Leigh:Hi, everyone, welcome to the Camino Cafe. We are so excited that you are here listening to our show on our new podcast or maybe you’re watching on our YouTube channel. So welcome. We’re glad you’re here. And we are thrilled to have Susan Jagannath here with us today. She is a pilgrim, an hiker, a best selling author, and so much more. She’s actually now helping other people write bestsellers. So we’re going to talk about each of those different things for us.

Remaining a Pilgrim

Susan:Thank you for inviting me. It’s really exciting to be here. And yes, as you said, I’m a pilgrim and I think we all are pilgrims. So in that spirit, let’s keep that spirit alive, even in difficult times.

Leigh: Yes. So important. Right. And I first met Susan online during this lockdown and  I joined a couple of her groups, and I’ve been very inspired by everything she’s doing. And actually, I just took one of her workshops, One Hundred Days to your best seller. And so I am an aspiring writer and I will hopefully be working with her and doing that.

I knew after talking to her and seeing the quality of posts that that she was a perfect guest for us to have here today. So I’m delighted. And I wanted to see if we could just kind of start with, you know, how you went from. I think you’ve called yourself a military brat to having this super successful career as a technical writer.

And then you pivot and you become a hiker taking these great adventures and you turn that into being able to write best selling books. So I think that’s all really super interesting. So if you could just give us a quick two or three minutes, a recap of how all of this happened.

A Military Brat Childhood

Susan: Well, sometimes I don’t know how it happens, it’s just I think maybe like, you know, God has plans for us and it works out that way. But looking back, as I told you earlier, I’m actually doing what I planned to do when I was a child. So as a child, as a military brat, we have very an exciting life interspersed with long periods of boredom, like when you sat on a train for five days with nothing to do. So the travelling was kind of in my blood right from the beginning. So in these long periods of boredom in between, I read books, I read adventure books, kids books, I read. I also read reference books, Reader’s Digest and the geography books.

I read anything I could lay my hands on because as a military brat, you move every two years and before you before you make new friends, you’re alone.

But I was never alone because I had ‘the Famous Five’ with me. All these books which children read. Right. So that made me want to write books. And more importantly, it made me want to have adventures. 
That’s what that’s what you did as a military kid we went on these “family” picnics. And we had a great time. And that sort of turned me out into an adventure loving, sort of articulate person. I could also talk a lot because that’s what we did. We played games, we read books and we talked non-stop!

Leigh: Really training for all of this from a very young age

A 20 year career in IT and technical writing

Susan: Oh, yeah, a little more than that. So I went into tech writing because  nobody knew what technical writing was. it was new. It was exciting. That was a huge adventure

Leigh: So then did that lead into? So you did that for several years and then?

Susan: In technical writing is you’re basically telling people how to solve problems using the software, which they thought would solve the problem, which you didn’t solve the problem because they didn’t know how to use it.

How the Camino came into my life

Leigh: Lets talk about the Camino

Susan: OK. So at some stage I said I started getting fat. Let’s get let’s cut to the close. As you get older you start getting fat. I was also getting lazy in a desk job. The only thing I like to do was to walk. OK, started walking. Yeah. And I also am very, I get bored very easily. I need to walk in new places all the time and that’s why, that’s how I heard of the Camino.

Leigh: How did you first hear about it?

Susan: You know Leigh, tt’s a bit of a mystery, I don’t know how I heard of it. I think. We were chatting here in Australia about the Kokoda Trail.

And I went and looked at, oh God, no, I can’t do that. And so they said, oh, the Camino might be better for you. And I’ve never heard of it. So I went and started reading it about it and looking up the Internet. What happened is I saw that movie on the plane out to India once called The Way the Martin Sheen movie, and I thought, seriously, I saw that movie when I was going to India to meet up with friends and we were going for walks in the southern mountains.

And you were going we were going to hike over there and walk about and catch up and have a wonderful time. But walking was going to be part of it. So that’s when I saw the movie. And then I started getting a bit a bit more focussed on I want to do this because by now I was hiking and walking every day.

