Kathi chats with her friend and co-author, Cheri Gregory. Kathi and Cheri share their Aha #2 moment about writing a book and the most important thing you need to know BEFORE you hit publish.

In today’s episode, you will:

  • Learn about the two basic types of writers
  • Discover the secret to maximize your writing type


Take this topic to the next level:


If you want to learn the basics of mapping your book, join us at Writing at the Red House with today’s guest, Cheri Gregory.  Cheri will give you a step by step guide and share her expertise with you during this unique writing retreat experience. Click here to claim your spot! 

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Tuft & Needle Mattress


Transcript of this Episode

Read along with the podcast!


Communicator Academy Podcast #178

How to Map Your Book – Part Two

Learn Who You Are Writing For


<<intro music>>


Kathi – Well hey, friends. Welcome to Communicator Academy, where our heart is to equip men and women to become the communicators God has created them to be. Joining me today is my friend and co-author, Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to Communicator Academy.


Cheri – Okay, Kathi. It’s just so lovely to be luxuriating on a couch with the sun outside and having been served a wonderful breakfast this morning.


Kathi – Oh my goodness.


Cheri – Your mattresses here at The Red House. Can you talk to your listeners? Tell me about the mattresses. I sleep better here than anywhere else.


Kathi – Okay, so what’s so funny – this cracks me up – When we moved in, we put brand new mattresses on the twin beds and all of those are Tuft and Needle’s. Those are my favorite mattresses in the whole world.


Cheri – Is that a brand name?


Kathi – Yeah. Tuft and Needle. It comes to you rolled up like a Pillsbury Doughboy and you open it up and it thwumps on to your bed. It’s amazing. But, what you and I and The Blue Room are sleeping on are Ikea mattresses with Ikea foam with an Ikea cover.


Cheri – I have a bad back and I have a Sleep Number bed at home. Multi-thousand dollar Sleep Number bed and I sleep better here than anywhere else.


Kathi – It may be partly the mattress, which we love. We thought, the first thing when we move in is replacing the mattress, and we haven’t, ‘cause we love it. The other thing is, sleeping up here in the mountains? I mean, it’s the best sleep of my life. When puggles aren’t getting up in the middle of the night.


Cheri – Yeah, well. There’s something about the mountain air.


Kathi – There is. It’s like, I want to go to bed earlier. I want to sleep later and I want to take a nap.


Cheri – And write.


Kathi – And write. That’s all I want to do.


Cheri – That’s all I have been doing.


Kathi – Maybe we just need to fold up your mattress and let you take it home. I want you to have all the best sleep.


Cheri – Oh, no no. That’s not the lesson. The lesson is, I just have to stay here.


Kathi – Stay here more often.  There is a deep sleep here that I don’t get anywhere else. It’s amazing. Okay, enough about The Red House. That’s where we are, and that’s where we’re doing this series of The Aha! Moments. Not only that our attendees have had, but you and I have had as we’ve been teaching Book Mapping. This week has been about how to map your book. I feel like there are three different people: The people who have written the whole manuscript, but they’re like, “It’s not right yet.” The people who are stuck and the people who haven’t started. We’ve got all of them here, right now. What we’re doing? We’re basically cracking open what they thought their book is, we’re blowing it up in some cases.


Cheri – That’s the exact phrase somebody used yesterday. “You’ve blown up my book.” She said it with a big smile on her face.


Kathi – We have one mother/daughter duo here, that I don’t know if they’re going home with a solid concept of what their book is about, but they’re going home with what it’s NOT about and they’ve got some new ideas about what they’re going to try to figure out and try to squish it.


Cheri – They’re in much more alignment with each other, than when they got here.


Kathi – Yes. It’s been so fun to watch. It really has.


Cheri – I think it’s such a great idea to come with a co-author. I don’t know if you’d thought of that. Or, come with a friend. Even if it’s not somebody you’re going to write with. Grab a buddy and come to The Red House.


Kathi – Then you guarantee your roommate, although everybody has been thrown together. It’s been fun to see. Everybody goes home friends. It’s really fun. So, I think one of the biggest misconceptions people come into book mapping with, is about who their book is for. So, it was so interesting today. We’ve got some hard stories here. Almost every great story has some hard patches and that’s okay. Why live them, if you’re not going to write about them? I just think, don’t waste anything. It was so interesting, I think we say we’re coming in to write for the reader, but often times we’re coming in with an agenda. It’s either to prove to our mom that we can write a book. It’s to prove to our English teacher that we’re not stupid and we can do the things. One of our people here, this was so interesting, she went through a surprise divorce. She said, when she first started to write the book, she wanted to prove that she had done nothing wrong.


