Bestselling Author and Journalist Pam Grout: “Discipline is the key to writing success; and while discipline sounds like a not-so-fun word, it actually offers the most exciting, energizing experience”

I have learned that discipline is the key to writing success. And while discipline sounds like a not-so-fun word, it actually offers the most exciting, energizing experience when I show up faithfully and answer the call of the muses. I had the pleasure to interview Author Pam Grout. Pam is an explorer on the frontiers of […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

I have learned that discipline is the key to writing success. And while discipline sounds like a not-so-fun word, it actually offers the most exciting, energizing experience when I show up faithfully and answer the call of the muses.

I had the pleasure to interview Author Pam Grout. Pam is an explorer on the frontiers of magic and enchantment. She has served as an extra in a zombie movie; composed a country-and-western song; created a TV series; and communed with Maasai warriors, Turkish sultans, and Inti the Ecuadorian Sun God. She writes books and articles for such places as CNN Travel, Men’s Journal, The Huffington Post, and People magazine. She is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Thank & Grow Rich, E-Squared, and E-Cubed. She can be tracked down at or at @PamGrout on all the socials.

Thank you so much for joining us Pam! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I have been a writer since I was in second grade and started writing and illustrating such books as Paddy, the Penguin and Blacky, the Bear. As I said, I was only 7. I got a degree in journalism (that’s writing, right?) and worked for the Kansas City Star writing features.

Although I loved every minute, I longed to write the stories that burned in my heart. I became a freelancer soon thereafter, pitching stories of all types to publications of all types. The coolest thing about being a writer is you find something you’re interested in, pitch a story about it and then land the perfect excuse to immerse yourself in that topic and to call experts in that field. I am so blessed to have been a writer for my entire career. It’s a fortunate thing it worked out because, my last part-time waitress job, fired me for spilling an entire tray of giant margaritas on the restaurant’s most loyal customer. Actually, my “retirement” was more of a mutual decision.

I began blogging about A Course in Miracles at the beginning of 2018, detailing my own journey into the daily lessons. Readers seemed to dig it and begged me to turn it into a book.

In reality, all my inspirational books (half of my 20 books are travel books including 3 for National Geographic) were spawned from the principles in A Course in Miracles. E-Squared, the one that got all the international buzz, was ripped more or less straight from its pages.

What impact do you hope to make with this new book?

A Course in Miracles is such a profound gift to the world. It literally changes lives, spreads peace and alters molecules. But there’s just one tiny problem. It’s as boring to read as a Mr. Coffee owner’s manual. So, here’s this amazing opportunity to change the consciousness of the world and nobody can actually get through it. Millions of people have tried, but all but a few end up throwing their hands in the air and crying uncle.

After being summoned by readers of my blog, I decided to rewrite all 365 lessons from the workbook of A Course in Miracles. My goal was to make it fun, accessible, easier-to-understand.

The impact I’m aiming for is that people who can benefit from the transformational volume known as A Course in Miracles (read, everybody) will actually be able to follow through on the yearly program.

Why did you decide to write a new take on A Course of Miracles?

Lots of books have been written about the Course. But none, as far as I know, have rewritten the Workbook lessons — all 365 of them. I sorta feel like a Berlitz instructor. “Here’s what it’s trying to say, guys!”

Has A Course of Miracles made an impact in your life?

OMG! Let me count the ways.

Because I recounted this in the intro, I’m going to literally cut and paste that section from the book (Excerpted from The Course in Miracles Experiment by Pam Grout; Hay House Inc., January 2020):

Before I became a serious student of A Course in Miracles, I was the last person anyone would have nominated to play a part in The Dude’s little project here on earth. At the time, my boyfriend, the last in a long series of boyfriends, had kicked me out of the house we shared in rural Connecticut. To top it off, I was seven months pregnant, was (obviously) unmarried, and had nary a clue where to go. Even worse, it was mid-July and the air conditioner in the little blue Toyota in which I’d stuffed most of my earthly possessions was on the fritz. Temperatures averaged 100 degrees as I set out across the country, big as a house, pointed in the general direction of Breckenridge, Colorado. Clearly, something needed to change.

The Course, which I ultimately began to follow in earnest, had the audacity to suggest I was responsible for my train wreck of a life. It implied that if I would simply let go of all my mad fixations — my “he done me wrong” blockages, and all the other clutter I’d picked up about the way the world works — I could actually be happy.

It suggested that the only reason I wasn’t experiencing big-ass love and swimming in perpetual abundance was because my consciousness was on red alert. My thoughts viewed the world as my sworn enemy. In short, it challenged the very foundation of my life. I didn’t let go without a fight.

My conversations with the Voice went something like this: “But what about all my problems? I must analyze and fix them.”

“Let go!” the Voice seemed to suggest.

“But what about good and evil, right and wrong?”

“Resign now as your own teacher,” the Voice clearly advised.

“But . . . but . . .”

Slowly, inch by inch, I gave up the reins to my beliefs and old mental constructs. It began to occur to me that if I had the power to create such an ongoing disaster, I might also have the power to create a life I could enjoy.

The Course pulls no punches, going so far as to guarantee that “perfect peace and perfect joy are my inheritance.” All I have to do is give up my belief in deprivation and lack.

“But that’s so hard,” I whined.

“It’s not hard.” The Voice was insistent. “It’s your natural state. It’s just very different than the way most people think.”

I also learned from the Course that the tall blonde chick in the mirror isn’t really me. The depressed pregnant woman driving the blue Toyota cross-country was nothing but a false identity I’d been taught to assume by a world that worships separation and limitations. By focusing in on that little “self,” I completely missed my connection to this other thing, this bigger thing that many call God. I had completely imprisoned myself by zeroing in on this rickety body that was never — no matter how many face creams I used, no matter how many downward-facing dogs I did, no matter how many Wayne Dyer books I read — going to be good enough.

