Join Dwight Heck and special guest Romana Hasenöhrl on Episode 126 of the Give A Heck Podcast, where they discuss the power of writing and the importance of developing a personal writing style.
******Complete show notes available below links******
Romana shares her inspiring story of growing up on a farm in Salzburg, Austria and her love for reading and languages. Learn about the cathartic nature of writing and the importance of personal reflection in the writing process.
On the show as well, discover why traveling alone can be a transformative experience and how it can help you find your purpose in life. Romana also offers valuable insights into the publishing industry. She shares her coaching services, including laughter yoga training and a four-week course on how to start writing and publishing a book.
In this episode, you’ll learn about…
- Developing a Personal Writing Style: Why AI Technology Can’t Replace It
- The Cathartic Nature of Writing and the Importance of Personal Reflection
- How Regret and Gratitude Shape Our Perspectives and Decisions
- The Transformative Power of Traveling Alone
- How to Start Writing and Avoid Publishing Scams
- And much more!
About Romana Hasenöhrl:
Romana Hasenöhrl is a long-term traveler who spends three to four months a year in her old Volkswagen camper, supporting people to travel and discover the world. She has published nine books and offers free webinars and writing courses to help young authors overcome the anxiety of getting started with their first book. Romana also offers online workshops for a happier mindset and one-to-one programs for people who want to overcome personal crises or discover what they want. She is a certified laughter yoga trainer who brings people joy and understanding by helping them realize how amazing they are. In the interview, Romana shares her childhood experiences growing up on a farm in Salzburg, Austria, where she discovered her love for books and reading, even though her family didn’t appreciate it. She wanted to study languages and translate song lyrics, but her family didn’t understand her passion. As a result, she became a successful author, traveler, and mentor who helped people discover their true potential.
You can find Romana Hasenöhrl on…
Connect with Dwight Heck!
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Giveaheck
*****FULL SHOW NOTES*****
Hi, thank you so much for having me. It’s so exciting to be on your show.
Oh, I appreciate that. I’m excited to have our conversation. I put quite a bit of research into each of my podcasts, and as I mentioned earlier, I Googled your name. I checked out different things about you, and you’re fascinating, and I’m looking forward to this conversation and I’m certain my listeners will get a lot of value from you. One of the things I start out with in my podcast, Romana, is I talk about a person’s origin story, and to me, we are a culmination of all of our experiences from our earliest recollections to where we are today. And though many people have their story is from where I graduated high school or middle school or whatever their success has been college, they really forget about the fact that they, in order to get to that point, had a childhood. And the good, bad, and the ugly affect who they become, why they go into the direction they go to, or why they avoid going into certain things like family businesses. So if you could do me a favor from your earliest recollections, could you please tell me what led you to where you’re at today?
Wow. Yeah. I was born and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, and I’m still living here for some months per year. And I was born to a farmer’s family. So what took most of my struggles and I love that good, bad, and the ugly you just said was that, of course, the living on a farm, it’s very conservative. So there are some things your parents want you to do. They want you to marry. Best thing would be to marry a farmer, stay in the village and do all the stuff all the women did in all the generations before. And I very early realized I don’t like that. I was very interested in books and readings. I was one of those kids who just urgently hoped that our Christmas kid, we don’t have that guy with a long beard, we have kind of a berry, that she would bring loads of books. And I remember so clearly, every Christmas Eve, I grabbed my books and just tried to hide somewhere and start reading. That’s all I wanted. And of course, my family didn’t appreciate that very much, so they didn’t understand it. Why is this kid reading all the time? She’s not like, socializing. She don’t want to go to parties or do the normal stuff young kids would do, or young girls. So even at the age of 1213, I remember when they went on Sundays, they went to the next lake to do some swimming. The whole family. And I prayed every morning, Mayday, please forget me back home so I can stay there and do some reading and be on my own. So that was really challenging. Part of my early life. I wanted to study languages. I love the English language. I started very early with translating song texts. For example, I started with Elvis Presley. I remember that very clearly in the ghetto. I wanted to know what he’s talking about. And I was twelve at that age. So I wanted them to discuss after I did that translation, I wanted to discuss with my mom what he’s singing about. And is it still like this in America? Right? We don’t know. European kids don’t know that much about America. So she just didn’t get me. She was like so confused that this small kid spent the whole afternoon translating an Elvis Presley song text. And I wanted to discuss it. So I sometimes thought that maybe I am from another planet. It’s just a big mistake I’m here. So that was a big part of my my childhood, were in this energy, like, always thinking, why am I so different? I just don’t get it. But what was very, very helpful was my English teacher in I don’t know what you call that, second grade. If you are ten to twelve years old. I don’t know.
