Welcome to today's guest, Kimberly Schneider, whom I had the pleasure to meet last year at 6 North Cafe in Ballwin for the authors' anniversary gathering. I signed up for her free email course and have been enjoying her messages ever since. Starting in late October, we'll be sharing some of those on my website, but first, I'd like to introduce you to Kimberly:
What do you get when you take a person with the
soul of a poet, the mind of a scholar and the heart of a healer--and turn her
into a trial lawyer? Existential crisis and more graduate school! Throw
in a counseling degree and decades of coaching extraordinary individuals to consciously
create meaningful lives, and you end up with Kimberly Schneider, M.Ed., J.D.,
LPC, author of Everything You Need Is Right Here: Five Steps
to Manifesting Magic and Miracles.
Kimberly Schneider’s work arises out of a
belief that every experience offers a gift to us, if we are open to receiving
it. Her dynamic mix of storytelling,
compassionate awareness and accessible poetry make her an engaging speaker and
teacher. Kimberly teaches Communication
at Washington University-St. Louis and is a regular contributor to Great Day
St. Louis television show. She brings her rich life
experience and unique insight to keynote speeches, individual and group
coaching sessions, workshops, classrooms, radio and television appearances and
Celtic Spirituality retreats in western Ireland. You can request her free
Conscious Manifestation eCourse at www.KimberlySchneider.com
Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not? Yes. I had a large number of (carefully selected) people read the first two drafts of my book. Their suggestions and recommendations were tremendously helpful. I wanted to know what made sense (and what didn't), what worked well, what didn't flow, where I needed more, etc. And they told me. I also had a fantastic editor who read every draft (my Mom, she's amazing--she taught English, is a great writer and editor herself and also really gets what I do, so she was perfect). And then of course I hired a good copyeditor before I sent it off for printing.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write? Do you have any advice for other writers? Read. A lot. Memorize poetry and lyrical writing that inspires you. The more you familiarize yourself with quality writing by other people, in any genre, the better your own writing gets. I'm constantly inspired by other writers. In addition to reading new books all the time, I reread some of my favorites over and over, both because I enjoy them, and because I know that immersing myself in great writing shapes the way I put words together myself. I really believe that the reason so many great writers come out of the south is that, in earlier times, most people who grew up there would have memorized portions of the King James Bible from a young age. The lyricism of those words filtered deeply into their unconscious minds and influenced the way they wrote. I didn't grow up memorizing the Bible, or anything else, but now I do challenge myself to learn things I really love by heart.
What inspired your latest book? I had a private counseling and coaching practice, and when the movie "The Secret" came out several years ago (a popular film about The Law of Attraction) I started to have clients coming in who said things like "Now I understand that I'm creating my own reality, and the reason I never get what I want is that I'm doing everything wrong. It's my fault that my life is so hard."
As a psychotherapist, I understood that sort of thinking to be counter-productive. While I believe in positive psychology and conscious manifestation, the concepts surrounding those fields are widely misunderstood. Blaming ourselves for having "negative" thoughts and emotions doesn't work. What does help is being powerfully present and cultivating compassion for ourselves and others. I wanted to write a book that showed people how to do that and cleared up some of the misconceptions around the Law of Attraction.
That's how Everything You Need Is Right Here: Five Steps to Manifesting Miracles came about. The book shares a lot of stories from my own life, especially around the joys and challenges of parenting our two girls. It also offers simple, accessible tools my clients and I have successfully used to consciously create joyful, meaningful lives.
What do you think readers will like about your book? I get a lot of feedback from readers, which is really nice. Here's what I hear most often about what they enjoy in the book: 1) I share my own struggles and how I work through them. I don't pretend to do life perfectly. (Life is messy!); 2) the stories I share about myself and my clients help make abstract concepts understandable; 3) they understand themselves as lovable beings (maybe for the first time ever); and 4) the exercises work for them.
Would you share a bit about your next project? I'm getting ready to release an AudioBook called Terrible Beauty: Poetry and Reflections for Precarious Times. It's a mix of my own poetry, along with the stories behind the poems and how they relate to the concepts I teach around miraculous living. I've had a lot of requests to do a CD with my poetry, which I've shared in workshops and retreats for a number of years I'm really happy with how it turned out and I'm excited to have it available very soon.
What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? The very best is when people come to my workshops, especially the week-long Celtic Spirituality retreat I do in western Ireland. It is so great to get to spend time with people who are interested in some of the same things I'm interested in, to connect, to share ideas and sacred space.
What are your top three reasons for writing? 1. It helps me make sense of life; 2. I discover things about myself; 3. It makes me happy when something I've written touches someone else.
What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing? That it helped.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS RIGHT HERE: An empowering, accessible, simple yet in-depth
manual for falling in love with your Self and your life once and for all.
You're not "doing it wrong." You've simply forgotten who you are, and
why you are here. Dive into this book and remember. Breathe. Relax. Smile. Everything You Need Is Right Here.
Everything You Need Is Right Here: Five Steps to Manifesting Magic and Miracles
draws upon Kimberly's wealth of experience as a licensed professional counselor
specializing in spiritual development--as well as her own inspiring life--to
create an entertaining and profound step-by-step guide to transformation.
"Using candid and authentic glimpses into her own and her family’s
personal journey, Kimberly takes us right to the heart of what it means to
create our own reality." (Jody Baron, author of Relax into Sex: The Art of
Spiritual Lovemaking) "Kimberly’s words lie naturally and easily beside
the words of John O'Donohue, Jalaluddin Rumi, Meister Eckhart and Mahatma
Gandhi, making Everything You Need Is Right Here a treasure trove of artistic
creativity as well as a cornucopia of right living.” (Noirin Ni Riain, sacred
music vocalist and author of Listen with the Ear of the Heart) Take this
journey through Kimberly's life of miracles and rediscover the magic in your
own life along the way. Everything You Need Is Right Here.
www.KimberlySchneider.com/go (directions for downloading
introduction and first chapter for free; you can also get to Amazon link or
digitally download from here)
This is T.W. Fendley. You can find out more about me and my books at www.twfendley.com. Thanks for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens.