded in the middle of November. We moved over to Publish your Purpose Press. It provides us with more opportunities and more ways that we can serve people. For the most part everything looks the same. Our website is now PublishYourPurposePress.com. The way we work with people, our service, none of that has changed. If anything, we’ve hunkered down and gone even deeper into our purpose which is helping people publish theirs. I was pretty sure we didn’t mention that yet.

Mark: It’s a fast moving train around here folks.

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