Sunday, October 21, 2007

Its My Crisis and I'll Cry If I Need To - Yocheved Golani

1 - How did you get interested in the topic that’s featured in your book? Friends were fascinaed that I did not have a nervous breakdown when I learned that I needed life-saving surgery or while I recovered from it.

2 - Tell us a bit about your background. What have you done in the past that relates to your book and that topic? I'm a professional writer. I used to be a Health Information Management professional. That means that I analyzed medical records in psychiatric and medical institutions for legal, research/statistical, insurance and other purposes. I wrote articles for career-related publications, found out I was good at it, and left my high-pressure career to become a freelance writer. Eventually I began performing writing services for various clients and I wrote two published novels. My HIM career gave me the know-how to face my medical emergency with some useful insight for my medical needs and for preparing my newest and non-fiction book, It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To.

3 - What advise would you give to someone who is interested in your topic? Be a dedicated fact-checker. Non-fiction is non-nonsense work. Your credibility as a writer depends on your fact-checking and accuracy. And be a captivating writer. KNow what makes a reader turn the page for more input. Develop writing skills that hold reader interest.

4 - What do you see as the benefit to participating in groups and organizations? My first thought would be networking opportunities and the chance for personal and business growth. What are your reasons? The standout benefit is the networkng opportunity. Next comes the chance to learn from people in those groups and organizations. Feedback is an indispensable tool for preparing a book people want to read. I find that my friends can't always be impartial: they're afraid to hurt my feelings. But career professionals are neutral, focused on meeting a particular goal. I'm confident of getting valuable, candid remarks from them. The personal growth that can result from interacting with people from various walks of life is wonderful at building a writer's appreciation for humanity and differnt points of view. Such interaction also increases your social insight and sophistication.

5 - Who is the ideal person to read your book? If each person that reads this was going to recommend your book to one person, what sort of person would they want to chose? The ideal readers of It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To are someone who wants to help a loved one through a medical crisis. That loved one can be family, friend or colleague. The other ideal reader is the person experiencing the medical crisis or challenge.

6 - What do you think ignites a person’s creativity? A cause. Writing is a laborious task. There's a joke that says "Wwriting a book is a career option for the leisure class." Such people have enough money to spend time off from a paying job in order to write a book. A creative person feels a need to express themselves in some way: print, painting, sculpture, writng, music, you name it. That fire in the belly is what enables people with insufficient income to reach their creative goals.

7 - What have you found to be the biggest stumbling block for people who want to start writing? Not knowing how to start! People stare at a blank piece of paper or a blank screen and they panic. The solution, for me at least, is to use a sense of humor. I long ago broke my writer's freeze by writing about the white rabbit running through a snowstorm. I made one version funny, the other a news article. It banished my sense of panic about writing forever. Whenever I seem to be blocked as a writer, I write something off the wall, or read something very funny to get my mind recharged. Sometimes I write really, really bad first, second and third drafts. Anne Lamott has a more graphic name for them, and I find her take on rough drafts very comforting.

8 - How would you suggest they can overcome that? Experiment in order to find what works for you. There is more than one way to become a professional writer. Some people need to prepare outlines, others use grocery lists of ideas and story development. Other people use software suited to their writing purpose. I like to use a Hot Pen technique: writing until I must put my pen down of get off the keyboard. Then I assess what's worth using, what has to be trashed. I refine my text until I'm ready to let go of it. Attend free writer's workshops or start one. Then again, JK Rowling made a fortune by writing on scraps of paper at the start of her writng career. It worked for her. Go with your own flow. And use stress busting strategies that don't bother the neighbors. One more thing: you have to be willing to let go of your work once you've done enough with it. If you keep tweaking the text too long, you're not going to get it published. Every writer looks back at some of their published work and knows they could have done this or that to make it "better." But extreme perfectionism doesn't belong in the writing profession. It belongs in your "issues resolved" department.

9 - What do you find is the biggest motivator for people to succeed? Is it money, security, desire for fame or something else? It depends on the person. I want to help people with my book. And I want to make money at what I do. Writing is my line of work. I can't afford to volunteer my book preparation time. I communicate with several writers who moan and groan about how much money they invested in getting their books published. I keep telling people that I wrote my books in order to make money, not to lose it. Fame is an alluring factor for some writers. Getting name recognition in the wide world can boost a career with additional clients, speaking engagements, new career developments and personal satisfaction. Fame also sells your book! As for security, that's for best-selling authors and syndicated writers. They expect steady income as a direct result of their endeavors. The rest of us pray for the income from our writing efforts.

10 - Who is the “perfect” person to read your book? What a great question! I had to reflect on it a while to give you an intelligent answer. The perfect person to read It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To is someone who will tell other people to buy it. They'll do that because the book helped them or someone they know in specific ways, or they understand how it can help other people facing a medical crisis.

11 - Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Yes. Make off-the-cuff elevator speeches about your book. It's a technique I accidentally figured out when I described my developing book to acquaintances. I heard myself telling people what the book was for, who'd need it, the issues it could solve and the problems it would prevent. Then they'd ask me open-ended questions or make suggestions about the book. I then realized that other angles could definitely be addressed within my developing book. Suddenly, my rough draft took on fresh, new life. I better understood my purpose for writing It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To. So I suggest that you keep telling willing listeners what you book is about, why you're writing it and who'd want to read it. You'll refine your writing goals that way, find your purpose for writing, and forge ahead with progress. You will be absolutely sure of your sense of purpose in writing.

Yocheved Golani
Self Help Coach
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life.

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