Los Angeles Author On The Power of Story and Rejection

Jim Woods

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Ever thought of writing a book? Or do you struggle with rejection? I recently spoke with Los Angeles resident Tam Hodge, the other of And Now I Choose about all of these topics and more. Here's my conversation with her. My questions are below in bold.

Now, you wrote an ebook and a physical book. What was the process like for you?

It was a very laborious, arduous process. I started about 10 years ago, before I started blogging. I hone my writing and discovered who I was through that process of just writing every day. That commitment to the writing was really good. And I realized when I started sharing more about my story on my blog, that there was a big heart connect with people. The reason why it took so long is because it was a very tough story to write, because it was about my life and all of that the hurts of my childhood and my young adult life. Then I wrote about my transition into my redemption story. But, there was a lot of having to go back and dig up past memories and events and stuff. So it was a long process, but it was helping, healing, encouraging and empowering to do.

That is awesome. And your whole story, it's like just to hope-filled. I think fear just tells us things like "don't write this." Do you agree?

Not everyone wants to put their whole story out there, you know, and not everyone needs to, but I believe in the power of each story. The power of our story, your story, my neighbor's story, you know, we all bring something different to this beautiful thing we call life. It can be so confusing and so scary, and you feel alone. But when people start telling their stories, no matter what it is, it kind of gives you permission to be brave.

I love that. That is so great. Now you completely self published your book. What was the biggest challenge for you with this whole self publishing process? Was there anything that jumps out at you're like, Whoa, I wasn't expecting this!

I'm not really good at doing things if I don't have a deadline. That was that was so tough for me. So finally, my husband Brent got heavily involved and started giving me deadlines. And so I could not have done it really without him. But that was scary. I think it's easy for us to look at online lives, especially when you're looking at authors and speakers and those who travel. You think oh my gosh, I am just this empty weensy, tiny, small nobody, big land of somebodies. I am very fortunate to know some of those authors and we all have the same fears. No one's on a higher plane than than the others.

I think the hardest part for me was the book launch. I think that's one of the biggest challenges, because there's so many moving pieces, and so many moving parts. What was your experience with the book launch?

You know, when you set really low, low, low, low standards, whatever happens is like a miracle. We officially launched on November 14. And his his goal was to get one speaking engagement and to sell 100 books by the end of the year. We well, well, well surpassed that. Just on our own with our our little tribe, our group of friends and word of mouth.

Absolutely. Now, I think the scariest part is sometimes just asking for what you were say to kind of like I sent all these emails didn't hear back. And I think again, it comes back to that fear thing. You know, it's, in some ways, do we ever really get past that whole fear of rejection from high school or junior high?

We all want to be wanted, we all want to be received and appreciated. So when you're, you're not, it hurts. A very, very popular author posted on Twitter recently. I answered a question that she posed. She said, "What does rejection look like to you?" I said, "Rejection is missing someone else's mark." So I thought, yeah, I've had a lot of that in my life. But that doesn't mean it's about me necessarily. If someone is choosing not to help me, or something, I don't know what's going on in their lives. It just doesn't pan out. That's okay. There's a lot of choices and opportunities out there. And you knock on those doors, you just keep knocking on the doors till you find an opportunity.

That's so good. and encouraging too. I love that because we just want to compare to everyone else, and their highlight reel that we see. We might say they're succeeding, and I'm failing. But there's no truth in that, really. What do you think? Do you think there's anything we can do other than kind of put the blinders up and kind of ignore it?

I don't think you make it go away. But you have to address it and play your part in it. You know, I shared a while ago that it's a chapter in my book, it's called second chair. I'm not a first chair, person. I'm not always I'm not the person who's always going to be out front and do all the things. But the people who are out front doing all the leading can't do it without second chairs. They make the first chairs shine. So whatever chair you sit in, on your chair you have to be first chair. If you're naturally a third chair person that is just gifted at rallying the troops and making people you know, bigger and better and more competent, do what you do. Do it well. Own that you don't have to compare it with someone else's chair. Those aren't your legs you're sitting on. You gotta let that go.

That is so good. That is so good. And I think that's helpful for life, not just for book writing. You know, it's something you can just soak in and hang on to there. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Tam. And just for all of your insight, this has been fantastic. I really can't thank you enough. To connect with Tam, visit her website.

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Stories are powerful. That's why I write.

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