How Your Book Can Be a Tool as it Grows Your Business with Lisa Danylchuk

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Trauma is a difficult thing to process and get past. It is something many of us work through every day. Lisa Danylchuk, the founder of The Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery, has written Yoga for Trauma Recovery to provide informed and effective treatment for people dealing with trauma. In this episode, she joins Robin Colucci to talk about her book writing process. She discusses her work in the yoga and trauma recovery spaces and how her experiences have helped her train people to help others recover from trauma. Lisa also shares how she is using her writing to further grow her business and, most importantly, help change the world. Tune in and learn how to make your writing speak for itself and create the impact it needs to make with this conversation.

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Read to the transcript here:

How Your Book Can Be a Tool as it Grows Your Business with Lisa Danylchuk

I am delighted to share with you my guest, Lisa Danylchuk. Lisa is an author, a Licensed Psychotherapist and Founder of The Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery. She’s a graduate of UCLA and Harvard. Her work has pioneered the field of trauma-informed yoga and transformed our understanding of embodiment practices and therapeutic work. More than 300 providers from over 25 countries have completed Lisa’s yoga for trauma online training program. She has written for publications like GoodTherapy and the American Psychological Association. In 2016, she was named one of the top 20 International Yoga Teachers To Follow. Her blog has also been recognized as a Top 25 Yoga Blog.

The primary reason I wanted to have Lisa on is she’s such an incredibly successful example of how you can take your book and use that as a tool to further your business, grow your business, propagate your mission in the world, make a broader impact and change the world. Lisa will share about this process of how she took her incredibly innovative ideas. In combination with her book, she developed this wildly successful online training program where she’s able to spread her methodology across continents and make a profound difference in thousands of lives. If this is something you have contemplated at all as an author and if you haven’t, you should. This will be an invaluable episode for you to read.

Lisa, welcome to the show.

I’m happy to be here. Thank you, Robin.

I’m happy to have you with us. As we have talked about, there’s this vital ecosystem that authors have the opportunity to create where you can make real money and also have a real impact in the world without necessarily having to be a New York Times bestseller or having to sell 100,000 books or more. None of those are bad things. Maybe you have sold 100,000 books. The point is you can have a massive impact and success by creating an ecosystem. What you have done is such a great example of doing that and doing it well. Let’s start by you telling our readers a little bit about your work and this ecosystem that you have created.

I work in yoga and trauma recovery, those two worlds combined. A lot of times, people will talk about trauma-informed yoga, which has been gaining momentum and popularity. There’s also yoga-informed therapy where therapists are wanting to move more. We all have been in Zoom land for a while where we were sitting. I’m at a standing desk. I’ve got a treadmill and some tools over here. I will dance around while we were talking. We know that sitting is the new smoking thing. I learned as a therapist it’s hard on your body to sit that long.

I work with yoga therapists, therapists, yoga teachers and mental health professionals. Over the course of my life in studies and work, I developed this body of knowledge on yoga and trauma. I would present it at mental health conferences, therapeutic yoga and yoga for trauma recovery. I started doing it so much that I started writing in my planner or on files Y4T. I’ve got tired of writing yoga for trauma. Now I have this online training program that’s called Y4T. That’s what I call it when I write to myself and that’s what I will call it here.

I have a community of around 300-something people representing 25 to 30 countries. It’s a lot of people who were like me in the beginning, doing trauma-informed work, yoga-informed therapy, not having a community and not fully understanding the science but having an intuitive sense that it was strong. That presentation became a book. It became an online training program. The online training program came first and then the book. They pair so well together. The purpose of this is to support people.

I want to slow down here because it can work in either direction. You can do the book first or you can do the course first. In your recollection, you created the online course first.

 

TAC 3 | Book Writing
Book Writing: If you have some website or online program, there’s almost like a presence that’s been infused in your book writing. It’s not just you in your head thinking about something. There’s a community represented in your work.

 

I published my first book in 2015. I have three books out. The first one came out in 2015, 2017 and the last one in 2019. The one that pairs with the course is the 2019 book because that’s where I felt like, “The book finally came out of me when I finished the third one.” The first one, I was like, “It’s still in there. Let me write this one.” Those were their own thing and I felt good about them but I wasn’t done. Now, I’m not writing. I don’t consider myself a writer. I had something that needed to get out. The course came first in 2015 and then I revamped it as I went. Now, it’s paired with the third book.