Yeah, elementary school, ten to twelve, you could be going from elementary we is grade one to six. And then our middle school, depending on where you are, it changes because they have elementary from what they call kindergarten to grade four. And now one of my grandkids is in middle school already, and it goes from five to eight, and other ones go from seven to nine as middle school or what they call junior high. They’re just in school.
Yeah. So maybe it’s junior high, I don’t have it. But the English teacher there, she supported me a lot in my wish to learn the language and to travel. That started then because she organized the contest in school. And the winner could travel to England for two weeks and stay there with a family guest family. And I won. And I was 13 at that age, so very young for traveling alone or being alone with another family. I didn’t know a strange language, and I remember that I hoped I would win. I was so excited, did my best. And then when it was clear I’m traveling to England, I realized that I have to go all by myself. And then that whole horror scenario started, right. I was praying every evening, please dear God, make that horse goes. He was my best friend and not me, but God didn’t listen. So I went to England at that age, and I really loved it. Very connected to that country because of those early experiences.
Wow, you’ve had lots of interesting things that have gone on. So coming from a farmers family, my background and my family is all farmers too, that came over from Europe into Canada. My parents are first generation Canadian. Right. So I literally can appreciate the fact of people wanting you to do what they do. Because my dad worked in the farm industry, sold farm equipment, helped out his family farm when possible. A lot of my relatives that are the same age as my cousins and stuff, they became farmers. My dad wanted me to take over his business. I wasn’t interested in it. I had my own dreams, my own aspirations from a very young age where I tinkered with things. I was very curious about technology, and I went my own path. So I can appreciate the fact that you needed to plant your flag and figure out exactly what it is that you wanted out of life. I really like the fact that you were in Dalvis. Presley I was in Dalvis big time in the still. Remember the day that he passed away and how my heart was broken. But that’s pretty cool that even in another language he resonated with you and you wanted to know exactly what he was saying. So that’s fascinating. And isn’t that the case, though, in life where we have somebody listening or watching, all it takes is one person. At any age of your life, you could be somebody in your twenty s, thirty s, forty s today, and you are lost. And you find one person that is your anchor, that helps you focus and go after what you want. Romana was lucky ten to twelve years of age. Her English teacher helped to do that, and then the next thing you know, she’s on an adventure to England. So that’s fascinating. Anything else up to where you are today that you’d like to share in regards to your origin?
Yeah, it’s the writing. It’s something I really love to tell my students when many people contact me because they want to make their living with writing, or they want to write their first book or need some support in. Is this a good idea? And then we talk of course, about that urge to write and where it comes from. And of course many people get told very early and unfortunately in school that it’s not good what they write. It’s nothing worth, you’ll never make it like that. So I always tell them the story of how I became a writer. I wanted to become a famous author when I was 12, 13, 14, from that age. And of course I imagined I would then be so rich I would live in a castle. Of course, in Europe you live in a castle when you’re really rich. And I imagined that being so famous that people know me when they meet me on the road. And I decided to write my first book then, but I didn’t know how to start. That’s the thing you don’t learn in school. So how do you start writing a book? So what I did then is I wrote a letter to the local radio station and asked them because I thought they must be so freaking clever. They are reading the news on a daily basis, they know everything. And unfortunately they didn’t answer. I didn’t ever get an answer. And in these days we did letters for handwriting. There were no emails, right? So what then happened was that I thought, okay, that question was so stupid, that’s the reason why they didn’t answer. And so I quit my writing career at that moment. And I finished school, I started studying, I studied politics and journalism and the riding never left me. At some point I realized that I’m really gifted, I’m able to ride from a friend of mine said you know, you are like one of those horses in front of the supermarket throwing €2 and kids are riding it. So he said I tell you one sentence and you write a story. How do you do that? And then I realized there is a gift that I can write about any topic I want. So I started writing for a newspaper in Austria, did some stories they published in their weekend newspaper and nevertheless I didn’t trust myself enough to believe that I could do that for my living. So I finished my studies, I started working for a big broadcasting company in Austria. And fortunately luckily I worked there for 17 years. So I was 44. Then they fired me because I had some discussions with the new boss. He didn’t really like that I’m I’m a very honest person, so I always tell what I believe is the truth. He didn’t appreciate that. So I got fired. And nowadays that’s now over ten years ago I’m grateful because otherwise I would have never be at that point where I say okay, and now nothing’s left. I must make my living with writing because I couldn’t find a new job at that age. In the TV productions industry they prefer, of course, young people who don’t cost much. And so that’s how the whole writing thing began. And that’s what I tell my students. Trust yourself. Keep on writing. Do your best to feel good when you’re writing. That’s the most important thing, that you do it on a daily basis and you love it. And then you will find out what you want to write. You want to write books, you want to write for newspaper, you want to write for I mean, they are looking for copywriters and searching copywriters for Internet things. So maybe that’s something you like. There are so many possibilities nowadays.
