Finding Your Author Voice
“There’s something that wants to speak through all of us, and it’s something higher than us, deeper than us, but connected to us. And through the writing process, you can find a way to connect with that. I think some people call it the muse, or flow state, the higher self, the heart, the soul.” —Joe Hawley
Joe Hawley was an NFL player for eight seasons before leaving his lucrative career to live in a van with an adopted dog named Freedom. Through a mutual friend, Joe came to us at “Authors Who Lead” to get help writing a book about his experiences in football and in the wilderness.
In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Joe about his book journey as well as the inner transformational journey he took to find out who he was after his successful football career.
I always tell my authors that writing a book will first transform them internally. Without that insight within themselves, their books will just be an informational bunch of words. Joe Hawley discovered this and tells us that “I needed to start writing in order to start understanding myself, and that’s part of the reason I was called to write a book.”
He tells us as he wrote he went on a “beautiful adventure of self-discovery.” Through this inner reflection, he learned that there was a big difference between telling readers his story and showing them so they can see themselves inside his story and be able to learn their own lessons.
Learn as You Write
Most of us were taught in school to be editors, not writers. We wrote for the grade. So when we sit down to write from our hearts, we find ourselves facing all sorts of self-judgment and criticism. These mindsets lead to what most call “writers block.”
Joe Hawley was no exception to this. Like many other leaders I coach, Joe was very successful in his career but still didn’t think of himself as an author. It took him several years of writing to find his voice and his confidence in his own writing.
Along with a determination to keep writing, he found many ways to keep going. One of these actions was to take a break from his writing. When he felt like he had found his inspiration again, he then spent a month in Sedona writing.
We don’t all have the time to take a break from life when we’re writing our books, but Joe learned through his experience that creating a writing ritual each day was important and that he wanted to sustain that even after he went back home. I challenge you to find even twenty minutes in each busy day to sit down and write and just see how much you can accomplish!
In this podcast, Joe also shares with us:
- You should journal freely without editing or judgment
- One lesson he learned playing football was to learn to handle failure
- Never make the same mistake twice
- There’s a deep humility in knowing there is always something to learn
- You can’t build community just because you want to; you have to create a bonding experience
- What the Hart Community is and how it began
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you struggling to write your book? 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.