How to convince your husband to co-author a book with you.

STEP 1: Talk about it non-stop.
In writing and publishing Teine Sāmoa, I knew early on that there was a need for a book for our boys, so the idea for the brother book, Tama Sāmoa was born. Since December 2020 I was constantly talking out-loud to myself and then eventually to hubsta about ideas – morning, day and night.

Now for those who know me well, I can tautala #talk until the povi #cows come home, especially about topics I’m passionate about. And for those who know my husbsta well, he is my ying to my yang, is the best listener and advisor who coaches people for a living as part of his business – and coaches me for free as part of his wedding vows #Bonus.

So imagine Bubba from the movie, Forrest Gump, where he talks about all the different kinds of shrimp – well, that was me at the time #OKMaybeMostTheTimeLOL talking about all the different ideas, scenarios and possible themes to include in Tama Sāmoa. At the time Hubsta was the ‘sounding board’ but what I was really doing, unconsciously over time, was wearing him down (which took fricken ages because he’s so patient) so he could help me to correct and fill the gaps for the story which led to step 2.

STEP 2: Accidentally brainstorm with him.
First make an assessment of his mood – do not approach if his youngest son (who inherited his mother’s you can’t tell me what to do #Fiabots spirit) has woken up with a me against the world attitude or if his oldest son has dropped his plastic toy in the vent of the brand new fireplace or if he is hungry (see step 3).

If all is good, or better yet if he owes you for something, then pullout some paper and jot down all the ideas you (and hubby unknowingly) have been talking about. Then schedule some time with him to ‘ask for help.’ Ease off on the talking because he will wonder why he is there and leave you to it, so make sure he talks most of the time. You also might need to revise the brainstorm a couple of times so don’t just try to do it all in one go, you’ll lose him. Brainstorming in pockets will do just fine, as long as there is progress.

This is the stage where you first see the magic happen because what you see next is the writer in him come to life – fleshing out the ideas he comes up with or connects to as well as editing the unnecessary ones out. Naturally the conversation should flow, because he doesn’t realize he’s in the zone drawing lines and scribbling everywhere over the paper. It is creativity in motion and it is beautiful. All of us have it, something I have always believed as an educator and unfortunately so many of us grow up as adults not realizing or discovering our creative potential.

STEP 3: Give him food and leave him alone.
Hangry writers become serial killers. So to save your household a lot of heartache make sure his favourite snacks are available #Cheezels, his drink of choice is stocked in the fridge #Bourbon and make sure you are ready to cook his favourite lunch and dinner #TeriyakiChicken #StirfryChicken #GrilledChicken #KentuckyFriedChicken #JustAnychicken.

Also since you have been bombarding him with the book, because it’s obviously on your mind 24/7, you need to keep him off the trail by just leaving him alone, giving him a break from the kids #ForTheGreaterGood to be all by himself or with friends because at the end of the day food and time is love. Love releases endorphins. Endorphins will make him relaxed. Relaxation equals no pressure. No pressure means no stress. Then the feeling of no stress means you can go undetected as you plan step 4.

STEP 4: Connect your experiences to confirm ideas and take the leap.
At this stage he may get highly suspicious, that you just haven’t gone on your merry way and started writing yet. So get the talanoa started quickly here by explaining the experiences you’ve had as a teacher and observer of tama Sāmoa and tama Pasifika that connect to the ideas and characters in the story that you have brainstormed together. He will naturally talk about the learnings from his own experiences and from mentoring and coaching Pasifika male youth and men too.

Now everything you have done has led to this next moment. The moment where you have to officially ‘invite’ him to write the book with you and be prepared to use any of the following lines – because I’m not a boy, my hands hurt when I type, you’ve already helped me with the ideas, it’s plagiarism if I use your ideas, I ruined my bikini body and gave you two sons etc. Also be prepared for when he looks at you with all the love in the world like your crazy and laughs in your face as he walks out of the room to eat the Cheezels you stocked up on in step 3 … only to return with two bourbons in his hands saying, ‘Maybe God and the universe wants us to combine our purposes to give back in this way, okay, let’s do this for our boys.’

STEP 5: Thank the Lord – then get writing.
You give thanks for all the lessons and experiences in your life that have helped you to get to this point. Especially for the man who has been there holding my hand through 20+ years of it and continues to do so on your journey as an author #LoveMyHubsta.

And just like life, over time you write and record your thoughts. Along the way you reminisce, laugh and cry together. You edit, add and re-craft chapters. Then when you celebrate the completion of your book, hubsta will explain that he actually knew what you were up to from the beginning because you’re the worse secret keeper #Can’tLie2SaveMyself and he knows me too well. And you know it’s okay because you are beyond grateful for your life, being able to live out your purpose together by sharing a new story with the world that you know will help and encourage others to discover and share their own.

#MissionAccomplished
#TamaSāmoa #Co-Authored
#Dahlia&ManiMalaeulu #TYJ

Author: Dahlia Malaeulu

dah·li·a (dah-lee-ya) / noun: a flower that is widely cultivated for its impact and coloured personality / adj: abundant, bright, bold, fresh, ready-to-bloom / human form: daughter, mother, wife, educator, problem solver, creative, teine Sāmoa / working on: creating more brown spaces in the world / currently: moving in the write direction.

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