Yeah, there sure is when it comes to and even with the age of technology. Because when you were saying people searching out for possibly cooperating nowadays, I don’t know how close you follow technology just in the last 90 days, like three or four months. Dave they’re introducing AIS that do copywriting for you, and it’s amazing. The difference, though, is when you read through that copy, it’s missing a flare of personality. I’m not saying that it’s not good. I used AI for certain things, like creating show notes I use. It like my company that I hire that produces my show for an example, gives me show notes I use, utilize them for certain things. But then there’s other things I do with marketing my podcast that I use an AI that creates the copy for me. But I don’t just slap that copy, if that makes sense. I don’t slap it down. And that’s de facto standard. I literally go through it. I massage it and put my personality on it. All it does is save me some time so that I don’t have to be as creative as I’d like to. Because at one point in time, I would have never done that. It’s just a time saver. I don’t think that people realize even the advent of technology. They said it would be the death of books. Well, I don’t agree with that books. Whether or not you like a physical book and cracking the spine and smelling that book. Because when my book came out, I had people that got it on Kindle. There was people that bought it on the physical book because they want to crack it. I have one person that bought it that posted pictures, and they highlighted the book certain sections they really liked. So my point of that is that writing is always going to be something that’s required. And technology can do certain things, but it can’t replace the person. It can’t replace that personality. Maybe someday it will, but not in my lifetime, I don’t believe.
Yeah, it’s exactly what you just said. I like to get an AI written text for a huge summit in Greece, and it’s the first text published about what’s it all about. And I read it and I thought, yes, okay. It’s okay. It’s well written. There’s nothing missing. But it doesn’t get me because that hard thing is missing. We are not able to really describe I read and reread it and thought I would never book. That. Why? It’s because the person behind the text is missing. And this is one of the huge secrets about novel writing. You as a reader will know the difference if the author has thought through the personality of the main character or not. He doesn’t have to write down everything. But you as a reader feel it. And many people are not able to put that into words. They say, I don’t know, it doesn’t get me. But it’s because the personalities tend to be flat if they are not thought.
Through, the hurtful connection is missed.
So that’s what I tell all the students who try to write a novel. The first thing is you have to build a whole biography of your main character. You have to know everything, what you just did. You asked me about my childhood. You have to know that childhood, the challenges, the main topics of that character, you don’t have to write them down, but you as an author have to know. And then it’s working. That’s the first lesson we do when we start novel writing. And not about story outline and stuff like that.
Yeah, you have to connect with it, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you have to connect with what you’re writing. I see that in people that write their books and you read it and they feel disconnected or it’s discombobulated. It’s all over the place in the way that they communicate. It’s not that their story isn’t good, but the flow isn’t there because they haven’t really again, like you said, they haven’t connected with it. They haven’t resonated with it and taken it to heart. For me, writing a book was very cathartic. I found it very I was able to look inside myself more than I ever had prior in my life and actually had to come to terms with certain things. Because, as you mentioned, for me, though, my book does start up my origin story and goes all the way to where I am today, and some people’s books don’t. I get that. But for me it was very cathartic because I had to look back and analyze and realize and I found it a fantastic journey. I look forward to writing another book. What I’m going to write it about, I’ve got a few ideas, but it is what’s the word? It’s a passion. You have to have those that you mentioned that want to do it because they want to do it for money. Most books don’t make money. It is what it is. If you go into it thinking that you’re going to be like a celebrity, like Matthew McConaughey and write a book called when she wrote that book called Green Lights, while his name sold the book, the story itself was phenomenal. I quite enjoyed the book. But bottom line, we can’t all be a celebrity that are going to be guaranteed sales. We’re going to be people that we’re going to resonate with certain people, they’re going to buy that book. It’s going to hopefully change their lives. So I recommend people that are writing books have that passion and realize that if you’re going into it thinking you’re going to make a ton of money, you could be disappointed. So why be disappointed? Write the book to serve others. And if it makes money, that is cherry on top of a Sunday.
That’s exactly the thing. So it connects me back to the dream when I was twelve, right? Thinking you will automatically become rich and famous when you’ve written a book. That’s the dream of a twelve year old. And it’s okay to have it in that age. But when we are grown up, we have to realize if there is one person out there who changes their life because of your book, then that’s it. Then you know why you have to write that book. And if there are two persons out there, yeah, winner.
