208: “When Is the Right Time to Write a Book?” with E.K. Richards

How to Transform while Writing Your book

“I was like, you know what, I’m just going to just let it out of me. And whatever happens, happens. And I think even the process of realizing that while my book may not be enough for everyone, it is enough for the people that it’s meant for.” —E.K. Richards

Have you ever felt called to write a certain book? E. K. Richards (Kim) always wanted to write a book, but she had never taken the action to sit down and write. Now as a mom with toddlers and teenagers and a house to run, how would she find the time to write? Just like the rest of us, she only has twenty-four hours in a day.

When she started working for us here at Authors Who Lead and Mandala Tree Press, Kim joined one of our book coaching groups. Her book “chose her,” and she felt inspired to write. She finally decided to not overprocess how to fit writing a book into her schedule, and just sat down and wrote.

In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Kim about that book, Decode Your Darkness: Release Trauma, Reach Emotional Freedom, and Find Your Light, and how it transformed her.

Why Talk about Darkness?

As Kim tells us in this interview, her book chose her. She originally wanted to write a fiction book, but this powerful theme of darkness and trauma and how she navigated her childhood compelled her forward. Kim defines darkness as the “depth of your soul that a lot of people try to hide.”

This darkness not only holds all of your trauma and hard emotions, but it holds your creative passions as well. In contrast, Kim explains that your light is the shining personality that you show to the world. In her journey, she learned it was important to honor that darkness because it helped define her light and who she really was.

Who Is This Book For?

Kim chose to write this book for the darkness inside her, who she calls Ms. Scarlet. Ms. Scarlet represents anyone who is feeling a bit dead inside, numb to the world, and maybe they just don’t really want to live, but they do anyway. They aren’t living authentically and aren’t quite sure how to get back to feeling good.

We talk about the people struggling with this darkness because some people don’t know they have any trauma. They might’ve suppressed it, or maybe they feel like their trauma was too small compared to what others have experienced. They don’t know that it truly affected them, and they go through life barely coping, or numb, or depressed, unaware that it’s the trauma that is keeping them in that darkness.

The Hardest Part of Writing This Book

Each person has their own journey with their books, even when that book chooses them to write it. I asked Kim what the hardest part of writing this book was for her. She responded that “stepping outside of [her] perfectionism” was the hardest. For years she had wanted to write a book, but she never thought any of her writing or ideas were good enough.

In our groups, we try to encourage our authors to just “word vomit.” They need to get all those ideas and words on a page without critiquing or editing or judging them. This was hard for Kim, but once she allowed herself to just write, the words flowed and she realized her dream of writing (and publishing!) a book.

How Writing a Book Transforms the Author First

We often tell people that it’s a transformative journey to write a book. You’re going to discover who you truly are, what you stand for, and what you need from this book. It’s as much for the author as it is for the reader. For Kim, writing her book was healing. She wrote through moments of complete and utter depression that became an emotional outlet for her. She urges everyone to allow their darkness to enhance their creativity and create when they’re feeling anxious or depressed.

As we get older and aren’t kids anymore, we tend to suppress the playful creative side of us and end up unhappy and frustrated because we don’t have that outlet. We need to keep our creative passions and play in our lives. Along with using your creativity to embrace your darkness, Kim urges people to also process what they’re going through.

How the Writing Journey May Surprise You

Looking back at her writing journey, Kim tells me one thing that she didn’t realize was that the book will change “a billion times before it’s done.” Her first draft looked nothing like what is out in the world now. Sometimes people think all you need to do is change a few things and check for spelling. But now Kim knows firsthand it’s much more of a process than that.

Learning to deal with beta readers and criticism is part of being an author. Although Kim had great beta readers, she still had to ground herself before reading the feedback. Even though we know that their advice will help make our book better, it is sometimes hard to accept.

Kim learned to not take it personally, that she was meant to write her book, and there were just parts of it she needed “to tweak.” This is why in our programs we urge our authors to write that dirty first draft quickly. It’s easier to edit afterward if we haven’t spent years on the words on the page.

Taking action first to sit down and write your book and then later to embrace the editing process is a life-changing journey. Let go of all your preconceived notions and just allow your ideas and inspiration to flow.

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you ready to make an impact as an author? What can you do today to take action? Share in the comments below!

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.

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Get a copy of Kim’s book here:
Decode Your Darkness: Release Trauma, Reach Emotional Freedom

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