Do you struggle with thinking positively? Well, if so, you're not alone. I recently spoke with San Francisco resident Erica Maier. I spoke with her about her writing process, what it's like to actually finish a book. And her book, by the way, is a picture book for adults called Reframe It. And I absolutely had to bring her on, because this is not like writing a normal book.
Erica, what made you want to write a book?
Well, I've been writing since I was a kid. I mean, I think that it's one of those things where it's always been part of my life. I remember my dad bringing home like scrap notepads from work. And I mean, I was 5 or 7 years old. And I would turn them, you know, turn them sure that they would be landscape mode, right. And I would turn them make them into little stories and little novels. And I was been doing that since I was a kid. And this is the first book that I finished. So I've had that's like a big, big, you know, huge, huge timeline of not finishing a bunch of other books that you started and just didn't finish.
What was the difference with this book? What was the difference between this one and all the other books you've started writing?
I believed in the message. I was my own guinea pig. And so I knew it worked. And so basically, the book helps busy adults to recognize the life of annoyances in their life, so that they can unload the unnecessary stress in their lives. So that way, they just have a better health and quality of life. I teach busy adults how those simple shifts in mindset can, you can immediately just eliminate everyday stress.
The book is a picture book. And I wanted to make it a picture book because I wanted it to be read fast. And I wanted it to be applied right away and no excuses, right? Because we're always so busy. Everyone's busy. And so it's divided into 25 common scenarios that we deal with on a day to day basis that caused stress, anger and frustration. And in the book, I offer two ways that you can spin them positive in the moment. And it was losing my Dad to cancer that actually inspired the curiosity about how positive mindset might affect the physical body and quality of life. And so is it that event that actually triggered all of the research triggered all of the just diving into that curiosity. And that's where the book came from.
Like you said, you totally believe in the message. Do you think you would have finished it if it wasn't a picture book?
I don't know, to be honest. I couldn't see it as anything else, to be honest. And so whenever the idea first came in my head, it was just, it just felt like something different. And it didn't feel like it was going to be some step by step guide, and long and drawn out, you know, process as far as the wording was concerned, I'm just like, it has to be simple because we all go through these very specific scenarios in our lives on a day to day basis. And it's something we can all relate to, and to condense it down into something that you can recognize it and relate to it right away, instead of having to dig through a chapter, you know, and be like, Oh, you know, and just kind of unpack it all, I just kind of condensed it down into very few words. And then like, here, here it is, here's what you're dealing with. And yours either fix it.
What was the writing process like?
It was actually really messy! I use notebooks and lots of notes and that's what I work off of. And that is what Reframe It started out as. I just had a notebook full of different life annoyances that I was observing and stuff that happened on to myself or into others that I could see just causing an uproar. As I continued working on the the project, it got more organized over time.
What is some advice you have for anyone writing a book?
Be honest with yourself. Figure out what is stopping you from writing a book. And dig deeper. Don't settle for a surface level answer. Your kids are not the reason you haven't written a book. We all have the same amount of time during the day. Often fear is what holds us back.
Thanks so much to San Francisco author Erica Maier for sharing about her book. I personally cannot recommend it highly enough as this book really has some amazing positive insights.