June 5, 2023

Episode 23: Unlocking the Author Switch: Activating the Entrepreneurial Power of Books

The Author Switch Podcast is back! In this episode, host Carma Spence shares the backstory of this re-launch, and then delves into what an Author Switch is and describes the six things that can glitch it.

Episode 23: Unlocking the Author Switch: Activating the Entrepreneurial Power of Books

by Carma Spence | The Author Switch Podcast


In this relaunch episode of The Author Switch Podcast, host Carma Spence shares her personal journey and the setbacks she faced before re-launching the show. She discusses the shift in focus from the Classic episodes and emphasizes the importance of not only turning on the Author Switch, but keeping it one to achieve their goals. Carma delves into the various causes of writer’s block or “glitches in your Author Switch.” By understanding these causes, she empowers aspiring authors to find the right remedies and unlock their writing potential.

In this episode of The Author Switch, the host, Carma Spence, discusses writer’s block, including the different causes of writer’s block, which can be creative issues, mindset problems, emotional issues, environmental factors, health problems, or spiritual disconnection. The Monster Method for Busting Through Writer’s Block is presented as a framework to help writers identify the cause of their writer’s block and find a cure. Carma also provides a free tool called the Writer’s Block Assessment to diagnose writer’s block and offers personalized help for writers who need assistance.

Recap & Takeaways

  • Carma discusses the five pillars that are important for a business to be successful. She emphasizes the importance of personal branding, a professional website, an email list, and writing the right book. She also mentions that having a book can help in becoming a speaker and a podcast host.

  • Writer’s block — on a glitch in your Author Switch — has different causes that can lead to it. In this episode, Carma introduces six types of glitches: Mind Goblin (mindset issues), Emotional Hobgoblin (emotional issues), Environmental Ogre (environmental factors), Body Banshee (health-related issues), Creative Kraken (creative process glitches), and Spiritual Specter (disconnection from the divine).

  • Carma shares the stories of Joseph Mitchell, a writer at the New Yorker who struggled with writer’s block for 30 years, and Brie, a young woman who experienced writer’s block after losing all her writing in a car accident. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the underlying cause of writer’s block to find the appropriate remedy.

The episode concludes with Carma inviting the live audience to ask questions or contribute to the discussion.

Transcript for Episode 23: Unlocking the Author Switch: Activating the Entrepreneurial Power of Books

Hello and welcome to the Author Switch. I am your host, Carma Spence, and this is the relaunch of the Author Switch. I have it going for about a year and a half, and then I had a couple of computer crashes followed by an external hard drive crash, so losing about a year’s worth of episodes that I had pre-recorded.

And so it took me a little while to get over that technologically and emotionally. So you could say I had podcast block. Anyway, I’m launching it again now and I’m doing it live on LinkedIn Audio so that I have an audience and at the end of the episode I will open it up to questions. So if you hear anything that I’m saying you wanna ask questions, I will open that up.

I So this is episode 23 of the Author Switch. And just for those of you who may not know who I am, I just wanna give you a little bit of background.

I’m an award-winning speaker, author, and editor, and I help entrepreneurs and executives turn on the author switch so that they can write the books that are inside them. Right now I’m focusing on client-attracting books because that’s what most people seem to need right now. Most executives and entrepreneurs, they need a book that sets them up as an authority, that increases their influence, and in some cases establishes thought leadership.

So tonight I’m gonna be talking a little bit about what the Author Switch is, because the intent of the podcast has shifted a little bit since it was airing before. And then I’m gonna talk a little bit about what the Author Switch is, as in the concept, and why it’s important once you turn it on, to keep it on.

So a little bit about the Author Switch Podcast. In the past it was about helping authors be authors. So I would interview a lot of authors and ask them about their author’s journey and what they learned so that other authors could learn from their journey. And I will still be doing that a little bit, although a little bit further into the future.

What I’m gonna be focusing in these first few episodes as I relaunch the podcast is building your business with books. Turning on the Author Switch and keeping it on, which is my way of saying beating writer’s block. But I know a lot of people are really triggered by the term writer’s block.

In fact, I’ve had people come up to me and say, “Oh, I don’t have writer’s block. I’m just procrastinating.” That’s kind of the same thing. Anyway, so now I call it a glitch in your Author Switch. And of course I will be continuing to talk about the author’s journey because it’s really important to understand what that journey is and understand how to unstick yourself when you get to those sticking points.

Cuz there are a lot of sticking points within the author’s journey where people stop. And if you have like a hundred people in the room and you ask them, ” Who wants to write a book?” 87 people will raise their hand, but according to surveys, only one of them will make it to the finish line and publish a book.

And it is my personal mission to increase that percentage because I don’t want people to go to their grave with their books unwritten, with their messages untold, their stories veiled. I want to unveil them because there’s so many people out there who have something important to share with the world, and a very easy way to share it with the world is through books.

And there happen to be about five pillars that are important for a business to be successful. And one of those pillars is books. The first one is personal branding, because if you don’t have the personal branding down, then you’re gonna find it really hard to write the right book. And that’s one of my messages is that you really need to write the right book if you want it to accomplish the goals that you have set for it.

