This week the tables are turned as Amanda finds herself in the interview hot seat. This week we are excited to welcome her best friend, Dr. Meaghan Bathgate, as our guest host.
Listen in as they chat about all things self-publishing, and dive into Amanda’s book, Great Work – which releases
TODAY, June 7, 2022!!
Join us as we discuss:
04:03 Great Work is not necessarily one thing. It’s an intersection of different things, and it will flow and change over time.
06:15 The three stages of writing a book – Writing – Publish – Launch
07:21 Writing a book was an exercise in persistence.
08:51 Our experience of writing and publishing an article together.
11:29 Takeaways on how to organize ideas from a workshop with AJ Harper.
17:38 What was the production experience for Dr. Amanda as a self-published author.
24:16 What is a hybrid publisher and why might you use one.
25:15 How does it FEEL?
27:44 Dr. Amanda’s mission for her book
28:36 What would Dr. Amanda describes as the hardest part of writing and publishing a book?
33:04 Grief versus Relief in the face of a painful creative loss
33:39 Dr. Amanda’s joy and realization in writing the book.
Amanda’s New Book! Get your copy here!
About the Guest:
Meghan Bathgate, Ph.D. is the Director of Educational Program Assessment at the Poorvu Center. Meghan believes educational data can be used to ignite pivotal conversations in higher education and challenge assumptions we have about our work and the role we play in it. She is also a coffee-fueled mom, wife, impromptu kitchen dancer, mediocre musician, and library lover.
Work Bio: https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/people/meghan-bathgate
About the Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author and coach changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work– launch a successful business, make a scientific discovery, raise a tight-knit family, or manage a global remote team– without sacrificing your health, happiness and relationships.
Amanda is the Author of the forthcoming book, Great Work: Do What Matter Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk has received more than 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.
Sponsored By The Aligned Time Journal
The Unleashing Your Great Work podcast is sponsored by the Aligned Time Journal! The Aligned Time Journal is here to answer the question “But HOW?” How can we figure out what our Great Work is? How can we get started, stay with it, and finish our Great Work so it can go out in the world and have an impact?
Click here to learn more, and try it out for yourself!
For more information about the Unleashing YOUR Great Work podcast or to learn more about Dr. Amanda Crowell, check out my website: amandacrowell.com
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Welcome to unleashing your great work, a podcast about doing the work that matters the most to you. I'm your host, Dr. Amanda Crowell, a cognitive psychologist, coach, and the creator of the great work journals. Every week on this podcast, we are asking the big questions. What is great work? And why does it matter so much to us? What does it take to do more of your great work without sacrificing everything else? And how does the world change when more people are doing more of the work that matters the most to them? So whether your great work is building your own small business, or managing a remote team at a multinational company, you'll find insight and answers here.Meghan Bathgate:
Welcome everybody to unleashing your great work. I am your guest host today Dr. Meghan Bathgate. I am Amanda's best friend, most importantly, and also a cognitive psychologist who supports educators bringing learning research into the classroom. And I am very excited today to have Amanda Crowell as our guest. She is a speaker, coach, and the author of great work coming out today, everyone, everywhere you get books. Welcome to the podcast. Amanda,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I am so excited to be here. Thank you for being my guest host today.Meghan Bathgate:
So excited. We're gonna start where we usually do so tell us a little bit about your great work, Amanda?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I will and I have to say it's a very hard question. It's funny, because everybody says that either before they get on the podcast, they like say to me like it's a secret, or they say it as a preface to the answer. And I'm always like, yeah, it's hard. But then it's actually like, what's my great work? What kind of questions I realized what a jerk, I've been still time. Loving, a loving, jerk loving jerk, right? That that I could get T shirts, we should get T shirts made loving Jordan. So I think upon reflection that migrate work is a sort of twofold. One. It's like I love doing things that I've never done before, I have sort of an unlimited passion for that. So I'm always doing something I've never done before, like, starting a business after a lifetime of never wanting to start a business and like exercising after a lifetime of never exercising, or this one writing a book after, you know, a lifetime of never writing books. And I think because I'm a cognitive psychologist, as you are, I really pay attention to what it takes to do those things. And what I've discovered is that, like, it's just a fascinating experience to blow your own mind. And I think I love doing that. And so I think that's part of my great work is just doing that my own self for my own self. And then I discovered in while I was writing a book that started out, as you