So when I say walking, we walk about two to three hours a day every day unless I’m doing a talk with you and. that’s how I heard about that, but at this time, I was still working full time and when I we did the plan for the year. And I saw that in October, which was the time I wanted to go and would have six weeks of leave. There was a huge new release coming out and there was no way I was going to be able to drop it because you’re writing a manual. That’s the time when developers are changing their mind all the time. And you can’t you can’t write the book and then go, you have to be there and get your hands fingers full of blood and do it.

So this was now for you, as I had tried for four years to go on the Camino. And I just couldn’t because of work, because we in Australia, it’s very far Leigh, it takes a long time to get anywhere. So we had given that up and I said, no, I’m not giving this up.

How I picked the Ingles

I said, I’m going. And then 2014, I couldn’t go. 2015, I couldn’t go. I said, this is 2016. I don’t care. I’m going. And I just was looking at things. And I think I came across this Camino Ingles on the just by chance as a five day Camino. And I started to and I thought, wow, that that is doable. And that set me off on this doable Camino trip because. for us in Australia. I could all I needed was 10 days, so I needed 10 days and we get a good 10 day break across the end of April to mid-May because we have Anzac Day.

Which is always a holiday. So you have a long weekend there and then you have May Day, which is comes immediately. So you have these two long weekends. And if you take five days of leave, you get seven days a week, you get nearly two weeks off. That was perfect. Literally perfect for me.

Leigh: Let me ask you let me jump in and ask you a couple of things. So you pick the Camino Ingles, because it makes sense. You know, not everybody can take six weeks, seven weeks to get by. So brilliant. You find a route that’s going to work with your schedule. And at that moment, did you take journalling material with you? Did you know at the point that you were going to take this Camino, that you were going to end up coming home and writing a best selling book?

Susan: No, I didn’t have any idea of writing a book. I was just doing the work as a challenge to prove to myself that I could walk a hundred miles or 100 kilometres.

Leigh: Yeah. So did you journal each night or what was how did you end up having enough material to come back home and write a book?

Susan: Well, I had of course, I was posting on Facebook, Facebook there and I had something called Periscope.

Leigh: What periscope? Okay.

Susan: Yeah. On Twitter I told you about my fifteen thousand followers. So at that time, Periscope was the only live thing. So I had been just talking about hiking and walking and about places in Australia before that on Periscope. You know, there was no idea of any business or any book writing. I was just talking right?

So I was talking on. So I had these every day I would do one or two periscopes and I did buy a book and I looked at it. And it was a book of all the short Camino’s and it was pretty old. So literally we would go out there and it at that time it was well enough marked. But when you’re in the cities or in the towns, this the markings disappear and you think, OK, I don’t know where to go. And there was no GPS or anything. So I was getting lost literally the book every time I saw when it came back and I would get and say, oh, look at this beautiful place. But guess what? We found this by accident because actually we got lost.

The Inspiration for the Book

Leigh:So there was the light bulb go off then that here’s?

Susan: I would say in every place, in almost every livestream, I would say I got lost and I’m lost in a cow paddock full of poop. I really should write a book about this. So I just really came back and I was processing through the videos because I wanted to see like I had videos of me holding it and actually walking into Santiago and all those things. So I was processing it and I kept hearing this, oh, I should write a book about it.
And I thought. I think I’m telling myself something, and so I said, OK, I’ll do it. So we walked in April, end of April or May, and by August I had the book out, had published the book, and in 15 days it was a bestseller.

The Challenge in the Walk

Leigh: Wow.  I want to come back to your Camino. So you want the Camino Inglis and you know all of us pretty much when we go on pilgrimage, find some type of inner or physical. You know, there’s an inner an external struggle that we sometimes are faced with. And I just wondered if you could just share with our listeners and our viewers what became your big challenge during your walk.

Susan: I think the reality of your frailty and vulnerability, even though you think you’re fit and that’s a theme throughout all my books, I train and train and train and train.And then you go there and actually hit the ground. You think I didn’t train enough? Why am I so tired or why are my feet aching? Even though I had broken my boots and I had been to the podiatrist, I had done everything but walking for five to six to seven hours a day in a strange country, not knowing the language it does. It’s your mental strength. You have to be mentally strong to do it because although walking the Camino Ingles is not a huge physical thing.

