I’m a new writer & my first & only published work is called The Distracted Yogi: How I reclaimed My BLISS After Brain Injury & Trauma. The sub title covers the journey after the fact & the Title refers to a description of my former & new selves-integrated. Yoga & Meditation were a huge part of my day-to-day life prior to me being hit by a car while riding my bike. I was a calm, centered & stable person before my accident but afterwards, well, distracted was probably the least of my troubles yet it was also the most persistent symptom post-accident. I knew early on that I needed to write this book. It was apparent to me that very few people really grasped what had happened to me & what life was like for someone with a closed-head injury. Those people who were often referred to in some circles as ‘The Walking Wounded.’ I also discovered my own ignorance about head injury & concussion syndrome in the process of recovering from a brain injury & from the long, painful journey of reinventing myself.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration for my first book gradually bubbled up inside me, after I’d experienced a traumatic event, gently nudging me towards the inevitable outcome of a memoir of that event. Interestingly though it didn’t stop there it, the inspiration, just kept flowing until many more potential works sprang into my imagination. In truth I don’t understand the Why’s or the How’s of this ‘magical happening’ & I don’t actually question it either. I love the feelings & I’m just in general a motivated person so channeling my energies into the writing process was a natural convergence of emotional & intellectual drives such as inspiration, motivation/desire, awe & joy. I hope that makes sense to someone other than just me because it’s a wonderful feeling & the possibility that others may be experiencing it this way would be fantastic!
Tell us about your writing process.
It wasn’t as ‘organic’ as the inspirational process yet it all seemed to come together quickly for me anyway. I like discipline which sounds a little strange I know but it’s the concept of structure that really fits with my personality. At least I think that’s why I’m so drawn to deadlines & time limits. I use the same structure of preparation for each project (I’m currently working on 2 other books both connected to The Distracted Yogi via Past & Present). I formulate the ‘story’ in abbreviated form using index cards & a mind mapping technique first then, over time, the rest of story just sort of fills itself into all the gaping holes. I go through each card & formulate the corresponding chapter I’d like to pair with the information I’ve already written down, generally in bullet form. I set a writing schedule for myself, usually 5-noon, & stick to it as it’s all part of the structure that is imperative to me having the best chance of completing my work. I limit distractions to almost nil including time on social media, emails, phone calls, visits & mindless web surfing!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
1) Join a writing group or any other group to which you would be accountable to. Having to check-in with others especially those who know that you have the goal of writing a book is critical to your success! Most people want to see you succeed & will boost your energy when it starts to lag or when your motivation gets low, which it does for everyone. Also, groups have a powerful mental & emotional connection to your goal of completing a book-they become a kind of Group-Consciousness & psychologically this can have a strong motivating effect on your willingness to keep going or not.
2) Get a system & stick to it! I use the early morning hours to do my writing and I am generally the most productive then. Also, When I’m in the act of writing I use an Android App called ‘Pomodroido’ which uses The Pomodoro Method of timing to keep me focused such as writing for 25 minutes then taking a 5 minute break. This is a potent combination of time-limit & rest strategy & is very, very effective!
3) Do not cheap out on the cover. This should be #1 actually. I used an original artist’s creation, a painting done specifically for my book’s cover. It was an amazing process, highly recommended.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
How to publish my book wasn’t an obvious process for me at first. I tried the traditional route for a while without any luck then tried self-publisher packages but ultimately it was the costs that made the decision for me. I eventually just committed to the massive learning curves of indie publishing & am so grateful that I just did the work & did it myself. I used a professional editor/proofer & paid for quality formatting. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to put low quality work out there because I’d already bought a few eBooks like that & was so disappointed with the lack of quality. I didn’t want my name associated with crap and disappointment.
Self-publishing from the ground up is an excellent option particularly because it indoctrinates one into the world of publishing/editing/proofing/formatting/kindle ect ect. Writers cannot afford to be ignorant of these processes because even traditional publishers are playing catch-up to the Indie-world.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s crucial that a standard be developed to help consumers & authors alike wade through the labyrinth of eBook choices out there. Let’s face it, anyone can publish a book & without any processes in place to categorize the quality, or lack of, people end up of with less than desirable quality eBooks. Currently it’s really only outlets such as Book Goodies & the like who actually imposes a kind of standard on these works. I think we are fast approaching a kind of crossroads in our near future with this issue.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Non-fiction Memoir, Self-Help, Inspirational
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Your Social Media Links