Author Spotlight: Kristen Martin talks Be Your Own #Goals
I'm so happy to be hosting the lovely Kristen Martin on the blog today! Many of you may know Kristen from her popular YouTube channel where she posts weekly how-to videos on writing, and other writing-related topics. Kristen's latest book, BE YOUR OWN #GOALS, is her first foray into nonfiction, and it's available now. Full of concise, witty, and relatable chapters-----BE YOUR OWN #GOALS makes for an engaging and easy read, ultimately helping you to:
Discover and defeat your fear-based thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behaviors.
Overcome toxic energy, relationships, and situations that have been holding you back up until this point.
Evolve into the person you were destined to become and live the amazing life you've always dreamed of.
In addition to BE YOUR OWN #GOALS, Kristen is also the author of THE ALPHA DRIVE trilogy and the SHADOW CROWN series, a writing coach, a podcaster (That Smart Hustle), and an entrepreneur. She lives in Southeast Texas and loves all things young adult, science fiction, and fantasy. She prides herself on helping aspiring authors reach their dreams of publication through her coaching program, Valiance.
Check out the Q&A below and be sure to catch Kristen at one of her many book tour stops this spring!
And now, here's my chat with Kristen!
Hi, Kristen! Welcome and congrats on the release of Be Your Own #Goals. Can you share a little about the book and what inspired it?
Thank you so much for having me, Megan! I am so honored to be here. Be Your Own #Goals was a private, personal growth project I’d been working on for over two years. It started out incredibly informal – as a way for me to document the things I’d learned along my spiritual growth journey. I actually wasn’t sure whether or not I’d ever publish it and if it’d be something my current audience would enjoy. But, in July 2017, I decided to test the waters and launched my podcast, That Smart Hustle. The response to that raw, overly vulnerable content was overwhelmingly positive, and that’s when I realized that there was indeed an audience for this type of book . . . and so Be Your Own #Goals was born.
Writing nonfiction is so different than writing fiction. What about the process surprised you the most?
What surprised me the most was definitely how deep and “real” I had to get with myself. When writing fiction, you’re obviously creating characters and their backstories, plotting what’s going to happen next and how they’ll behave in certain situations. When writing nonfiction, especially personal development, you’re writing about yourself and your own experiences – which is honestly pretty terrifying. In fiction, you can write and rewrite the story as many times as you want. With nonfiction, the stories you tell are based on past experiences, so there’s no changing them!
Personal development is a real passion of yours. Between Be Your Own #Goals and That Smart Hustle, what’s your best advice for someone looking to embark on a personal journey?
To read! Reading others’ personal development books has opened my mind in ways I never could have imagined. From Shannon Kaiser to Gabrielle Bernstein to Rebecca Campbell to Danielle LaPorte (and many more), my perspective has shifted tremendously, and the way I perceive reality is completely different from just a couple years ago. I also recommend journaling weekly, or daily, if you can manage doing so. Taking the time to reflect, and having the means to do so, will only help you realize how far you’ve come – and how far you still have to go!
How did your drafting process differ for Be Your Own #Goals ? Did you outline?
I’m a pretty heavy outliner when it comes to writing fiction, but the opposite is true for nonfiction. For Be Your Own #Goals, the only things I outlined were the chapter titles and the overarching points I wanted to make in each chapter. The stories, experiences, and action items were all “pantsed”, in that I thought of them as I was writing the actual
chapter, not before. In hindsight, I’m thrilled with how it turned out because I feel it maintains that certain level of vulnerability and openness I was aiming for all along.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that every book teaches the writer something new, so what did writing Be Your Own #Goals teach you?
Writing Be Your Own #Goals taught me that in order to write such a brutally honest account of your life and experiences, you truly cannot care what anyone else thinks. You have to be so solid and so confident in who you are as a person, and know that, deep down, if your story helps just one person, it’s worth writing. No matter the shame, humiliation, or embarrassment, it’s worth it.
I’m also a huge fan of your upbeat and motivational authortube channel! Looking back to when you first started on YouTube, is there anything you wish you would’ve done sooner?
Yes, I wish I had started my channel sooner! I’d been thinking about starting a YouTube channel about 8 months before actually pulling the trigger. But hey, better late than never, right?
What are you reading, watching, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
I’m currently reading Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein and Warcross by Marie Lu. I plan on picking up Sacred Powers by Davidji next for my nonfiction read, and This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab for fiction. I’ve also been re-watching seasons one and two of Stranger Things – I swear, I cannot get enough of that show!
And finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing/publishing career?
To listen to your gut and to be fearless in your decisions. I think our heads–that logical side of us–can get in our way when we’re trying to achieve something great. I’ve really had to learn to listen to my inner guidance when it comes to navigating this whole creative entrepreneur thing. What your inner guidance may lead you to may seem terrifying and exciting, but you must be fearless in your choices and decision-making. Otherwise, nothing will ever get done and you’ll be in the same place in the future as you are today. Nobody wants that!
Many thanks go out to Kristen for taking the time to tell us more about BE YOUR OWN #GOALS, writing nonfiction, and a bit about her own journey of personal development. Be sure to add her latest book to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy RIGHT NOW from retail sites such as Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Or you can always request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
Kristen loves to connect with writers, so be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram. And for loads more information, check out her YouTube channel, and visit her full author website at kristenmartinbooks.com.
And, as always,