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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed Silja Thor about the story she wrote for the new book, The Power Of Reinvention, her career, and what inspired her.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

I am a serial entrepreneur and business mentor, and my work is all about helping people to build businesses that work for them. There are so many entrepreneurs out there who live their lives in a constant state of stress. By working with me, they come to discover that it is completely possible to hit their biggest business goals without losing out on life. And I think I’m so successful at what I do because I can draw on my own experiences.

For many years, my work completely overwhelmed me. But, when I had my daughter, I started to realise that there are more important things. I decided that I didn’t want to be the first person to drop my child off at daycare and the last person to pick her up. It was time to make my business fit around my other priorities and not the other way around.

Silja Thor, author of The Power Of Reinvention, author interview on The Table Read
Silja Thor, author of The Power Of Reinvention

So, I chose balance, and I managed to do it in a way that meant I wasn’t sacrificing my income. In fact, I was finally paying myself a decent salary! I aim to help my clients achieve the same results.

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When did you first WANT to write a book?

It’s actually something I’ve always wanted to do! But I am a big believer in only sharing from the scar and not from the wound. Even when I was right in the thick of things, including bankruptcy and relationship difficulties, I knew part of the reason why those things were happening was so I could share them further down the line.

So, although the desire was always there, it made sense to wait. I knew at the time that I was meant for greater things, but it was still too raw and vulnerable to delve into. Then, when it was over, that’s when I really felt compelled to share. I felt that, if my story could help just one person going through the extremes I lived through, then it would be worth it. Whether they’re struggling with money or toxic relationships, I want people to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

When did you take a step to start writing?

One of my clients is a book coach and, during one of our sessions, we were working on her concept. It was a co-authored, non-fiction book by a group of women and I thought they were so brave for telling their stories in such a raw, real way. It just got me so inspired! I remember thinking to myself: “Okay, I’ve got to share my story, too.”

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

Even though my contribution to the book is only a chapter, it took some time to navigate what I was going to write about. I had to get comfortable with the idea of sharing something that still made me feel so vulnerable, and I dealt with a lot of feelings of shame and embarrassment. That was actually the longest part of the process!

But, once I knew what I wanted to write about, it took me less than a day to write the chapter in full. After I sent the first draft off that same day, there were just a few hours before I got it back from the editor. Then, it only took me about an hour to finalise everything.

So, it was all very quick once I’d worked out the angle. The chapter that you’ll get to read is completely unfiltered because, in the end, it was written from the heart.

What made you want to write The Power Of Reinvention?

Well, the chapter is about a time in my life where I essentially had to go through hell and back. Then, afterward, I went through a difficult but necessary process of reinvention, and it’s only since then that I’ve come to really understand myself. But I don’t want people to have to go through the hardships I experienced in order to get to the other side.

So, I suppose I had two reasons for deciding to contribute to the book. First of all, I wanted it to be inspiring to anyone going through a tough time in their lives and to show them that things will change. And, secondly, I want people to know that, no matter how hard things get, you can always reinvent yourself.

What were your biggest challenges with writing The Power Of Reinvention?

Silja Thor, author of The Power Of Reinvention, author interview on The Table Read
The Power Of Reinvention by Silja Thor and others

My biggest challenge was myself. The topic I wrote about is very personal and, when it was I going through it, I felt it was quite embarrassing. It was my past, and I had to get over the fact that I didn’t really want people to know that part of it. Really, I struggled with wanting to keep it in the dark. So, coming to terms with the idea of bringing it to light was definitely the toughest thing I dealt with.

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What was your research process for The Power Of Reinvention?

I didn’t really do any research for the book, but I didn’t need to. The chapter is all about my story and my experiences. Rather than spend time researching, what I needed to do was tap into my past and get into a flow, which is exactly what I did.

How did you plan the structure of The Power Of Reinvention?

The structure of the book was already planned out for me, so I didn’t have much to do in that regard! I had one chapter to deliver, and the structure of that is just six pages of personal storytelling.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Power Of Reinvention need?

I did! Before I began writing, I signed off with House of Hives, which is an incredible publishing house. They were fantastic and really took care of everything. All I had to do was write the raw draft and then, when I sent it off, they worked their magic and edited it.

And, not only that, but they also helped to guide me through the whole experience. From brainstorming meetings to the final product, they were incredible every step of the way. That made me feel really comfortable, meaning I could just focus on getting down my story without worrying about the writing style.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

The first and most important thing you have to do is tap into your “why.” Ask yourself why you want to write a book and what story you have to tell. I believe that we all have a story to share and finding yours is the key to getting started.

Silja Thor, author of The Power Of Reinvention, author interview on The Table Read
Silja Thor, author of The Power Of Reinvention

Then, you have to try not to overthink it. Always remember that we all have something to say that the world needs to hear. Your story could be the catalyst somebody needs to make a shift and change their life.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

My plan is to write a book about money. It’s going to be based on my own relationship with money, which was very messed up once upon a time. I used to really struggle to make ends meet, so much so that it became this constant mental and emotional drama. The next book, then, is going to be all about that and how I ultimately overcame my money worries.

It’s something that I see all the time, whether in my clients, myself, or my friends and family. Most of us, really, have a twisted relationship with money. My goal is to destigmatise and personalise it a bit through a tell-all story and some practical tips.

And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

Hell, yeah! I am so proud of what I’ve achieved, especially considering where I was at the start of the process. I got there with blood, sweat, and tears and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Plus, writing my chapter gave me an incredible sense of perspective. I am so stoked to be where I am right now and to see how beautiful life is. I really didn’t feel that way when I was going through what I wrote about in the book.

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