Welcome to episode 5 of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.
In this episode we cover –
- Executing your plan you have a plan – great, now get executing!
- Different writing styles – are you a marathoner or a sprinter with your writing?
- What good habits will you possess as a writer?
- How to mind map your ideas to create your outline
- Being laser focused to ensure you meet your goal
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: All right Mark. Here we are again with another episode of our podcast. How are you today?
Mark: Great! This is exciting! How are you?
Jenn: I am good. Really good. I am so happy that we’re doing this. For so long I have been thinking that I really need to do some kind of marketing for the academy and for the publishing. And I feel like this is such a beautiful way of marketing. I think that our number one focus, for both of us, is to really give back and try to really help people who are in some stage of the process.
Mark: That’s just it Jenn. I was thinking about this when you and I started talking about it, I’m sure that somebody is going to ask me, at some point, when it’s all done, how did you do it? I would just be like “Do you have a few hours? Let me tell you!” I think this is great. I’m real excited to be a part of it. If I could help somebody, that is a budding author after I get done, even better.
Jenn: I like it. Yes, I think this is awesome. I’m super happy that we’re collaborating on this. And we’re both extroverted enough that it’s like “Let’s just do it!” We did, with very little planning even, we’re like “done!”
Mark: Sure, it’s a great idea! We’re going to figure it out.
Jenn: We’ll figure out the logistics later. We’re good. I love it. Good thing that’s not my style for publishing. That’s a bonus. I am kind of quick, let’s get this done, but there’s a lot of strategy; there’s a lot of method to the madness (which there’s lots of madness.) I think we’ve alluded to a little bit of it as we’ve gone. And I’m sure it will continue to come up.
I want to keep our conversation flowing about planning. We’ve already been talking about planning for a couple of episodes. I think it’s really important that we really reinforce this point and beat the horse to death to say that planning is key because it’s going to set you up for success. And so, I’ve had times in the Author Academy, only one in particular, actually somebody that was in your session of the Academy, a more recent student, where once they read that first agenda, read the introduction email, they realized after just a couple of sessions, I can’t do this. It doesn’t fit my life.
So, I’m curious what your reaction or experience was in having been with that person. Where they were just kind of like “I want to do this. It’s important to me to do this. But I just can’t right now.” It was that revelation of this is how much work goes into this process. How did that make you feel when that happened?
Mark: I felt bad but I totally understood that the person was being very honest. He was going to be conflicted with not being able to do the Academy justice and give it 100%. That’s just being brutally honest with yourself. But then I reflected, said “Ooh. I better check myself. Did I read that thing all the way? And I am I really sure?” And it goes all the way back to the contract with yourself and that vision that you’re going to start and draft. What I like about it, is the fact that everything builds on itself. I really appreciated that. That although I didn’t understand some of the things in the syllabus, in the curriculum, I just liked the fact that it was organized and structured. I realized, and I get it, that it’s a timing thing. And this was a timing thing for me. I have been working on this for a very long time. It definitely is a timing thing. I appreciate the fact that you have to have that honesty to make that commitment. If not, then I think you’re going to just make yourself feel bad. We have enough things going on in the world to make us feel bad. We don’t need to impose anything else on it.
Plus you also give the tools and the resources so, I really feel like after class, if you will, on Tuesday, you’ve pulled into the gas station and you refuel and you’re ready to go for the next week. It’s been an incredible week in the planning process. I’m hearing about, I’m excited, but it’s a lot of work.
Jenn: I think that what’s going to happen routinely is that I, I had a podcast before, it ran for about four years and I was constantly using running analogies, because I really equate the writing and publishing process to running a marathon. Or running any race… it doesn’t have to be a marathon. It could be a triathlon, could be a 5K. It’s the same amount of planning that goes into it. It’s the same day to day grind that has to happen, that nobody sees, for the outcome where people see the book in hand and you’re crossing the finish line. I suspect that that will continue to come up since we are both runners; it’s going to be an on-going thing. For those that are not, kind of bear with us.