That’s true. So we’re going to continue on. There are other questions I’m going to ask you about, obviously the fact of what you do to help people write books. But one of the things that intrigues me and I want to find out about is your nomad lifestyle. The fact that you live three to four months a year out of a camper. And many dream of this lifestyle, I know they do because I hear it most of my life that they’d like to just be able to. And I do have friends that do it, but they don’t live out of a camper. They jump on a plane and they fly to places like Tulum, Mexico, and live there for months on end, working off their laptop. And then they might go on to a cruise ship. It’s amazing some of the places that my nomad friends have done. Who inspired you to live on the road?
I started traveling in my grown up life at the age of 21, and I bought my first motorcycle. And I still have it. It’s got over 100,000 miles on it right now. It’s amazing. And what we did then, we were students. We didn’t have much money, but we had much time. So what we did was in September, when the university doesn’t start its courses yet, we did four weeks of motorcycling traveling all through Europe with just sleeping bags, motorbikes sleeping on the beach. That’s it. I loved it. And the thing was that we were a little gang. I founded a gang. Of course, you have to find a gang if you buy a motorbike. So we were three of us and all students. So we worked very hard in July and August, earned some money and then traveled. And every time we had to go back because university started on October 1, I thought, oh man, I wish so hard that there will be a day when I just can say no, I don’t go home just because it’s October 1. I just carry on traveling. And in Europe it’s like you have the Alps, that’s a huge mountain range all across middle Europe. And we are living north of the Alps. And of course you always cross the Alps and then went down south to Spain, France or Italy or Greece. And every time we had to go back, you see that huge mountain range and it’s got snow on the top already. And every time I thought, oh my God, how I wish I just could wave bye bye and travel on. And I forgot about those feelings with all those years coming and challenging business times and my job and everything in university. And then I bought that old Volkswagen van because I just loved that old stuff. It’s built in 1985. I have clients who are younger than my car and I restored it and built my own campaign in there so it’s all homemade with wood and stuff that’s neatly done. And I carried on like that three weeks, four weeks traveling. And then that feeling came back. And after I’ve been fired, it took me almost two years until I realized, hey, now I can do that. I mean, who wants to tell me when I have to come back? It took me that long to realize how lucky I am. And at the beginning of my business life, of my self employed life, I really had struggles and I almost went broke. It was a hard time, but then I realized I might be broke, but I am a time millionaire now, and that’s why let’s embrace it. So I then started writing for different companies and realized I can do that while traveling. In 2015, I started with that long wish lifestyle and started on the 1 September and traveled France and Spain. Came back, saw that huge mountain range of the Alps, and I waved and said, I’m going down south again. Traveled Italy. So the first trip almost took me three months. And then I decided I have to do that again and again. I don’t want to stop. So the the longest trip I’ve done was in 2019 when I was on the road for four months. And it’s just amazing what happens when you’re doing that. The people you meet, the countries you travel to. And for me, the most important thing is it’s a slow motion thing. So it’s not like hopping on a plane going somewhere, but to travel. And I had some conversations with people from Canada and the US. In your countries, the distances are much bigger than over here in Europe. So when I told them, yeah, it took me 15 days to travel from here to there. And it’s just 1000 km. Not only not miles, kilometers, it takes me 15 days just because it’s nice to be so slow.
You get to appreciate things. Yeah, you get to appreciate we’re in kilometers in Canada, just so you know.
So the only place in, the only place in the world that still uses miles is the US. Right. So everywhere else I was in grade four or five when Canada adopted the metric system. Probably mid 70s. Yeah, we’ve been in the metric system since the mid 70s. We still had to learn both imperial and metric. So I understand the differences, but yeah, I can appreciate the fact of what you’re saying. The 1000 km. So two things that I really thought were neat. You talked about the Alps sprawling across well, we have the Rocky Mountains, which is absolutely breathtaking. I live in the capital of province in Canada called Alberta. If I jump in my vehicle, I can be to the mountains in less than 3 hours in two different directions. I can go to beautiful places. One’s called Bamps, another one’s called Jasper. We have frozen glaciers that actually feed our water in our river that goes through our city that is frozen 6 hours prior from millions of years ago. Yeah, I love what you’re talking about though. Just the serenity of being in nature for some people is way more grounding and fulfilling. And for you that’s obvious, which is it’s great because some people take their whole lives and they can be full of so many regrets. You didn’t have that. That person, as you mentioned, did you a favor by firing you and putting you on a path to where you get to be that person. As you mentioned, you’re a time millionaire. I’ve never heard that. That is awesome. I’m stealing that. I’ll give you credit the first couple of times and then it’s mine. I’m sorry. So I appreciate that. That’s great though. You got your tamper, you just went on the road and you learned the fact that so it takes me 15 days to go 1000 km. Who cares, right. As a time millionaire, the most wealth that I’ve ever had in my life is when I realized how valuable time is. And I say this statement, I know some of my listeners are going to probably roll their eyes because I say it quite often, life since session. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. The time is your most valuable commodity. And to hear you talk about how the fact that you can take things slow, you can just enjoy life is amazing. So do you believe yourself personally because of your lifestyle of being able to travel and be that time millionaire that you’ve accomplished more than somebody that is stuck in a location and not able to enjoy what’s around them?
