Two years ago, I first interviewed Elise Blaha Cripe about how she developed her career as a creative professional. Someone who spends every day creating, shares her process with her tens of thousands of followers, and who has developed her own products.
Her new book is about to be published, Big Dreams, Daily Joys: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crushing Your Goals, so I reached out to her to discuss the process of writing and launching her book, and the advice she has for making creative goals a part of your every day life.
You can listen to the podcast by clicking ‘play’ below, or in the following places:
Here are highlights from our chat:
- Elise said something that I often think about, but so few people admit: “Finding the inspiration feels good, but the work is boring. And uncomfortable sometimes. And you think you are terrible sometimes.” So many people stop creating because of that boredom. Because sitting in a quiet room by yourself, with a blank screen staring back at you can be more difficult to face than a distraction such as email, or the dishes, or nearly anything else.
- When I asked about marketing, the first thing that she said is that when she wrote the book, she shared her process of writing it with her audience. There are more than 100 slides on her Instagram of this. She described it this way: “I like to work by sharing the entire thing as I go. Just sharing builds hype. Not telling but showing. Demonstrating how to get through a to-do list, or how I make decisions, sharing that process. Then at the end of those 8 slides, swipe up for the book. I try to highlight the book – demonstrating why the content is valuable.”
- Specific book marketing and publicity actions include: recording a lot of podcasts appearances, doing some sponsored posts on Instagram and Facebook, encouraging her audience to pre-order the book, and providing enticements for them to do so. In general she said she is trying to make sure she shares about the book often, but without hitting people over the head about the book.
- When I asked about what it is like to go from blogging and social media to writing a book, she said she struggled with impostor’s syndrome. For the content of the book, she did zero research on what works, instead she relied on her (very deep) experience of what works. Because she has been online for so long, she has been messaging with people for 15 years about their own struggles with creative process and creative goals. She described the book was her way of reaching out to all the people who messaged her over the years. I thought that was such a powerful way to frame the value of this book, and give oneself permission to write.
- How does she feel a month before book launch? “Stress. I’m so used to creating something and sharing it immediately. For better or worse, the feedback is there. Also, because it is so immediately, there is always something coming next. If I share something on Monday and it doesn’t resonate, who cares, I’m sharing something Tuesday. The idea of a book that is permanent, which I wrote over a year ago, meaning I’m already a different person than when i wrote it, that’s hard. I’m anticipated it will be overwhelming with highs and lows int he first week.”
- How Elise got a book deal: “Consistent sharing” is what she attributes to leading the agent and editor to her. An agent had reached out to her after being a fan of Elise’s podcast and has asked if Elise wanted to write a book. At the time, the topic they discussed didn’t feel right, so Elise passed on the offer, but kept the contact with the agent. Likewise, someone who worked at Chronicle Books had reached out to Elise about the planner business Elise has. She passed on that offer as well, but stayed connected to the publisher. A year later, Elise shared a series on Instagram about goal setting that got her “really fired up.” She realized this is what she wanted to write about, a guide to goal setting. So she emailed the agent, and then they pitched to the editor. So “sharing a lot,” is what lead to the book deal.
- Elise said agents/publishers want books in categories that are already doing well. They don’t want a lone wolf outlier. This is challenging for writers, who often want to deliver something that feels brand new.
- I loved this quote from Elise: “Getting a book deal seemed magical, and writing a book seemed magical.”
- Her advice to people who struggle to create: “You have enough time. I heard this years ago, that when you say ‘I don’t have time for that,’ you could also say to yourself, ‘that isn’t important enough to me.'”
Elise shared her process for writing her book, and saved the photos in this Instagram Story Highlight..