Welcome to Episode 3 of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.
In this episode we cover –
- Failing to plan is planning to fail
- The fact that you are an open canvas, time to paint your Monet
- Everyone needs a support system
- Having your life raft at the ready
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.
Publish Your Purpose
Jenn: Hello Mark. We are back for another episode of our Podcast. How are you today?
Mark: Doing great! How are you?
Jenn: I am fantastic. Before we start, I do want to poke fun at both of us for a moment and share our little snafu in our previous recording of dousing ourselves with perfume for a video conference.
Mark: That was hysterical. That really was. As I was getting dressed and getting ready to come over to the office, I just grabbed the cologne and che,che and have that moment that you laugh at yourself.
Jenn: Exactly. You do have to laugh at yourself. Especially as we’re talking about the publishing process. The whole podcast is about going from start to finish. From having an idea in your head to getting a published book done. If you don’t find those moments to laugh at your own ridiculousness, it’s going to make the process a lot harder.
Today’s agenda, we’ve mapped out a little of what we want to cover. Again, we’re trying to stick within thirty minutes for our listeners and viewers. I want to just jump right into the good stuff.
Mark: Yeah… Let’s do it.
Jenn: Let’s think about you, six months from now or so, when your book is going to be launched. Right now, you are in the thick of it, in the editing stages, development stages. What is your vision? If we’re going to fast forward six months to your idea of success. How are you determining what success looks like? How are you saying, “this is what I set out to do. I accomplished my goal.” In all of your type A ways. Take us through what that vision looks like.
Mark: Wow. You know that’s hard for type A people to do. We are so focused on the checklist. And getting things done. I think it’s really important to focus on the end game. What is
your vision? What does this look like? I can almost daydream as to what it looks like. It’s getting that book for the first time, maybe in the mail. Or whatever you do that you feel the heavens open up and you finally did it and got it done. I really see a lot of proactive and great launching points for the completion of the book. That in and of itself is exciting.
I have to be careful because then I’m like a shiny object squirrel. Okay, let’s go over there, let’s do this, so I want to stay focused on Served in Silence. I see the triumph or the victory, dinner that that I want to share with Mr. Wonderful. His undying patience for the craziness of my life. For the six months preceding to that moment. It’s just a real special time that I can have with him.
I also am cultivating a coming out party, if you will. Or a kick-off party for the book. I can hold it; I can feel it; you know you fan through it, and let it fan across your face. I don’t know.
Jenn: The smell of paper? All of that.
I’ve written five books and every time I do, I do like a happy dance in my yard. It’s ridiculous. It’s so cheesy. I make my wife take a picture every time. I look like a total fool. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing. It just happens to be the day the book arrives. I feel like that is the best day. You are feeling the reality of what you have just been spending so much time on.
Mark: Absolutely. It is time and it is energy and it is effort. Although we’re multi-taskers, it’s just a way of life. Even though you might be focused on making that grilled cheese sandwich, you’re still thinking about “Oh, I’ve got finish this on chapter 3.” And, “Oh, by the way, the chapters aren’t even numbered at that point.” It really is exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a little apprehensive. It’s almost like I’m bracing for impact. I know that there’s a lot more to do. Just listening to the different steps in the process, it’s a bit daunting. From time to time, I lay down like this and I’ll come up for air. “No, No, I’ve got to continue to write.”
Jenn: I just love that we decided to start this podcast before, you know you’re going through the Author Academy right now, you’re one of our featured authors as a publishing client of ours. It’s fun to be doing this now as you start to get into the weeds of things because it’s going to be an emotional roller-coaster, as it is for most people. We’re really
chronicling this in real time for people to benefit from. I think it’s going to be a really awesome experience.
Mark: Me too. It’s been pretty incredible.
Jenn: Want to go back in time. We started working together in June. As part of the Author Academy, I request a lot of things from the authors to do. Everything is intentional. Everything is strategic. I don’t ask for anything to be done that is not worth your time or energy because I recognize that everyone, that at least PDP serves, are business owners, busy professionals, people who are purpose driven, they’re out to make an impact. That doesn’t mean they have a plethora of time to be focusing on this. One of the many exercises is to send you off into a bookstore to find a book that is inspiring to you. I would love to hear, because we haven’t talked in detail about what your experience was in doing that exercise, I would love if you could just walk the listener through doing this exercise. The listener can take this as an action step from this episode and go off and do it on their own.
Mark: Yeah that was very interesting. I don’t think you gave those disclosure notes that everything has a purpose. I’m just a good student. I’m going to do my classes on Sundays. This particular week something happened and I didn’t have enough time on that Sunday to actually go out and do the exercise. I don’t even know if I’m rolling my eyes and mumbling, (mumble, mumble … “like seriously? Now she wants me to get in the car, drive across town and whatever, all the excuses come up).
One thing is for sure though. I’m really hard on myself. I would not be at Tuesday’s classes at 2 o’clock, I don’t care what has to happen, I’m going to the bookstore before then! Because I’m not going to be that guy in class that didn’t get the homework done! It’s just the kind of person I am.
