Our Heart Value can serve us and others in so many ways. You can transfer a huge amount of encouragement or empowerment by confidently telling the story of your True Stride. This episode talks about how to write your story for the peeps in your life that matter most.

AJ Harper is an editor and publishing strategist who helps authors write transformational books that enable them to build readership, grow their brand, and make a significant impact on the world. As a ghostwriter and as a developmental editor, she has worked with hundreds of authors, from newbies to New York Times bestselling authors with millions of books sold. She is the Head Writing Coach for Heroic Public Speaking, the premier speaker training program created by Michael and Amy Port. She is writing partner to business author Mike Michalowicz. AJ is also the author of Write a Must-Read: Craft a Book That Changes Lives–Including Your Own.

On EP 76’s Wise Walk, AJ and I discuss how you can find your truth and write a story that speaks directly to people who resonate with you. I know from experience, since Heart Value would not be here without AJ. She challenged me to explore my heart-centered passions and tap into the value I wanted to give to Striders. AJ understands how to balance the needs of authors and readers to protect an author’s true intentions.

On our Wise Walk, open your mind to realize your vision for your book and learn to not compromise on what value you want to provide for readers. You’ll get useful ideas on breaking past myths and releasing the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from fully engaging our work. We’re dispelling book publishing misinformation and sharing how book writing can be a reflective process. Come with me as we reflect on AJ’s fundamentals and these Wise Walk questions:

    • Who is your ideal reader?
    • Who are the people you want to help?
    • What is your core message?
    • What is a promise you can commit to and deliver on?

AJ believes that if an author is struggling to get past the outline or the first chapter of their book, they’re probably not writing the book they’re meant to write. You have something inside of you that you want to share. You need to find out how to pull away the false filters that distort your message.

You should only want filters that honor your truth and cut out distractions. Advocate for yourself and write great books with these Wise Walk questions:

    • How connected are you to your voice?
    • Where in life are you adopting someone else’s voice?
    • Where can you exercise validating your own voice and style?
    • What are the myths you adopted as you grew up, and how can you find your actual truth?

Join this inspiring community to uncover a new sense of freedom, and be sure to follow and review the True Stride podcast as we continue to exchange our light and Heart Value with each other.


In this episode:

[00:23] – Welcome to the show!

[02:31] – AJ Harper loves to help people write better books.

[04:18] – How is AJ able to pull the true intentions of authors out so they gain clarity on what they are writing. 

[06:00] – What is the writer’s club that AJ created?

[08:19] – AJ says she was originally fueled by anger about book publishing misinformation. 

[10:03] – AJ says she developed an understanding of balancing the needs of the readers and authors.

[13:03] – People find the courage to be vulnerable when the stakes are high.

[15:08] – You are the author and editor of your life.

[17:06] – Think about a core message that guides your life, and identify what you can honestly fulfill as a promise you make to yourself.

[19:28] – Mary Tess explores what unique promise and gifts we can offer the world.

[21:07] – What is the legacy that you want to live and leave?

[23:13] – AJ says it took months for her to reconnect with her own style after her long career as a ghostwriter.

[25:55] – When you can’t access your own voice, it’s a sign that you are off kilter.

[27:53] – It doesn’t matter how many compliments you receive. You should be the one who is excited about your work.

[30:15] – Be careful of the “reasonable” inner critic that tells you all the excuses that sound true and valid.

[32:55] – Mary Tess and AJ have a discussion about Heart Value

[35:02] – Your story will resonate with the people who have the energetic and emotional connection to your expression.

[36:35] – What are a few memorable book or author transformations AJ witnessed?

[39:16] – Mary Tess shares the new story she’s worked on lately. What was the theme?

[41:08] – Mary Tess shares that AJ is a part of the reason why she started the True Stride podcast.

[42:41] – How much does self-reflection relate to book writing?

[44:36] – Let go of the lie that’s holding you back. AJ talks about shifting your paradigm to reframe it into a truth that serves you.

[47:11] – You can have the freedom to choose again.

[49:06] – Change takes time.

[51:23] – What is AJ working on these days? She shares news about her latest clubs, workshops, and more.

[53:58] – Thank you for listening!


Memorable Quotes:

  • “When you pay attention to the reader, when it’s not just about us, the book is better.” – AJ
  • “Once you understand the lie, the myth, and the truth, then you can make another choice. You can have that freedom to choose again.” – Mary Tess


Links and Resources:

Mary Tess Rooney


Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Heart Value


AJ Harper

Write a Must Read site

LinkedIn | Facebook

Write a Must-Read: Craft a Book That Changes Lives–Including Your Own