Cheri – She wanted to set the record straight.


Kathi – Right. I think she said, “I take some blame for some of the things.” But, holy cow. If you hear her story, it’s like, “Holy cow! That happened to you?” What we focus on, here, and what is the hardest part of it, to do, is take it from telling a story, to equipping and encouraging, or entrusting your reader with what to do. So, how have you seen that change here, while we’ve been here?


Cheri – Well, we’re in the midst of that. That is, for almost everybody, such a pivot point. They come in, and they know their story, and they want to tell their story. Because something has happened to them, and for many of them, they want to keep other people from going through the same experience, from making the same mistakes, from feeling the same pain they felt. As I’m listening, I’m thinking, “Oh, so they’re going to go back and describe their childhood.” And what goes through my head, is, “Why does anybody want to hear about your childhood?” I’m so sorry, dear. Nobody wants to hear about your childhood. It’s important to that person. I’m struggling with that now. I’m in the midst of a current work in progress and it’s about my relationship with my maternal grandmother, my own mother, myself, and my daughter. So, four generations of women. There are so many stories I want to shoehorn in. I want people to read them. Like, “You need to know this about me!” No, they don’t. They really don’t. If it’s not serving the reader? Teasing apart, “When is the writing serving me?” and “When is the writing serving the reader?” I think this becomes very difficult. This is an area where you and I differ. Because, with your prescriptive approach, I’ve just experienced this with you at Focus on the Family multiple times. You were always thinking about the listener. The first few times on Focus on the Family, I thought, “Oh, I hope I tell this story right.” And “I hope I know what part of the book they’re talking about, ‘cause we wrote it a year ago, and I’ve already forgotten parts of it.”  They would ask a question, and you were like, “For that woman listening right now. You’re sitting in minivan and you’re wondering…” And I’m like, “Oh, Kathi remembers the listener.” You do that with your reader, when you’re writing. Yeah, you’re telling your story, but you’re always directed by how it’s going to serve the reader. Someone like me? I process my life through words and through writing, so I might have a longer writing process, or a two-step process, because I need to go through the writing that’s just for me. It’s between me and God. Lots that nobody needs to see. I might produce a high word count that way. Out of thousands of words, a few hundred words might actually end up serving the reader.


Kathi – I think it’s really interesting, because I was surrounded by girls in junior high, high school, who would write these long stories. They were always about horses. What is it? You horse girls. I don’t even know.


Cheri – You were surrounded by HSPs, even back then.


Kathi – Oh, yes I was.


Cheri – HSPs and horses go together.


Kathi – I am surrounded by HSPs and analytics. These are my two people. Roger recently spent a good deal of time with some other of my friends and family members. He goes, “I am actually the least analytic person in your life.” It is so true. So, they were the people who wrote long stories and things like that.


Cheri – They had journals; locked diaries under their bed.


Kathi – Journals, yes. I remember having a journal as a little kid. My journal entries were, “We played school today.” That was it. So, if there was an award for Least Likely to Write a Book in high school, I would have won it, hands down. Here’s the difference: There are two types of writers. There are writers who write to process. These are the journal-keepers. These are the bloggers. These are the people who do the long comments on Reddit and things like that.


Cheri – Let’s just call it like it is. These are the brooders and the ruminators.


Kathi – It helps them think it out and helps them process. It helps them do all the things.


Cheri – The problem is, sometimes they think they should hit ‘publish’.


Kathi – Yeah, no. They need to slow their roll. Those are the people who write to process. Then they get to publish. There’s steps in between, let’s be super clear. Then, there are people like me, who write to produce. I have a goal in mind. You want to know how to clean out your closet? Here’s step 1, 2, and 3. I’m writing to produce. My goal is to help somebody who is sitting there, do the thing. I don’t need to do a bunch. Let’s be clear, when I wrote Overwhelmed, or You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, or all those things, I processed while I was writing, but that was not my objective. So, I produce, then I publish.


Cheri – Even while you’re processing, production just pops out of you.


Kathi – It does.


Cheri – You’ll call me, and be like, “I just thought of this thing.” So, I can tell I’m getting something from you, right in the moment it’s happening. It’s still for other people. It is still in outline format and it still all begins with the same letter and often can immediately be used for public consumption. For those of you who are listening, and you’re like, “Oh, I’m more of a processor.” That pause button is much more important to you than the publish button.