And I know this from experience because I have on more than one occasion written the wrong book. That said all my books have accomplished the goal I set for it, but it could have accomplished more because I wasn’t writing the right book. After personal branding is a professional website that expresses that brand.

Then comes the book. Once you have those three pillars down, all the other pillars become easier to accomplish. The next one is speaker. It is so much easier to get a speaking gig when you’re an author and you’re more likely to get paid for that speaking gig.

Then you wanna be a podcast host. Most podcasters had a book first. Not all but most. And the ones who are in business and are using their podcast to grow their audience and to attract clients. They all were an author first.

Then you really wanna, and this is actually not a then you probably want this like right after you get personal branding, and that is an email list.

Social media is great, believe me, it is great for visibility. It is not great for building a business. You need to have your own email list that you can send messages to. And the three kinds of messages I think are really important to send your email list are information so that you give value. Inspiration so that you are inspiring your audience to achieve the dream that you help them achieve and offers. If you’re not making offers, your email list isn’t gonna make you any money.

And the final pillar, once you’ve grown your business to a certain point, is systems and automation. Because without that, you’re gonna have a ceiling on what you can achieve. So that’s why a book is so important because a book helps you do all of those things much more easily.

Now I wanna get back to the glitch in your Author Switch. And sometimes you have writer’s block and it’s really easy to get over, but sometimes not so much.

And I wanna tell you the story of two people who had terrible cases of writer’s block. And this is what could happen if you don’t address it and you don’t address the right cause for your writer’s block, your glitch in your author switch.

So Joseph Mitchell was a writer at the New Yorker, and for 30 years he would go into work. And not write. Now, I don’t think today you could hold your job for 30 years without actually doing what you were hired to do. But he was a highly respected reporter at the New Yorker. He tended to write articles, and stories about the real people in New York and something just glitched him and all he would do is sit in his office in front of his — think back then it was a typewriter — and he might write a couple of sentences. Then he crumbled it up and throw it away. And he did that for 30 years. Can you imagine what it would feel like to go into work and not be able to do your job — ever — for 30 years. If you have any form of integrity, which I’m pretty sure he did, he must have felt awful. And this is something that can happen if you don’t address the glitch in your Author Switch.

I don’t know what caused his writer’s block, but I do know what caused Brie’s.

Brie was a young woman, I think she was like in high school, and she had written all these short stories and poems, and she had them all in her backpack.

And one day her and her mother were in the car, and she had her backpack in the car, and the car was hit by another car. She and her mother were able to get out of the car, but shortly thereafter, the car burst into flames taking all of Brie’s writing away. It took her 15 years before she was able to get over that trauma and write again.

This is why it’s so important to understand what causes a glitch in your Author Switch because only then can you fix it. Because if you don’t know what’s causing it and you use the wrong fix, it ain’t gonna go away.

So what is an Author Switch glitch? There are six causes that will stop you from continuing to write. And these, well, they’re types of causes and I gave them monster names because, I’m a geek and I like that.

So the first one is called a Mind Goblin. These are mindset issues like imposter syndrome and fear of failure, and fear of success. These are issues with your mindset that are stopping you from writing.

Now it’s cousin, the Emotional Hobgoblin, often goes hand in hand. Often when you have a Mind Goblin, you also have an Emotional Hobgoblin, and sometimes one causes the other. In fact, it’s very, very common for an Emotional Hobgoblin to cause a Mind Goblin.

And what an Emotional Hobgoblin is, is an emotional issue. So Brie, she had an Emotional Hobgoblin and it haunted her for 15 years. The next two are relatively easy to fix. That’s an  Environmental Ogre and a Body Banshee.

An Environmental Ogre is something in your environment that’s blocking you. That could be noise, it could be a smell, it could be clutter. It’s something in your environment that’s blocking you. And once you understand what in your environment is blocking you, you can take the steps you need to take to get rid of it.

And a Body Banshee is something with your health. So it could be that you’ve got the wrong ergonomics set up at your desk. It could be that you’re taking a new medication and it’s kind of wonking your brain. It could be that you actually do need to walk around the block to get some pent up energy that’s preventing you from writing.

I hope you can understands how those two types of Author Switch glitches can be fairly easy to fix.

The last two are also tricky, like the first two, and that is Creative Krakens and Spiritual Specters.

Now, a Creative Kraken is a glitch in the creative process and the different kinds of ways your creative process can glitch is, for example, you’re writing whatever you’re writing and you go down this rabbit hole and you get to a point where you’re stuck because you don’t know where to go next.

And often that is your subconscious saying, you went the wrong direction. You said you were gonna go here, and you went there and it literally stops you. And now you have to backtrack and probably trash everything you’ve just written. And a really easy way to fix that is an outline, because your outline becomes your roadmap and prevents you from going down these writing rabbit holes.

Spiritual Specter is a disconnection from the divine. This is much more prevalent in faith-based writers, but anyone can get it because if you get disconnected from your muse, which in my personal belief is God, then it’s really hard to get that flow going.

