A little more than a year ago, I started writing my book.

In the beginning, it was called “The Aligned Time Method” and I thought of it as a fairly simple book on time management.

In the end, it wasn’t simple, it wasn’t really about time management, and it was called Great Work: Do What Matters Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else.

I worked on this book tirelessly for a yaer (Or, perhaps more accurately, through lots and lots of tired times), but I don’t think I was ever convinced that it would actually get DONE.

Or PUBLISHED.

Or LAUNCHED.

But now, this week, we have entered the strike zone.

In a little more than 2 weeks, Great Work is going to enter the world, and do it’s part to encourage you [FIRST NAME GOES HERE] to do more of YOUR Great Work.

Over the next few weeks on the podcast I’m sharing what it was like to write a book, with special guests and a behind the scenes episode about self-publishing.

THIS WEEK, I’M STARTING BY NAMING MY SECRET WEAPON: AJ HARPER.

AJ Harper is the developmental editor who helped to shepherd my book into the world. It would not have seen the light of day without AJ.

When I stopped being able to see the words I had written, AJ became my eyes and pointed at the words that needed fixing.

When I changed the name of my book in THE LAST MONTH before it went to be formatted, AJ talked me off the ledge and helped me identify what needed to change.

When I was in the throes of self-doubt and certain that this book was the “worst book in the English language,” AJ told me “No, it’s a Great Book. You are going to help a lot of people.”

I’m so grateful to AJ for her help that I learned how to animate using procreate so I could maker her this little gif:

ALL OF THIS IS TO SAY, AJ HARPER IS ON THE PODCAST THIS WEEK!

She talks about her upcoming book, Write a Must-Read (Coming out next week!), and we talk about what’s coming next in her Great Work. A good time was had by all, and I think that will include you.

This week I welcome AJ Harper to the podcast. AJ is an editor, publishing strategist, and a developmental editor. Previously, AJ was a ghostwriter, and has written dozens of books, some of which are New York Times Bestsellers (but we’ll never know which ones!). AJ left ghostwriting to create the Top Three Book Workshop, and in so doing has helped hundreds of authors write life-changing books. Her forthcoming book, Write a Must-Read will inevitably help innumerable more. 

AJ is on the podcast to share about the first book she’s written that has her own name on it. She shares what it was like to rediscover her voice, how vulnerable it was to share life’s work, and where she’s headed next. She tells us about her own struggles with writer’s block and how a shift in her mindset released it. 

Join us as we discuss: 

01:56 – AJ discovered later in life that her great work is writing however it is more than writing but helping people become the writers they were meant to be.

04:30 – How the War of Art helped her overcome her struggle to finish things and the anxiety it caused.

09:42 – AJ discusses her long-term strategy and how her book fits in with the change she wants to see in the world.

14:19 – Her experiences as a ghostwriter and the importance of understanding who your reader is.

16:35 – Your core message is the foundation of your book, not your slogan or tagline.

22:21 – Don’t become overwhelmed in the process, and you will find that as you are writing one book you may have many more based on your framework.

26:49 – Uncovering what brings AJ joy in her great work.

29:23 – Losing her own voice as a ghostwriter, AJ has recovered her confidence in herself and discovered that demystifying something creates the confidence to move forward.

36:28 – The influence that Dr. Amanda’s book has had on AJ in creating the space to write.

About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost a million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.