How I Really Wrote My Book (and how you can too)!

Sacred Arts

M

iracles,

Have you ever found yourself wondering how people get started writing? I used to think about this all of the time. I wondered if an amazingly impressive literary agent or angel of writing came down from the heavens and bopped people on the head with a magical wand pronouncing “You are now a writer!”

In reality, I have found it is a lot more like what Amanda Palmer says all artists have to do: make our own fairy wands and then hit ourselves on the heads with them – not once, but many, many times declaring:
“I’m an artist!” Bop! “I’m an artist!” Bop!

Certainly, that has been my experience. And as I have talked to some best-selling authors I have learned that is their experience too – no one told them they were gifted or special or unique – they just got to work and wrote. They got rejected. They wrote some more. Got rejected some more. Kept writing. Kept on. Simple. Not easy.

That’s the thing with writing. If you want to write then you have to actually write. You may very well need to mark out time on your calendar, hang up a do not disturb sign if need be, even leave your house or office and go down the street to a cafe so that you can write. I do it every day. Now that I am between books I have returned to some of my most basic writing practices (my favorite approach to writing btw comes from Natalie Goldberg whose work is just incredible and very straightforward), and it feels so good to return to those basics and reaffirm my commitment to writing.

However, I have also had a secret weapon in my writing ventures – one that absolutely made my book possible and that has been a guiding hand in my writing for years – and that my friends are good editors.

A good editor is someone who is not just going to check your work for punctuation errors. They are going to help you think through your work from the foundations to the ultimate vision and then support you in articulating those visions in the best possible way. They show up with a light hand and organize your writing so that it is structurally sound, has good flow, and is delivered in your unique and one of a kind voice. They hold your hand, check your sources, and make sure you are using the right attributions. They are your research assistants and guardians of your sacred voice…these are just some of the things that a good editor does.

When I wrote Making Magic I was blessed to have a wonderful editor from my publisher Sounds True – but before my manuscript ever went to the publisher I had an in-house editor: my amazing husband David, whose credentials include years of teaching high school English and Philosophy. (Trust me, if the man can get a bunch of jock kids to see the brilliance of Jane Austen, he can help you deliver your best writing yet).

David has decided to make his editorial services publicly available. I am not sure about this as the selfish part of me wants to keep my secret writing mojo all to myself, but then the not-terrible part of me wants to be generous and share…it’s a conundrum!

Bottom line: I want the best for our community and when it comes to messaging clarity, delivery, and refinement, David Saussy is the best.

My love does not have a fancy website or marketing spiel – he likes to get to work, not talk about getting to work.

He is currently booked with writing projects through July of this year, but if you are interested in talking to someone who has real editorial gifts about your own writing projects and endeavors then get in touch with him at saussydavid@gmail.com

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

New Moon Notes: New Moon in Virgo

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles ~

The New Moon is in Virgo, which, among other things, guides how we create structures. One of the questions I am most frequently asked is how do I do everything that I do and still stay sane. Alas there is no one silver bullet solution that will work for everyone but here is how things work backstage at brianasaussy.com.

Slack – my team uses slack for all of our communication, which cuts down massively on emails. I love it because we can upload documents and images to share, create unique channels that are specific to our task list, and integrate it with tools like Zapier which is used to track sales and all kinds of other data points. Slack is amazing. After using all kinds of other project management platforms this is the one we love the best.

Calendly – when I switched my booking process over to Calendly I had so many of my clients email me and tell me that they were beyond the moon appreciative. Calendly is an elegant, simple, scheduling system that is beyond her friendly.

Aweber – all emails, all the time. Aweber is the service I use to keep my email lists organized, protected, and growing.

Evernote – I use Evernote to work with students, to keep track of all of my posts in canto, to write quickly to do lists and to store form letters, and that is really just the tip of the Evernote iceberg. Easy to share, include people in folders so that they have access to specific documents, upload images, voice recordings, and with their suite of features like Pocket, I also have a continually growing archive of articles and images that are related to my work.

WordPress – Best website platform hands down.

Dropbox – We use Dropbox to store, send, and communally access and edit all kinds of files.

Audio Acrobat – Complete web-based storage and audio recording services.

Hootesuite – Best interface we have found for seeing and scheduling various social media shout outs.

Pinterest – I LOVE Pinterest and use it to track the people, places, and things that inspire me. I also store public domain images in Pinterest that I might use for canto posts or lunar letters and we have several community boards for students in my various programs.

Spotify – Music is essential in doing my best work. Sometimes I like absolute silence but when I don’t I go to one of my Spotify playlists.

People

David Saussy is my beloved, my best friend, and my collaborator on everything from child-rearing and home repairs to creating courses, customer service, and bringing the magic to life. David and I also work together for our tiny, not for profit, Symposium Great Books Institute.

Cassandra Oswald is the tech and design wizard and my right-hand woman. She graces my website with her black, white and color illustrations and keeps all of my design and code up to date and looking spiffy. She and I also collaborated on the daily blessing series.