And that’s what the Course is about: Taking the wrecking ball to mental constructs that have imprisoned us for far too long. Taking the focus off the limited self we see in the mirror and putting it on the glorious field of potentiality (the FP) that allows us to connect to all that is.

It’s about letting go and surrendering to the all-loving, all-powerful energy force that’s bigger, bolder, brighter, and, yes, stranger than anything we’ve yet seen. This Sacred Buzz is life itself. Life, which — no matter how many walls we erect, no matter how seriously we screw up — is always there waiting with arms open wide.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

There are so many. I included stories about everything and everyone from Wonder Woman to Tony Hsieh, the 30-something CEO of Zappo’s, from Carlos Santana (an avid ACIM fan) and Gray’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo to Hans Schultz, the fictional sergeant to Colonel Wilhelm Klink in the old TV series Hogan’s Heroes.

Can you share a funny story in the Lessons of The Course in Miracles Experiment?

I like to think they’re all written in a, if not funny fashion, at least a readable version of each life-changing lesson.

Here’s just one example (it’s Lesson 26):

Two Words or Ten

If you could observe the physiological changes that take place in your body when you’re in negative states, you would stop immediately. — Eckhart Tolle

In a funny skit on MadTV, Bob Newhart plays a shrink offering “Stop it!” therapy.

A client named Katherine comes to him with panic attacks. She’s frantic about being buried alive in a box. Newhart’s Dr. Switzer asks, “Has anyone ever tried to bury you in a box?”

Katherine: “No, but thinking about it makes my life horrible. I can’t go through a tunnel or be in an elevator or in a house, anything boxy.”

Dr. Switzer: “I’m going to say two words. I want you to listen very, very carefully.”

Katherine: “Should I write them down?”

Dr. Switzer: “We find most people can remember them.”

Of course, his two words (Stop it!) weren’t what Katherine really wanted to hear. She wanted to go on and on about being bulimic, about having self-destructive relationships with men, about her germ phobia, being afraid to drive.

Like Dr. Switzer’s two words, Lesson 26 (My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability) isn’t what most of us want to hear. It basically says any thought that’s not of love is an attack upon ourselves, an attack upon our invulnerability. If it’s true nothing can hurt me (as this lesson promises), maybe I could actually benefit from Dr. Switzer’s comical five-minute, five-dollar therapy.

Instead, I’m asked to stop for two minutes, six different times today, and recognize that any thought of worry, anger, depression, or foreboding is an actual knife I thrust into my psyche. In each of the two-minute sessions, I review a painful situation: I am concerned about________________. And then I’m asked to go over all possible outcomes. I am afraid__________will happen.

After naming each outcome I fret about, I simply tell myself, “That thought is an attack upon myself.” Attack thoughts (which make up the bulk of my incessant thinking) create a false image of who I really am. Slowly, but surely, as I start identifying my attack thoughts, I can give them to what I like to call the Holy S.2 It won’t tell me to “Stop it!” but it will gently remind me that none of those thoughts are true. None of them can change who I really am: Invulnerable and forever free.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

There is this unseen energetic force that is chomping at the bit to work with each and everyone one of us. It wants to bless us, guide us, provide us with meaningful lives. Not just some of us — all of us.

I hope, more than anything, readers will make contact with this oh-so-powerful resource. It’s there. Available 24/7. Why wouldn’t everyone want to employ its butt-kicking ju-ju?

What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book? Can you share a story?

I have four main goals for my life: peace of mind, surety of purpose, unmistakable guidance and unceasing joy. That my readers literally asked me to do this means SO MUCH. In other words, it’s the unmistakable guidance promised by the Course.

Can you articulate why you think books in particular have the power to rewire minds, create movements, revolutions, and true change?

Ideas change consciousness. Books provide a low-cost method for spreading valuable information which has the potential to radically transform how we see and do life.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career? Can you share the lesson(s) that you learned?

I have learned that discipline is the key to writing success. And while discipline sounds like a not-so-fun word, it actually offers the most exciting, energizing experience when I show up faithfully and answer the call of the muses.

My failures and challenges always revolve around me not showing up to take dictation, me playing hooky from this connection with the Divine. Ideas are out there in the ethers just waiting for us to pay attention. It’s truly the coolest thing in the world to serve as a purveyor of a higher message.

Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers need to know if they want to spark a movement with a book? (please include a story or example for each)

  1. Show up. Put your buns in the chair even when you don’t feel like it. You gotta prove to the muses that you’re loyal.
  2. Trust. Most humans do not feel worthy. It’s one of the things the Course helps us overcome. But you have to take a big leap that somehow if you feel the call to write, help will be provided.
  3. Be authentic. I often tell stories on myself, unflattering stories that I’d just as soon nobody knows. But when readers realize I’m just like them (all of us are exactly the same when it comes to having confidence and believing in ourselves), it helps them realize, “wow, if she did it, I can do it, too.”
  4. Write what you’re passionate about. As a reporter, I found that all topics are interesting once you start interviewing experts who know their subject deeply. But if I’m going to spend an entire year on a book, I want it to be about something I want to learn or master anyway. I would do it even I never make a penny on it.
  5. Be generous. I think people often hoard their ideas. They worry they’ll run out and wonder what they could possibly come up with next. Writing (and creativity in general) is generative. Engaging in it primes the pump. There is no bottom. There is no limit. The more you write, the more you get.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My website is: I’m at @PamGrout on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Meet Pam Sowder: Entrepreneur, Author, Leader

by Johnny Medina

Creating Everyday Magic

by Maria Venardis

My New FAV Newsletter: What’s YOURS?

by Marjorie Hope Rothstein
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.