Dr. Robyn

Norwood

Life as an Author

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Scroll down to watch the full interview video. 

STANDARD:  What 2 major moments in your life provoked you to become your own boss?

Robyn: The pivotal moment that compelled me to launch into entrepreneurship happened after I walked away from my last day as a childcare worker and realized I’d held 10 jobs in 10 years. I could never sit still. I always felt and believed that I was an entrepreneur even down to the fact that I don’t like being told what to do in a way that there's no democracy. Like, you gotta’ give me a choice and the opportunity to provide real input. Many times I had no choice working 9-5, so I left and in doing so I got my choice back, I got my time back, and I got my peace of mind back. I believe things began to fall into place because I’m now doing something I am actually called to do and it excites me.

Secondly, I came to the realization that I wanted so badly to be resourceful to the people I love and the people I desired to support financially. I wanted to extend more to them than---”I wish I could help you.” I also didn’t want to succumb to religious excuses for not being able to help people in this way.

STANDARD: What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Robyn:  I will say that a lack of knowledge would be the umbrella all common traps fall beneath. Particularly that which leads to overspending or UNDER spending for the publishing journey. You want to enter into writing and publishing with a set budget, but you also want to enter in with an advocate or professional counterpart who can educate you on how to do this right so that you avoid the sharks who often capitalize on this industry. There are many self publishing companies who prey on the ignorance and novice of new authors. As a result, authors end up spending sometimes thousands on their publishing process purchasing services they don’t need. For example, yes you need an editor, but you don’t need query letter submission services.

STANDARD: At Writer's University, what is one of the major disciplines a writer or future author will learn?

Robyn: Those who become students at Writer’s University will learn a caseload of things, but the first major discipline will be how to establish the author’s mindset. Mindset is a major part of anything that we do and I show authors how to get out of their own way by changing the way they see themselves and their writing project.

In addition to this, students will set their book’s framework with me in a live setting, access daily accountability, finish their manuscript, get it revised, and engage their team of freelancers to help them package their product.

STANDARD: Out of all the professions in the world you could have chosen, why was becoming an Author the choice?

Robyn: This one is both very close to my heart and also something that came naturally for me. I had an aunt who reared me alongside my parents. Much like a second mom, she was there for every beat of my life--very involved. She told me one day after I published my first book that this would be the way I would take in life. I did a lot of experimenting along the way with multiple avenues, but this is still where I landed--so she was pretty intuitive and she was right. Becoming an author was my choice because I held onto what she told me. I eventually accepted it and grew into it.

Also, I have always been inclined to the written word, literacy, and grammar. I am intrigued by the human mind and the way people think. Whenever someone transitions a message from their mind to paper, I believe it is one of the most genius things to witness. With good books in your home, you’re literally surrounded by the minds of so many great people; many of whom you may never meet in person, yet you’ve read their thoughts and hopefully gained a new and better perspective.

STANDARD: It has been discussed that every person has at least 3 to 10 books within them, with that being said, from you being an author and someone who appreciates a great story, what specific mindset should a person have in order to be an awesome writer?

Robyn: The mindset writers need to lean into is to understand that the typical definition of being an awesome writer does not pertain to them. They don't need to know how to perfectly assemble sentences, be familiar with great grammar, know where to place all of their commas or use prolific and profound words. They also don't need to try and see the end from the beginning. Many times writers are intimidated by the fact that they hear the word “book.” But I always tell my authors you are writing a paper or a heartfelt essay that you are deeply engaged in that will be later binded and turned into a “book.”

Also, writers need only to start with what they know and where they are. They need to understand the power of storytelling and they need to understand the power of teamwork.

You don't need to be a great writer at all to finish an amazing book. You need to be willing to be vulnerable and release control of the process, know how to tell a story and tell your reader how you feel. It is also great to be empathetic, sympathetic, and relatable because you are still writing for your reader and not yourself.

You need to understand the power of teamwork because you will need to allow someone else to read all of your stuff and critique it. You need feedback, you need test readers(beta readers)--you need to also understand that at the end of the day---this is not YOUR book, but you have been entrusted with its message.

I believe if people understand these things there will be many more transformational books on the shelves.

STANDARD: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing

Robyn: Honestly, it served as a marker in my own history that I have changed and evolved quite a bit. I did it 10 years ago and I have grown so much since then. I experienced enough mishap in the beginning to keep me humble today and that mindset has made my writing process a lot more introspective and transparent. I do more research now. I am also more open minded and read books written by believers and non believers alike. It helped me to discern ways that I could connect with people better where they are.

STANDARD: Every person in life symbolizes something and every legacy leaves a message...in the end, what would you want your life to symbolize and what do you want your legacy to stand for?

Robyn: In the end, I want my life and legacy to show that I was a giver and someone who loved God and people. My service toward writers began years ago as a free offer. Though it has now become my career, my desire and drive behind helping people turn their dreams into goals remains the same. I still meet engagements where I am inclined to extend my services and training for free.

Love is a major win for me when it comes to business. We don’t often combine those two words in the same sentence, but at the end of the day it takes charity and compassion to ensure people don’t become just a number. Therefore, just as sure as God has made us stewards over entrepreneurship, we have to commit our businesses back into His hands.

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