know, as the aligned time method, just a just a regular old, fairly simple time management book, and became something kind of bigger in scope and more meaningful to me, at least about what are we doing here? What are we really doing here? Like we're here? And what are we doing? And it occurred to me that, that there's something we all kind of want to be doing, we want to be doing more of it we want to be doing, whether that's a whole new thing, or just in the old thing, we want it to feel different. And I would started to call that sort of phenomenon that thing. We want to be doing that voice from the inside great work. And I realized that the book I was writing was, first of all, not simple and really not about time management, but about purpose and meaning and that kind of thing. And so I wrote the book, and it's coming out today. inexplicable.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah. It's it reminds me of some of what you've talked about in the podcast about great work being not necessarily one thing. It's an intersection of lots of different things, and it can flow over time and change. And I love that beauty and a bit of peace into the struggle. Yeah.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Well, that's one of the things that I learned during the podcasts like, you don't necessarily get that message about great work has movement. That's how I talk about that, like what you were doing before is great work. What you're going to do in the future is great work and they may not be the same thing and that's okay. That was an insight that came out of just talking to people on the podcast about their great work and realizing that nobody's great work as a single thing and how great that is. You can be doing like two kinds of great work at the same time. Every parent in the world is great, because raising a family is great work period full stop. I don't care how bad you think you are at it. Which I regularly think I'm pretty bad at it and It's easy, whatever else you're doing, it's also great work. But those things I mean, think about parenting is a great example of great work that changes over time. It's like all managing sleep deprivation for like two years. And now my daughter is almost a teenager. And it's like, it's not about that anymore. It's about how can I maintain my adult status while being screamed at because I asked her, not even to do anything, just just to like, look at knowledge when I asked her a question. I don't know. Right. And, and it was great, then, and it's great now.Meghan Bathgate:
Mm hmm. So you include this all in your book that comes out today? And today? What did it take to get here? What did it takeDr. Amanda Crowell:
to, to write this book? Yeah, so I mean, there's all the answers that are inside of me, that are like I had to manage serious impostor syndrome. And like, I feel like the book was one long ride on, it's not the productivity roller coaster of doom, because that's something very specific, that's the relationship between burnout and procrastination. But just like, this is going to be the best and most important and like, such a good book, and this is gonna be the worst book ever in history. And that has gone through like all three stages of writing a book, because I do think that writing a book sort of comes in three stages, you write the book, and that's what I think before. All I really thought about, can I sit down at a table and like, write a book. And then you've written the book, and it has to be like, produced? It's like a whole production? I mean, I guess you I mean, there are people who on Amazon, sometimes you'll download them and be like, Oh, what have I done. And it's like 17 pages of a Word document, there was no production to it. There's no pagination, there's no formatting that clearly, it wasn't copy edited. But I was never gonna, I was never gonna do that. So then there's this whole production side, and then they have to launch the book, you have to tell people that it exists, which is actually really hard to so I don't know, should we talk about each of those separately? Yeah,Meghan Bathgate:
yeah. So the writing it. So the writing section specifically helped you sit down and write it through those stages of self doubt.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
The stages of self doubt, I'm writing the book was an exercise in persistence. Because I had a lot of ideas for me, I think that maybe there are people who like, are like, I don't know what to write. But I don't think they would ever sit down to like, write a book, you know, like, they should start by writing a podcast or not a podcast, like a blog or something, I don't know. But I had lots and lots and lots of ideas. Because for my whole life, I wanted to write a book. So I had like, all these backlog ideas, and that would be great books. And so I mean, this particular book actually started writing, one of the stories that goes along with my business is that my business started because I was writing a book, kind of this book, actually. And I was like, I need to talk to people about these ideas. And I started doing workshops, and then those people asked me to coach them, and then like, whatever the story goes on. Yeah. And I remember then. And then like two other times, sitting down and just collecting all the things I've written all the things I've thought about all the ideas, all the outlines, and pulling all of those pieces into a like a program that helps you organize it, and looking at it without writing a word, looking at a total word count of like, 67,000 words or something. Yeah. So yeah, or maybe I just say the same thing. Oh, that's that. I do feel like that's.Meghan Bathgate:
