Don’t hide your book: Some people have a hard time finishing books because once you do, that means you have to publish and sell it. That opens you up to judgement. I had a client that wrote her book in 2 weekends but she didn’t write the last chapter for a long time. Have confidence that the nudge that brought you to writing your book was divinely guided and that people are waiting for your book to come out. Think about this: there are people out there who can’t fulfill their purpose in life because they need to read your book first. They can’t read someone else’s book. It has to be yours. How could you keep them from their purpose in this way?
As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vickie Gould, an intuitive writing coach and publisher.
Vickie Gould is an intuitive writing coach, publisher, and 10-time best-selling author. As a result of working with her, Vickie’s clients become best-selling authors who are able to leverage their stories, grow their following, create more impact, and turn their readers into clients while they sleep.
Her 110 best-selling clients span four continents, 14 countries and 22 states and include a former Canadian Olympic track star, a female Golden Globe boxing champ, former school teacher, nonprofit organization, a mom and autistic daughter duo and others from all walks of life.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I always say that becoming a writing coach found me. When I first started coaching, I was a wellness coach. During that time, I wrote two best-selling books and I became a storytelling marketing coach. As people found out that I wrote those two books, they started asking me to help them with their books. At first, I told them that I didn’t do that sort of thing, but eventually a friend asked me, “Vickie, isn’t storytelling inside books? And isn’t a book a marketing tool?” After that, I started saying yes to the requests to help people write their books.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
When I wrote my first book, I got a horrible review. It basically said that the book was a rambling of someone who couldn’t get their thoughts together. It stabbed me in my heart. I wanted to give up. I told myself to unpublish the book and never write again. But as more feedback came in and more reviews went up from people thanking me for writing the book and saying that it was so helpful to them, I realized that one person’s opinion should not overshadow all the rest. Since then, I’ve shared the screenshot of the bad review many times in public and with my clients who want to write books. I use it to show that you have to start somewhere and there will always be someone who doesn’t like you, your story, or your book. Never let that discourage you from sharing your story.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
I had wanted to write a book for almost as long as I could remember. When I was in elementary school, I read the whole entire library. Growing up Asian American, my mom felt that if I wasn’t doing something to expand my mind, it was a waste of time. Books became my escape.
For most of my life, I thought I would write a fiction book, but then once I went through my journey with Chronic Lyme Disease, I knew that was what I was called to write. The hardest and scariest things were just starting and then putting it out there for everyone to see, but I knew it was part of my life’s purpose to write the book. Since then, I’ve put out nine more books for a total of ten best sellers.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know that I would call this funny, but it was definitely a lesson. I thought that when I wrote my book, because it was a needed topic and could help people, that it would automatically start selling on Amazon. I thought Amazon would promote it and that I didn’t need to do anything except publish it. Boy was I wrong! Just like anything, if you don’t promote it, it doesn’t sell.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on a book that I initially wanted to write for my children, privately. I wanted it to be something that could be passed along through the generations to teach on topics like personal development, relationships, love, money, abundance, and living purposefully. When I told a friend about it, she asked me if she could read it too. From that, I’ve decided that I will publish it like I have with my other books.
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
I don’t know if it’s the most interesting, but my signature story is about when I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. I was told that I would live out the rest of my life spending 16–18 hours in bed. At first, I tried to accept it. Then I thought about ending things. But then I started to read books about other people who had overcome things like Chron’s disease which also has no cure and I realized that I can create my own destiny. I took my health into my own hands and became a Master Herbalist. As I shared my story with the chronic illness community, I realized that stories save lives and that’s why I devote my time to helping others to get their stories out in best-selling books too.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
I want people to understand that whatever you can dream up, you can achieve. There is nothing in this world that you cannot have or achieve. The only barrier is what’s in your mind (and you can overcome that).
Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Done is better than perfect: While I teach a structure to follow when writing your book, it’s a framework to personalize. There’s no wrong way to write it if you’re listening to your heart and being guided with what your readers need to hear from you.
- Do it now, later may be too late: Stop procrastinating on writing your book. Get the clarity you need around who you are writing for and what transformation you’re giving them. Get clear on what and why you’re writing the book. Then start AND finish — those are the two hardest things to do.
- Channel the best-selling author inside of you: If you have the heart-tug to write a book, know that not everyone get it. It’s gift that you’ve been given so channel the best-selling author inside of you to show up and get that book out of your head and onto paper … and out into the world!
- Stop editing and editing: Until you’re done writing your whole book, editing while you go will keep you from finishing. It’s so easy to swirl around in wondering if there’s a better way to say things or a better word to use. Only do this after you’re done writing.
- Don’t hide your book: Some people have a hard time finishing books because once you do, that means you have to publish and sell it. That opens you up to judgement. I had a client that wrote her book in 2 weekends but she didn’t write the last chapter for a long time. Have confidence that the nudge that brought you to writing your book was divinely guided and that people are waiting for your book to come out. Think about this: there are people out there who can’t fulfill their purpose in life because they need to read your book first. They can’t read someone else’s book. It has to be yours. How could you keep them from their purpose in this way?
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?
As I mentioned above, I read the whole library in elementary school. Because of that, I was able to travel, albeit in my mind, to places all over the world and meet people from all walks of life. I also knew their innermost thoughts through the stories that they were in. Now when I write, I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes. I can see things from many perspectives, not just my own.
I also threw out academic writing when I wrote my books and went for being more conversational. I’m not saying that my grammar and spelling wasn’t correct, but I didn’t write the five-paragraph essay because that’s not engaging enough to keep people turning pages of a book.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I love personal development books because they help me to be a better person. I usually get a lot of “ahas!” from them. A couple of my favorite books are Loving What Is by Byron Katie and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Living a life of no regrets: I was in bed for 16–18 hours a day for three and a half years due to my chronic Lyme Disease. I had a lot of time with my thoughts and I often looked back on my life at the things that I told myself I would do later. I ended up feeling bitter and having a lot of regrets about what I did not do. Now, when I look at things, I ask myself the question, “Will you regret not doing this now?” and it helps me to prioritize what’s important. All too often, we act like our time here is unlimited and that there will be space in the future, but it’s not true. We never know and I, for one, never want to have that bitter, regretful feeling again.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!