This is a great insight too. What I’m getting from what you are saying and this speaks to people who are maybe starting a new venture and maybe thinking about, “When do I do the book?” What I’m hearing is you had four years of presenting this course with real people and getting real feedback. It was after that level of experience that you felt you were able to write, if you will, the definitive book on the work.

Also, ten years of experience before that of teaching it to people in yoga studios and conferences, so there was this evolution of the material until I had this presentation. Every time you get excited, you have questions, you add more, you take things out, you refine and your research. I’ve got to this point where I’m like, “I’m tired of repeating myself. Let me record this.” That was so many times and people are like, “That’s so novel.” I’m like, “No. I’m getting old.” We have to be invested in our own joy and follow it. I was feeling that deep call to write. I was feeling that deep call to reach people beyond a therapy room, a mental health conference, a single yoga studio in one town, state and country. You feel that bursting out and wanting to connect and draw people together more.

This speaks to one of the core principles in my work, which is don’t write the book to have a business. Don’t write the book as your first step when you are embarking on a new path or a new career. The book should be a result of your experience and what you have learned. Interestingly, you said ten years because, in my mind, that’s the minimum level of experience that someone should have in a field before they even think about writing a book.

You start to internalize the questions and answer them preemptively. You are connecting more with where people are when they are ingesting whatever you have to offer. I remember in the beginning, I was like, “I’ve got to back it up.” I’m assuming all of us are familiar with the diagnosis of PTSD that we can recite it in our sleep. I am more confident where I can assume that. Even if I’m in a room with a psychologist, I will be like, “How many diagnoses are there?” It’s like, “There’s a book for a reason. There are websites where we go back and look.” Some brainiacs may have that photographic memory. Most people need to like, “Draw the picture for me.” You then start to have, “These are the questions that come up. This is how people are feeling about this in different ways.” You can be more relational even though it’s a book.

I would even say, especially because it’s a book. People tend to underestimate the level of intimacy that’s available when you are writing if you write one-on-one to your reader instead of writing to readers out there. You said something important and this ties to that intimacy as well. You get to know what questions they have in their mind. It enables you as an author to answer those questions in the book. The reader will have the experience of, “She knows me. She’s in my head. She knows what I’m experiencing.” It’s this law of averages of like, “You have taught it to enough people, you get enough of the same questions.” Say a little bit more about that because this is such an important point when you are building an ecosystem and writing a book.

Sometimes you start to think, “That’s an old question.” I was doing a group coaching call with some of my students and it’s the same question around if I call it yoga, the students I’m working with, the kids, the adults or whatever group, get either scared or intimidated by it. They have preconceptions. They don’t want to do it. There are these themes or religions still. Years ago, I remember teaching in juvenile hall and having kids. Their parents would say that they can’t do the yoga program for religious reasons. We would have to respect it. It was like, “Okay.” Maybe not so much, probably still in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are plenty of places around the world where there’s this conflict. People think yoga is religious and how do I address that? Some of these things are so enduring when we can fold them in and address them. I was like, “Am I speaking about it enough still?” It’s not an issue in my life right now but I’m surrounded by trauma therapists and progressive charter schools.

I can imagine for school counselors, it’s got to be a real land field of mines to navigate. It’s true too because to your reader, you are getting new information so all their questions are new. You, as the author, one of the dangers, especially when you have experience, is something you alluded too, assuming that they know things that they don’t and meeting them a little too far down the road. When was the first time you noticed that you were doing that and how did you deal with that?

It’s easier for me to teach people in person because you can be super interactive and responsive. Even in a call, we could say, “Are you aware of this? Yes or no, raise your hand.” If you can see people, you can get a sense. When you are writing a book, you might have a clear picture of your audience. You might be thinking of people that you are writing this for but you are not getting that feedback. The first time I felt that way, nothing is coming to mind. I’m thinking more of the times where it’s natural for me. I’m a relational therapist person. It’s like, “Let’s sit down and have a cup of tea and talk about everything.” It’s nice to be able to have that flow back and forth with people when they are looking at you and squinting their eyes. They are getting excited and you can feel it too.