(It’s actually quite easy,) but it’s the mental thing. It’s the unknowingness and it’s facing your own fears and facing your own realisation that actually you don’t know anything. You’re not this wonderful person who knows everything about about a software and writing the technical book about it. When you’re in a new place, you have to be open. And sometimes opening yourself out is not easy.

Leigh: Yes?

Susan: it’s hard. It’s an accepting of your fragility. It’s more accepting of your ignorance when you’re in Spain, you’ve actually come and you can’t speak Spanish despite your phrasebook. You come down to being a child again. You come down to the level of being maybe a five year old, all your adult cleverness vanishes. And I think that’s when you’re open and that’s when that happens, if you let it happen to yourself, you have the most marvellous experience because all your assumptions, your suppositions, your arrogance, your pride, it falls away.

The Gifts of the Camino

And that’s when you realise. I am a pilgrim. You know, I may be in 2016 walking with all the modern cons, but. My mind still testing your legs are still the same as those pilgrims who walked for a thousand years, and I was always aware that as a woman. You know, a certain woman of a certain age, and in our third stage of life, we have really been given a gift of we would have one hundred years ago or maybe two hundred years ago, probably at the stage, you know, we would be dead long ago right.

We’d be dead of childbirth. And in fact, I did have my last kids when I was nearly 40 and twins. And if I had, I was thinking then that, that time, if I hadn’t had modern medicine, I definitely would have died, because it was you know, there were complications at the end. So we forget that as you know, as women, we have always had a very dangerous spot to tread there’s childbirth, every childbirth can kill you right?

So this being here and being able to walk and being able to even be a pilgrim on the Camino when you’re 60, 60 plus, that itself is an enormous gift. And my book was to encourage people who thought they couldn’t do it to actually do it. And if you go through my feeds, my reviews, you see there are people there who are saying, oh, my God, Susan, you’re my guardian angel.

I thought that I could never do this. I had a book and I was able to do it, though. And a lot of people actually, they don’t just review it. They also write, they wrote emails to me and I was thinking, oh, my gosh, this is so good. As a technical writer, you normally get really angry people writing to you saying this doesn’t work!

Leigh: Why don’t I? Susan, you said so many just so many gems in this answer, I want to go back and touch on a couple of things. I really like how you mention that. You know, when we get on the Camino and we’re going on this pilgrimage, we really see how fragile our lives are and what a gift this pilgrimage is. And just reminded me of something in mindfulness that we call beginner’s mind that if you can’t approach the pilgrimage with a beginner’s mind and be open to what’s happening and accept.

That you can do as much training as you want, you can you can prepare, you know, as much as you want, but you’re really a beginner when you step on there, because there’s going to be some kind of challenge that you haven’t prepared for or you didn’t anticipate was going to happen. And I think the stuff about, you know, you’re in a new place, everything’s new, everything’s different.

There’s just so much going on so I really love how you brought that up and especially want to touch back on. You know, what would you say to a woman who is in her 50s or 60s who has heard about the Camino wants to go? But maybe he has some fear around just what we’re talking about, you know, going maybe to a foreign country for the first time, the thought of walking solo, the thought of now doing something that’s just for you. You know, that’s not about raising your kids. It’s not about the career. It’s just something for you.

Words of Encouragement 

What would you say to that woman if she’s watching or listening to us right now, that would encourage her to say yes and book her ticket when we’re able to go?

Susan: I would say to that woman, you are a woman, you are full, you are born to be full of courage, like no woman can survive without that courage, we have that courage and that fierceness at childbirth. Or you have that fearlessness to protect your child that’s given to us for a reason. And we have to take all those qualities which you have, believe in yourself and definitely don’t just go out without preparing, prepare. But don’t over prepare and don’t overthink it. Definitely don’t overthink it. And do not ever put yourself down and think that I can’t do it.
Let me assure you, if you’re a woman of 50 or 60, you definitely, definitely can do it. And the thing of the Camino in Spain is that. You may be walking on the path, but like one kilometre out is a main road where you can get a taxi, and if you’re if you’re frantic, if you hurt yourself, you’ve got to fall. You’ve got this. You know what? There’s better coverage in Galicia in a cow paddock than there is in much of Australia.

