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055 - The Experiential Author


So many authors struggle with knowing they want to write a book but not knowing how to drum up the content. You’ve heard me talk about this many times if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts…and you know that I believe a book should ultimately be aligned with your goals, values, and visions personally and professionally. But, I’m gonna approach this a bit differently today. 

Hi Guys! Nicole Gabriel here! 

The best advise I can give you is to get out there and live!

You know, apparently I have a great life for being an author because every time I share a tidbit of my life someone tells me “you know, you should write a book!”. I never really planned for my life to be so grand. In fact, I was reflecting during a long road trip I just returned from. I was thinking about the plan I had for my life and how life has turned out. I know I’ve talked to parents that say the same about having kids…there is the way you envision raising your kids and then there is life. Somewhere in between there is a great story!

A few episodes back I talked about how I was taking a giant road trip from my home state here in Utah down to Florida and back to pick up a new RV that I wanted to turn into a mobile office. As with many things, one would likely have all kinds of energy and enthusiasm about how such a grand adventure might go. 

I packed up my SUV with my 3 dogs, a weeks worth of dog food, a small suitcase, some snacks, and even my microphone so that I could do a podcast from some glorious remote location in that bad boy!

I got up early the day we left and made my way out of Utah, into Wyoming, and finally into Nebraska. The next day from Nebraska into Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, and finally Missouri. The next day out of Missouri into Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally Georgia. And the final leg from Georgia down to Tampa Florida. I never imagined we pass through 11 states to get an RV, but this was the one I concluded I wanted after a 3 year search. I may have even passed right over the same coach in one of those 11 states I went through, but for some reason this was THE one.

Upon first setting my eyes on this monster super bus I began to shake. I wondered if this was the right decision. It seemed so much bigger than I remembered them being. I parked my rather large Yukon next to it and looked up and nearly almost cried. 

This wasn’t the kind of exciting moment I had played out in my head. I found just the right place I was going to take it that night and went well out of my way to find that special place for our first night together. A beautifully palm tree lined golf course! But, once I laid my eyes on the sheer size of her I almost wet my pants! Are you kidding me? People can legally drive these things? I held back the tears and pretended it was all cool. I was literally shaking as the guy came to give me my scheduled demo. I videotaped everything because I figured I wouldn’t remember how anything worked as I was so nervous. The more time I spent in her the more comfortable I became. I could now coherently hear everything he was saying and asked questions where I was confused. I looked at my little tiny Yukon and this big bad super bus and I would imagine 30 Yukons could fit inside of her - 15 long and stacked double high. I told myself I could back out of this and didn’t have to drive all the way there and take it home. I wasn’t obligated.

In my head I had envisioned taking pictures with the sales guy and me and my dogs. I imagined I would be in tears of joy with my new mobile office I had researched for some 3 years prior. But, here I was second guessing if this was the right choice. Did I really need to take my business mobile? 

I forego’d my decision to drive it that night to the golf course and was allowed to stay right there in the dealership lot for the night. I arrived late after all those days of driving and wasn’t ready to turn around and get on the road quite yet. I was not so sure yet…was this going to work? So, I figured if I never left I could change my mind in the morning. That night the dogs and I walked in a sea of RV’s and trailers for our evening walk. We came upon a body of water that looked so beautiful with the glowing sunset spread across it. Upon further discovery, there was a sign that said to beware of alligators and just as we saw the sign there were some peering eyeballs watching us walk. Gulp!

We got safely back to the RV for the night and then came morning…do I or don’t I? I decided there is only one way to do this…through it! I pulled up the leveling system, pulled in the sides, and started the engine. This would be the first time ever behind the wheel and never even took a test drive. I would just get in and go…and drive back across 11 states to home. My entire body was shaking! 

I made it out of the parking lot and onto the busy highway and was immediately grabbed by the rough edges of the right side of the road. There was so much play in the wheel and I was terrified! I thought…it’s ok, just drive slow! You have insurance. You can always stop. You can always take it back. You’re just on a test drive. 

So the next thing I knew I was at the first rest area and I pulled in shaking. Whew! I have a long way to go, can I make it? Do I really want to do this? 

I chatted with my friend and then my dad called…of course I played it cool with dad not to make him nervous. I got back on the highway and continued. As the time on the road rolled on and I grew further away from the dealership and it became more obvious she was mine and we got comfortable with one another. 

