Author of eight books now, Cynthia Morris joins Charlie for a second time to talk about her new book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing a World-Changing Book. She and Charlie talk about how writing a book is empowering, why busy women have different challenges with writing books that are often overlooked, plus the top three challenges people face when it’s time to start writing their book.
[2:00] - Part of Cynthia’s work is coaching writers, and through this, she witnessed many of her students’ profound moments. Her hunger for helping other people experience this urged her to write this book for them. Being able to share stories helps to normalize the playing field for authors facing similar challenges.
[6:00] - In her teaching, Cynthia seeks to help people craft a writing practice that is consistent and sustainable for them over time.
[7:40] - Her new book is geared toward women because that is the audience she knows. The book is concise and to the point, and also considers the schedule of women who run their households, have jobs, or maybe run a business. Cynthia also hopes this will help women reclaim their power.
[10:40] - Writing a book helps you reclaim power because you’re saying that you matter, your idea matters, and your book matters. You start gaining confidence as you hit your stride, and you start to own the integrity of doing what you said you would do. The works we make work us; we are made by what we make.
[14:20] - Cynthia shares the top three challenges people face when writing a book. 1) People stay in the planning time for a long time before they’re ready to start. While this is an exciting stage, it’s easy to get stuck here. Dive in and go forward even if you don’t know everything. 2) Do your best to thrive in the discomfort of pulling your ideas together. 3) Make time, focus, and space to write. Maybe you need to remove something from your schedule to make that space.
[18:00] - Speaking to the last point, Charlie talks about making writing a project. You may have to displace something else to give your book the time it needs. It’s not just physical space, but also emotional and mental space. You can also add in elements of project management.
[21:30] - How you react when you face some of the challenges is what defines you as a person and a writer. When the challenges arise, you can choose if you want to let them get you down or power through. You might learn things about yourself you didn’t know before.
[25:30] - A large part of Cynthia’s coaching focuses on who you are and how you are in the world.. Are you of a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Sometimes we don’t want to take on projects because they will reveal things we’d rather not face. Projects can be a mirror and a bridge.
[27:30] - Another challenge about writing, or art making in general, is you have to really care about the subject. You need a deep motivation, but on the other hand, the risks can become higher because it’s so important to you. Keep yourself grounded by seeking the benefits for yourself throughout the process.
[30:05] - Writing itself is a slow medium; there is a lot involved in carving out what you want to say. Some people may write quicker than others, but it’s okay if it takes you time, not just to write, but also to achieve the success you want to achieve. Show up to do what you can and the rest will come.
[35:55] - There’s no way to learn how to write a book without doing it. It’s humbling when people share their challenges and how they’ve overcome them through their own process.
[37:45] - There is explanatory and exploratory writing. In explanatory writing, you just need to figure out how to explain what you already know. In exploratory writing, you often don’t know what you think or haven’t figured it out yet, and as you write, you work through that. Writing can reveal so much to us, and often we are the ones getting in our own way. If you want to write a book, try it! There is so much to learn from the process.
[41:15] - There is always room for more writers. The first world that’s going to change when you write is your own; when your world changes, it will ripple out.
[42:00] - Cynthia’s invitation is to do a free-write. Take 10 or 15 minutes to write on the prompt “I must write this book because…” and that will reveal to you what’s important to you in writing this book, or it might be a realization that it’s not as important to you and will free you up for other things.
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