• Phoebe and Paul Hoogendyk

Will people want to read my book?

SOUL TV Episode 218 Will people want to read my book? Annette is writing a biography to help people go from redundant to rock stars. She wants to know if people will want to read it & how to manage her fear of judgement around it. Watch 8pm Tues 15 Sept www.soultv.com.auTues 8 Sept 10.15am

"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." -The Buddha

Totally understand the self- questioning and doubt that comes about when you step up and put your story out there. We went through the same process many years ago with our first book, Set By The Ancients, A Journey of trust love and adventure. Then less with the second Set By The Ancients, The Greenstone Journeys Continue and there is still a tad left that we guess will accompany the third and final of our trilogy, Singing of the Stones, which we hope to release at the end of this year.

Why do we go through this process? Normally we write our story because we have experienced something quite profound and enlightening and want to share our learnings and discoveries with the world or those who may be going through something similar. Hoping that they will learn from what we underwent so that they can skip some of the challenges or move through them with greater ease. We want people to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and this too shall pass…if you make the choice to move through and beyond.

All through our young years unless you have exceptional parents and teachers, we are told not to stand out, to follow the crowd and not to be different. This erodes our self-confidence, slowly but surely and when the time comes to shine we go into fear of what other might think of who and what we are. It is only because we have been conditioned to be unsure of who we are and what we have to offer. A wise person once said that children enter the education system as a beautiful butterfly and come out the other end as a caterpillar hiding in our cocoons. So what to do? We go on the “hero’s journey” to quote Joseph Campbell. We face trials and tribulations, go within to find the answer, conquer our challenges and then come back to tell or share our story with others. We must learn from other peoples mistakes as we do not have time to make them all ourselves. The important part of all of this is that we do tell our story. The healing is in the telling. The learning and teaching is in the telling. The motivation and inspiration is in the telling. For the teller the journey suddenly all makes sense and the listener gets the pearls of a personal experience.

We go through wondering if we have written it well enough for people to be engaged. Will people judge us for having the experience, think we are mad or just not good enough. What we have forgotten is that the Universe has asked us to go through this challenge, come out the other side and share it with the world. When you remember this then you understand that telling the tale is not about you but what your story will mean to others. Then you can step out of ego, just tell the story and let it go. In other words, it is not about you. Now how liberating is that? Some people will love it, others won’t relate to it and some won’t care either way. That is just how it is. The ones you are writing the story for will find it and get what they need from it.

Promoting yourself is the same as promoting anyone else and it is not about being seen as egotistical. It is about knowing who you are, what you have been through, what you bring to the table and how it will assist others in their journeys. Judgement from others will only affect you if you are coming from ego and seeking approval from them for your work. We can only ever do the best we can and then let it go and seek its own life.

For us it was only scary for a moment about sharing such a deep insight into our lives and who we are. We want people to like us and if they see we are flawed they may not anymore. Then we let it go and stepped out of ego and into knowing that our books would assist those who were drawn to them. We get great satisfaction out of hearing how people have been inspired to step into more of who they are once they have read our books not necessarily because we wrote the books but because our lives have always been about being in service to others and that is what gives us the greatest joy…hearing about those who have been inspired to step into their story. Don’t even try to please everyone. When you share an intimate view into your life through a book make sure you have told your truth and can back it up, then there is nothing to fear except the fear of your own judgement. You can only be tripped up if you are hiding something, coming from ego and neediness. The more real and open you are when you promote yourself or when you are writing the more people will relate to you and your story. Set your boundaries and within that be available, humble and ready to listen to others who will want to share their story with you because yours has triggered off something in them. Stories have always been one of the greatest forms of teaching. You can tell a story to 30 people and they will all hear something different and get what they need from it.

When writing I Phoebe found that the writing flowed when I could “be” back in the moment. So going into state helped me to see the events once again and I wrote it down as I followed along, much like writing about a video I was watching except I had all six senses with me, smell, sight, sound, touch, taste and humour. I also find that writing on the full moon gives me greater clarity and energy. Think about what it would cost you if you didn’t put your story out there and what others could be missing out on. I almost didn’t finish our first book because I went into doubt of my writing ability and whether people would read it or not. One day I was walking past an auditorium full of people waiting for a well-known psychic to appear. The first thing they did when they came on stage was call out, “Is there a Phoebe here!” Well I was just going to the loo so I kept walking until they called out again. “I have to speak to Phoebe before I speak to anyone else!” Okay that got may attention so I called out that my name was Phoebe and they said, “You have to get your book finished now and out this year.” Well that did it. I finished the book and sent a master copy to my mentor Barry Brailsford who is an amazing writer and story teller, scared stiff he would not like it. He loved it! So the book was out before the end of that year.

When you step out magic happens. We ordered 2000 books but secretly wanted to be able to afford 5000. As maths is not my strongest subject it took us four years to realise that the printing company had published and sent 5000 books instead of the 2000 we had paid for. We thought it was taking us a long time to sell 2000 books! Of course we had already sold over 2500 by the time the penny dropped.

Salvador Dali the great painter said “Don’t worry about perfection because you will never reach it.”

So go out there with your story in confidence, truth and humility and inspire as many as you can without being attached to the outcome and then wait and see what happens. If someone doesn’t like your book that is ok because you didn’t write it for them. And you and they are not perfect. You will get people who don’t like it and that is ok as well. Always be gracious and see it as constructive criticism even if it is not, and as always it is there problem not yours and they have a right to their opinion. Remember whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger….lol!

Phoebe and Paul Hoogendyk