Leigh: Right.

Susan: So you are always if you want to, you can do that. You are always in contact. It’s not like you’re walking out in the wilds of the Amazon in the 16th century and you’re going to be eaten by tigers or something. You’re not. It’s this beautiful sensation of being able to do something. But it’s your mental state you have to work on.

And look, you’re a woman and you’re 50 or 60. You’ve had a career. You might have had a family. You might have had, you know, might have had kids or you might have had parents who you had to look after and parents. And this was one of the things that I was the sandwich generation for many years. I had my young kids, I had teenagers, and I had I had my mother, both our mothers were were ageing and we had to look after them.

So we had all this kind of going on and in a way. Now that you talk about Leigh and we talking, I did this after both the mother, my mother in law lived with us in her last few years. So after she died and after my mom had died earlier and my mom would she would spend time with us. She would amongst the three children. So we always had to be available for her. So it’s only after they actually passed on that suddenly the sandwich was removed. And I felt that I’ve done enough for everyone, I want to do this for me and for women who feel that maybe that’s a bit selfish.

You know what? By doing something for yourself, by being mindful, by being caring, you are going to be a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, a better grandmother for your children and your family. So looking after yourself and keeping yourself healthy and keeping your mind sharp, you’re really doing the next generation a favour because they to have to look after you that much.

Leigh: Well said Susan and that is such a good point, you know, because I think as women, sometimes we feel selfish to take this time to go on. But really, it’s like putting a mask on your face first, right? It’s taking care of yourself. And the communal provides an opportunity to, I think, kind of reinvigorate yourself for the next chapter, doesn’t it?

Susan: Yes you hit you hit the nail on the head because the kid walking the Camino gave me the next chapter of my life as a best selling authors to write the books, which I wanted to write. And even and I’ve been writing hiking books and adventure books. And then I’ve got three books. I’ve retired, actually got made redundant from my job. And if I’m not looking back, I would have adventures and write. And we know what happened to that if I didn’t have that opportunity. But then I said, OK, let me help others to write their books.And-.

Leigh: Yeah, that’s just what I was going to want to get into. So, you know, you had to make a couple of pivots .And so I think this is really an endearing part about your personality, your skill set that I feel like you really have all these stories where you have made major pivots in your life. You know we come to this past year with the lockdown and you’ve had you’ve decided that you’re going to make adventure, hiking your life and you’re going to write books about it. And then guess what? We can’t travel.

And now Susan makes another pivot and that pivot becomes, well, if you can’t go out and do these adventures, then you can start a new adventure of your own, and that would be to help aspiring writers.

So let’s talk a little bit about how you did that. What made you come up with the idea? And and then we’ll talk a little bit more about how you’re working with people. So let’s just start with at what point did that light bulb go off? Or you’re like, OK, I got to do something new and what am I going to do? What am I going to do for the next year or so?

Susan: Well, that came up with, again, a lot of it came up from a lot of people telling me things like saying to me when I published notes, oh my goodness, Susan, all you could do this. And I thought, hang on. What do you mean only you can do this? Of course you can do this. It’s not hard. Believe me, it’s not hard.

Traditional publishing has made it look as if, you know, it’s really difficult. But it’s actually if you have a system, it’s not hard to write your book and publish it. You know, if you want maybe 19 years old and you had no life experience, I might say, OK, maybe it’s difficult for you. But all these women with these life experiences, some of them which are more than mine, I mean, how can you say that? You can’t do it? Of course you can do it.

And it comes to the second question, but nobody will want to read my book. Well, I thought nobody would want to read my Camino Ingles book because it was not the Camino Francis, which is like the gold standard. This is like that thing. And I said, I don’t care if they are if there is one person whose life I can change, if there’s one woman who can, I can encourage to walk. I’m going to write the book and that’s what I did. So it is possible.