Yeah, for me, this is how I define success. Because my second life, I always call it, I’m an astrologer, so I work with people. And I have to admit that’s not an astrological reading where I tell them what will happen next year or tomorrow. We talk about insights, personal insights. And most people come because they are unhappy. That’s clear. And when you start talking about what’s the problem the challenge is, it’s always that regretting not to have done whatsoever. So sometimes after those sessions, I sit there and think, that’s so funny because there’s nothing I can regret here or saying, I haven’t done it. I’ve done so much things in my life, beginning from that, traveling with a motorbike all over Europe, or Skydiving for 14 years, or paragliding. I tried everything I wanted to, and I stopped it when the time was done, when it was over. So I’m still riding motorbike. I’m not Skydiving anymore, and it’s okay.
But you have the memory, right? Yeah, right. And that’s the biggest thing in life. I hear people like myself have health issues, and I had to give up a lot of different things that I like to do that were in the sporting athletic world or outdoor world. But initially I may have been that person that went, boohoo, I can’t do this anymore. Until I realized that God gave me opportunity to do it for this amount of years. I should be reflecting on being grateful for the fact that I was able to achieve that, that I was able to do that because there’s people on this planet that never even got to do it for a year, ten years, 15 years. So I learned to be more grateful and understand that that was a season of my life, and it wasn’t destined to be a season forever. But I’m going to appreciate that season just like that’s. The same with it is with people in my life too. Maybe they’re not meant to be in every season of my life, but what the seasons that they were there? I focus on the good and the memories, and I leave the bad behind because otherwise negativity regret bad memories. All they do is rob us of time. They rob us of the ability to enjoy the moment and live in the present. Anything else you’d like to add in regards to travel?
I think that for people I would recommend to at least once in your life, travel alone for a longer amount of time, not only two days.
What holds a person back? As a side note I put down here, what do you think holds people back from doing that once big trip or any trips for that matter?
Most people I’m talking to, they are really scared of traveling alone. So that’s the first thing they ask me is, are you doing that all by yourself? What if the car breaks down, the dogs get sick? I have a dog. She’s traveling with me, but not a person. What if you get sick? And then I tell them all of that has happened to me, but that’s still a life. I mean, you can call someone, you can do small repairs on the car by yourself. There are vets out there. They are all over. Europe, not only in Austria. There are doctors out there. Don’t be so scared. And why should everything happen to you? But other people then tell me they are most afraid of those times when as long as you are traveling or riding the car, it’s okay. But then it comes to that rest point. You have to stop somewhere and go to sleep and come to rest. And that’s what they fear most, to be with themselves. Then it seems that many people have problems with that, and I want to support them then and say, why don’t you give it a try? Maybe it’s not that bad with you. Maybe you are a very nice person you want to be with. Give it a try. And it’s really amazing how different it is when meeting people while traveling, when you are alone, because you don’t within the minutes start to discuss with someone, hey, you seen that person over there. Whatever you really get into connection or not. And all the friends I’ve made in all those years traveling now on the road, they really became close friends who are still in my life. And that’s what I think is just magic.
