You're a published author of several books (congrats!). What motivated you to write your first book?
Thank you! I always knew I wanted to write a book ever since I was a kid. I even had author on a vision board I made in 8th grade. As far as writing my first book, it was really two-fold: I wanted to share my story and I wanted to do more speaking. I looked at writing a book as a platform builder to be able to share my message with a larger audience.
What advice do you have for someone who says: “I'm not a writer, I've never written a book.”
I think this is a misconception with people. We think that in order to do something extraordinary that we have to magically be born with that gift. However, writing is something that is a skill you can learn and grow from. Just because you didn’t write a book yet, doesn’t mean you aren’t a writer or don’t have what it takes.
You've written books as a co-author and a solo author. What are the pros and cons of both?
No matter what, I always encourage authors to establish their “beyond the book” goals. If you are co-authoring or writing the book solo, it’s very important you understand what your goals are beyond publishing. For example, my first book, my goal was to establish a platform. My most recent book goal was to have fun and create something bigger than I’ve ever been able to do. Each book for me has come with a different goal in mind.
This is especially important to establish if you are co-authoring a book so you can be on the same page. For example, one author might be interested in traveling the world and doing as many in-person events as possible whereas the other author might want to stay home and focus online. It’s important to understand where you see it going and what work you want to put into it so it is clear from the start.
Do you have a daily (or weekly) writing practice? If so, tell us about it.
I try to get offline and write in my journal at least twice a week. I am usually writing pitches, e-mails, recipes, and/or blogs all week, but I find this free write in a journal helps me really flush out ideas or find new inspiration.
What do you do when the words don't come?
I like to listen to music or a podcast. I find listening to something I find funny or enjoy helps me get into the swing of writing.
You and Amanda Filippelli started One Idea Press together. How has being an author yourself impacted the books you choose to publish?
Having done every form of publishing (self-publishing, small press publishing, and traditional publishing), I feel like I have a unique lens most authors don’t have. This enables me to see what we as a publishing house can offer an author because I can meet them where they are on their journey.
As far as choosing books, it’s a mixture of the idea and the platform, but honestly, most of the time it comes down to me enjoying the author. Since we are a small house, we work extremely close with our authors and I want to enjoy who I am working with.
If you are a dog lover, that also helps.
What would you tell someone who wants to write a book, but doesn't know where to start?
Start with this question: “Why do you want to write a book and what is your beyond the book goal?” Understanding your goals early on can help pave the way for your journey to becoming a published author.