If you are not following the hilariously funny Charlotte Avery you are really missing out. I was first introduced to her via social media when she posted a hysterical video of herself sneaking into her clothes closet just to eat strawberry shortcake ice cream away from the eyes of her seven (yes, seven) children. Humor aside, this successful mompreneuer is the author of No One Ever Told Me: Witty, Practical and Spiritual Truths About Motherhood and her latest, 40-Day Tone of Voice Tone Down: Transform Your Relationships One Octave at a Time.
I recently caught up with Charlotte to ask her my top 10 need-to-know questions about her writing practices and here's what she had to say:
1) What inspired your latest book?
My latest book was inspired by me confessing on social media that I was a yeller. Once I confessed, I told my Facebook “friends” that I was going to challenge myself not to yell at my husband and children for 40 days. No sooner than I hit the “post” button, people were messaging me wanting to do the challenge with me. It was very unexpected. I confessed to help myself not knowing that I would be helping other people. My one-woman journey turned into over 150 people joining me on an expedition to change their lives and transform their relationships. These people recognized that they had a problem. They confessed that they were killing people with their mouths through yelling, sarcasm, patronizing tones, inappropriate body language and other forms of negative communication. I took over 150 people that I knew and did not know through a 40 Day transformation that saved marriages, parent/child relationships, jobs, and more. It was amazing. If over 150 people could be helped by this transformation, how many more people’s lives and relationships be changed if I wrote about it?
2) What are common traps for aspiring women writers?
Some of the traps that I think prevent women from writing are:
1. We often think that we don’t have a story that someone cares about, will want to read, or will buy.
2. We think that writing is a very hard and daunting task. To me it’s like having a conversation with a girlfriend just on paper.
3. We think that publishing is hard. Because of technology the ability to publish has gotten easier and faster. You can self-publish or you can find a publisher. Both of my books are self-published through my company Mythikos Mommy, LLC.
4. We think we don’t have time to write. If you want to write, you will find the time. We do want we want to do and what we are passionate about. If I, a mom of seven, can find time to write a book anyone can. (LOL)
5. I think that some people fear or they are uncomfortable writing their story because who or what it can affect. I think that is why some people wait for people to die before they write and publish their story. My question is, what if they don’t die? Should you die with your story burning inside of you? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Your story has power and you should tell it.
6. We are intimidated by the process as a whole.
3) What is your writing kryptonite?
I don’t struggle with knowing what to write. I struggle with knowing the best time to tell or release my story. For example, I did not intend on the 40-Day Tone of Voice Tone Down to be the second book that I published. My intention was to publish one of the four other books that I have written. However, God stepped in without my permission and made me write this book. It was the craziest thing. I knew that I was going to tell my story of being a recovering yeller, I just didn’t know that I was going to do it right now. It was bigger than I am. I just didn’t know how big.
4) Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you building a body of work with connections between each one?
I do want each book that I write to stand on its own. However, right now the books that I have published have been about my life and relationships.
5) If you could tell your younger writing self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my younger self that it is okay to speak your truth. I would tell my younger self that no matter what other people think of you or want from you, you are amazing and you don’t need validation from anyone. I would tell her that everything that she has been through will be used to one day touch the hearts of thousands maybe even millions of people. I would tell her that she doesn’t have to be like anyone else and she doesn’t have to write like anyone else. She will be able to be herself, tell her story, and people will love her for who she is. I know that is more than one thing but that is what I would tell her.
6) How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My first book, No One Ever Told Me… Witty, Practical, and Spiritual Truths about Motherhood was not your typical book. It was not a chapter book. It was not a children’s book. It was a book that had one sentence on each page that dealt with the good, bad, ugly, funny, and spiritual truths about motherhood. It was the first time that I put my unadulterated thoughts on paper for them to be published, purchased, and go into people’s homes. It showed me that I could write how and what I wanted to write and people would love it and love me. People didn’t want a typical book, they wanted and related to my truth which was also their truth.
7) As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I would choose for it to be kind of like my social media profile picture but with messier hair and a pair of Wonder Woman converse on my feet.
8) Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
For me, writing is very spiritual and therapeutic. It is spiritual in the sense that I am able to tap into the deepest and sometimes not so deep parts of myself and put it to paper. It is like God’s way of giving me an avenue where I can download everything that has been stuffed so that I am not a volcano waiting to explode or implode if you know what I mean. It’s where I can sit in silence and write the divine revelations given to me by Him.
It is therapeutic in the sense that I can regurgitate all of my hopes, dreams, hurts, and joys on paper. It is my place of release. It is where I can go to share my secrets and decide which ones I will share now, later, or not at all.
9) What is your writing schedule like?
HAHAHA!!! People ask me that a lot. The truth is, I don’t really have a set writing schedule. As you know, I am a wife of one, mom of seven, the owner of no pets. LOL. I am also an entrepreneur, The Family Strategist™, with a Ph.D. in motherhood who is building Being Charlotte Avery into a strong company. Just being a wife and busy mom of seven children under the age of 12 makes it hard to have any kind of set writing schedule. When I am writing a new book, it’s like a supernatural window of time that I would not normally have opens up for me to write. That is really the only way I can explain it. I am super busy but out of nowhere, I get these incredible blocks of time to write that I would not normally have. I find myself writing in the carpool line waiting to pick up my children. I will write while waiting to pick up someone from an activity. For the most part, I write at night, in the dark, while my husband and children are sleeping, snoring, and talking in their sleep. I wrote my first book in three days. I wrote the first draft of my second book in less than two weeks. There was no rhyme or reason. I just got a journal and my computer and wrote until I was done.
10) How does your family support you in your writing or writing schedule?
My family is very supportive in what I write and when I write. How could they not be? When I am writing, it is not taking anything from them. As I stated earlier, I do most of my writing at night in the dark. Therefore, the only one losing sleep is me. My writing does not take away from my children’s activities and oh so busy lives (LOL) nor does it take time away from the time I invest in my marriage. The only time they feel the impact is when I leave to do a book event that takes me away from them. However, our support system makes it easy for me to leave knowing that all things are well when I am gone and they are well when I get home.
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