It’s Monday (everything just busted loose at work) and it’s a crazy day. On my task bar, I have got to make time to go across town to the bookstore. (And that’s not easy to do; to find a bookstore these days!) I found a bookstore in midtown Atlanta, and I think I’m on my bike, networking, leapfrogging through midtown (you should get a combat badge just for that). I’m on the phone with work. I get to the bookstore, you’ve got to put yourself in the right frame of mind, it was amazing. The exercise was amazing. Once I could turn down the chatter of life going on in my head, and just walking through… hard to do but if you can picture your name on the front of a book. If you can picture your title (if you already have a title), I was pretty lucky in the process that I already had my title. The
exercise is to go through and whatever the first book that jumps out at you, grabs you, just take a photo or mental note as to why.
Was it the color(s)? Was it the script? Was it the block letters or what have you? Hold it. Feel it. Put it in your hands. Now, later on, after being a couple of weeks into the Academy, I realized the value and the importance of that.
You’re right, it was just kind of “Oh really, I don’t have time to do this!” But I’m really glad I did. It gives you a whole different perspective in going to the bookstore now and to be among literary and authors and that is your overall goal and that’s where you’re going to end up. Very encouraging.
Jenn: I will say that I actually spared you a much larger exercise that you could be doing. I actually had coffee with somebody just this past week and just talking to him… he might go through the author Academy; has an awesome idea around meditation. To help build his practice as a shaman. He came with a book that was sizable. It was thick. He had made his own cover. He taped front and back and made his own spine. “This is what I want my book to look like.” I could, in theory, have that as the exercise where I’m having you physically cut and paste things and glue them to a book. I could totally make it an arts and crafts exercise.
One of our authors that already published, Nancy Wiest (She wrote the book “What Are You Waiting For? You don’t have nine lives”) she and I started working together. She was in the Academy, went through the Academy, decided she wanted to hire us. She, in one of our first calls, came with her book. When I asked her to do this exercise, she said “I’m already ahead of you. I’ve got you beat. I’m ahead of the game.” This is what I have and she totally went through the arts and crafts exercise. But, she started working on her book 5, 7 years ago. And it was having this book with the cover she had created herself, just kind of sitting on her desk, that was her constant prompt and reminder, of I need to do this. I need to make time for this. I need to find the time in my schedule to publish this book because it’s that important to me.
But, as we discussed in the last episode, life happens, right? So, you have to find that time for, how do we actually make the time to get all of this done? Because there are a million little logistics that go into this process. Whether we like them or not, they’re there.
Jenn: If we were to think of some of the ways in which you’ve been successful, in terms of, I know that, I think that you’ve been successful through the Academy because you’re
totally type A, A+ student who will not show up without the work done, which I have to say I so appreciate, because I would bet 90% of the people who have gone through the Academy are exactly that type of person. Which I am as well, which maybe that’s why it happens. I attract other type A “get shit done”, purpose driven, I’m on a mission, just give me the information and I’m running with it. It’s good that there’s a very clear type of person that I work best with, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways in which things can be done.
One of the things in the Academy is talking about keys to success. I have a few things that I consider to be my top, top things that are just going to set you out to be prepared for this process the best that you can. I’m curious (and we can talk about my couple that I teach are) if you have anything so far. We’ve been working together a couple of months, and we’ve still got many more months to go, as of right now, to date, is there something that you’re finding that is giving you better chances of success? Even if it’s a micro-moment of success, not the bigger picture yet.
Mark: Absolutely. I take this with a lot of my life experience, with my jobs or in my military career, so I’ve got pieces and parts of tools in my tool kit that help me get to where I am today. I would say the biggest thing for me was having that hard discussion with yourself. Make that commitment, do that contract with yourself. But what does that look like? If you’re honest, then are you going to do this? Is this an idea or are you going to do it? Once you get done with that, let’s make some assumptions, you’ve done all of that successfully, then for me personally, what I had to do, I had to clear the battle space. I had to make sure I planned for success. For me personally, it was down to “All right, if I’m going to do this and I’m going to put this in my schedule, then I will have better chances of succeeding if I work out, if I go to the gym before-hand, if I make sure because then I feel better about myself, I have a clear mind about myself, so it was the little diet (meal plan to be?), you can then… our mind plays tricks on ourselves. “Oh, it’s okay to grab something from fast food, because I’m actually living up to my commitment over here.” So, I wanted to bring everything to the starting line. I wanted to clear the battle space. That wasn’t the time to figure out the budget and bills for the month. There’s a certain time for that. It wasn’t going to be Sundays. Or when I dedicated my time to take a deep dive into the lesson. It wasn’t going to be Tuesday, at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I think preparation is a lot to do with it.
In your first intro email that comes, almost like Christmas, couldn’t wait to see what the curriculum and syllabus were going to be, but that was a part of my planning process. Planning I think is critical. Planning to plan. Plan for your success. Planning for how does this look? You’re going to find in the Academy that with that planning (if you’re already
in that frame of mind), then it’s going to be very easy for you to do the exercises. You’ll get the most value out of this. The planning was one of them.
Then sticking to the commitment. Why are you doing this? Why is it so important? You were just talking about publishing her book and she had it sitting there, and she went to arts and crafts, and she did her book… that’s really important because then you have the goal in front of you. You can see it.
Or, we talked about we’re both runners, you’re not going to compete in a triathlon without planning on how many miles it’s going to take you to run. Or how far of a distance you’re going to be able to swim or bike ride. And so, it’s like anything else in life. The more the time you spend in planning, and of course in the military I spent a great deal of time perfecting the planning craft, so if you’re not good at it… it’s alright… just take the time to think about how are you going to do this? This is your show. This is your blank canvas and you get to create your Monet.
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