That could be a good thing, though. Right? Yeah. There's there'sDr. Amanda Crowell:
a center to it. There is a center. Yeah, the center, it holds the entrance, the Center holds for sure.Meghan Bathgate:
I remember writing an article with you, you published an article together. And in the writing process, I remember sitting at at a desk with you typing, writing all our thoughts down. And when I wrote, I tended to write something and like, Oh, I really liked that phrasing, like, maybe that's going to be useful later. So I'll like tuck it down. And then I have like all this sporadically, everywhere. And the way that you wrote, you would write the thing and say, like, Wait, that's not what I mean. And then you would delete it. And I remember the first time that you deleted like two sentences, I was like, Oh, no. What is she? What was those thoughts? Like, what is she doing? And I realized that, that practice of saying no, that's not what he meant. Let me let me rework my my thoughts again, to really get at what I mean. Read me like that. That was a freeing thing that I learned to say, Oh, I don't need to try and fit all these disparate pieces together. Like let me say what I mean, and it helped my writing to see you do that because when you deleted it, and then put those words back, it comes back, right. Like the thing that you're trying to say is still going to be sad. And it's not about the tiny little perfect freezing or, you know, all of those tiny little pieces that you somehow smashed together, it's about that central message. And that's one of the things that I learned from writing with you is to give our give ourselves the freedom to like really say what we mean and not try and force the little, the little things that are on the edges to kind of be the center, the center should be what what you intended to be,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
right? Because the center is the thing you said something about, like, you have a lot to say. And it's like, or do I have just that one thing to say, a million times that I feel like, if it keeps coming back, it needs to be said less. And there's so much excitement, part of what I loved about writing a book was, were all the things that didn't make it into the book, all the little thoughts that I like, amused myself with or like, pondered for a whole day, or like, made it into a podcast or came out in a conversation with you. Those things were like that. I feel like it's the writer's life. That's part of the like, you know, Toontown part of it. It's like, I get to be here, and awash in ideas. And some of them will get into book and some of them won't. And that's okay.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah, it's a process and the process carries with you. And that's something that you still have, even if it's not the outcome of in the book, or it's part of your process and taking it with you. And if that's important, it will come up again. And yeah, beautiful.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
So when I sat down to write this, it was sort of like I had all these ideas. And then thank the Lord, like, I went to this workshop with AJ Harper, who's been on the podcast, and she gives you this like way of organizing all of these ideas. And that was, that was like the missing ticket to it. Because I just, it was too much. I was like, it was like, you could walk in any direction and have a book. But I needed to walk in one direction to get one book. So she heard her process and where you like, pick a core promise and like a message and a promise and whatever. And then you get this outline. And it's like, it's like the Great Filter. It's like, if you fit this promise, you're allowed in the book, if not, you have to go wait over there until the next book is being having auditions or whatever. Yep. And then it was just a matter of sitting down and writing it and living through the excruciating experience of writing crap. And then once you've written all the crap, and you get that really terrible first draft, that's a real victory. But it's like, so not the end, you're like, oh, look, I've got 70,000 words, this is great. I'm done. No, then it's like, okay, how do we take that draft and, like, add stories to it so people can, can, you know, it can be kind of wordy and kind of theoretical, and you have to go in there and break that stuff down and add stories and like, talk to people and remember the details of their stories. So a lot of the stories that are in there, people have known, you know, really long for a really long time. And we're talking about the beginning of their story. And there's so much further now. Yeah. So talking to them and remembering. And then, you know, some people are different, like now it's like in the land of the reader, because you're like, okay about all these readers, and some people love stories, and some people want to be convinced. And some people you have to talk about the things that they're gonna be mad at you about, because the angry reader, which I usually am actually, I am all, I like always arguing with the author. And if they don't, if they don't feel like they know, to me if I don't feel like they know what's up. I can't even with this right now. You know? So like, in my introduction, there's a story of a guy who, and this is a true story. Who was like, This is bullshit, you're wrong. You can't, you cannot, this doesn't work. You can't