The big transition that stands out for me honestly, and this is super relevant, is the transition from seeing your audience to not seeing your audience. When you are writing a book, you are at your computer and you are usually alone. You have to have internalized, imagined or connected with that person to keep that alive. There are two ends of the spectrum here. Let’s not go straight to after 10 or 20 years of experience, your most intricate reflections on this because people are going to be like, “I’m not with you.” Also, not belaboring things that delay getting to the point referencing like, “This is a new concept and here’s a resource. It’s a lot more helpful.”

We have to be invested in our own joy and follow what we are called to do. Click To Tweet

I feel like there’s a balance in between where you are giving people what you need. If you know you have a range of readers, I know I do, people will pick up my book and be like, “I have been through trauma. I want to know about yoga for trauma recovery.” People will pick it up who are like, “I’m a Psychologist with 30 years of practice and I have been practicing yoga since I was six. I want to know what you think about yoga for trauma recovery.”

When you are doing something that might be a review for someone else, throwing in personal examples of what went well and what didn’t go well, they are going to relate more to that. That’s going to teach a new person and give them examples. We always talk about telling stories and that’s about it. Also, if you are introducing a concept, finding a way to express it through your voice and finding a way to speak to those ends of the audience at the same time, that can be a challenge. It can also be done if you are aware of that while you are writing, editing or while you are going through that process of writing a book.

Something else I’ve got out of what you are saying is, it’s that balance between making sure that everything is clear to your reader and at the same time respecting their intelligence. Not treating them like they can’t make any inferences or something. There are certain mental leaps that they are capable of making but it does take some practice. You are right, when you are teaching people in person, even if it’s on Zoom, if you can see their faces, you can tell.

This is something I recommend in my book, I’m like, “Go teach your material. Even if you are not doing it before you are writing it, do it while you are writing the book.” You can get that live, on the ground, in the moment reaction. If you hear yourself say something a certain way to everybody in the room and you can see the lights go on, you want to make a note of, “How did I say that?” If they start getting distracted or they give you that confused puppy look. It’s like what my pug does every time I’m doing anything other than playing with her or feeding her, it’s like “What’s happening now?” To use when you are doing live teaching and inform your writing is a powerful thing to be able to do.

That carries through in a book. If you do have some website, online program or something, there’s almost like a presence that has been infused. It’s not just you in your head thinking about something. There are a community represented in your work. I feel like that makes it more powerful because we end up thinking about things we wouldn’t have thought of on our own. The more you can expose yourself to diverse opinions and reactions, the more you clarify. It becomes more powerful.

I especially want our readers who are wondering about, “Is it okay to teach the material in my book before my book is out?” The people are afraid that if the material is out there, someone might steal it or it would seem old hat by the time the book is out. What I want to be a takeaway here is that the opposite is true. You do want to be teaching it. You want there to be some buzz. You want there to be some community around this information. It’s not going to make people want your book less. It’s going to make them want your book more as a little side note. I’m curious because I know you were teaching this for several years in yoga studios and conferences. At what point did you decide to create a certification?

I would say it was an evolution. First, it was creating the presentation and applying it to present it at yoga conferences or mental health conferences. Now, I’m presenting at conferences. I’m doing these workshops. Also, refining the material the whole time. I then started getting this itch. Like the book, it’s nonverbal. It’s somatic for me like, “I want to put this online.” At that time, there was nothing online on yoga for trauma recovery and bringing yoga and trauma together in terms of online training programs.

It was one of those projects bubbling up that, for whatever reason, I felt drawn to. What I ended up doing was scheduling the first one live, recording everything and then I’ve got more into the production mode where you record things. I’m going to keep doing that, revamping and updating it as we go. I have an eight-week program and you need a certificate of completion for that. I also have an advanced training program that’s usually around nine months. People can teach and get a provider certification through The Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery.

There’s that first step that tells other people I have studied trauma-informed yoga. I know what I’m doing. Most people usually also have some yoga teacher training, $200, $500 an hour LCSW, social worker and mental health professional. Some folks are like Reiki masters, nutritionists or whatever who joined this training program. The certification is meant to communicate that I have experience in this.

It’s funny because, with trauma, it’s like starting to get into graduate programs more. Even the stuff that I teach, I learned in advanced trainings out there. I learned in books and experience. I didn’t get taught much about trauma at UCLA. I’ve got taught about trauma indirectly at Harvard but not like, “We are going to dive in.” I went back to be a guest lecturer and one of my professors was like, “You blew my mind.” I was like, “We didn’t talk about it this way here, did we?” She was like, “I’m going to use this.” I was like, “Please.”

TAC 3 | Book Writing
Book Writing: The more you can expose yourself to diverse opinions and reactions, the more you clarify your message and make it more powerful.

 

That must have been a moment.

Dr. Kim is my favorite. I feel like evolution is the answer to your question and it was responding to a need. People might be certified in yoga and they might have a Doctorate in Psychology but they might not have even had a single class on trauma. That’s real, even to this day. I know there are more trauma programs now so people might have a certificate in trauma or something. It takes that going out and pursuing training and trauma. To me, it’s relevant to everything and everyone. We need to have this awareness. We need to have a way to communicate, “I know some things. This is something I have studied.” That’s why I developed the certification program. I wish I could be part of the Yoga for Trauma Master’s program at some University but that doesn’t exist either. It was my way to create my little course and validation of that and a way to communicate that out into people we are partnering with.

This next level of training other people to teach, say a little bit more about that. How long had you been teaching it directly to providers so they could use it in their practice? What was going on that showed you that you needed to take it to that next level?

I saw a need after that eight-week program for mentorship. I started doing it in 2017. Two years after the training program started online, I want to create a yoga series for sexual assault survivors, which is a specific form of trauma-informed yoga. I want to help not just creating the curriculum and having someone look over it and seeing like, “Are there red flags here? What would you suggest?” There’s almost that consultation in mentorship but there’s also, as we know, starting a business, doing something on your own. You bring up all your stuff. If you have someone there with you who’s like, “This is how it is, Welcome.” I’m like, “I’m here. I’ve got you. I have been through that.”

You thought you were going to help people? There are a few other things you have to do also.

I developed the advanced training to give that love, support and create a place where people could grow and become bigger leaders. Most of these people are already leaders in their community who are doing the program whether they identify or think that way or not. They were like, “I’m the only one.” I’m like, “You are a leader.” It’s such an opportunity to create a community. This is something I didn’t have. I felt like a weird person. I would find 1 or 2 other people or eventually a nonprofit that was doing something similar to what I was interested in. I want to draw out to people who do feel alone.

This is happening all over the world right now. I have a student in the Philippines and Mexico. We have people in South America. All over, it’s happening. We don’t need to feel alone. Not just support for me but connections with other people who are doing it. You have someone you can be like, “Let me text you. What do you think about this?” You have relationships with those peers, colleagues and friends that can support you in being in a relatively new industry. There are no trauma-informed yoga Bachelor’s or Master’s programs. You have to still piecemeal it together. There are some yoga therapy things but even that, often, it’s physical therapy and not so much mental, emotional or trauma-responsive stuff.

The advanced training was like, “Let’s get in there and let’s get to know each other. I’m here to support you.” As you know, if you have that support, something that might take you a year to eventually get to or figure out can take you a week because someone is there to give you a resource or even validate how you are feeling. Also, give you accountability. That’s what the advanced training program is about and continue to know that we are always advancing our education in these areas. There are so much more information coming in. It’s not like we do it in eight weeks and we are done. It’s not like we do anything and we are done.

They do the training and then they are able to teach others to do this yoga traumatic recovery.

What you are saying is interesting because everyone that has been through the advanced training program so far except for a few people, has gone to create a specific program. I’m working with cancer survivors, singers and sexual assault survivors. They have made something specific and responsive, like what we were talking about with the book Yoga for Trauma Recovery. We have to be responsive to the population. They have honed it. They are not copying me. They are being themselves. There is now more of a call like, “Can I teach exactly what you are doing?” I’m trying to formulate what that would look like right now. Everything I’m teaching is personal. It’s got all the community input but it’s personal to me in my life and the way that I think and have experienced the world. It’s like, “Do I want you to do that? Do I want to support you in bringing your flavor to it?”

