On The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK“, author Genevieve Piturro discusses her new book, Purpose, Passion and Pajamas: How to Transform Your Life, Embrace the Human Connection and Lead with Meaning.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Genevieve Piturro about her life and career, what inspires her writing, and the creative work that went into her new book, Purpose, Passion and Pajamas.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m a woman who has learned to action when my heart voice talks to me! At first, I followed my brain’s guidance and spent high school, college, and a decade in a career, following a dream that was based on what society told me was lucrative, exciting, and impressive. My brain mapped out the steps, logically, and I did the work. Until 12 years into my career when I heard a voice in me ask, “If this is the next 30 years of your life, is this enough?”
That question – and its source – stopped me in my tracks and I realized there was no purpose or meaning in my life, just nonstop movement. I started reading to children in emergency shelters at night and watched the children go to sleep in their soiled and ill-fitting clothes. I brought them pajamas and one little girl asked me, “what are pajamas?”
It wasn’t long when I jumped off that corporate ladder and started what became Pajama Program, a national nonprofit that celebrates 21 yrs. this year. Over these I’ve kept notes on the children, and my journey. I was asked to speak all the time because people wanted to hear our story.
In 2018 I finally committed to writing my book and made sure to include all the personal and professional ups and downs I went through while starting and growing Pajama Program. I wanted to inspire and encourage others to listen to their heart voices and follow their purposes too, no matter their doubts, fears, and challenges because when they do, incredible opportunities open to them, and their lives will be fuller than they could have ever imagined.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I WANTED to write it about 7 years ago. But I never had the discipline to put the necessary time in.
When did you take a step to start writing?
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
About 15 months
What made you want to write Purpose, Passion and Pajamas?
My book launched in the pandemic and as we see now, so many people have re-discovered themselves and are looking for more purpose and meaning in their lives. We’re all getting to know each other again and are sharing our losses and our triumphs.
The human connection was taken for granted before Covid and I am hoping to share how incredibly valuable it is for us personally and professionally moving forward. I’m hoping to inspire and support those who want to change their lives and show them how they can embrace their purpose and the human connection moving forward.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Purpose, Passion and Pajamas?
Getting my brain out of the way and letting my heart lead.
What was your research process for Purpose, Passion and Pajamas?
I had hundreds of stories and notes from my personal experiences and had to do more research on some of the particulars of how the system works to get these children to safety.
How did you plan the structure of Purpose, Passion and Pajamas?
I knew I wanted to write it chronologically and with Heart of the Matter lessons at the end of each chapter that pertained to the life and leadership lessons I learned, as I learned them.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Purpose, Passion and Pajamas need?
Yes, I worked with two editors and am grateful that they liked my voice and emotion, and just wanted to help me with clarity.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Decide who you want to write the book for and how you want it to serve them.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m watching the fallout from the pandemic, and I love how it’s revealing what so many of us have silenced about how we want to live our lives and how we want to create our work culture moving forward. I’m looking for an angle here that is unique and insightful.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes. Yes. It changed everything in my life for the better.
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