That’s awesome. I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. At one point in time, I used to think I would never travel on my own, and I still prefer to have somebody with me because if I’m traveling, I could share the excitement, like, oh, look at that. Because I like going to museums and galleries and art galleries and stuff I love in different countries. And in 2015, I actually traveled for the first time, not just in the US. But traveled, because I’ve done that lots. I traveled over to the Middle East, I went to Israel, and I went to Jordan, and I met up with a group of people and spent some time in Israel. But Jordan, I did the Jordan leg of the trip by myself and the interesting people I met and the communication and the conversation. Sometimes I think people will open up more to an individual because we don’t seem so maybe scary or intimidating because we’re not a two we’re not a people, you know, two people or a group of people. So I found that I actually quite enjoyed it. Again, I still like traveling with other people, but since then I’ve traveled to Greece on my own. I’ve traveled to many destinations again in the US. By myself, flowing and gone on trips. Go to a conference instead of spending the conference is over in a couple of days. Spend another five, six days in the local state just to discover things. So I think travel is important. Obviously, some people can’t afford it, but you can afford to do local travel. Like sometimes we take for granted our local countries. I look at Canada. I haven’t been from coast to coast. I have never been to the east far east coast. Where we have what’s called the maritime provinces that are along the east coast, the Atlantic and why I keep on traveling to other destinations. But yet if I couldn’t justify getting on a plane I can get in a vehicle and drive like our country is expensive you can drive 4000, 505,000 can’t remember exactly the kilometer distance from coast to coast but we’re the second largest landmass on the planet. We’re not small. Just to get to the west coast from my house would take me about 1213 hours driving because I’m close to the west coast but the east coast would be days and days of traveling. But back to what you were saying though slow motion thing if you’re not tied to a nine to five job and you control your own destiny, your own ship, you can do slow motion stop, right? But that’s how I live my life now I know I’m going, I just got back I was in Texas a couple of weeks ago. I went there for one day because I was going to be on a television show as a guest in Dallas. I decided to go for eight days. Why? Because I’d never been to Texas. I rented a vehicle and went over out Texas because I wanted to meet a few people I knew, I wanted to go on some adventures. That’s life and it’s perfect. I can work when I want, I can work wherever I want, I take my laptop, I work wherever I need to work for my finance business. I can do things remotely in regards to my podcast I’ve recorded my podcast in other places. It is what it is time freedom is so important and I appreciate you sharing and being vulnerable about your journey in regards to travel and time. So one of the things I wanted to talk about is you offer free webinars and writing courses with a motto write the story of your life. What does the story of your life mean?
The write the story of your life idea came up when people who want to start writing sometimes they then say I’d love to but honestly I don’t know what to write about. So I recommend that for example, for my first novel, I took large parts of my own life and I wrote it down because I never thought of I want to write a bestseller, or I wanted to write my first novel. I wanted to dive deep into the topic, create characters, see how they act, what they do. But then I realized, oh, my own story wants it place in there. And so I connected that and I guess or I think the story of your life. If you’ve done that as your first book then all what comes after that you are free first of all of those own stories and the next thing is if it’s just the only book you ever will write you wrote your story. That’s what your kids might want to read your grandchildren. What do we know about our grandparents? I lately had a conversation on a podcast exactly about that topic where we found out it’s so hard to reconstruct what did our parents think? Or our grandparents. They did their job. For example, my grandma, she got 94 and we talked a lot about stuff and how she grew up and all that. Old times, pre war times, post war times. Nevertheless, I still am sad because I never asked her, what did you think about that? How did you feel about you have to bring up three kids without the father? Because my grandfather died very young. So I am sure that these are the stories that our kids and grandkids would love to read and that would be a good start for first book.
Oh, I agree 100%. And what keeps on going through my mind, because my book, again, is about my story, it’s my origin up to where I am today. And you talk about the fact of not knowing things about necessarily about our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, because it isn’t recorded in history in the way that it will continue on through time. Because I can tell you stories about my parents, but if it’s not written down, it’s gone with me, right? It’s done. So I wrote my book, my podcast, my Vlogs, that I do, everything that I do now for me is a living legacy creation. I’m creating my legacy for my moment in my snapshot in time to be remembered by great grandkids. My great grandkids will be able to pick up I might not be alive at that point in time, but they’ll be able to pick up my book and they’ll be able to read it and know what their great grandpa was about, right? They’ll be able to understand what made me tick, what ticked me off, whatever the case may be, right? And I completely love how you put that, though, right? Write your own story. So those listening or watching, just start typing. If you’re into handwriting, start handwriting. Just start at your earliest recollections, like I started this podcast, and just let it all flow out. You can always edit it after the fact. You can always put it into a nice container of how books need to be with chapters and proper writing styles and how it flows after the fact. Just let it all out. Let it flow. Sometimes when I talk to people that are writing, they get caught up in all the logistics of writing the book and they lose their mojo, they lose their passion and they can’t let it out. And they get like what you call a writer’s block. And so I just tell people, just puke it all out, let it out, type it down, write it, figure it out after the fact, right? Sometimes we get hung up on the fact of rules, of what we think need to be done when in reality, we just need to share and put it down on paper or on a screen or whatever. So I appreciate you talking about that. What do your online workshops for Happier Mindset entail? I wanted to talk about that as well. And what can one expect as they journey through them?
