About Dr. Laura Maciuika:
Dr. Laura Maciuika is a first generation Lithuanian-American, which led her to discover moving between worlds at an early age. A psychologist by training, Dr. Maciuika has also studied and integrated into her work eastern wisdom traditions, energy psychology, neuroscience and transformational human development. She prefers simple solutions that help people quickly, and wrote her book Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry to help people learn about the inner workings of stress and worry, and how to unhook from those patterns for good. Dr. Maciuika works as a psychologist and consultant in northern California, where she transplanted in the early 2000’s from the East coast.
What inspires you to write?
I had been hearing “you should write a book!” for a while, but had not taken that very seriously. There’s so much out there already, I wasn’t sure at first that I wanted to add to the din. But at one point I came to a musical metaphor – there are only so many musical notes, and yet people are still creating their own music that speaks to some people very directly. I decided that if I brought my own way of understanding the inner workings of the mind and body to serve people finding lasting stress relief in our overly busy world, that would at least speak to some people who could benefit from it. So I committed to getting Conscious Calm written and out there, and added a free Try This Action Steps guide to support people in really doing the simple steps outlined in the book, not just leaving it as another book of “shelf help.”
Tell us about your writing process.
For this book, I was definitely an outliner, and a distiller and reviser. I knew the information I was trying to distill was very broad, and yet I wanted a readable book in simple language, without a lot of jargon or technical explanations. And yet I wanted those people who were interested in more of the background to have references. So I kept paring down what I was explaining and teaching into the simplest form I could muster, and added footnotes for people who want to follow the citations. There were giant white sheets of paper across my home office walls, stacks of revised outlines and different ways to order the topics – that part took almost longer than the writing, given the breadth of the topic I was trying to simplify.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be faithful to your writing time. Set a time to write, every day if you can, and just show up, just do it. Doesn’t matter if what you wrote that day is something you throw out in a day or two – if you show up for the writing, the Muse will show up too. There’s some kind of cosmic law, I’m sure.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Since I’m an impatient type when it comes to getting work out there, and since I’ve been learning more about marketing in this process too, I decided to found an independent self-publishing company. That way, I’m able to control how long the book is out there, where and how it’s marketed, and not have it go out of print in a year or two if a publisher’s version of sales targets is not reached in time. For new authors – I’d say get clear on what you’re looking for. If part of your motivation is to be published by an established publishing house, spend time learning how to craft a killer book proposal, and make sure you spend at least as much time building a platform as you do writing. If you decide to self-publish, start the marketing piece and the promotional platform well before you put the book out there. Or get the help of a book shepherd or another professional who can support you in getting your good work out into the world.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that independent publishing is going to become more the norm than the exception, and that multi-media platforms will also become more popular and widespread. Writing a book is no longer just about a physical book, and as much as I may have mixed feelings about that, I think if we embrace that fact, there are so many ways to reach more people with our work.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Psychology, Self Help
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print