Author Interview: Amanda VanDeWege

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Today I’d like to welcome author Amanda VanDeWege of ResetYourWeightBasics.com. Amanda has taken a five-year passion and turned it into the book, Reset Your Weight - Be Obsessed With Life, Not the Weight of Food, to help others on their way to a healthier lifestyle. She shares her knowledge, her journey, and mistakes along the way, so we don’t have to make the same ones. Her website is an amazing resource for food preparation techniques, recipes, and articles. She has also taken her passion one step further and has developed the Reset Flush Challenge. With this challenge you receive a free companion guide, Email support, and membership to the exclusive Reset Flush Challenge Facebook group.

While Amanda is not new to writing and publishing, having ghostwritten numerous books, this is her first adventure publishing under her own name. Join me in welcoming Amanda as she shares with us a bit of her writing journey.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

I want to be skinny without exercise.  They say that your weight is 80% diet and only 20% exercise.  I wanted to maximize that 80% with the easiest methods since I love finding the best of the best strategies for doing everything.

2. How did you get started as a writer? 

When I was little, I would write stories where I would find my twin sister; I was an only child!  In college, I majored in Literature and Writing, but didn't pursue any of those careers.  Instead, I traveled down a path of working directly with people, finding ways to strengthen their talents and learn new vocational skills.  I loved it.  In a way, I was simply narrating people's individual dreams and helping them find strategies and develop skills to accomplish their goals.

When Jenn and I became friends, she drew me back into reading fiction through final pass reads for her authors.  Get paid to read? Absolutely!  From there, I moved into writing jobs online as a freelance writer and editor.  I was awarded a ghostwriting job to outline and write an entire book on homeschooling, which I have done for over 8 years now.  I set an impossible deadline and ended up with a 43k word manuscript.

Since Jenn and I had previously worked on a music rehabilitation program using my love for cognitive neuroscience research, she continued to nudge me to write and publish under my own name.  I had several ideas, but Reset Your Weight materialized as the main focus and passion.

3. What has been the most surprising discovery while writing your book?

The most surprising and frustrating thing about writing a book is not the writing and editing, but the marketing.  I thought I'd have time to learn each step as I researched what needed to be done. Absolutely not.

4. What has been the hardest part of writing your book? How did you overcome it?

While I am a hard core researcher, you can't possibly learn everything about the whole process and still live life and enjoy it.  I overcame these frustrations by leaning on Jenn's expertise.  I learned to ask for help from a real person, not just from Google.

I also isolate a task and find resources for that specific task, gaining a working understanding of how to accomplish X, and then I move on.  There's much to do and much of it is cyclical.

5. How did you choose the subject of your book?

I had finished the ghostwriting book and Jenn asked what I was going to do next.  She told me to think about what I'm passionate about.  At the same time, she and I were both gung-ho about losing over 20 pounds in order to feel better-emotionally and physically.  Well, she is a runner and a highly self-motivated person, so she when she lost it all in like 8 weeks, I wanted to as well.  But, without all that running.  And with food.  I took all of my research and passion and put it in a book.

6. You are just now beginning the pre-release marketing phase, what has been the biggest hurdle? How did you overcome it? 

There is a huge, enormous To-Do List that just keeps appearing and growing.  It's been difficult to get ahead of that list without Jenn's help, especially with a full-time life that takes priority over writing and marketing.  Keeping the long-term goal of living life and then organizing my daily priorities has been how I've managed that hurdle, which has helped to overcome the stress associated with managing home life and all the facets of writing and publishing.

7. What is your favorite part of being a writer? 

I absolutely love the self-exploration and the interaction with other people through this medium.  I really enjoy research and analysis, using writing as a means of finding uncommon connections.

8. Share an interesting fact about yourself? 

I've been told often that I'm "quirky...in a good way."  I'm going to translate that as: creative, funny, lovable, and a tad bit abnormal.  I'm an out-of-the-box type of person and enjoy finding interesting tangents to explore like tapping and purifying my own maple syrup on my front porch, owning a litter trained, free roaming house bunny, homeschooling four kids, and snuggling babies as often as possible as a foster mom to infants.

9. Advice for other writers? 

There are big differences between writing for personal satisfaction, contracted writing with listed expectations, and self-publishing.  Too many, in fact, to make navigating the chasm successful without a good guide.  You will make less money for the time.  Get help and consider recommendations from other professionals.

For example, I thought I could design my own book cover.  I'd worked in MS Publisher for years and am a pretty good photographer.  I wasted too much time being futile in an area that is not my "professional" strength and learned a good lesson in the time:money management ratio.

10. Where can people learn more about you and your book? 

While I started a blog last June as an outlet for testing my book content, I am very happy that I made the switch to my own domain, resetyourweightbasics.com.  You can also find me on Twitter at @ResetYourWeight and on Facebook at https://facebook.com/resetyourweightbasics/.