Some of us are writers who love to write and want to see our writing out in the world. Click To Tweet

This way, by teaching other people how to teach this, you can serve communities that you never would have tapped. What singer would think to come to you? This person has networks that they see a need. I love that idea because it makes it these tendrils that can go out into these parts of the wilderness that you would never even imagine that you would try to reach and reach people that would never have found you. I can see why you would be hesitant. On the other hand, no one is ever going to do it exactly like you even if they think they are.

It’s a different way of training. I have always focused on people that are like, “Tell me what to do.” I’m like, “What do you want?” This is like, “Give me a prescription,” and you were like, “What’s going on?” You have to dig first. That’s my inclination and tendency. I was like, “Let’s figure out who you want to serve and how you want to do it.” We call it trauma-informed yoga but it’s human-informed yoga. Once someone learns these principles and understands trauma to a degree, they were like, “It’s everywhere.” I have more compassion for these people in my life who will trigger me or will be frustrating because I’m like, “They were struggling. Their window of tolerance is narrow right now.” After the first training in 2015, Maria, one of the students, posted something on social media like, “When you know too much psychology, you will be pissed at people.” I was like, “I’m sorry you are going through that.”

“Too bad you don’t get to have self-righteous anger anymore.”

That was huge like air out of the tire, “I will be compassionate now.” It applies to many different groups like singers and even people who are not identifying as going through trauma. When you move through a global pandemic that’s a year-plus going, there are some threats to life and there might be some symptoms there and we don’t have to diagnose it or call it PTSD. When you learn about trauma, you go, “This is how our bodies respond to stress and respond to a threat,” and then all these other things start to fall into place that makes sense.

Let me ask you this because it’s occurring to me. Since you are offering these training and certifications, what some people have also done is connected to organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, the idea for fitness trainers or yoga certification programs. Have you partnered with any of these organizations so that your course provides those continuing ed credits? Tell us a little bit about that. That’s also an opportunity for a lot of authors that maybe feel a little intimidated thinking about it or pursuing it.

For this training, I am connected with Yoga Alliance. Yoga teachers can get continuing ed for their recertification and also have continuing education for mental health providers in the US. For yoga teachers in the US and Canada and a lot of folks internationally, there are yoga alliances all over, so they will get a reciprocal acknowledgment if they submit it. For the continuing education credits, I’m part of an organization called the ISSTD, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. I have been involved with them for many years now and they have continuing education credit. I was like, “How do I do that?” I was lucky that I could reach out to them.

You can submit to each individual like, “This is for psychologists and this is for social workers. This is for this state and this is for that state.” You can find companies that help with that. I work with one that helps with that. There are always something changing like, “Texas isn’t allowing this anymore.” It’s not like, “Yey.” That’s a service to people to offer that. I find that if you are studying something, you want to have that credit, too. It’s a great thing to do. If you are not sure who that is that would offer it, online research will give you something.

It sounds like though it is something else to manage so maybe it’s not the first thing you try to do. It sounds like you had some good momentum. Is that accurate?

Yes, I did and I also had people starting to ask for it. I revamped my material. When I went for certification for continuing education, I submitted all the material. They have to know what you are teaching. Having some experience under your belt and having worked through your material. There are also a whole process and I’m super familiar with this because I was mentioning applying to mental health conferences and submitting a proposal. There’s a specific language around it. Depending on your industry, whether it’s medical, therapy or whatever else, there are going to be ways you have to phrase your continuing education objectives. There are a whole almost language to it. That was familiar to me at the time that I submitted the continuing education, so that made it a little bit more palatable.

You have to say what they are going to learn, what competencies they will have and how you are going to verify those competencies. There are all kinds of things.

TAC 3 | Book Writing
Yoga for Trauma Recovery: Theory, Philosophy, and Practice

You can’t be like, “Learn and know.” You’ve got to investigate it and talk about what they walk away with and not just what you are saying. It’s part of that. That would be a good extra workshop for people.

It’s how to turn your book into an accredited course. I’m not going to write it but you can.

Somebody has done it.

I can barely fill out any forms. For a writer, I’m bad at filling out forms.

It’s like, “Same information again.” When my phone won’t auto-populate, I’m like, “I have to write my name again?”

