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UP #53: How To Crush Status Quo As An Author 2.0 With Joanna Penn

UP #53: How to Crush Status Quo as an Author 2.0 with Joanna Penn

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while you will have heard me mention (more than a few times) the book that I’m currently writing. Well, here’s the deal, I’m actually writing 3 books and a manifesto – with 5 more on the way. Let’s just say that I’ve been a very busy lass creating meaningful work in my cozy little home in beautiful B.C.

Having said that, I’m now going to confess to a little secret I’ve not wanted to face for the past little while. Up until recently, I’ve been dragging my feet on said writing projects for reasons unknown. If you know me, you’ll know that this is really out of character. After all, I’m an Ironman triathlete. I’m disciplined, dedicated, and never, ever bail on anything that I commit my heart to. Yes, I can be prone to procrastination (please tell me I’m not alone), but this has been different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the inner resistance that was holding me back until a post-interview conversation that I had with Chef AJ from podcast #49.

After our recorded chat, we spoke candidly about many things such as writing, podcasting, and self publishing. The conversation opened my mind to a more expansive worldview (I love when this happens). In that sacred hour, my writing mojo was back – I was on fire!

You see, last year I attended a powerful writing retreat in California that was instrumental in leading me on the path that I’m on today. There was one thing that didn’t resonate with me however, and that was the constant talk of book deals, mainstream publishing, literary agents, platforms…yadda, yadda, yadda. I felt exhausted. Defeated. Drained. My body was clearly indicating to me that this was not my path, but my soul was telling me that I had to write. I felt conflicted.

It wasn’t until my conversation with Chef AJ that I clearly saw the writing on the wall. It read as follows: I will write as directed by my soul and I will self publish as directed by my need to crush status quo. I will change the world, I will empower others, and I will be empowered myself. The end. Ta da!

To be perfectly honest, the thought of building a platform, spending countless hours writing the book followed by countless more hours writing a proposal, then grovelling for an agent to pimp me out to a judgmental publisher so I can be rejected umpteen times before finally being accepted – only to be told that I have to wait another year to be published so that I can earn a pittance for every book sold as the world goes to hell in a hand-basket – was not exactly motivating. But I didn’t know much else other than the sad stories I’d read about unknown authors printing hordes of books with nowhere to store them except the trunks of their cars as they desperately tried to peddle them to bookstores who weren’t interested. It all sounded so crappy.

But Chef AJ – my savior – inspired me to explore the world of self publishing. This led to hours of online searching for legitimate resources to point me in the right direction…heck, why not just blurt it out – to hold my hand. Yes, I definitely needed hand holding in this unknown territory.

And this is where this week’s podcast guest enters the story. When I “stumbled on” (ha, there are no accidents) Joanna Penn’s website, I began to vibrate with excitement. I was immediately impressed. Blog post after blog post filled with exactly the hand-holding guidance that I was hungry for. A woman whose desire to serve shone like a beacon in a sea of false promises and sales pitches. I knew I had to meet her and have her on this podcast.

Not only is Joanna incredibly generous with her knowledge, she’s a true status quo crusher. She courageously left behind a high paying, soul sucking corporate career to unleash the author within. Joanna has two writing persona’s – the non-fiction author who helps people like myself to navigate the exciting and ever expanding world of self publishing, and the fiction author, J.F. Penn who writes thrillers and dark fiction. We have a really interesting conversation about all of this in today’s show.

In this week’s show, we chat about topics such as:

• Finding the courage to escape the golden handcuffs.
• Rediscovering the creative self.
• Redefining success to live in happiness.
• Navigating the exciting world of self-publishing.
• Creative empowerment!
• What is an indie author and why is it so exciting to publish a book in today’s world.
• The importance of just doing it (i.e. stop stalling) and learning along the way.
• If you died tomorrow, would you feel fulfilled with your life?
• Always question whatever society assumes is normal.
• Overcoming social media resistance.
• The power of story to help people learn deeper messages.
• How setting limits frees your creativity.

Joanna also has her own podcast and she just celebrated a 200 episode milestone. She’s a woman who I’m grateful to have found to help me with my own work, and also someone whose wisdom I’m eager to share with everyone who is ready to unleash the author within.

Enjoy this week’s show.


The Creative Penn website. Make sure to sign up for Joanna’s list to get her amazing Author 2.0 Blueprint.
J.F. Penn website. Joanna’s “thrillers on the edge” website
The Creative Penn podcast on iTunes.
• Follow Joanna on Twitter.

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As always, thank you for listening and thank you for helping to co-create a better world!

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hi Deb – I am listening to this podcast right now and am really loving it! I love the idea of empowering yourself to follow your heart and delve into the world of writing and to take it upon yourself to get your books out there without the need of all those external pieces that you mention (publisher, etc.) that could really just weigh you down into getting the message out and achieving your goals. This is really motivating to me, and I’m going to check out Joanna’s site and books to learn more. I look forward to reading all those books that you are working on, too!

    1. Awesome Alison! I hope this inspires you to get those books out into the world that may have only be living in your heart until now. We live in exciting times and Joanna is a generous and passionate resource who really cares about helping others.

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