Lawyer Rebecca Zung Has A Lot To Say!
Rebecca Zung is one of the top divorce lawyers and legal experts in the country who has worked with a lot of big celebrities and notable business folks. But, it’s her best-selling books about dealing with narcissists that has everyone talking, especially during COVID-19 where divorce rates are higher than ever.
1. What is the key to success as an author you have found?
Writing a book is like giving birth to a new baby. For the writing process, the key is to first have an outline, then it all falls into place. It’s also important to have an idea how you want the book to be laid out and exactly what you want to focus on. The next step is making sure to carve out the time to dedicate to writing it. Give yourself the space to be able to think and feel inspired. Some people actually take time off and go to a secluded place. For me, I just scheduled in the time and put my cell phone in a different room. I decided I wasn’t allowed to stop until I had hit my word goal for that day.
Once it is published, then doing what you can to get the word out about it by getting yourself booked on podcasts, collaborating with others in your space and doing your own content around the book. You don’t need to have a publicist. There are so many possible places now to discuss your book between podcasts, YouTube influencers, and even doing live interviews on people’s Facebook or Instagram. You can also contact local bookstores and ask them if they will host a signing for you.
Creating excitement and visibility for you, your book and your message will be very key.
2. "Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R" and "Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide to Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Freedom" are best-sellers! Tell us about these books and why you believe they've been such a hit?
My first book, Breaking Free, was something I published because there weren’t any comprehensive divorce guides out there. There were books about the procedure of divorce and books about the emotional side of healing from divorce, but nothing that combined it all, so I think that’s why it hit home for so many. You can’t separate them out. I always say that the divorce paradox is that during the worst, most traumatic time of your life, you have to make the most critical decisions of your life – about all the things that mean the most to you – your money, your children, your home etc. With that book, I happened to be on a radio show at the same time as John Gray, the author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. His publicist heard me and called me to see if I would be interested in using her to book me on some shows. I hired her for a brief period and was able to do media around the country and also got a testimonial for the book from John. All of that helped with getting the message to a lot of people.
My second book, Negotiate Like You MATTER, was just published last year. I already had a nice community of followers by that time, and I was also so fortunate to get Robert Shapiro to write the foreword for it. I had spoken on negotiation for many years and for many organizations at that point so knew the material quite well. The information in the book was also timely as the whole #MeToo movement was also kicking up right around that time. We all want to feel seen, heard and know that we matter. That’s what I had the word “matter” in the title and also used the letters of the word to create the methodology for negotiating that I teach in the book. Having the steps to learn to negotiate from a powerful place will allow people to get what they want in any negotiation. I believe that’s why this book was such a hit. Who doesn’t want to get what they want?!
3. What was the hardest part about writing these?
For my first book, I knew I had wanted to write a book for a long time. I had kept notes from many of my client interactions and events. I also knew I wanted to include the emotional and spiritual aspects, as well as the actual procedure of how to get divorced. But it wasn’t until I had heard Oprah’s interview with the author of “The Purpose Driven Life” that I figured out to lay out the book. Oprah, in her introduction, said it had sold so many copies that it was second only The Bible. I thought I had to see how that book was laid out so I found a used copy at a bookstore. I saw it had been laid out into a 40 day journey, so I divided by book into three sections, emotional, physical and spiritual, and turned it into a 45 day journey. Then the writing part became so much easier.
With my second book, I also knew I had to come up with a structure for it. Once I decided to use the letters of the word “matter” and could fit my steps to negotiating within those letters, the words flowed much more easily.
The next most difficult piece is always finding the time. By creating the space on your calendar and sticking to it no matter what, and without distractions, it will start to take shape. For me, having a word goal for each day was also helpful. I wouldn’t allow myself to stop writing for the day until I had hit my goal.
4. Are you currently working on any new books?
Not actively right now but I do have lots of ideas for more books in my head. I like to keep notes on each idea for a while then see what comes out of my ideas. I will be writing lots more books in the future.
5. What authors and books are on your top reading list?
Lately I just read Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza, and The Best of Me by David Sedaris (need to have levity in your life too). Untamed was the first book I had read by Glennon.
A friend recommended the book to me and I absolutely loved it. Her way of writing is so authentic and down to earth. We’ve all experienced so much drama, trauma and chaos. She finds a way to describe it all so beautifully and you come away feeling so uplifted. Dr. Joe Dispenza is one of my faves. He is a neuroscientist who explains the concepts of quantum law and the law of attraction in such a scientific and factual manner that you can’t come away a non-believer. And David Sedaris is just hilarious in a very caustic, intelligent and satirical way. I often find myself laughing out loud by myself when reading his essays.
6. What quote helps motivate you on a daily basis?
Oh gosh – so many! But this one from Marianne Williamson is one of my faves:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
For more on Rebecca: www.rebeccazung.com