do great things in the world and the world in which we live, you cannot do great things and actually take care of yourself. It's not possible. And, you know, like, it's funny, because my closest like AJ Harper, the person who edited the last Kotla, last version of the book, and David, my husband, both were like, I really, I really resonated with Jonathan, because honestly, I didn't believe you at all until you told me that, like, there was someone who didn't believe you at all. And then they had that experience. Yep, yeah. So then you go, you just have to like, think about all the readers and all the things that they need and like go in at all. And it's still not good. And then you start getting into these editing passes with people where they're like reading it, and they're like, I don't understand what this means you have to fix it. So I think that editing, it eases a little in the editing, as long as you have good editors who believe in you because I have had the experience of having editors who just think that what I'm doing is total bollocks and needs to be fixed immediately. And if they could just fix me and remove me from the situation, I will be better. That's great. And I was super helpful. Not at all traumatizing. Yeah, but then you like the people who believe in you and love your ideas. You can take their advice because I'm just trying to make it better. So is like round after round after round of that. And then at the last minute, the person who I would walk through fire, so she will format my book, her husband was being deployed in January. And so the book had to be done and ready to be formatted, which is you cannot send like a book that's even sort of going to be copy edited to the form matter. And then in December, like December 16, we discovered that the book is not the linetime method. But as instead, the great is sent great work, and everything had to change. And then like magic, her husband's deployment got pushed to like March or something. Wow. So yes, so I sent it to her on January 4, and it had gone through this massive last minute Christmas time miracle revision, and gone through copy editing with this wonderful copy editor and a paradox. And then I was able to send it to Troy CBMs. Or I put up all these links in the show notes, because these people were everything, so that she could begin the production process.Meghan Bathgate:
So all through that you had to keep moving.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah. Right. Well, I could stop moving. But then nothing happened. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Like, that's the choice we can make, like people are making it all over town. Right? Like, you get scared, you get confused. You get, you know, someone has an opinion, and you value their opinion, but you're like, so you're not sure what to make of it. And then you sort of stop. And like you can do that we all have that choice. But then your work doesn't get written. Or you you know, you don't whatever it is you're trying to do.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah, yeah, there's lots of yield signs and stuff happens and guidance that you either have to take or say No, I know, I know the path that I'm on. And I'm going to carve through this wood over here. SoDr. Amanda Crowell:
I like to think of it as Toon Town. Do you remember that from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?Meghan Bathgate:
Yes. Yes, I sure do.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
So you're like driving through town. It's freaking chaos, right signs, people jumping bands playing. And you you have two options. You can like get distracted or get stopped or like buy into like individual messages. Or you can stop and say like, wow, look at Toontown. This is awesome.Meghan Bathgate:
I like being here. I'm so glad you said that. Because I love I love to.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, it's a good place to be.Meghan Bathgate:
So that's writing. That's one that's one phase of this. Once you recovered from all that we're maybe going through all that recovery up. What was the production? Like? Yeah, definite? Who did you have to ask for help? How did you approach that?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah. So the production side of things is different for me, because I 100% self published, if you work with a publisher of any kind, whether it's like a hybrid publisher, or like I guess, a traditional publisher, you would hand it off, and then you'd wait. And that's, and that's what you would do. Now, you wouldn't have the kind of control that I like to have over all things. Sure. Yeah. But you also don't have to do it all yourself. So it was really all about the people that I had around me to ask for help. So Choi Messer CBMs are, I think, is her like, you know, social handles and all that she made the cover of the book. And we actually had a the coolest cover of the book when it was aligned time method had this big girl on it in front of the window. And it was like, I loved it so much. Like I'm still trying to find a way to use it because it was just so lovely. But it wasn't the right cover for great work. And so she had to redo the covers and what she actually landed on with this, like, I call it the great work swoop, it has like all these colors, and I like burst on the scene. I love it so much. She's just got such a good aesthetic. So she made a new cover. And then she made all of the image inside the book actually has quite a lot of images because I'm like, pretty visual. Turns out, I'd