And then those people are quite a few people who came to me and asked me, how do I do this? And that’s when I started. And this was in the days when we had we could talk and we could have meet ups and we could have events and I would be invited to events and I would talk about the Camino and the book. And then people would say, but tell us how you wrote the book or all tell us about how you got to publish.

And I would say I do look for a publisher. I’m my own publisher because guess what, in addition to being a bit lazy, in addition to being, wanting you, not having enough time, in addition to all this, I also have a bit greedy because I want to keep all the money for myself. I don’t want to share it with a publisher. So there you have the truth, right? You have the truth. If you are, you need to do the self publishing.

And in today’s world, you do not need a publisher, right? Also, you do not you do not need to be J.K. Rowling. And you don’t need to be J.R.R Tolkien, go for it if you want to. But, you know, do you know that even J.K. Rowling has her own Publishing house, she publishes all her books, she’s got Pottermore, that’s yes, she controls the IP of all her books and she had the same experience in the beginning of no one wanted to publish her books, her first book. Right. So right now, you think if you think about it, she’s a self published author originally.

Leigh: Right? No, I never thought.

Susan: Yeah she is, really. Because she got up. She got she got a publisher, but she retained the rights. And when she wanted to go out into America, into the US, she founded her own publishing house. And it’s going, it goes to her own publishing house. Pottermore.

Leigh: So interesting. Well, let’s talk for a second about your own personal writing process. And I’m guessing that’s maybe what you will recommend to everyone. But do you tend to write in the morning? Do you write in the afternoon or you write your first book pretty quickly? Did you go away to write it? What was your secret sauce to being able to write that first best seller?

Susan: Well, two things, a schedule and accountability. So I had an accountability partner, friend of mine at that time. She wasn’t a friend. She was, it was more like she was also an author, self published author starting out. And she was local. Right. So because even though I had got lots of friends in the US and the UK were also writing books, it’s important to have someone in your own time zone. So what I did is I said, I’m going to write one thousand words a day.

And every week we would talk and she would we would talk on the phone and say, Have you met your target or not? And what’s your problem? Or so you had someone. So it was you know, it was the secret sauce. Nobody else knew I was writing a book.

Leigh: Oh, okay?

Susan: For my first book right. Nobody else knew I was writing a book except my friend Wendy. She’s not a good friend of mine. So we would talk every once a week. We would talk and also any time in the middle of a week, if we got stuck, we would talk. And say I really this my mind map is driving me mad or this chapter is driving me mad.

So to someone to talk to. And it was accountability. Right? I’m it’s kind of just sets it in your brain like, no, it’s not as if she was going to do anything if I didn’t try. But it’s just your self. I have to say that I’ve done this. I have to have this call every week. So I was writing. So that was the most important. I would say that is the most important thing to have someone who is going to hold you accountable to yourself. Because it’s very easy for me to say, oh, I keep accountable to myself. It’s very easy to give up.You’ll make excuses.

The other thing I did was I was already before this. We had already been breaking up early to go for walks. So now what I did, I was still working. I still had you know, I still had kids in the home. So I would get up at 4am. And right for two hours. And the house was quiet and from four to six, I would write and after that go out for a walk, I did do I still do the two hour walk. I will go out for a walk, come back, get ready, put on my makeup, put on my put on my official office clothes and off to work we’d be in the office by 9:00.

So this 4:00 to 6:00 was enough time for me when I only actually did writing and then after I would sometimes in the evening because I had friends in the US and UK. Sometimes in the evening I would talk to them about the book when I said book friends so I would talk to them about the book and what was going on. And that’s where I also met people who had also done this Camino.

So I was able to discuss things with them. And what I didn’t do was I didn’t put a lot of culture into it because really I knew nothing about Spain. And I did get a few bad comments saying, oh, there’s nothing about the history of Spain in this book. And I thought, well, I didn’t intend to write anything about the culture and the and the architecture because I don’t know anything about it. What I do know about is I walk, I walk, and I’m just going to write about that.