The first night was at an orchard in the Smoky Mountains at the border of Georgia and Tennessee. I was now comfortable enough to drive her off the expressway. I made it to the orchard and put her in park and went through all the details of engaging the parking break, putting down the levelers, setting up a dog fence, and taking out the side outs. I parked in an empty parking lot with a full moon and what appeared to be a small lake or pond. I had a wonderful view of the orchard, the layers of mountains, and the smell of the air was heavenly! I woke up and continued on the road.

The next night I stayed at a small winery at the very southwestern tip of Illinois. And the final night was at a golf course in Nebraska. Then suddenly at 4am the generator died on me. The whole coach shook and woke us up from a dead sleep. This would be the beginning of a my next obstacle. 

I found out that the generator is necessary to cool the coach while both driving and sleeping when not plugged into electric. I needed to make the decision to push through and get back home to Utah and put in a 15 hour day of driving to do so. I got up and on the road at 6am and arrived home dripping in sweat sometime around 9pm that night. The temperatures rose inside the cab to a steamy 85 degrees.

Every night before I arrived at my final destination for the day dad called to make sure I was ok and to see if the generator started back up. That was a negative. 

Upon reaching home I began thinking…why in the world did I drive all the way to Florida and trade in my Yukon for a bus? Did that really happen? What possessed me to do that? I wanted to do it for the last 3 years but I just never felt the timing was right. So why now? Clearly something larger than me was motivating me to make that giant trip. It was almost as if I couldn’t stop myself. I was so strongly guided.

And you know…there are so many things in life that make you realize this is no dress rehearsal! We only get this one life. What are you doing about that? Me? I’m doing my best to really live it! Do you ever have those days where you are dreaming of a place or a person and think to yourself…wouldn’t that be nice to go there or do that but then you let it pass and you don’t act on it? What are you waiting for?

Not much of my life has gone as I believed it would when I was younger. But, somewhere along the way I gave myself permission to ride the wave and to find joy in the unexpected moments. And, when you become…or are thinking of becoming an author, you begin to live life like everything is a part of a story you will one day capture in writing. 

These times we are living in today…they are a very special time for a writer. We have an opportunity to write a new way of being into existence. We can change the tone of a challenging time and give people hope. We can bring peace or add to the chaos. We were built to capture history from our own unique vantage point.

I’ve just shared with you a short story of an experience I had. The experiential author. You see, a writer is simply an observer. We then capture our observations into words. Our book doesn’t have to be about that story alone, but it can add a bit of personal connection to help relate with the reader…to show your humanness. 

After the having of the experience, you can fine tune the details, get creative, weave it into a section in a book, use it to build out a character in a novel, or use it as an example in a speech. In this case, how I overcame fear or fulfilled a dream or how you can travel with your family and still work. 

It’s through living, observing, and paying attention to the details and nuances…the little cracks in between moments…this is where words are captured and a book can take form. 

How can your life experiences give hope to a reader? How can you lead, inspire, encourage, sympathize, or challenge a reader by simply living your life and wrapping the details into an engaging book, marketing message, or platform? 

Did you know that there is such a thing as designing a personal story that attracts clients, grows your brand in a way that reflects the real you, and you can create a powerful message that can actually be monetized?

The difference between the self employed and the employed is the personal interaction. As an author you’re probably looking to enhance your life in some fashion. The urge to share pieces of your life, success, dramas, traumas, or creativity requires some kind of relationship and you might be selling a reader or looking to build trust. As you share your experiences you just have to keep in mind how it pulls the reader in and engages them. What is your end goal? We all have a story to tell and including those in your book is great, but when you can use those to relate and include additional content that provides massive value then you’ve given the reader a gift. 

In my story here, I share to relate. I share to entertain. I also share to inspire you to overcome fear and limiting beliefs. This writing stuff is only as hard as you choose to make it. Where can you provide massive value for your reader and how can your life experiences enhance that relationship?

I challenge you to get out there and live and as you do, bring your characters, words, or book ideas to life. There is infinite content available to you when you simply open your eyes, then align with where you want to go. 

It’s my greatest wish for you that you release your fears of writing, remove your blocks and barriers and overcome obstacles and get going on writing and developing a book that assists you in enhancing your life and career.

As always, wishing you peace, love, and light!

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