It is always a pleasure to hear what is new in the life of Marilyn Wilson. She makes a fascinating study for defining success in a multitude of directions. Truly she has mastered the art of listening yet it is her vivacious personality that draws in the confidence of those she meets to share. Her newest work takes her writing to a new level, applying the wisdom of others, pieces of gold, to her own life.
The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold From a Decade of Interviewing and Life is an interesting title. What is this book about?
After 5 years of interviewing – listening to others share their stories – I realized I was changing, and I am still being changed by those I interview today. I grew up in an environment I didn’t fit into and always struggled with self-doubt and self-worth. Something must be wrong with me. Everyone else seemed to know how to fit in.
As I listened to so many diverse people from around the world share their story, I began to realize they were living their own unique lives authentically and – here’s the kicker – without apology. I could do the same.
Then I started to notice all the bits of wisdom they were sharing with me – pieces of gold – were also having a profound effect on me. Ujamaa(coming together to life each other up), Wabi Sabi (the beauty in imperfection), how saying no can be a heart led yes, we all start somewhere, etc..each bit of wisdom was being planted and taking root in my life. When the idea for this book arose, the purpose was simply to pay it forward – to give wings to these pieces of gold so they could reach a wider audience.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
First, I hope they come away with simply the encouragement to live their own authentic life of their choosing without apology. Second, I hope each reader will find a few bits of gold (wisdom) that will speak to their needs. Lastly, I hope readers begin to open their eyes to all the people around them.
Everyone you meet every day has pockets filled with wisdom from their personal journey. Who knows who might have the insight you’ve been looking for. It could be the person in line with you at the coffee shop or someone next to you on transit. And it’s also true that you are meant to share your wisdom with others. How to start? All you have to do is be brave and open a conversation and the universe will take care of the rest.
My kids were all in high school and didn’t need as much of my time, so I sat down at the computer and perused the job ads on Craigslist. One for submission to a NYC fashion magazine caught my eye. With total abandon and no idea what I was getting into or how hard the journey would be, I fired off several story ideas. Two were accepted. That launched me on a new journey where I had to learn as I went, all in the public eye.
The last 12 years have been full of incredible highs and devastating lows, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve interviewed over 150 people from around the globe whose words have changed my life. I’ve co-owned a magazine, had freelance articles published in others, stepped onto the stage to speak, worked on contract to help launch the first Eco Fashion Week Australia 2017 and published 2 books. What an amazing ride; and it all began at the age of 50. It is truly never too late.
It’s been 3 years since your last book – Life Outside The Box? Why the delay?
Every time I am asked that I let out a big sigh! I thought after launching my first book, I would dive right in to write Life Outside the Box #2 and have it out there in 12 months. Instead, I was overwhelmed by learning how to market and promote my first book. It was a learn-as-you go-situation with no clear roadmap as the book marketing landscape was constantly shifting.
My second misconception was now that I had successfully published a book, all the doubts, fears, and procrastination that had plagued me while writing my first book would fall away. Not so. I still struggled. In fact, I struggled to write 2 chapters in 12 months. Then out of the blue, during a call in a group session of Heart Led Living, it dawned on me my next book needed to be one that came from inside me – my thoughts. Up to this point I had always written on others working from interview notes.
It was one of those profound moments that are hard to explain. It is physical. The Wisdom of Listening is a passion project I had on the back burner that was I was going to allow myself to write as a reward after writing other books on my list. Instead, it was the book that was meant to be written next.
I understand you’re taking a different approach to your book launch this time around. What do you have planned?
For my first book, I wanted to honor all the people in my community who had supported my journey, As well, half of the chapters featured the biographies of people who lived in the area. I wanted readers to have a chance to meet them. I decided to throw a big party with entertainment. It was a blast.
My new book, The Wisdom of Listening, does not have as much local content, so I wanted to look at marketing it differently. I felt I needed to focus on a wider international readership as well a the growing eBook community. A part of achieving both of those goals is becoming a bestseller on Amazon. Once you make a bestseller list, the search engines on the site work in your favor, making your book more visible to readers. So an online launch was the best choice this time around.
As a follow-up, I came up with a unique idea. Starting 2 weeks after my June 14, 2018, launch I am going to partner with local businesses and events to arrange to pop in for book signings. This allows me to connect with my local friends, family and supporters face-to-face to sign their books, as well as supporting others in my community. A win-win situation and right in line with the concept of Ujamaa (a chapter in my book) where we come together to raise each other up. If anyone knows of or has an event coming up from the end of June through the end of September that might be interested, please let me know.
What else do you have on your plate?
I am fortunate to work for my publisher – Julie Salisbury of Influence Publishing – doing Social Media and author support. I also love to step onto the stage and speak when the opportunity arises and hope to do more of this in the future.
Eco Fashion Week Australia is another amazing organization I am passionate about. I worked with them closely in 2017 and am back working with them this year doing interviews and running the 2018 EFWA Upcycling Challenge.
Honestly, there is always something new and interesting arising to catch my eye and I love embracing new opportunities. It keeps life interesting. The challenge for me in the swirl of enticing new directions is to stay focused on my writing. I am still working on that.
Website – www.marilynrwilson.com
Blog – www.oliobymarilyn.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/MarilynRWilsonWriter/
Instagram – @marilynrwilson
YouTube – Marilyn R. Wilson
Amazon Central Author Page – www.amazon.com/Marilyn-R.-Wilson/e/B00UDGEXXG
Goodreads Author Page – www.goodreads.com/author/show/8500001.Marilyn_R_Wilson
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/marilyn-r-wilson-117b6210/
Links to other At Forty Five Magazine articles on Marilyn R. Wilson –