Lisa: Can you share how you began working on your current book Rock Your Inner Goddess: How to Recharge, Reignite, and Refocus to Transform Your Life? You were working on another book at first…
Mary: Yes, I’m an academic by training. I often write about body image, emotional eating, dieting, and media influence. I’m so committed to these topics that I’ve spent the last 16 years of my life conducting scientific research on them. I was so sure that this was my path in life that in 2012 I started writing a book called Diet Is a 4-Letter Word and subsequently started a blog on Psychology Today by that name. I had the book proposal and two samples chapters written, with four follow-up books planned, but had been frustrated by the lack of time to work on my book.
At the suggestion of a friend who had taken your Bring Your Book to Life® Program, I enrolled, hoping that the accountability you provided would allow me to make substantial progress on my book and that your insights as an author would help me land a decent book deal. Easy peasy. Or so I thought.
In a free book writing class with you—by teleseminar—you led us through a meditation for writers on the call. Although I meditate daily, it had never occurred to me to meditate about my writing. As I had skipped my meditation that morning, I thought, “Oh good! This will be my meditation today!” And was it ever.
I found the meditation itself very easy and calming. It was similar to previous guided meditations I had done—journeying down a path, past a meadow, into a forest. The difference was what happened next. The purpose of your meditation was to meet our writing muse. Not only did I meet my muse, but what she told me rocked my world.
My muse said, “You’re writing the wrong book. The book you thought you were going to write is not the book you’re supposed to write. It’s way too academic and you’re writing for the wrong people.”
Lisa: What was your response when your muse told you that you were writing the wrong book?
Mary: I wanted to argue with her. I had just spent nine months preparing for and writing the book proposal and sample chapters. What did she mean I was writing the wrong book? I had been awarded a six-month sabbatical beginning in Fall 2013 to write the “wrong” book. My muse told me that the book I would write was about learning to love, accept, and trust myself again. This book, Rock Your Inner Goddess: How to Recharge, Reignite, and Refocus to Transform Your Life, would be a healing force in my life and through my own healing, I would help others heal, too.
Lisa: So part of writing the book was to go through your own healing process. What was that like?
Mary: Excruciating and exhilarating at the same time! As long as I had healed whatever the issue was, my inner goddess would let me write. But if I came to a part of the book that discussed something I hadn’t fully healed yet, I was told to wait and move on to a different section until I had done the inner work to heal. Then I was allowed to write. As a result, I ended up writing most of Chapter 4 (out of 7 chapters) last because the Goddess Demeter wasn’t about to let me write about the ‘Mother’ part of my life when I hadn’t healed it yet!
Lisa: Your book is all about Goddess archetypes. Can you say a bit about what an archetype is and what the Goddess archetypes are about?
Mary: An archetype is a recurring symbol, pattern of thought, image, etc., that is universally present and recognized across cultures. I am using the Triple Goddess to represent the three phases of a woman’s life: Maiden, Mother, Crone/Wise Woman.
Lisa: So, did you tap into these Goddess archetypes when you needed help with your own writing process?
Mary: Oh, yes. Before I write anything, I say, “Goddess, guide my thoughts, my sight, my words, my voice, my heart, my hands, my body.” Then I start typing and just see what comes out!
Lisa: Sounds very right brain! Which particular Goddesses helped you with what aspects of the writing?
Mary: I call upon the Wise Woman, most often. But depending on which part of the book I was writing, I would call upon the goddess archetype I was working with.
Lisa: Can you share an exercise our readers might try that helps them access an inner Goddess for book writing?
Mary: Your Meet Your Muse exercise works well for this. Otherwise, they can look to a specific Goddess for help. For example, the Muses were known for their creativity. You can find several different Goddesses on my Awakening the Goddess Within website with ways to call on them depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
Lisa: I was so excited to visit your website. I know you worked with Linda Joy on it and there’s so much interactivity there—opportunities for women to share their wisdom, to be guest bloggers, to be interviewed on your blog as a modern day goddess—it’s clear you’re creating a community here. Can you say a few words about your vision?
Mary: I want my site to be a community for women, a place to go for inspiration, healing, processing, and help. I like to highlight other women who have healed their past and transformed their life to be amazing. Every woman on there has overcome some type of struggle – from divorce, to alcoholism, to death of a loved one, to major health struggles – and emerged stronger on the other side. I want women who are suffering to know that it is possible to change their lives – no matter what their current circumstances may be.
Mary E. Pritchard, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Boise State University as well as a Holistic Health Counselor. Mary’s extensive educational background combined with her personal passion and commitment to empowering women to heal and reclaim their Feminine Power empowers her clients to experience profound shifts in their health and their life.
Visit her website for her free e-workbook: The 10 Signs Your Inner Goddess is Calling You. Mary says, “Think of it as a sacred guide to support you in removing the layers of veils preventing you from embracing the truth of who you are: a Goddess here to shine your inner light and illuminate the world with your gifts.”
And if you’re curious to experience the free book writing call that got Mary conversing with her muse, join me and my colleague Sam Bennett for “Jump Start Your Book: 3 Insider Secrets to Easily Write & Finish Your Book This Year!” on March 18 at 8:30 pm ET, 5:30 pm PT. CLICK HERE for details.