Today I'm really thrilled to introduce fellow horse lover, writer, teacher, trainer and owner of Exceptional Horsemanship Lauren Woodard - all the way from Phoenix, Arizona! That's what I love about the internet - being able to connect with so many wonderful people - and I met Lauren via Linked-in. I'm always amazed how incredibly busy folk manage to fit everything into their lives - and write too - since I struggle with my writing routine. So, I asked Lauren a few key questions about this...
What 5 things couldn’t you do without for your writing?
1) The main thing for my writing is both a blessing and a curse. My daily exposure to the plethora of issues, problems, challenges, skills needs, concept understanding (or lack thereof) and growth of horse and human in this horsemanship business.
The list of stuff to write about grows ever longer each day. I write a sentence or two of what happened during lessons and training so the concept can be explored further in my newsletter, training blog, fb post and books. I will never get to the end. There will never be an end.
2) Laptop – I’m learning how to get more comfortable on it as I generally write on legal pads.
3) iPad – jotting down brainstorming ideas everywhere, everyday.
4) Colored gel pens – I love the feel of them gliding along drooling purple, turquoise, orange and green ink.
5) My herd. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stability – not to mention their host of stories.
How do you fit it all in?
I don’t. I’ll never be done, I’m constantly re-prioritizing and even though I know this, I add more to do every day. Ah well. Life. I never have been and will NEVER be bored.
What about your new book? Why did you write it?
I was in the middle of writing what I thought was going to be my next book called, Horse Tricks, Like Leading. I wrote two blog posts called Balky, Balky, I Ain’t Goin’ and Into the Burning Building and got a whole bunch of emails filled with stories from folks asking what to do with their balky horse. I realized that this is something that happens to everyone, pretty much every day in some aspect or another and people not only didn’t know what to do, but were actually taught to do something that works out a lot better for the horse than the person.
What about marketing?
Well, that’s a subject vast in scope. Like horsemanship. And it’s taken me quite a while and a lot of studying to begin learning how it fits with me, my time and my idea of what I want. It doesn’t matter how good your book is if no one reads it. Just because it’s available on Amazon doesn’t mean it will sell. I’m a bit quirky. I love what I consider “good titles”. But they won’t fall into SEO keywords. I have, however, come to grips with the fact that I won’t have a best seller. Not only that, I believe I’m creating a new niche in the small niche of horse books. A niche within a niche—yeah that’s popular! That probably reduces my sales even further until folks read my books and realize just how valuable this special info is and that no one else is putting it out there. I’m here for the people that really want to explore and grasp the concepts of exceptional horsemanship that not only aren’t in books but also, generally aren’t even taught by trainers and instructors.
I am finding out that facebook is a huge tribe builder asset. People don’t like to be sold to, but they like to find out about you and then be able to check you out, get the free training newsletter and frequently end up with friends who find you. I realized a few weeks ago that I hadn’t posted anything about my book Curbside Service on fb in a year, so I put in a short blurb and sales perked up. It’s nice to be able to track clicks, too.
My goal is to keep building my email list through newsletter sign-ups and eventually figure out some sort of membership site to advance people’s horsemanship for those who want to be exceptional.
I also have books available at demo’s and clinics that I do and it’s just a blast to have people write to me or post on fb how much my book has helped them and their horse.
When it comes to fiction, who do you like to read?
I’m a murder mystery kind of girl. I also like the espionage/action adventure stuff of Daniel Silva, Dan Brown, Lee Child and I’m a serious Harry Potter fan. I’m usually reading about 4 books at a time including horse books, psychology, marketing, cookbooks (I LOVE baking and cooking) and something in Spanish (I’ve been studying that for 15 years).
Lauren tackles the concepts of horsemanship that are ignored both in print and in lessons and training. She says: “I'm extremely resolute on two aspects of everything: only the best quality skills and I adhere to exacting standards of precision. Attention to both is what makes the difference between good and exceptional in horsemanship.” Yet a necessary component for Lauren includes fun as in funny and witty repartee.
If you want to be “…mostly like no one else” check out the site at: exceptionalhorsemanship.com