The Happiness Mindset workshops, I created them during the first lockdown that’s Easter time. That was it. I realized that very quickly. People like, lost their connection, lost their happiness, especially in Australia. It was like that. They told us, yeah, we are having that lockdown. We heard, of course, that other countries have done that and it will just take us two weeks. That’s what they promised. And I realized that people, they really got nervous, unhappy. It was that not knowing. Maybe they just tell us we have to stay inside till Christmas, right? You didn’t know. And then I founded a Facebook group called Happiness Reloaded and had over 500 people within two months. In there, we were just sharing happy stuff like jokes and comics, good music, daily life tips and stuff like that. And in there, I then created that Happiness Mindset Journey and Happiness Mindset Masterclass, where people just could do a small exercise every day for a week and then find out what does that to me, including things like, you talked about that before, gratitude. What happens if I’m okay, we are locked down and we have to stay inside. And it was there. But what if you sit down every day in the evening and just write down two sentences what you’re grateful for? And I try to teach people to be honest, so don’t write down, I’m so grateful. Dear government, if you don’t feel like that, that was that was a bad situation. You don’t have to be grateful for that, but maybe you want to be grateful for being able to cope with it so you can be grateful with or for yourself. And I tried to really dig deep into that topic or what else could you do to stay happy? I started to end up clown workshops. So I’m a trained clown, and we, of course had to do that online, which was so funny. It was incredible sitting there with our red noses and just staring to the screen. Everything was so new. Zoom was new. Everything was new. And then I started the last yoga training. So I’m a certified laughter yoga trainer because I wanted to tell people there are techniques which can make you happier. Laughter yoga is about techniques. It’s based on the fact that your brain cannot decide whether you are laughing because you are so happy and funny and feeling, or if you just decide to laugh, your brain cannot make the difference. So when you’re laughing on purpose, your brain still is sending you all those happiness hormones and lucky stuff floating through your veins. And I told people all the knowledge I have. And we did some last Yogurt trainings online that was funny and strange at the same time. Of course.
The number one theme I get from you or what I recognize is throughout this conversation, your whole goal is to make sure you serve yourself. But by serving yourself and doing the travel and everything that you’ve done, it’s connecting you to others. So you’re always constantly on the move to serve others, as you mentioned during the lockdown, doing the Happiness Reloaded Facebook group and you’re a certified clown and doing that on video or zoom or whatever. You did it with your Laughter yoga, right? I like how you talked about the fact that our brain doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie. I coach on that all the time. Our brain believes what we put into it, right? Whether it’s self talk or what we watch, what we listen to. Our associations are so key to our success. And you touched on the gratefulness and gratitude of just being grateful for things in life, and so many of us aren’t. And I hear that resoundingly through you, that you’re grateful for your journey, good, bad and ugly, like we mentioned earlier. So I appreciate you sharing that about your journey with your workshops and helping people. You also do one on one coaching as well, correct?
I’m doing the webinars. They are on every first Tuesday per month, and if people have questions after that, or maybe they have a draft already and they want some someone to discuss it, I’m doing one to one and I’m doing four and eight week classes as well for groups. So at the moment we are just in the middle of an eight weeks class, which is all about how to start a book, how to structure it and organize it, and how to structure your day. Because it might be that we have a wonderful structure for our book, but if we haven’t found out when we can write it, that would be a problem then. So we’re talking about how to build the whole thing. And of course, with all the books I’ve written, I can offer my experiences on how easy it when you’re having a job, right? And you want to write your book next to your job, next to maybe your nine to five job, which is very challenging. And we talked about in the four weeks course about publishing as well, because the publishing part, I realize, is still the most challenging part for people. When they start thinking about it, they just don’t know where to start. A publisher. Where do I find one? Which one’s? The right one? What’s, an agent? A literary agent? What do I need it for him for? What is self publishing? What do I have to know? Why? And then they kind of explode and gets so overwhelmed that some of them, they’ve written the whole draft and never publish because that’s the point where they get stuck. So I do that four weeks course with publishing. On one day, we talk about the classically publishing part, which I honestly prefer. So I love being treated like a queen, and my publisher did that. So you bring your draft, they edit it, they do the layout, they send the photographer, do some nice pictures with you, they do all the marketing, send you interview, send you to interviews, and I love that. But nevertheless, I did self publishing as well. So we talked about on the second day about which possibilities are there, because there is self publishing and publishing services, which is a large difference. I’m talking about traps where people sometimes lose loads of money in buying services and not realizing that they need the next one. The next one, the next one. We are talking about how to market your self published book, because in the luxury situation, having a publisher, they do that for you, right? But how do you market it by yourself? How do you organize presentations, book presentations, where whom to talk to? We’re talking about how to pay for the printing costs with the Crowdfunding project, which I did once. And that’s an absolute gorgeous way to not only find out how many people are interested in your book, but also collecting the money for the printing before you do it, and you don’t have to pay that. So that’s all different knowledge and possibilities I collected in all those years. And we do that in the four weeks course.
