Our Author for the month of November is the beautiful and resilient Joan Nwosu.
I read and reviewed Joan’s book titled ‘iRise’ (check out my review on this book in “Book Reviews” on the main menu) earlier this month and it really put a dent in my mind.
As usual, I was curious about the author and why she set out to write this book so I contacted her and requested for an online interview. I was elated when she granted my request so here we are…
Joan Nwosu is an entrepreneur, career and business coach, and consultant with a proven record of creating and enabling the growth of many professionals and businesses across multiple domains and locations. Most of her 20-year career has been in technology, entrepreneurship and social impact. She has worked in Media, Financial Services, Government, Telecommunications, Automobile, Not-For-Profit, Technology, Entertainment, Betting and Travel with multinationals in North America, Europe and Africa. She has founded 6 businesses of her own and currently runs a coaching practice and an immigration consulting business. She is also a Director in one of Canada’s leading insurance companies.
Joan gives us an insight about her life as a published author by answering the 10 questions below.
WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA FOR YOUR RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK – “IRISE: The 10 SECRETS TO GETTING UP WHEN LIFE KNOCKS YOU DOWN”?
Joan: I’ve had a book or maybe a few books inside me for as long as I can remember. So much so that 12 years ago a friend bought me a voice recorder to help the process, I still have that recorder till today. Last year, the urge was stronger than ever to write my book so I started the process.
I had been through so much in my life and had also accomplished at this point. There was a connection between the two. I realized what you go through is either preparing you for a great future or doesn’t affect your ability to be great. It was clear in my mind that was my message.
I wanted to share the secrets that had helped me get to where I was today because I believe everyone can achieve greatness regardless of the family you were born into, the environment you grew up in or the adversities experienced along the way. They are part of your story and do not define your future.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WRITING PROCESS AND HOW WERE YOU ABLE WRITE REGARDLESS?
Joan: I had always heard of writer’s block but didn’t realize the severity of it. I cruised through the first one month writing the introduction and chapter 1 and then blank. Nothing, I couldn’t as much as write a word. My thoughts were all over the place. I would sit for hours trying to compose something, but nothing was coming. I even tried hiring a ghostwriter, but that didn’t work either. I was stuck in that phase for 5 months. I put the manuscript away and accepted it wasn’t time to write the book and worse maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.
COVID hit and the world was forced to slow down. I found myself with plenty of free time. I started meditating more and one day after meditation I heard deep down inside it was time to finish the book. The words came fast and furious. I spent about 15 hours of everyday writing. It was like someone had flung the flood gates open. I couldn’t type as fast as the words were coming, so I used a recorder and transcribed it. The flow lasted a few weeks and I was done.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
Joan: The entire process took 7 months.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR THE BOOK?
Joan: I didn’t realize how difficult it was to come up with a title. I’m not a wordsmith, so this tested my creativity. I played with over 20 titles, but none seemed to resonate with me. I knew the inspiration for the book was from a deeper place within, so after weeks of coming up with so many titles I didn’t like, I let it go. I woke up one morning and I heard in my spirit iRise. The subtitle only came to me halfway into writing the first chapter.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART AND LEAST FAVOURITE PART OF THE PUBLISHING PROCESS?
Joan: The editing was excruciating. I had to read and re-read so many times. I had two editors and a person for formatting, and it was still very stressful.
I loved receiving the proof copy phase. My heart was racing and I felt a million emotions holding the finished work in my hands.
HOW DO YOU THINK BEING A WRITER HAS HELPED YOU AS A PERSON?
Joan: Being a writer has helped me grow in many ways. It terrified me when I received the proof copy and it was time to approve for print. I felt naked like I was exposing my innermost self to the world, I had never felt so vulnerable. Once I overcame that fear, I felt free. I felt extremely proud of using my story to help other people.
I was surprised by how many people reached out to support me and purchased my book. The reviews and feedback have been nothing short of incredible.
I am stronger as a person and more confident in my purpose to help people. Being a writer has also opened many doors for me to speak on stages, radio, podcasts, and summits.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE FORTIFIED YOU AS A WRITER?
Joan: I read a lot of non-fiction books, some of my favorite are:
The road less traveled – M. Scott Peck
Girl stop apologizing – Rachel Hollis
You’re a badass – Jen Sincero
Dare to Lead – Brene Brown
Lean in – Sheryl Sandberg
WHAT DOES LITERARY SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Joan: My work being of value to people and changing lives is the greatest measure of success for me. To produce a piece I’m proud of and have people appreciate my message is an honor. When I hear people talk about my book, my heart swells. I haven’t been prouder of any other accomplishment in my life. Being able to impact lives is an honor and is what success means to me.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON TRAPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
1. Stop trying to figure everything before starting.
2. Not finding your authentic voice and trying to sound or write like someone else is a big blunder. Find your voice and let your audience connect with you.
3. Not spending time to plan the book, yes things might change along the way but you should start with a high-level plan or outline.
4. Don’t expect to make a million dollars from book sales. Being published provides a platform for you to leverage, but it’s not automatic. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done on your part.
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?
Joan: Embrace the process. Allow the inspiration to come rather than trying to force the words. Give yourself time and don’t be discouraged along the way. Some books take 1 week to write and other 10 years. Enjoy the process because it’s life-changing.
Special thanks to the author for granting this interview.
I hope you all enjoyed reading her responses as much as I did.
Do you have any more questions for the author?
Please ask away in the comment box and she will respond accordingly.