SPS 114: How To Write A Book If You Have ADHD with Chalene Johnson

Posted on Jul 14, 2021

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Written by Leo Oliveira

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About Chalene Johnson

Chalene Johnson is a world-renowned motivational speaker with more than 30 years as a health expert. She is a New York Times best-selling author, health and lifestyle expert, and top health podcaster with over 20 million downloads of her show. Tens of millions of people around the globe have transformed their bodies and their lives with her help, and her fitness programs have been featured in gyms and on TV for more than 12 years.  She and Bret, her husband of over twenty years, are the founders of the SmartLife movement. Together, they have built and sold several multimillion-dollar lifestyle companies and helped countless people to do the same.

Differentiating Herself from Others in Her Vertical with a Book

When asked why she decided to write a book, Charlene says, “It allowed me to differentiate and to show people who I really am and what was important to me.” Known for fitness when she wrote her book, she wanted to help people with personal development. It was a way she could tell the world what was important to her.

Her second book was a focused business decision. Charlene’s business coach at the time wanted her to use her book as a PR tool. So, reluctantly agreeing to write the book, she and her book gave her the PR needed to become an expert in her field.

Differences in Authoring Her Two Books

With her first book, she funnels readers into an online course and other secondary sales. Although it was painful to write because of her ADHD, she wanted to have this book at the top of her sales funnel. Using a ghostwriter, she was able to write and complete her first book. However, she doesn’t feel that a ghostwriter was a good choice for her first book based on her circumstances at the time.

Even though she struggled through writing her first book, Charlene likened writing her health book to therapy. “I know for me that I’ll read the first three or four chapters and I’ll tell people I read the book.” However, she realizes that many others will also form an opinion from reading the first four chapters. Hence, she points out much of the valuable information for her book into these sections.

Creating Boundaries Around Her WorkSpace When Writing

Charlene is very protective of her work time and space when she is writing. “I create an environment and boundaries that allow me to stay uninterrupted and without any distraction, and to recognize my own Achilles Heel.” She knows what distracts her from work and writing, so Charlene purposefully creates a space where distractions aren’t a variable.

Listen in on today’s episode to find out what Charlene did to get herself into writing mode, why mornings were better for her, and why you want to keep a journal to find out what activities bring you to your creative streak.

Show Highlights

  • [02:32] Why she decided to write her first book about personal development.
  • [04:47] Charlene didn’t want to write her second book, but her coach convinced her to write her second book.
  • [05:30] Differences in the book writing process between her first and second books.
  • [09:29] Her decision to sit down and write her own book after her ghostwriter wasn’t able to write in her style.
  • [12:20] Challenges when writing the introduction to her book.
  • [14:24] Learning to schedule her writing time during the day when she is most focused.
  • [18:00] Processes and activities Chalene did to get herself into a creative work mode.
  • [22:14] Peloton and other physical activities she gets into when she needs to be creative.
  • [30:16] Benefits and downside of using Adderall for ADHD.
  • [35:37] Moving slower to get things in your business done is OK!

Links and Resources

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