Kathi – Yes, for sure. Now, let’s be clear. If you have done the communication styles, I’m guessing, if you’re a processor, you are either an inspirer or an educator. Those are the ones who tend to process more. So, I am neither of those things. I’m an entertainer and a motivator. So, my goal is to produce. So, yeah, God answers my prayers in outlines. That doesn’t happen for most people.


Cheri – I would laugh, as if that was a quip, but it’s true. We’ve done life together for, like, fourteen years. How long have you and Roger been married?


Kathi – Almost fifteen years.


Cheri – We’ve known each other for almost 15 years.


Kathi – I know, crazy, right?


Cheri – Kathi, I think this is a new paradigm.  We haven’t talked about this. My eyes are huge right now, because I’m like, “Entertainers and motivators, there’s something that’s immediately useable.” Where are, for the inspirers and educators, there’s something that needs a little more time. Like fine wine, which I know nothing about. You know what? You guys went to the winery yesterday.


Kathi – We did go to the winery. Some of those wines are there for a long time.


Cheri – So, it’s not right versus wrong.


Kathi – No! We’re the lemonade. The entertainers and the motivators, you squeeze the lemon, you add some water, you add some sugar.


Cheri – And that just popped out of your mouth, didn’t it?

Kathi – Of course.


Cheri – I would need days to come up with a metaphor that worked.


Kathi – I was going to say Kool Aide, but I’m like, “No, that makes it sound like we’re trashy.” We’re not trashy. Lemonade is an amazing drink, and you can do it instantly. Wine takes years. Years and years.


Cheri – Kathi, this my new favorite episode of Communicator Academy, ever.


Kathi – Yay! This is so great. You have to know who you are. That’s why the communication styles are so important. This is why the people who have gone to Leverage have really understood their communication styles. This is something new for you that I’m really excited about. Also, to understand. If you understand, “Why is it that Kathi can write all those books?” It’s because I’m not ruminating. That’s not me, and that’s not what my reader needs. But, for you, or Michele Cushatt. I think about these people that are taking us to emotional depths that they need to get to. There needs to be some lingering in The Holy Spirit. Let’s just say, I don’t spend a lot of time praying over the chapter about cleaning out your closet. I just don’t. I pray a lot about my reader, but I don’t pray about that. So, this has been something that just come out of this Red House. Some of it, just out of this podcast, which has been really fun.


Cheri – And listener, you are hearing for the first time as we are saying it for the first time. You were here when it happened.


Kathi – Knowing who you’re writing for. Are you writing for the person that needs that spiritual depth? Or are you writing for the person that needs quick answers? Always, it’s the person who you’re writing for. Nobody has ever taken their process, the fight they just had with their husband. They’re processing what happened to them in fourth grade when Valerie was mean to them. Nobody is ever taking that and hitting publish on it.


Cheri – You mean, they shouldn’t.


Kathi – Well, they shouldn’t. I’ve seen those. But here’s the thing: from process to publish, there has to be a purpose put in the middle of it.


Cheri – The angels are singing.


Kathi – Once you have that purpose, then it changes everything about your writing. This is so exciting to me. Okay, guys, if you want to come up with this genius, we’re so excited, because Cheri is coming back to Writing at The Red House to talk about Book Mapping. That is going to be happening June 28th through July 3rd. There are only going to be six spots, so if there are still spots left after the first podcast and this is something you want to do, whether you’re stuck in the middle of your book, you’re stuck starting your book, or you’re stuck because you have all the words, you just don’t know how to make them into a book, this has been a paradigm changing retreat. I hope you’ll consider it. Cheri, thank so much for being here, today.


Cheri – I am just blown away at watching you work, once again.


Kathi – Oh my goodness. Friend, thank you for being here. You’ve been listening to Communicator Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. You’ve been given the best message in the world. Now, go live it.




*see show notes in podcast post above for any mentioned item

Enter transcript here

Meet The Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Author, Speaker

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEO

Communicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”

She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”

She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.com

Michele Cushatt

Michele Cushatt

Author, Speaker, Mastermind Coach

As an experiened keynote speaker and emcee, Michele Cushatt’s speaking experience includes Women of Faith, Compassion International, and various retreats, conferences and events held across the country. She has also led radio, video and audio recording projects.

She co-hosted with Michael Hyatt on the popular This Is Your Life podcast. In addition, Michele serves as part of the Dynamic Communicators International leadership team, led by best-selling author and sought-after speaker Ken Davis.

Michele coaches multiple large-platform speakers in how to craft and deliver powerful presentations.
Michele authored Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life with Zondervan Publishers and I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is. Her third book will be launched in Fall of 2019. She launched her first Mastermind group in January 2017 and is currently taking applications for her 2020 Mastermind.

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