So the book was definitely scheduled as a day by day. I wrote it day by day. What I did on day one, what I did on day two. Yeah, I did that. Then I came back and wrote the introduction and after that I went back and did the conclusion. So I did the actual day by day first and in the day by day it was when you write a Camino a book ut’s quite easy that way. If you are doing the journal fashion. you say day one, what is the distance? Where did you sleep? What did you eat? And I had the fourth one. What did you feel?

Were there any feelings which came up in you? And that was the time I would go to my videos, go through my pictures and look at it. And I didn’t actually keep a journal for this book. I had just my phone with the videos in it. And I had people to talk to as well. And yeah, but I got this book written the entire book was written in a weekend. I have to admit that I wrote the entire book from Saturday morning to Sunday evening and then the rest of the two hours every day, which I was doing.

I was going back and cleaning up and rewriting and adding. So I had the shell of the book in one one weekend, literally Saturday to Sunday. That’s when I just got everything down. And then every day I worked on them, I checked back and looked back, I researched and I wrote every single day.

So the book was done and book was done in thirty days. Really, the whole book went up the first draught, which I was happy within 30 days. And then of course I sent it out for editing all the formatting. I had to learn all those processes. Really. You can do the book in ninety days. I just told you a hundred days to make you feel happy.

Leigh: That’s a lot of work done when have a best seller, so that’s fantastic. So what would you say? I think when I was walking the Camino and this is going to be back, I think a lot of people that want the Camino feel like they have a book inside of themselves about it. So two questions for you on this first question. But I’ve also heard people say there are too many books about the Camino now.

So do you think there are too many books or not? And then what would you say to encourage someone that feels like they have that book in them, but they’re scared to start or they don’t know where to start? What would you say to encourage them?

Susan: Well, I would, the word Courage, have the courage and have the belief in yourself, you know what? If you are able to walk a hundred kilometres or you’ve done the Francis and you walk eight hundred kilometres, do you seriously think that your fingers can’t type out a hundred pages about that? Come on, get real girl.

You’ve walked, you’ve done it. All you have to do is now talk about it, tell people and if you feel that you can’t write. Do what I did and I did this purely by mistake. I was doing periscope. I was doing lives. So if you don’t want to write, pick up your phone, get a recorder on it and just talk. Talk as if you are talking to a friend. That’s it. And get it transcribed and give it to an editor. That’s it. And just go to the publishing process. So all this it’s not the only thing that you need to do is to harness technology and get out of your own way. That’s what I would do

The parallels between writing a book and completing a Camino pilgrimage

Leigh: How do you think that compares to actually walking a pilgrimage? Where are the parallels between writing a book and actually completing a Camino pilgrimage?

Susan: That’s a great point. I didn’t think of it that way, but now that you say it. In a way, it is I think if you know, you go step by step when you’re doing a pilgrimage, you have a reason, you have an intention. When you have a story, you have an intention. Get your intention for your book. Correct? Right. Is it a journal? Is it a life? Is it a memoir or is it more about encouraging people? Is it about the wonderful people you met? What is it? So get that right.

So that is like the intention when you make a pilgrimage, as you want to reach, you want to reach a place. And when you’re walking a pilgrimage, you’re really looking for your spiritual growth and your physical your physical being is really being stretched to risk. Because you’re being stretched to receive both maybe the mindfulness and the spirit, but it’s also being stretched to receive the spiritual gifts because it’s what we talked.

It’s when you break down your arrogance and pride and it’s really the light can’t come out to you unless you’re broken. And so the book is the same way you stop the book with your arrogance and pride, maybe. And maybe to walk the Camino, you’re no longer quite so arrogant. So we have all Camino authors have this inbuilt advantage. Shush don’t tell anyone. So start the book in that way that you are going and doing something. And especially today when people Leigh when youcan’t walk. If you have had the privilege of walking, I think it is your duty. I think you have been giving a God given blessing in that you were able to walk and you can now spread this blessing by writing about it and encouraging. People one to be ready when we can walk to to virtually walk it if you if you can’t walk it.

