Q & A with Pia Maganov

Why did you decide to write your book?

I was working through some personal issues a few years ago and looking for a way to feel better about my life. I started writing my thoughts down and as I did I occasionally wrote as if for someone else, wanting them to understand my ideas and processes; a ‘How to’ guide if you like. When this kept happening I began to pay attention. I collected a few of the pages and thought this could be the beginnings of a book. To see where this idea could go I participated in a 10-week write your book course which gave me the foundations of structuring a book and tips on writing and editing.

What inspired you to write?

I didn’t think I was the only one. I thought other people would benefit from hearing what I was going through and how I solved the problem, so I decided to write it down.

The book itself also became an inspiration. I essentially ‘had’ the middle section first. Then I wanted to add a beginning and end. Chapters developed over the period of writing the book and workshopping the material with others. I would ask myself questions like, “How could I best explain where I came from to get to this point that might be valuable to others”, and for the later parts of the book I included answers to “What do I do to stay motivated that my readers would also find useful in their lives?”

What was the most rewarding part of the writing process?

I was delighted when paragraphs would write themselves. This wasn’t usually the case. Most of the work was structured and pre-thought. Some sentences took forever to get close to what I wanted to express. But sometimes the exact sentence would come in the first expression. I was also excited when an exercise or idea would appear in a breath of inspiration and fit beautifully in context.

Touching on inspiration; there were moments when I was writing that I felt truly inspired; it wasn’t just concentration to get a thought across, rather ideas just appearing at the right time.

What are your top tips for writing a book?

Be clear on your audience and your purpose, the answer you offer the reader. This will help you structure the book and work out what to put in it and what to leave out.

If you want to write a book, just start. If you are a person who likes to have structure and support then I recommend finding a course that guides you through the process of book writing.

I have heard it suggested that there is no need to edit the book while writing, just write it all and then edit later. I tried this for one chapter. My experience was that I ended up with unrelated paragraphs and sentences that didn’t convey my intent well. When I went back to the chapter, I had to work hard to get it to read well. While I agree full editing should be done when the writing is completed and it is good to get all the thoughts down as they come to you, if there is a lull in the writing, I recommend re-reading sections and making corrections as you progress, so the material remains in context.

Expect it to take some time to write and allow yourself that time.

Which books/authors have inspired you?

Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life was an inspiration to me from early on. Louise self-published this book that hones in on the spiritual aspects of healing. She built a publishing company because of this book. Marianne Williamson has written some thought provoking books; especially Return to Love, which helped me stay on the path of self-discovery.

I have been inspired by many authors including Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), Wayne Dyer, Alan Cohen, Dee Wallace and Guy Finley.

Attending the same writing course I was on, was Amy O’Brien, who inspired me as she took her project and ran with it. She used all she learnt in the course and much more to establish herself as an author and coach.

Why did you decide to self publish?

I wanted control over my book’s publicity and sales. After speaking with publishers I felt I would be doing all the leg work anyway, plus I liked the idea of being able to carry my own books into my seminars.

I like the print-on-demand feature available through Palmer Higgs. I found this company to be supportive and interested in my project. Rather than just dropping my book off for a print run, the people there helped me with many aspects of printing such as paper selection and cover design. I haven’t worked with a traditional publisher, and they willingly shared their expertise in book publishing. I became confident that the product I was creating was of equal quality.

What do you hope your readers will get out of your book?

My book is about creating self-awareness of the patterns that are running in your life and gives you ways of changing those patterns. I called the patterns negative thoughts because negative thoughts are easy ones to identify, but there are many more subtle patterns we all run that if we can see them we might want to change if they aren’t getting the results we want.

What do I hope my readers will get from book? A renewed heart, be more at peace, gain a clearer understanding of what you are capable of, how to let the past go, and how to move into the future with confidence and self-assurance.

Would you consider writing another book?

I have plans for two more books. Get Back the Real You is a starting point for me and my readers. Once I became aware of my self-talk and began clearing the thoughts, I became inspired and recorded many of my unique insights which I would like to share in future books. Get Back the Real You is my second book. My first book is book of abstract art with my own quotations called Visual Mediations.

What are your top tips for new authors?

My most important tip would be to structure your book before you start. Create a strong framework and then the book writing becomes easier. You just need to fill in the blanks.

Also, make time during the day to work on your book. Even if you don’t feel like writing do something – editing or reading or even talking to others about your project. This will stimulate your mind for future writing sessions.