I had the great pleasure of being interviewed alongside my dear friend Dani Shapiro on Linda Sivertsen’s podcast, Beautiful Writers.
You might know Dani for her memoirs and novels. Her latest book is called Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love.
We’ve wanted to share a stage for the longest time but haven’t been able to do it yet, so it was truly amazing to be interviewed with Dani! I read Inheritance right after I had my son. I read it when I was up feeding in the middle of the night, and it was so deeply moving that it inspired me to strengthen my own writing skills.
I love this conversation with Dani and Linda so much that I had to share it here, along with some of the writing tips that I offer up over the course of the conversation. This interview and these writing tips are for you if…
- You feel called to write a book (or you’re writing one now)
- You want to take on any kind of creative project
- Great podcast conversations light you up
Gabby Bernstein and Dani Shapiro on Beautiful Writers Podcast
Let’s jump in!! You can listen to the podcast episode below or download it on any podcast app. Keep reading to discover some of my top writing tips, which I share in this interview.
4 writing tips for current and aspiring authors
I hope that sharing my own proven methods and techniques inspires you to pick them up or adapt them for yourself! These are a few of the principles I’ve followed to write seven bestselling books, and I swear by them.
1: Commit to your spiritual practice
When you want to do something big like write a book, it’s tempting to tell yourself that you just don’t have time for meditation and other spiritual practices.
In fact… the opposite is true. Your spiritual practice actually expands time and magnifies your creativity. It’s what allows you to do less and attract more.
We’ve grown accustomed to the belief that our will is what makes things happen. But the secret to feeling good and manifesting our desires without struggling and suffering is to stop relying on our own strength.
We do this by welcoming spirit to lead our thoughts and actions. Think of it as a collaboration between you and the Universe. You no longer have to feel solely responsible for figuring out life, making all major decisions and taking action on your dreams. There is a force of love within you and around you supporting your every move. The way to access this force is to simply get out of the way.
So whether you’re writing a book or starting any kind of project, or just want to feel more supported and “in the flow” in your daily life, make your spiritual practices a priority and let the Universe support you.
Call on the archangels
As I share in Super Attractor, there are many angels and spiritual guides eager to help you. I’m going to go deep on the topic of angels in an upcoming blog post, but in this post I want to talk about two of them who come up in this podcast episode.
We all have the creative capacity within us, but when we call on a guide aligned with creativity, we amplify that ability within us.
Archangel Gabriel is the angel for communications. He helps artists, writers and teachers to carry their messages in authentic and meaningful ways. Gabriel will come to your aid when you’re procrastinating or having trouble communicating. I call on Gabriel before I go onstage and when I sit down to write.
Archangel Jophiel is the angel who supports artists. She helps bring calm into our lives, and she’ll help you shift your perception and guide your thoughts back to love. If you’re doubting your abilities, stuck in negativity or just need a fresh start, call on Jophiel.
Calling on an archangel or any spirit guide is simply a matter of setting an intention. You can just say, “Thank you, spirit, for writing through me,” or “Thank you, [name the angel or guide], for writing through me.”
2: Create a clear outline and then let it go
I know I can tell stories in my voice, but I’ve never identified as a writer. Early in my career it was a block, because I thought I just couldn’t write a book. But I’ve come to see it as a gift. All the pressure’s off — I just have to tell the story. And the stories are always begging to be told.
My vision for myself is to be an untethered force of light. It’s how I want to feel on the stage and in my books. In order to feel that freedom (and not write myself into circles), I need a very clear outline. Whether I’m writing a book or preparing a talk, the first thing I do is create a clear outline.
My outlines are flexible and can change. I’ll add stories, move lessons around, combine chapters or break them apart. I have no problem going back and reworking my outline as I get further along in the process. My outlines give me so much freedom!
During my Bestseller Masterclass I teach my method for creating outlines and guide students to create their own outlines. This is always a really fun and enlightening process. Because once you have an outline all of a sudden that book feels so real and so doable, and your confidence soars.
3: You don’t have to be a literary genius to write a great book
The only writing guide I bought when I decided to write my first book was one about how to write book proposals.
I purposely avoided being told how to write, because what was most important to me was to write in my own voice, as I speak. Whenever I tried to be anything but that, I lost what made my books good.
My books are not literary masterpieces, but they are transmissions of what I know to be true. For me, it’s so important that I don’t try to be anyone but myself when I sit down to write. As Dani says in the podcast, “Authenticity is what makes books electric.”
I can’t stress how important this is. So many people have said things to me like:
- “I want to write a book, but something is just holding me back from doing it.”
- “I feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing and publishing a book, not to mention marketing it.”
- “I’m not a professional writer. Who am I to write a BOOK?”
- “I’m creatively stuck and don’t know how to organize my ideas.”
I’ve been there. When I wrote my first book, I had no idea what I was doing, no email list and no literary background. But I knew there was a story I had to tell, so I created a plan and let my inspiration guide me through.
I used to be a C student in English… and today I’m a #1 New York Times bestselling author. So take it from me: If you feel the call, and you’re willing to make the commitment, you can and will write a book that carries your message far and wide.
4: Devote yourself to writing daily
When I’m writing a book, I work on it every day. Some days I can spend a couple of hours writing, whereas other days I have a lot less time. But no matter what, I sit down at my desk every day and write. It’s how I stay connected to the work, and it’s key to actually finishing a book and getting it out there!
Most of us can’t spend all day, every day writing. We have jobs, families and other obligations. The great news is that you don’t have to spend every minute writing (and you shouldn’t).
In the podcast Dani says, “If you have an hour, make it a sacred hour. If you can do that every day at the same time, it’s amazing what can happen.” When she wrote her first couple of books, she committed to writing three pages a day, five days a week.
Sticking to this kind of method will give you a complete manuscript in about six months.
Learn how to write, publish and market your bestselling book with The Bestseller Masterclass
You don’t need to have a big following, an established business or a writing degree to share your story through books. People in every stage of life, from every background, and in every profession hear this call.
Over the past several years I’ve met and worked with many people with important stories to tell and lessons to share. They’ve been first-time writers, experienced authors and everything in between.
As a spiritual teacher, it’s my sacred responsibility to help you share your powerful stories and lessons with the world. I’m committed to helping you spread your message on a big scale and create a movement using the exact methods I’ve used to publish all my books.
That’s why I created The Bestseller Masterclass: to take the guesswork out of writing, publishing and marketing your bestselling book!
The Bestseller Masterclass is a 6-module digital course followed by an intimate in-person event on March 1st and 2nd, 2020. This course is a commitment, and it’s an investment in yourself and your book. If you feel the call, though, don’t wait. Spots are VERY limited and fill up fast.
Let the Universe catch up with your dreams
When you feel called to embark on something big like writing a book, it’s easy to get frustrated and impatient. There’s so much stretching out before you and you just want it to be done. But we must practice letting the Universe catch up with our dreams.
When we enjoy what we’re creating and let ourselves have fun, we wake up one day and realize that our visions have become our reality. This is precisely because we haven’t been trying to make them happen or forcing them. Inspired energy is receptive energy.
Make joy and inspiration your highest priority and you can ALWAYS trust that the Universe will catch up with your dreams.