like for things to be kind of visual, because I think it helps because not everybody's really only verbal, you know, actually notice. Um, so she made all the images inside the book. And then she formatted the actual book like laid the words on the page, what do you think would be like, surely some program does it but like, yes, a program helps. But then she has to like go in and look at each page and like there's something called the river which goes like down through the page, like you want the, the like spaces in the page to look right. And it was fascinating. So she did all that formatting and it also is sort of a quirky book like it's got a place at the end called The Goal capillary, which is like all the like new terms, most of which I made up or some of which I made up. So it had like kind of a it needed to have sort of a joyful, playful kind of feel to it and she really did a great job. have that. So she did a lot of the heavy lifting there. And you know, but before she even got it, I would say like copy editing is also sort of part of production because like, I am, like, famous for typos. So she had to find all the typos. And then we sent it to production, and she formatted it. And then she got it back to me. For what, for my final look through, and then I sent it off for trade review. Wow. Yes. So sending that was the other, like, there were two big critical moments in order for things to fall into place. And one was getting into joy before her husband deployed. And the other one was getting it off for trade review so that the book could come out sometime in the spring. So it's like 12 to 16 weeks of time now. Yeah. Send off.Meghan Bathgate:
Did you so did you know the steps beforehand? No,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
something I knew nothing. Well, the good thing is that the great work journals, Troy and I did those together. A year before the week, I started working on this book, and I did it as kind of a just kind of a dry run, let me just see what this space is all about. Thank goodness, because like the world of like, Ingram Spark and Kindle Direct Publishing, like self publishing, and so it's just a it's just a monstrosity. But it's a beast. But you know, I like that that's, you know, something that, you know, people are like, Wow, you are always doing something it's like get what I what I like it like I like to find new spaces and figure them out. And then share with everyone else what I found. So it's an unfair trade review. And this was just like the worst way. So I you pay for trade review. When you're self published, you can you submit to Publishers Weekly, and then like one out of every 1000 or something they will like do for free. Or you can pay them some money, and they will trade review it and it goes in their magazine, and it goes on their website and whatever. So I sent to Publishers Weekly, and I sent it to blue ink because they have some kind of combo review. So Publishers Weekly was totally fine. Like they were they you just upload your file and you move on with your life. But it turns out that blue ink and the one that's like combined with them, you upload your cover. But I didn't. You know, clearly I was moving fast. In fact, I remember doing it at the Apple store, I was like at the Apple Store on Saturday, waiting for my phone because I had cracked the case I was there without the kids, I had a minute I'm like, let me just send this off for trade review. And thenMeghan Bathgate:
another Saturday, so on another,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
so many little tasks. And so uploaded the cover, but I must have thought I uploaded the whole thing. And then they send you this email like this like wall of text, email. And embedded in there is this like, don't forget to send us as an attachment to this email, your actual manuscript. So if I didn't do that, so a month later, I got an email from the managing editor. We've been waiting for your book. Could you send it to us? And so I had I sent it back to her and it was four weeks delayed. Wow. Yeah. So the book did not come out on May something whatever data was I had in my head. But instead, it's coming out on June 7 With turns out to be the perfect day. Turns out parents out vote. And then you know, you send it off to those kinds of things. And you wait and then you like upload it to Amazon and you upload it to Ingram Spark and then you wait and then it's a lot of hurry up and wait really, really small details. So that it all arrives on June 7 for people to pre well prior to June 7 for people to preorder and then to arrive on people's doorsteps like Harry Potter. Remember Harry Potter was the first book that we all had delivered to our doorstep the day it came out from Barnes and Noble. It was necessary. Yeah. Right. So today, this very day, people are going to just ignore that sound. Today, this very day, people are going to open their doors and great work or just be sitting there. Hello,Meghan Bathgate:
ready to help. I'm ready to go. I love that. It sounds like a lot of it was understanding your own what you've enjoyed and in your expertise and knowing what other expertise is needed, and then how to reach out to those people so that you can keep doing what you wanted to do and then lean on the people who have that other input for sure. And a tidy up the thingsDr. Amanda Crowell:
right and project management, which I really like, which I realized now is really what you get from hybrid publisher. Hmm, I think you what you get is so a hybrid publisher for me doesn't know it's like you're basically self publishing it but they manage the production process and you get developmental editing sometimes thrown in. Okay, it's like a good self publisher. If you get really good developmental editing. There's a lot of not great hybrid publishers, but you won't want to develop developmental editing but this stuff at the end cover design page formatting, copywriting, uploading to Amazon getting the right like A plus content. There's just a lot and I don't know that I've done a great job here at the end. Like I know there are like a lot of things that I could have done to optimize it, but I didn't really know how And there does reach a point when self publishing where you have to say I've spent 1000s of dollars on this, I need to stop spending money and allow it to be done. And that's the sort of point I'm at now. Yep. Which is awesome.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah, that's this. This is a launch part, right? Like, I feel so. So how does it feel? First of all,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
feel? It feels really exciting, actually. Like, there's this law after it goes off for trade review. And you're just kind of chipping away at all these little tiny details. First of all, you don't even know until someone says, Hey, did you upload it? What's content? You're like, ah, what does that mean? You have a machine. So there's a little bit of a law where it starts to just feel like a grind. You know, like, you're done with the creation, you're done looking at pretty pictures of the book itself, you know? And I think in that time, I got a little like, I don't know, just kind of like, Oh, it's fine. It's just, uh, just the thing I did. But then I was, right, no big deal, no big deal. But then I was writing all the social media for like, for the launch. And I was like, totally convincing myself again, like, Oh, my God, this book is so good. Like, you know, I don't know, you know, it's hard because it's my book. Like, I don't know if it's good. But I know that it means well, like, it's really trying, like, I really tried to put something out there that was like that, what I know for sure, you know, and wrapped in a package that people can appreciate, or at least understand or whatever. And I do believe I did that. So I'm proud of it. I'm excited for it. And I'm really excited. I made this like one social media image, which had like the book wearing. Well, I thought he was wearing like a safari hat. But David tells me it's a sun hat, which maybe we're only having adventures in the garden. But it was meant to be like a safari hat. Because this book gets to now have its journey. People Yeah, there is no, I don't get to control the after. Now the reader gets to read it and think about it and use whatever ideas and it's not about me anymore. It's about like their relationship, kind of which is, I don't know, fanciful, but I like it.Meghan Bathgate:
That's beautiful. I mean, it actually if even if the work is in the garden, right? It's like sending seeds and sprouts. Oh, yeah. The world right. And then hoping that the flourishing comes back. And, and it's it's kind of this, you talked about wanting control over every step, right, this part where you can't high No, done it, and then you're passing it off and waiting in? Yeah, yeah. Well, andDr. Amanda Crowell:
you know, it's fine. Because it's like, I hope, you know, in as a business coach, one of the things I talked to my friends about a lot, is the Boomerang, like when you send marketing out into the world, you need to have a mechanism for it to come back to you. Yeah, I actually don't have a boomerang. In this book, what I want really is for the book to go out and for it to come back into the world as just people more satisfied, more excited more in tune with what they want. Because I really do think if we're clear about who we are, we can be more open to other people actually are, if we're more satisfied, we can be more forgiving. Like it just, you know, like, I really do think that what we are, if we just feel more excited about our lives, we're not going to be so angry all the time. So it's my my little, my small effort to try to bring some of that to the world.Meghan Bathgate:
That is beautiful. And I would say that it's no small effort. Large and left with beautiful, rippling effects. So in all of these steps, and all of this process, would you describe is the hardest part hasn't happened yet.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I do not know, because I lost my crystal ball. But I would say so far. That's the hardest part. I think, you know, the hardest part is the part where I might have given up and didn't. And there's lots of times where I was never gonna give up. First of all, like that is wasn't really on the table. But there's something you know, it's like an urge, right? Like how many urges I really feel like big project great work are really about how many urges can you overcome the urge to give up the urge to slow down the urge to like, I don't know. hope somebody else does it. Yeah, yeah. Um, that was that was just it was just hard. I mean, it was just a real I think there was a little bit in writing the book which we talked about was like, you know, who like this book is gonna be so terrible like, why am I wasting my time? And then there's like the the flip side of that is also hard. Like, oh my gosh, I have so much hope pinned on this book. Like, what if it disappoints me, you know, like being willing to withstand disappointment is also They're just kind of everything. Yeah. And I have to say like, just from a very practical point of view all these details here at the end, because they are these are not systems designed by user experience researchers. Yeah, it's like, but you forgot to check the box on the 47th page. You mean the box that's got like, gray text on a white background?Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah. That'd be the ones. Yes.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