So I think it’s a pilgrimage that you start with the words on the page, the words on the page have a magic. They go inside people’s brains and they change them. You could change someone who is feeling miserable, to happy. You can change someone who is feeling that they are unable to do something, make them feel that they can do it. And some of the best experiences of my life have been being shouted at in the middle of Galicia by someone shouting my name and saying that they had read my book and went on the Camino. That’s amazing. Again, you get you know, where do you get experiences like that except on the Camino? And if you write a book about it and guess what? They are not enough books on the Camino. I’m still looking for books to read ins’t that right Leigh

Leigh: Absolutely.

Susan: Yes. So everything comes down to the one person you’re talking to. If there’s a book which you can write for one person, for that one person. There is someone who is miserable and we’ve read so many of these books of people who were depressed, they were considering suicide and then they read this book or they did this thing and they life change. Yes, writing a book is life changing for you and for the person who was reading it, because guess what?

We’re both human. We’re both human. We’re reaching out across, you know, how many of us have read books for which I really like Jane Austen. I read Jane Austen’s book. And I think that this woman live in India today. And of course, she didn’t. But reaching out with touching each other. And as a pilgrim, it’s not a book as a pilgrim. It’s not about you really. You’re not just a hiker. You know, you’re not just stomping on the earth.

If you’re a pilgrim, you’re walking humbly and you’re taking people with you today. We can’t take people physically. Take them in your book, share your experience. There’s going to be one person whose life you change. And if you change one person’s life, change the words like, really? Wow.

Leigh: Wow I kind of just want to end the interview right now with all that

Susan: Yes words of wisdom. I don’t know where they came from

Leigh: I’m going to go back and talk about. I love how you said that on the pilgrimage you learn to stretch your stretch, you’re stretching physically, your stretches spiritually, or you’re just stretching in all different ways. And I really, really find what you said about you as a pilgrim first thought it was a gift to walk.And now really we could look at it that if you are an aspiring author.

You can really look at this as your duty to now go out and share your story, because there is so much possibility from the sharing of your story, you know, there’s further healing and stretching for yourself, but also. The possibility of whose life you’re going to touch and how that might play out, because you know what? You could write this book about the Camino. They read it. They decide to go and walk. Maybe they come back and write a book and now they’re inspiring someone.

I mean, it’s just this beautiful cycle of all of us receiving the gift of pilgrimage and then giving back and then letting that circle continue to grow and to go on and on. I just. I love your perspective on that, I think that it’s inspiring me, I know I want to write a book and I know people that are watching this are going to want to do the same thing. So I want to quickly, when we have a couple a couple more minutes, I wanted to just mention you have a lovely website, and I wanted to say, first off , you’re running a couple of different Facebook groups. So could you just say with those Facebook groups are so that people can find you and connect with you?

Susan: So it’s a best seller bytes. Is the latest one, which is it’s a private one, because Facebook has changed things so much, that was fine. Just anybody was coming in. And think what what. So about you know, the thing about a Facebook group is you want to keep it safe for yourself and you want to keep it safe for others. So it’s a private group and you have to ask to join. So it’s called Best Seller Bytes. That’s it And I have another public one called Badass Badass, best selling author

Leigh: bad best selling authors. Excellent.

Susan: Yeah. So all of them are full for you. If you’re not an author of you are an author and you just want to come out. Yeah. I don’t know where that name came from. I think I was trying to be cool.

Leigh: Yeah, it’s very cool

Susan: So I just those are the two Facebook groups. There’s also my Facebook page is too easy to publish is my Facebook business page, which nobody takes any notice of because Facebook never gives it any love and I don’t advertise. Those are the places on my facebook. My website is it’s always when you’re with me. It’s always a work in process. Everything is a work in process, even mine. Now I’m having the next workshop on at the twenty first of May, the one you attended and if you were to attend again with, you’re welcome to it.

Leigh: Thank you

Susan: You don’t have to pay me again. Just come. If you attend that you’ll find that it’s different because you don’t have the answers and I don’t even have all the questions and I got the most. Questions and the best questions from a group of kids who I was teaching how to write, and these kids came out with these amazing ideas and thoughts, and I just thought, I cannot believe that I’m talking to an eight year old and a 12 year old.