That sounds fascinating. So for those that are wanting to learn how to write a book and all the nuances of writing it, whether or not you’re going to look at self publishing or use a publisher, there’s a lot of things you have to worry about. And it’s not to make it so that people are nervous, but there’s a lot of scams out there. There’s a lot of people out there that are going to take advantage of you and they will kill your dream. They will kill your aspiration of getting that book out there. So check out Ramona and see what your options are. Four weeks isn’t a long period of time to discover and tap into the knowledge that Ramona’s accumulated over her lifetime of writing books. So, Ramona, if you had to give our listeners one last closing message, what would you tell them in regards to giving a heck and never giving up?
I would love to tell them, never lose your humor and your laughter, as hard as this may come. Maybe life takes everything from you, or people try to take everything from you, but they cannot take your good mood, your humor, your mojo, however you want to call it. They cannot take that. So I think that’s a survival to keeping that humor. And no matter what’s happening, still laugh about yourself as well.
Yeah, that’s important. So many people don’t know how to laugh at theirselves. They get hurt and irritated. I think that sometimes when we laugh at ourselves and if we can do it in a public setting, whether it’s one person or a group of people around us, it actually diffuses tension. It actually lets people realize you can be vulnerable and laugh at the fact of maybe you said something incorrectly or you tripped and fell. If it’s a physical comedy or whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s just life is too short to get hung up and just give a heck about yourself. And as you mentioned earlier, and we both talked about it, be grateful, have gratitude. And as your last message, saying, never lose your humor or laughter is so important, and most people don’t get that you need to laugh every single day. Laughter is good for your soul, your mental health, your physical health. And yeah, one thing I will add, though, and it just popped into my head, get hugs every day, right?
Get hugs every day. I know during the lockdown, it was a struggle. I have five adult kids, and just before the lockdown, literally weeks before the lockdown, my youngest moved out. And so for just about two years, I was on my own, just with my dog. Not that that’s bad. And I could be on my own for a very long period of time. But I like hugs. And I went through about a seven or eight week period where I never got one hug. And along with laughter and humor, a hug is really nice. Oh, yeah, the energy that a hug gives off. So for those watching, I give you an air hug. For those that are listening, I do the same. It’s nice to be hugged, so don’t forget about that along your journey of laughter and humor. Our time is almost up and I want to respect our listeners and your time. So before we end, can you please tell the listeners what’s the best way to reach you?
Best way to reach me is one way via the Facebook group Happiness Reloaded, and the other is via my YouTube channel. So if you type in Happy Writing with Romana, you get the YouTube channel and can contact me there. And you have all the information there as well, so you can write me an email.
Perfect. I’ll make sure this all goes in the Show Notes as well. How to communicate, as well as some of your connections within social media people new to the show. You can find show notes on giveaheck.com again. That’s giveaheck.com. Go into the podcast portal, you’ll see Romano’s picture, and below that will be abbreviated show notes, which will give you a breakdown of the episode, as well as links that you can access and move your journey forward in wanting to be an author again. We all have a story to tell, and we all have people that want to hear it. Surprisingly, we all are unique, just like our fingerprints and our stories are unique. And there’s always somebody that can learn and resonate and grow and change their life because you’re willing to be vulnerable. So I appreciate you being on the show. Do you have any last closing messages or things that you would like to share?
Yeah, one thing which really brings a lot of joy is step out your comfort zone once a day.
And you will see the miracle happening.
Well, most people don’t realize that I’m just writing this down once a day because I believe the same thing I tell people all the time, that success in life, no matter everything in our society, because of television and media, has been focused around money. But success doesn’t have to be all about that. So once a day, stepping out of your comfort zone where success lies, that success could be the fact of you wanting to learn something new, new language, a new skill. Maybe you want to discover a new author and you read a chapter of their book or ten pages or whatever, you are literally getting out of your comfort zone, because the standard thing today in society is go to work, go home, get paid, they come home, we cook our meals and we watch television. There’s no real growth. Our brain has a giant computer. It doesn’t understand the difference between a lie and the truth, as we talked about. We need to feed it information, and it wants information. And in order for us to be living outside of our comfort zone and having success do little things every day listen to a podcast, read a book, watch a documentary, go challenge yourself, walk into a giant store or go join a local club and talk to somebody. Actually interact with somebody that’s outside of your realm of knowledge, your realm of influence. And that’s all about living life. That’s living outside your comfort zone, in my opinion, from what Romana is saying. So I appreciate you coming on. It’s been a fantastic conversation. Yeah, thank you again. Appreciate it.
Thanks for having me.
You’re welcome. So thanks so much for being on Give a Hack. Ramona, I appreciate your time and learning some of your experiences so that others too, can learn. It is never too late to give a hack.