Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of working with Carolyn Colleen, author of F.I.E.R.C.E.: Transform your life in the face of adversity, 5 minutes at a time! which helps which is designed to help readers utilize their resources and willpower to design and live the life of their dreams.
Please tell our readers about your book in a few sentences:
FIERCE, a system from moving out of fear into focus Carolyn teaches her readers 6 simple steps they can do in less than 5 minutes to help them move from fear into focus to ultimately reclaim your life, so you can experience more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do research before, during and after writing each chapter. The majority of my research is completed after the major portions of the book are complete. I add research to add value for the reader. I think on what I might find helpful but more importantly resources that would help my avatar (audience) My research is a mix pot. As a PhD, I enjoy research, therefore I use many kinds i.e. interviews, peer reviewed articles, books, studies, to name a few.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
The most difficult part is narrowing down ideas and focusing on one main message rather than multiple. I tend to try to shove all my ideas into one book because I feel the information is so valuable but then I have to ground myself, remember my audience and regroup. I have to remind myself that a person can write more than one book, it does not all have to be in one. Making the book too large can cause the audience to lose focus and they may never read all of it.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About 9 months.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, writer’s block is real; it is called negative self-talk, improper sleep, and stress. Once your address these three things, writers block disappears.
How many hours a day do you write?
At minimum 2 hours per day. I have a family of three children, finding time to write is a challenge. I tend to write in the early hours. I highly recommend the book Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod. It helps with getting on task in the morning.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Common traps for aspiring writers is focusing on too many things. Yes, you want your book to be great and be proud of it but sometimes too much distraction causes delay in fulfilling the goal. Focus on one thought; write it, it does not need to be in chronological order. Just get the thought down and rearrange later. Again, with a stellar editor, you can collaborate on what makes the most sense regarding order and flow. Do NOT cut corners on your editor, you will regret it and waste money and time on mediocre services.
Did you attend any writer’s courses?
Yes, Chandler Bolt’s Self Publishing School. The most efficient and effective way to get from ‘idea’ to ‘DONE’ :
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Plagiarism. If you have an idea or a quote, make sure to research where the idea came from. We all have many ideas but we want to make sure if those ideas were sparked from another author’s idea, to give them credit.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. The creative process is invigorating.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Common traps are that it has to be perfect. It has to be DONE, not perfect. As you continue and practice you will get better and more ideas will come for more books after your first one is finished and you receive feedback.
Another valuable tip that I learned was to create my avatar, the ONE person I am writing the book for and describe them all that way to where I might find them eating lunch on a Sunday and what color socks they might wear. Knowing my avatar (my audience) was vital to staying on track.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes, I did write under a pseudonym, and just as my mentors advised, if you are going to create a business, stay away from pseudonyms. It is confusing for all involved, including myself!
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It took the fear of writing, the negative self-talk away, which was a huge roadblock for me. Now I use mind mapping instead of outlining. Mind mapping is faster, and my ideas make more sense in a mind map form. Mind mapping encourages creativity.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent was on my editor, Lizette Balsdon. Finding an editor that you connect with and that understands your voice is vital.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to original. If readers like it, great; if not, I have followed my passion and I like it.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Yes, anyone can be a writer, you don’t have to have a strong passion for the subject. It can be an informative nonfiction , and have great content that provides great value and be a best seller.
Thank you for your time Carolyn. It is always a pleasure working with you and we wish you all the success in the future.
Grab your copy of Carolyn’s book, F.I.E.R.C.E: Transform your life in the face of adversity, 5 minutes at a time!
And if you need help with transcription, proofreading, editing, illustration, cover design or self-publishing, don’t be afraid to get in touch. If we can’t help, we can put you in touch with someone who can.