And they had this immense confidence and they had this immense wisdom. So, like, big ideas have also come into it. So, you know, excuse me, if you go to my website, to my Facebook and you find that it’s not perfect, that’s just me. I’m not perfect. And that’s what I want to tell authors you’re writing the perfect book. You’re writing the finished book, the published work, right?

Leigh: Absolutely.cNow, there’s one thing on your website. I just want to make sure that you could mention. So I think you have three ways that people can work with you if they are an aspiring writer. Could you just briefly mention the three ways that they can work with you to get that bestseller they’re dreaming about?

Susan: So the first thing is to possibly book a call. There is a calendly link there, you can just book a call and just chat, chat to me, chat with me for half an hour, one hour. And that’s basically if you want to go, you want to go on and be coached by me. So the coaching is a whole different thing. But sometimes I have people who just want to talk for one hour and they just get that and they just get an idea.

You know, there’s no commitment and there’s no commitment at all. But it’s like an ask me anything, right? Ask me anything. And so I’ve had people ask me, how do I self publish? How much do I have to pay for a cover? Can I ask my aunt to edit my book? The answer is no. So ask me anything about publishing, about publishing. Do not ask me for my chicken curry recipe you’re not getting it.

Leigh: So they can do that with you and it can go to workshops. They can be coached by you.
Susan: A one on one coaching with me. So it you can have those three ways. You can also someone I have a little VA now. Who comes in once in a while and she says “Really nobody needs to come to your workshops. You’re giving everything away in your groups. Remove the live streams.”

Leigh: They’re excellent. Susan , your live streams are so good. I really I haven’t said this to you yet, but I’m finding the information you’re providing. Those can apply to doing a podcast, can apply to doing the interviews that I’m doing. So I think, you know, for someone I don’t I just find it super helpful whether you’re writing a book, if you’re working on anything, I think a lot of your ideas can apply across the board to a lot of different things that we have interest in. But, of course, definitely help with writing a book.

Susan: Yeah, thank you. I didn’t even think of it that really. But you’re right, it’s quite content, which we are producing. The your podcast is your is your new book of The essay and your YouTube channel is your visual book, your video book. So in a way it’s the book is still seminal because it could be there. But if you’re producing content, I guess it works. No, but I’m not doing I’m not doing a podcast or do youtube I’m crazy if I tried to do those as it is. Or a tik tok Some people say, why don’t you have a tik tok? And I think, oh, my God.

Leigh: Well we barely have enough time to do all the things we’re doing right now. But wow, OK, we’re on hour mark. And I promised you that’s what we would do and.

Susan: Thanks Leigh

Leigh: Our viewers and listeners probably at that point where we need to stop. Maybe we can have you back because I think there’s so much you have said so many things today that have just been so interesting about your own pilgrimage, about writing books. It’s just been really, really fun to talk to you and get to know you even better.

Susan: Thanks Leigh

Leigh: And I know that you and I both share a lot of the same intentions that if somebody’s watching today or listening to this podcast, if they’ve received any kind of inspiration to take their pilgrimage, then we’ve hit our goal. If they decide that they are ready to put pen to paper or start typing or dictating that first book, we hope that they’ve been inspired to do that. And I certainly find you. I know you’re inspiring me to live out my Camino dreams and you’re helping me to keep my Camino essence alive.

So thank you for how you’re showing up for the Camino community. I think you are definitely, you talked about it is our duty to give back. And there’s so much possibility. And I think you’re actually living that every day through the work that you’re doing, whether you’re writing a book or doing your interviews or leading your workshops. So thank you for all that you’re doing for the Camino family.

Susan: Thanks Leigh: it’s my it’s not just a duty for me, it’s a it’s a privilege. When you do your duty, you find that you are actually getting a present.

Leigh: So true. So true. Well, thank you so much. And I want to thank all of our listeners, all of our viewers. We hope that you will check out all of Susan’s website or Facebook groups. We will have links in the information when we post our videos and the podcast. So you’ll be able to get to them easily. And thank you for watching.

Thank you for being a part of our community. And we hope that you’ll be back for our next podcast interview.

Thank you so much, Susan.

Susan: Welcome

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