And another thing that I think why so many people don’t like the term writer’s block or don’t wanna admit that they have it — ‘cuz I used to be in that case where I’m like, I don’t have writer’s block, I’m just not writing that thing. That’s writer’s block. And I think the reason why that happens is because there’s a lot of shame around writer’s block.

You’ve got people saying, “Oh, you’re lazy. You don’t actually have writer’s block, you just don’t have discipline. You’re lazy.” Or there are people like Seth Goden who say, writer’s block doesn’t exist. He’s wrong by the way. It does exist. In fact, there are researchers who research it and have found specific causes for it, and I’ve been reading a lot of this research, which is why I’m so passionate about, it’s a real thing.

But I think a lot of this shame and denial of writer’s block, glitches in your Author Switch, comes from a misunderstanding of what it is. A lot of people treat it as if it was a condition. But it’s not. It’s a symptom.

Writer’s block has more in common with a sneeze or the sniffles than it does a cold. So when you are sneezing or you have the sniffles or you’re congested, what’s causing it?

Well, it could be allergies, it could be a cold, it could be a flu. Heck, it could be COVID. Who knows? You have to figure out what’s causing that symptom. The same thing with writer’s block. That’s why there are six types of causes that cause this one same symptom, a block in your ability to continue writing a project.

So one thing that’s really, really important for you to understand what’s causing your particular glitch, is because if you don’t understand which of these six types are glitching, you, then you may go after the wrong remedy. So if you search the internet for how to beat writer’s block.

The most common, the most common remedies that people give is, oh, just get up and take a walk. Well, that works, if it’s a Body Banshee that’s causing your block. It ain’t gonna work, if you’ve got an Emotional Hobgoblin or a Mind Goblin, or a Creative Kraken. Walking around the block isn’t gonna help that at all.

So you need to get the right remedy and the way you get the right remedy is by understanding what the underlying cause is. Same thing with the cold. If you’ve got a cold, but you’re treating it like allergies, that’s not gonna help. And if you’ve got allergies and you’re treating it like it’s a cold, that probably won’t help either.

You’ve gotta understand the cause of your symptom if you’re gonna be able to get rid of the symptom. And. You can have multiple causes, like I mentioned before. Often Emotional Hobgoblins and Mind Goblins go together, and sometimes an Emotional Hobgoblin will resolve itself, but become a Mind Goblin.

And sometimes you can have those two things and a Body Banshee and an Environmental, and you just, it’s all being piled on. So if you can get rid of the ones you can, often it relieves you and you’re able to un-glitch yourself enough to continue moving.

So that’s what I wanted to cover in this first episode, and I would like to invite my live audience guests to raise their hand and I can bring you up and you can ask questions or add to the conversation. All you have to do is raise your hand. There should be a little raise your hand button at the bottom of the LinkedIn Live window.

Does anyone have any questions about the podcast, about the information that I shared today?

All right. Who are you and what is your question?

My name is Erayna Wright. I’m an author and a process engineer. And my question is, and yes, you can include this in the podcast, my question is, you mentioned earlier about, the environmental, author, glitch.


And you mentioned something about like your desk setup not being like ergonomic. Could you elaborate on what do you think would be an ideal setup?

Well, an ideal setup is very personal because everybody’s got a different body shape. But the general rules of ergonomics is that you want it to your feet to be flat on the floor and your legs to be like in a 90 degree angle. And you want the desk to be not too high and not too low because you want your shoulders to be able to relax. Because if your body is not in the right, if you’re slumping or you’re pushing your shoulders up, it creates tension and can give you a tension headache.  And there’s a lot of information on the internet about how to set up ergonomics, and it really depends. Another thing you wanna do is get a really good chair.

In fact, I just recently invested in a Shaquille O’Neal chair  that’s rated for eight plus hours because I spend so much time at my desk. So these are different things you can do to make sure that your posture, when you’re at your desk writing, is good for your body and supports a healthy spine and musculature.

Does that make sense? Does that answer your question?

Yes. Thank you. I it, it’s the exact opposite of how I was sitting a few minutes ago.  Thank you for that.  

You are very welcome.

So does anyone else have a question they would like to ask?

All right. It looks like there are no more questions, so I’m going to wrap up this episode of the Author Switch. I hope you found the information helpful and useful, and I look forward to connecting with you energetically in the next episode of the Author Switch, which will be next Monday. I am working on the details right now. So if you want to see or listen to past episodes of the Author Switch, just go to authorswitch.com/episodes that all the episodes from the classic version of the Author Switch are there. And soon these new episodes will be posting there as well. And the podcast is also available on, gosh, I’ve lost count, how many platforms including platforms in other countries besides the United States. So this podcast is eminently accessible.

And I’m so glad that you were here to be my live audience. Thank you for supporting me, and I will see you in the next episode. Ciao.

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The Author Switch is a podcast dedicated to helping experts, entrepreneurs, and small business owners turn on The Author Switch — and keep it on — so that they can leverage the power of books to take their businesses to a whole new dimension. Learn more about the show and where it is available on its page.