When you type in letters and it can’t figure it out, I’m like, “Come on. It’s obvious what I’m typing. Fill it in.” Don’t give a creative person a form to fill out.

Can I hire someone to do this for me?

This is helpful. I have talked a lot and I’ve written a lot about, “Your book isn’t the main thing. Your book is a tool to advance the main thing. The main thing has to be this core mission that you are on. This core business is furthering something you want to change in the world and the result that you want to create in the world. You’ve got to not look at the book as the end-all-be-all.” Lisa, you are such a great living demonstration of what this looks like. You have been generous in sharing with us your journey to how this unfolded for you. The main question I have left then is what’s next for Lisa?

A lot of downtime sounds nice. People ask me a lot if I’m writing like, “What are you writing next?” I’ve got into this habit of seeing me publish a new book every two years and then I was like, “No, I’m good.” I viscerally had this feeling and I don’t know if you felt this but I hope people feel it because it was good. I was writing the last chapter and I was in a cafe across the street from my office. I felt this energy swelling up through my body. It was pouring out. I felt like an energetic birth but instead of that going down and out, it was coming up and out and then I’ve got so happy. I was crying in the coffee shop like, “It’s happening. It’s finally coming out, that last little push and that last little finish.” I felt complete for now with that.

I might do a second edition of this book because there are always new information coming and new things to change and update. I’m going to joke at the end but this is true. If I write something else next, it’s probably going to be a poetry book with no format. At first, I was like, “I will write haiku,” and I’m like, “No, that’s too restrictive.” It’s just the form of modern dance style poetry or a children’s book or something. I will probably write more but not right now. I’m more thinking about the quality of life, how can I continue to expand the support I’m offering people in my online training program and the advanced training program.

If you have support, something that might take you a year to eventually get to or figure out can take you a week. Click To Tweet

You probably feel this, too. At a certain point, you are in this place of building something, creating something and growing something, and then you also have to prune, consistently clip things away. After the third book, there was so much stuff going on in my life too that was like, “I need a little space.” I took a little space and I still feel like I’m doing this pruning process more. Even with the online training and the advanced training program, it’s like, “How do I make it better?”

It’s always that depth of wanting to reach a lot of people but I want to do it in this way where there’s depth and quality to it. I don’t just want to pop off this here and that there. I’m in this place of, “What’s worth my time?” I don’t feel so much about like, “I’ve got to get this done and I’ve got to move. I’ve got to do this.” It’s more like, “How do I focus on this and try to leverage what I do have to make the biggest impact?” There are some legacy from it. It’s not just like, “I made some stuff.” There’s impact. That’s where I am at, giving myself space and pruning things. I’m still learning a ton about business and all that. I’m still growing in a lot of ways but also trying to be intentional about that so that I feel good about what I’m doing and it’s hopefully received in a way that makes the impact I’m hoping. Even a better impact that I’m hoping would be great, too.

I could relate to things you were saying because I wrote my book in 2013. Every year, I asked myself, “Should I even do a new edition?” I’m like, “No. Enough of it still holds up.” It’s because I know what it would take to take myself off the court enough to get that done. That is something. I was pregnant with that book for over a decade, probably fifteen years or so or more.

It gets uncomfortable at the end.

It’s like, “This is what I have to say about this particular thing.” That is also a great lesson for our readers. When you are writing a nonfiction big idea book, which is what we are talking about here, it’s a big idea that’s probably been gestating for several years. You don’t need to write a book a year. If you have put the thought into it, written with not just depth with the depth of understanding of your knowledge but a depth of understanding of your reader, what they are dealing with and how you can help them, then you don’t need to write a lot of books. You have come from a place of such deep understanding that your book will hold up over time.

If you are an expert and writing isn’t your primary career, that’s a great place to be. You are not trying to be a professional writer. You are trying to be a professional who’s making a difference in this particular way. Isn’t it wonderful that you’ve written the book that is still holding up for the last few years? I would predict for the next several years that your book will stand the test of time and still be a great resource.

I’m even thinking of theories I referenced in the book that dated back to 1999, then the new edition came out. It’s like that book influenced this book. When we go deep, there are some industries absolutely where there’s an update like tech or something. Write something about how to build an app in 2016.

I don’t think you can have a current book. By the time the age of your life, you won’t be out-of-date. That’s a whole different topic.

I know people who write that way. I know people who are like, “This book is done. I have more ideas and I will put them in the next book.” They iterate and they are maybe circling the same topics like business or economics or whatever their thing is. They were okay with like, “Let me say what’s on my mind,” and then everything will have its own theme or structure. It’s interesting to think about how, for authors, we have different holes. Some of us have one book baby and some of us have triplets or twins. Some of us are writers, we love to write and we want to see that writing out in the world.

The ideal day is to wake up with your coffee and no one bothers you. You are on the computer all morning and go out for a walk by yourself. For me, I feel like the computer sucks life out of me, so I was having a hard time. As much as I wanted to write, I was like my brother. He was a computer programmer. He had got all this in front of computer genes and I’ve got all this in front of the spaces genes. It’s hard. It’s not your personality and where that thing is coming from.

TAC 3 | Book Writing
Book Writing: At a certain point in this place of building, creating, and growing something, you have to prune and consistently clip things away.

 

What feeds your soul? Does it feed you to sit alone in a room and write or does it feed you to be in front of a group and teach? You can have either focus and still be a successful author. If we have one takeaway for this episode, in my point of view, is that you can create a successful, fulfilling career that includes authorship. Look how little of it has to do with the ego things that people associate with authorship. We haven’t talked once about the number one Amazon bestseller or any of those things that sometimes, people use as a substitute for depth. Not to say that you can’t have both. You can. What we are talking about here is your desire to make a difference, have a piece of your legacy be contributing to the healing on this planet and using the tools at your disposal. One of those tools happens to be a book.

I love some of the people who I get mentorship from who will say, “Do you want a bestseller book? Is that something you want?” It’s like, “The book came straight from me. I have never wanted that.” They said this to someone else. I wasn’t even asking about it. Sometimes, we get narrow in what our definition of success is and it’s easy to get pulled into that. There are plenty of New York Times bestsellers that I have read that I can’t even tell you the title of the author anymore. That’s not a knock to the book. I would probably enjoy it, refer to people or gave it away when it was done to my mom or a friend.

It was a great experience in my life but books can serve a lot of different purposes. Do you want something light that someone is going to laugh at during the summer? When people read my book, I tell them. I put it down for a minute and go move because this is a lot. We are talking about the author. We were talking about the deepest, most challenging and painful moments of human life. Go out there and look at some butterflies for a minute. Some books feel like going and looking at butterflies for a minute. There are different impacts and different ways you can meet people.

I agree wholeheartedly, Robin. I see when people want to write that they want that recognition or they think like, “I’m going to write a book and I’m going to be rich.” You were like, “Even if you get a great advance, then you’ve got to write it and you’ve got to live while you are writing the book.” There are a lot of mythology around it that I’m glad you are working to dispel and to get people to think more about their investment in how they are bringing all of their work to the world. That overarching goal too of like, “What are you trying to make an impact in? How are you trying to make people feel?” All of those are great questions.

Lisa, this has been such a delight. I have enjoyed having this conversation with you. Thank you for being transparent in sharing your journey of creating this wonderful, sustainable ecosystem for your business with your book and your books. Also, profoundly helping many people around this world. Thank you.

Thanks, Robin. I loved it. It’s fun to be here.

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About Lisa Danylchuk

TAC 3 | Book Writing

Lisa Danylchuk, LMFT, E-RYT is an author, licensed psychotherapist, and founder of the Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard University, her work has pioneered the field of trauma-informed yoga and transformed our understanding of embodiment practices in therapeutic work. More than 300 providers from 25+ countries have completed Lisa’s Yoga for Trauma (Y4T) Online Training Program, the first virtual program to train providers offering yoga for trauma recovery. She serves on the Board and as UN Committee Co-Chair for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, was elected to the role of Secretary in 2018 and was nominated President-Elect in 2020. She’s written for publications like Good Therapy and the American Psychological Association and was named one of the top 20 Inspirational Yoga Teachers To Follow in 2016. Honored as one Luluemon’s first US ambassadors, her blog has also been recognized as a Top 25 Yoga Blog.

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