Nathan Briggs is the web host with the most. He keeps my site up and running smoothly, always adds the latest and most useful bells and whistles to our platform (without me ever having to ask) and if things go awry for some reason I just contact him and he gets back to me asap every single time.

Fabeku Fatunmise dear friend and phenomenal business advisor. I’m a groupie and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Theresa Reed aka The Tarot Lady is my masterminding companion, an amazing friend, a partner in Talking Shop, and so much more. She is also the one I go to when I need a Tarot reading and I LOVE her Entrepreneurcasts.

Heidi Rose Robbins writes beautiful poetry and knows how to read the stars. I go to her several times a year to have my astrological check-in and she delivers each and every time with practical and actionable information that is nevertheless soulful and full of heart.

Aidan Wachter is a very, very, gifted talisman maker. Talismans are an essential part of my business and I am so grateful to Aidan for helping me keep my mojo up in style!

Jason Miller is an incredibly gifted, down to earth yet super smart, and most importantly, results-oriented magic-maker. Whenever I find myself in need of ceremonial support I head straight over to his site. His work works and the man knows how to show up.

Jessica Reagan Salzman runs Heart-Based bookkeeping. We started working with Jessica this year and…MIND BLOWN! She has brought so much clarity to our numbers, calmness to our tax season, and has given us the tools to make more conscious decisions that support our business and our lives. If you run a small business and the ideas of balance sheets and PnL’s make your head spin, you need to visit with Jessica, asap.

There are two other groups that make my work hum, sing, and dance. They have dedicated souls who work with me for at least a year and often for much longer. They ARE the Sacred Arts community and they teach me more about what really matters than I will ever teach them. They are my: Miracle Tree students and Spinning Gold students.

Happy New Moon Magic Making!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Fairy Tales, Blessings, on Working with my Husband and more…

Lunar Letter

D

ear Miracles,

La Luna is sitting pretty in the home of Cancer today, and I hope you can take a few moments to breathe in her nurturing goodness. And I have a few notes from the enchanted mountains of Colorado to share with you all!

To newer community members, you have not have heard about my latest offering, Spinning Gold. Go check it out, make yourselves at home! Download the first lesson, listen to my version of the story of Rumplestiltskin, and learn how to make the most perfect and personal prayer bundle ever.

About a year ago I wrote a post on the title Sacred Artist. I am so honored to see more and more folks picking up that title and claiming it for their own, so it was only right that I deliver some thoughts on what the sacred arts actually are.

Along the same lines, I recently guest posted for Deb Smouse’s Summer Love Notes and wrote all about finding the Sacred in the Small.

Our daily blessings were featured on one of our favorite blogs, Phantasmaphile! I highly recommend getting acquainted with Phantasmaphile as it is a wonderful resource full of mythic arts goodness.

You can also view the entire collection of daily blessings right here — share them, tweet them, pin them to your heart’s content, just credit me (Briana Saussy) as the author and Cassandra Oswald as the illustrator.

Want more in the way of mythic arts? Behold my list of the best Fairy Tale resources!

Most of you know that my husband, David, and I are working together now. This has been a dream of ours for a long time and we just got family health insurance so it is REAL! We talked to my dear friend Theresa Reed about the highs and lows of working together, when we first fell in love with one another and even told stories about our first fight! You can read our story and the stories of other successful ‘preneur couples in Theresa’s newest ebook Creative Coupling.

Speaking of Theresa, have you missed an episode or two of our popular show Talking Shop? Every month we feature a guest expert who dishes the dirt and spills the secrets on how to make a mystical business bloom and flourish…and every show is absolutely free. You can catch up right here.

And, while we are on the subject, for sacred artists who are ready to take their business to the next level and need some personal time, love, and tenderness, Theresa is offering a one day retreat this fall that will be delicious and amazing.

My good friends Sara and Joe have launched their new website! Go check it out and give them so love — their products and services are absolutely top notch!

Jacquelyn and Amelia are showing the world that astrology and style go together like Diamonds and Dior.

Barri Tessler Linden served up some real brilliance on the connection between Money and Health.

Pace and Kyeli have launched a new podcast on the Enneagram (which is fun, crazy and meaningful and highly recommended.

And Harold of Alchemy Works got a shoutout from Mystic Medusa — which was pretty much the most awesome thing to see all week!

I am often asked who my go-to person is for business coaching, advising, and strategizing. I work with my team of course, but when I need an outside perspective that is smart and real and kind there is only one person I talk to…Fabeku.

In totally random news, I have two favorite compilation blogs. They are Brainpickings and Farnam Street — some of you might like them too.

Our summer has been lots of reading, lots of make-believe.

Finally, if you are looking for an online Sacred Arts community that is free and awesome, you may want to join our group. (You will need to wait to have your request to join approved by me, but the wait won’t be long, promise).

Adios for now!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.