I bring this up because, I think about the planning. And I think about sparks of inspiration. This is something that we have not discussed before and I want to see where you stand on it. There are people who are marathoners in this world and there are people who are sprinters. So you’re either running a very long distance, it’s slow, it’s steady, you gotta keep on plugging along. Now there’s the sprinters where they’re doing the 100 meter dash. Or they’re running a mile. Whatever it might be. How do you think your process is in relation to your book? I ask this because I think I’m a sprinter when it comes to the book. I have to wait until I have an idea. I might be stewing on that same idea for months and months and years even. I remember when I released my last book, which came out in June of 2017, I want to say it might have been in 2015, that I had publicly announced it on public access that I was going to be writing my next book. I made that declaration to everyone saying “Listen, I’m working on another one.” And then I didn’t do anything with it for quite some time because I didn’t have that spark of inspiration. I didn’t have “this is the idea, I need to hunker down and get it done.” And then randomly, in the middle of October 2016, it hit me out of nowhere “That’s it! I have to get this done.” And so I sprinted through October, November and December… got it done, handed it off to an editor… it came out in June.
I bring this up because I want listeners and people who are thinking about their book and their idea and that they might have that book idea but they don’t feel that tug or that I have to do this now. When it comes to planning and thinking about planning, we could be planning for something that feels very arduous. It’s very “Ugh”; it’s like a slog. Or you could be planning because you are skipping through the field of lilies because you are on fire and now is the right time. I’m curious if you’ve ever given consideration for which camp you fall into? Am I the marathoner or am I the sprinter? I know for you in particular, the listeners know this, that you’ve been working on this for a while. You had a little bit here and a little bit there, but then came the day where you’re like “time to get ‘er done.” So I feel like you’re a little bit of both, like I am, but I’m curious what you think.
Mark: Yeah. I would say the sprinter. I’m definitely the “I want to just go out and get it done, once I have everything together.” But then again, with your runner’s analogy, having competed in a triathlon, there’s a reason why you have to get so many miles in to run, and so many miles on the bike, and the swimming… What I have been doing, over the time of the inception of the idea to today, which is a very long time, it would come in spurts. It would come in short little sprints, if you will. And now is the time that I felt that all that training, where I filled up each one of those vessels, and now I’m ready. I’m ready to actually ran to the starting line. The introduction to PDP has been the gun at the starting line. It’s like “let’s go.”
Jenn: Uh hum. Let’s get to the racing!
What I wanted to have us cover today is the next stage of the planning. We’ve been talking a lot about the mindset, making time, and we will eventually talk about a writing ritual, which I brought up a few times… getting in the habit. I say ritual, but it’s really your writing habit. What is it? How do we make something a habit so it sticks? But the step before that is the mind-mapping concept. Not everyone knows how to mind map or what a mind map is. I know our dear friend Lisa is a huge proponent of mind maps. I know for me I feel like I’m a little more equal parts left and right brain, that makes it challenging and interesting for a lot of things that I approach. And while I’m very creative, I find my brain to be very linear when it comes to my mind mapping. And so when I say Mind Mapping, I’m thinking what is the outline of your book going to be. We can’t really get into a writing habit or ritual until we actually know, have a general sense of what we’re populating.
Want to talk about your process, for what that was, for your version of mind mapping. I can certainly share a little of what my process is. But curious what kind of thoughts you have. And for somebody who has never heard of mind mapping how would you describe it?
Mark: Yeah. I’d heard of it before. I think I had to do it for a couple of problem solving cases in college, or something like that, but I didn’t really know how to do it. I had to learn what are the mechanics and how do you do mind mapping. Once I did, I thought it was kind of cool. It was fun. It was cool.
In my mind, I had already broken out my book into four segments of my journey in Served in Silence. It has to have a beginning. It has to have an end. And it has to have a middle and all these things. I figured that out. I went ahead and took my four parts and I mind mapped each part out. That way, if it starts with… this was kind of liberating and refreshing all in the same sense because what you see, once you get it out there on paper, it’s now out of here WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD THE 9 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR PROSPECTIVE PUBLISHER GUIDE YOU'LL BETTER UNDERSTAND— This comprehensive guide will save you time, heartache, and money, by preventing you from going down the wrong publishing path.
Ready To Publish Your Book, But Confused About Which Publisher You Should Work With?
WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD THE 9 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR PROSPECTIVE PUBLISHER GUIDE YOU'LL BETTER UNDERSTAND—
This comprehensive guide will save you time, heartache, and money, by preventing you from going down the wrong publishing path.