Meet the Authors: An interview with Author Cordila Jochim.
My name is Cordila Jochim but most people call me Cor. I am passionate about the truth that God can rebuild a life and I only know this because he rebuilt mine. When I was seven years old, I fell out of a
two-story window, hit my head, and was never the same. Because, at that time, doctors didn’t know as much about closed-head traumatic brain injury as they do now, I went undiagnosed for almost 40 years, the last ten of which I was home and bed bound. During that season of my life, beginning at age 7, I began telling myself I was broken and less-than - what I called “fifty cents on the dollar” - and everyone else was a full dollar. That belief almost cost me my life. The book tells of my journey of brokenness but also, more importantly, how I was finally made whole.
When did you realise that you wanted to write and publish a book?
I didn’t. At all. In fact, I came to this Assignment kicking and screaming. The idea of writing a book felt so isolating and, frankly, I’d had enough isolation for a monk’s life, thanks. So no. I never did want to write and publish a book. But in my learning about God, I also learned about the notion that we are given Assignments - tasks we are meant to do to serve our purpose in the world. God often uses other people to deliver this message so after, like, 20 people started actively hounding me about writing the book - and I mean hounding! - I found the loudest coffee shop I could find and sat down to write the book.
Okay, so you have decided to write a book, where did you start?
I struggled greatly with what I was supposed to write. It’s one thing to be told, “Write the book.” It’s another thing to actually write it. Many people were interested in having me write about the journey of being sick, which I fought against as well. I didn’t want to write about being sick. I wanted to write about getting well. It turns out, the book contains a beautiful marriage of both.
What were the things along the way that both helped and hindered you during the writing of this book?
Writing is a mental exercise. It is an agreement you make with yourself to turn inwards and excavate your own soul. That’s not for the faint of heart. My biggest challenge was determining the structure for the book. As a memoir that spanned forty years, it was incredibly difficult to decide where to start or what to include. The thing that helped me most was making a commitment to listening to what came up within myself and not being afraid to burn it all down and start again. A reader takes a journey with a book when they are reading it, but the writer, long before it ever hits the shelves, takes an extraordinary journey as well. My saving grace was having been groomed to listen to people - really hear them - and mine what was said for insights and truths.
Did the process of writing this book come naturally to you? Did it run smoothly? Or was it an uphill battle?
Uphill. All the way.
Set the scene. When you sat down to write, where were you? What did you need to help you? Did you have a routine with your writing? Tell us what was conducive to a successful writing session.
I originally set up shop in the Starbucks Roastery on Pike Street in Seattle, Washington. It is a loud and pulsing and sensual and chaotic place and I love it. That was my routine: show up every day at the Roastery and write 4-5 hours every day. That continued for about 1.5 years. The final ½ year was different. I was in the end-zone. As such, I needed peace and quiet so I could concentrate. I spent the last half year writing from home and wrote 12-16 hours a day. I would say again, I allowed myself to go on the journey with the book and listened to it like I would a newborn. What was it trying to tell me? What did it need? And what did I need, as a person, to stay sane and healthy and well?
Did you enjoy the process and is it something that you plan to do again?
People have already been asking me for a workbook as a companion to From the Core: A Spiritual Journey of Losing Everything and Finding Hope . It’s not enough for people to read about, and be inspired by, a journey of going through hell and coming out the other side. People are struggling, maybe not with the same situation as me, but the deep desire for healing and transformation is a very real thing. Many people want a concrete process to guide them along. I’m working on that as we speak. Shocking to no one more than myself.
Whilst you were writing the book, what inspired you? What made you keep at it and not push delete?
Oh, I pushed delete. Several times. And may have even thrown things. My sunglasses for one. Listen, my process was totally not easy. It was not graceful. It was not fulfilling a long-held dream of writing a book. It was a grind. The inspiration I held onto is that I was not doing this for myself. I was doing this for God and for the people he wanted me to reach. That’s it. There’s this awesome verse in Colossians 3:23 that says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” So that’s what I did. I threw my whole self at it, my whole heart, because I know for whom I work and I don’t take that lightly. I did what I could to get my own needs met, like working at the Roastery, and those two things - serving God and allowing myself to honor my own needs - kept me going.
Now the book is written, finished and published, is there anything looking back that you would have done differently?
Without a doubt. But before I do a post-mortem on the process, I’m giving myself a bit more space to let things settle. As I approach the workbook, the one thing I will do is have a single-source of truth. There were times while writing From the Core when I had four of five documents going at the same time. That was madness. Straight-up crazy making. That’s not something I would ever do again.
Did you find the cover design part of the process difficult or enjoyable? And what were the feelings and emotions of handing your creation over to someone else to have the cover designed?
Well, Tim, you’re my man. You are the one who made this process what it was. As a cover designer and soul excavator, you really drew out things in me that I had been a hard “no” on. Putting myself on the cover, being the biggest one. Because you were communicative, thoughtful, considerate, kind, open, probing, articulate, interested, curious and professional - you made the process extremely enjoyable. It is a birth process, however, so no matter who would have done it or how it was done, the process contains a little bit of pain, all of which is immediately overshadowed when you hold the final product in your own arms.
Is there any advice that you would like to offer anybody reading this who is currently writing, or thinking of writing a book?
I don’t fancy myself an advice giver. I am one who dives headlong into things and then shares what I’ve learned, but I don’t give advice. I do write quite a bit about my process in the book itself, so if anyone is interested in my process; is intrigued by what I’ve said; wants to hear more about my journey through healing, transformation, and hope; or desires to go on a healing journey of their own - there’s a great book they can pick up to learn more! It contains the whole of my heart, which is something I gladly share.
From The Core is out now on Amazon!
You can get In touch with Cordila here...
Cover designed by DISSECT DESIGNS
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