You know, and it's like Amazon. So it's like, you can call them on the phone. Hey, Amazon, can you like walk me through it? No. Yeah. But anyways, it's, it's been hard. But like I said, I've always tried to sort of like think of it as the Toontown right, like, there's, there's all these things that could get in the way, or you can just kind of look around, like, pull back from the detail and be like, Look where I am.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah. Yeah. Kind of let the thought be. Yeah. Okay. There's, there's that urge, there's that thought, but I can now make a choice that,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
yeah. Oh, and, you know, call the people and vent about it to the right people. Like, I'm always calling you.Meghan Bathgate:
I love that a conversation.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
You know, and it's like, you know what to do? You're not like, Well, maybe you should give up or like, it's okay. If you don't do it. You're like, Yeah, that sucks. Yep. And we're all in agreement that I will not go back and do it.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah, go do the sucky thing. Like, yeah,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
let's go. Because then it won't suck anymore. And it'll be done.Meghan Bathgate:
Right? Yeah. There's, there's, there's a and and a growth that happens, that wouldn't happen. Otherwise, it's almost like you have to see the potential in it and feel that deeply. That urge and no,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
it has to be your great work. Because when your every big project is like this, and there, I've worked on projects, me personally, I have worked on projects that matter, that are important. I like the people, I'm working on them. But for whatever reason, it's not really what I'm here for. And then when those moments of disappointment, those moments of like, oh, 47 Page checkbox, like, you'd have to be kidding me. Right, right. Like NSA, for example, like grant work, or like that kind of like, you know, like, whatever. I don't want to necessarily say anything bad about anything else. But like, it doesn't. It doesn't have the the back end of being what I really am excited to have done. Yeah. Yeah, that makes it so much harder.Meghan Bathgate:
It's it, it's reminded me of like a resonating tone, right. resonates with you, and it kind of carries you forward. It just doesn't have that not even though it's like a discordant thing, but just if it doesn't have that, kind of have that, that flow to it. And that movement that you talked about? Yeah, yeah. Right. And you'reDr. Amanda Crowell:
like, I could not do this and all that feels like it's relief. Yes. Instead of like grief. Yeah, relief, but like, it's almost like the scales of justice are grief versus relief. Like, when there's just a little more grief, I don't want to give this up. I really do want to do it. I think in the end, it's going to be important. It's going to open doors. It's like got motivation theory, right? It's like, can you make a connection between what you're doing and your long term hopes and dreams? When you can? You're like, Fine, I will go back. I will take a break. I will watch some Brooklyn nine, nine. Yep. And then I will return to the 47 page form. And which by the way, of course, they're making you start from scratch. Yeah. And you re upload everything. And it's okay. Because I really do want to do it. That's a different feeling for sure.Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah. Yes. Yep. I've raged against screens, conveying all kinds of requirements. And it feels different when you hear about it. And it feels hopeful in a way that it certainly doesn't want you just trying to check the boxes. Yeah. So where's the joy for you in this? What What were the moments of joy? Or where do you see the joy come through?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, you know, it's funny because like, honestly, I loved well, so I the writing of the book, I was so overjoyed that I could do a longer form project because I'd gotten in my own head about how maybe I'm just like a short film writer, you know, whatever. And so I was, it was not a like a joyous experience, necessarily every minute of the writing, although sometimes I did, like, amuse myself with the stories and like, or get very fascinated by the research. Like it was an enjoyable experience. But the joy was really in the moment when I was like, Oh, my think I did it. I think I did the thing that I was so terrified I could not do that has opened a lot of doors in my own mind. Like there's been a lot of relief in that that's very joyful. And then I would say like a whole lot of the joy for me has been in the collaboration, like watching the He's experts do these amazing things that I don't know how to do. And they do. And then they brought their expertise. And they're like genius to my book. It's like such an honor. Because of course, I paid them. But like, you know, don't tell them this, but I'm like, I should have paid you so much more. Because everything has been so good. Well done. Yeah, from the editing to the page formatting. And the person who helped me set it up in Amazon was even, like, that's a skill and just like, not so lovely. And, you know, next, I get to kind of go out and speak about great work. And I'm really excited about that. I'm doing a keynote at a university for their orientation weekend, which I think is really awesome. And like, some companies have approached me to talk about it as like a, you know, as far as like, the great resignation, like how do we reengage, because you don't have to leave your current job to do more great work. And so what do we see? And that will just be fun to to talk to people about it?Meghan Bathgate:
Yeah, you kind of see see people react to the book. And it's, it's exciting because it's almost like okay, what what is next for this? And not to put pressure on you not like when's the next book coming out? But more of a celebration of what is this next phase like the boomerang? What is a boomerang that you might not see directly, but that roll out in the world? And how does that change the conversations that you have with people over time and collaborations, it's, it's such an exciting time.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
It is an exciting time. And like I said, like, doing this project, this project was like, kind of a healing project for me, because I did have that book deal, that kind of went sideways, that's that was that editor who, that if we, I want your book, but I don't want you and that was like so hurtful to me. You know, and it you know, I know that that's my interpretation. And I'm sure she was in her own space about it, whatever. It's not really about her. But it's about me and my feelings and how I felt at the end of that, which it was like, Oh, my God, is it actually the case that I can't do the thing, I always thought would be a big part of who I am and what I'll do. And so writing the book, from kind of, from beginning to end has been a very real grounding experience. Like, I do want to do this, I do have something to say like, I am a reasonably good writer with help. And, you know, like, I am noticing something that's worth talking about. And like I said, it's opened up all kinds of doors in my mind. And the the shocking twist in our story here. Is that like, I've never thought of myself as a fiction writer ever at all, like, not for a hot second. Like I would always say, like, I'm terrible at telling stories. So I'm, like, still talking. It's 25 minutes later, and we're like, 17 stories.Meghan Bathgate:
Favorite. Great conversation.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yes, yes. And I now feel like,Meghan Bathgate:
but I could figure that out. Yeah, yeah. Ooh, that'sDr. Amanda Crowell:
exciting. So the next thing I'm working on actually is a it's like a work of fiction. It's a graphic novel.Meghan Bathgate:
Amazing. Yes. Yeah.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Which I'm not going to draw because that's, that's at least 10 years away, but from drawing my own graphic novel.Meghan Bathgate:
Well, that's, that's the expertise thing, right? Like, your strengths are and what you want, in what what you're ready to develop right now versus, you know,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
well, right. And how terrible to miss out on the opportunity to work with somebody who's like a great artist. Yeah. Because that'd be awesome. You know, I was excited about page formatting. Imagine how I'm gonna feel about like, color and character andMeghan Bathgate:
a great a new journey, a new journey. No. So how can people get the book? Yeah. How could they learn more about you?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yes. So the book is in all the places, it's on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Target, Walmart, you know, Ingram Spark sends it everywhere. And, and I put it also on Amazon. And it's, it's, it's ready. I think you could, it's probably set where you could have it in two days. You know, that's exciting. So previously, in my journey here, it's been like a month or two, you can get a copy of now it's like, no, no, you can get it day after tomorrow. It can come in the little Amazon package like the little foldedMeghan Bathgate:
cardboard. That's wild.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
It is wild. So it's in all the places and then on my website, our Amanda curls icon. And honestly, you can hear all about great work on this podcast.Meghan Bathgate:
It is great. Thank you. Yeah.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
i Episode especially the guest host of this week's episode was amazing.Meghan Bathgate:
Thanks. I try. I try. I was so excited to be here. I was looking forward to it all week. And excited just to talk to you in in this way to hear about your reflections on this process because it I've watched it. Yeah, it's been so meaningful. To just see, but I remember the early stages and to see it, it has a cover. We got a hard cover on it. Like that's mind blowing to me. So I'm so grateful and I want to say surprised, but I'm not surprised. I'm very much um, of course he wrote a book.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Delighted. Delighted, which is which is surprised without theMeghan Bathgate:
surprise. Yes. Yeah. I'm I'm I'm so excited to read it to hear all of your thoughts. And I am so grateful to be the guest host this Yeah. Well, thank you for doing it. Yeah, thank you. And stay tuned for more great work, comments and podcasts. We're excited.