Everyone Has a Story to Tell.
To Become an Author, Start by Tapping Into Your Story, Writing, and Sharing.
Shelly Pordea is a former teacher, turned author, and story coach. She helps clients with their creative process to tell their story, become an author, and publish books.
The Search for Home
Shelly likes to say, that homing in on little bits of our story will help us create a full piece of art. I asked her how this statement correlates to her trilogy.
Her response was that Stephen King says every author’s first book is a memoir. He and Shelly believe that we weave our story into everything we write.
Shelly found this was especially true and her entire trilogy was about her journey to find a home.
The Everyday Author
Every day authors don’t make a lot of money from their books. Like Shelly, many are ghostwriters and write articles for corporations, and coach others on writing and publishing. Shelly focuses her coaching on people who want to start a new career and others. She works to help you find the pieces of your story that create a full work of art, your work is your art. To find the through-line is to look back on your life and pull those pieces out.
Shelly recommends the book, “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins.
People want to relate to someone who has a journey similar to ours. As humans, we are curious and want to know as much as possible about the person teaching them.
Telling your story, helps other people trust you.
Value of Stories
Telling stories of people gives value to others’ lives. If thinking of becoming an author, start with your story and see how you can tell it in a way that resonates with others.
Where to Begin to Write Your Story?
What are the steps to writing your story? If someone wants to start on a journey to tell their story, where do they begin?
4 Steps to Take to Become an Author
1. Just write
Shelly is a huge fan of “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. Julia talks about morning writing. Just putting pen to paper and getting things out of your brain. Don’t make excuses, just write and you will come up with something.
2. Read – read-write, read-write, and repeat.
Research what people are looking for. If no one has done it before, chances are no one is looking for it. Take something on the market and inject your new spin on it to make it new and unique to you. One must be original when becoming an author.
3. Sweet Spot – Find your sweet spot that will work for you and others but you have to realize that not everyone will like it.
4. Coming up with a new idea is similar to creating your brand and differentiating yourself. It is about finding your sweet spot that will work for someone else.
Self-Publishing When You Become an Author
Where can you begin to self-publish?
There are pros and cons to self-publishing, and you do the majority of the work yourself.
Traditional publishing isn’t that much different, you still have to do a lot of things by yourself.
There are courses available to guide you, but you are doing the work yourself.
Start Googling information and see what works for you.
Get into a Facebook group about self-publishing. A lot of people will answer your questions for free.
Shelly offers a free download, “Write Your Story Now” on her website. You can also send Shelly an email directly from her website and she will answer your questions.
Self-publishing really isn’t that hard, it just takes time.
Other self-publishing resources:
Ingram Spark – hardback books they distribute worldwide
Know your standard of quality and your goals for the project before making any final decisions.
Number of Pages and Words
What is the target number of pages or words for a book?
Self-help books: 40,000 to 60,000 words which are about 150 to 200 pages depending on the graphics included.
Novel: 80,000 to 100,000 words.
If self-publishing, there really isn’t a specific number, but if working with a publisher, there are standards that have to be met. One should follow the standards when self-publishing to avoid calling attention to the fact that you are self-published.
Advice for a multi-passionate entrepreneur, which is most creative.
First and foremost, the person has to be the overarching brand. Your face must be present everywhere.
You are at the top, and then the areas of business fall underneath and should merge at some point, meaning, they all have to tie back into you at the same point. The feel, the emotions, and the relationships should be cohesive and consistent so that you are perceived as one person, one brand, who has branches of expertise.
Your story has to resonate with others and ultimately build an emotional connection with you.
To learn more about your host, Robyn Graham, click HERE.