Alpinist of Life (Part 3): Jacek ‘Skyski’ Skrzypczinski shares his writing dreams

Author Jacek Skrzypczynski (right) with AWwYP's Editor in Chief Thornton Sully (left) in the Polish city of Wrocław at an Internations "Writers' Kaffeeklatsch" meeting on board the ship Wratislavia in February 2019. Photo by Hanna Motłoch

Actually, my dream is to speak to Oprah.

Your just released book, “Expeditions to the Peaks of Your Dreams” (to be released in 2020), you self-published on WiseYouPress. Was there an advantage to choosing this avenue to getting your work out to your audience?

Yeah. First of all, I don’t want to be controlled, and especially, I don’t want the content of the book to be controlled.

 

Like it would be in a traditional press situation?

I hear very often they change your book, and then you don’t like it, and then you are like, “Eh, what is this?” So I decided to publish it myself, and I’m open to some publishers in some countries for sure. This is going to be published on Amazon, too, very soon, so Amazon will be kind of publishing it. It reaches most people through Amazon, so they pay you quite well compared to traditional publishers. So that works, too.

Also I found that publishing on this publisher was okay. It was fine. They have a good graphics person… I’m just happy to do it this way, and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if I can really succeed without the publishers, or if some publisher finds me and gives me a good deal. I’m open…

 

What strategies are you considering for getting your work out to your target audience? What is your target audience?

Right now I see more people with coaching and training, so I don’t have that much time. I have invested time in a marketing launch in the US. When I speak, people always buy my books… sometimes all of them, which is awesome. So I find this is the best avenue, that they buy and that’s it. I’d do more speaking, but I am busy with writing, training, and coaching. But writing, training, and coaching help me to get ideas on other books, and this is fine.

I would like to have a little more time to write, and I am planning to do so this fall and winter.

 

So speaking engagements seem to be the main marketing success.

So far they are the easiest. This partly because I can speak to those who are interested in them.

 

Are you planning on doing like a circuit of speaking engagements?

I have a dream of doing a tour in the US and Canada and in Europe, but I would have to find some organizers. So, any organizers, please get in contact with me!

 

Okay…

Actually, my dream is to speak to Oprah.

 

So Oprah Winfrey is your target audience?

I’m going to send my book to Oprah. If she reads it, she would love it. So there are some places that I think could be open to my book…

 

Who do you think, though, is the best person to pick up the book? What demographic do you think you are shooting for?

As I said somewhere in my book, it’s someone who is wanting or having some dream, but is somehow blocked and needs some trigger or inspiration to overcome it. I hear from many people that this is what they did. Thanks to the book, they overcame that final block, or those few final blocks before going out there and risking somehow their situation and going for their dream (but you have to take a risk). So, everyone that is wanting that and is open to inspiration.

In the beginning, I wrote this book for men, but in the middle of writing, I decided that I will include this for women also. If I’m staying open, this is likely for younger people, but many older people are also open to new adventures, or at least to read about these adventures. They might have their own kids and they’ll give it to their own kids.

One group that I specifically want to distribute books to is the women who have some issues and difficulties with their men. Either their men are not courageous or strong enough, or they are too strong and too courageous and they don’t care so much for people, and they are not soft enough. This is for both of them, these books.

So I want women to give it to their partners, bosses, friends, or to their sons, actually. Because if you read this book, you have to be not intelligent to not change your life. This book is kind of an automatic mechanism, an automatic little machine that makes you go for your dreams. Really, I have seen this happen quite a lot already. So it’s really a very interesting design, a mind design… it influences your heart and your soul, and then you don’t have these excuses anymore to go for it.

 

You originally published “Expedition” in Polish, and then in English. Are you intending to try publishing in other languages?

I want to, but still I need some time and some people who can actually do that. I’m now looking for a translator from English to Spanish, but there are other things to do. So I think I would need to delegate it to a person who would be interested, and part of what I’m doing is I’m sending books to different places and if someone is interested, we can go for it.

So maybe a publisher in Spain, it would be awesome to publish in Spain.

 

Author Jacek Skrzypczynski (right) with AWwYP’s Editor in Chief Thornton Sully (left) in the Polish city of Wrocław at an Internations “Writers’ Kaffeeklatsch” meeting on board the ship Wratislavia in February 2019. Photo by Hanna Motłoch

Of course, when you go into different languages, there is a different way of thinking. Are there any differences from the English version of your book to the Polish version?

Yeah. Polish and English were, I guess, difficult in terms of translating it because in Polish, you can write much more chaotically, not in order. Polish people are used to picking it up in whatever order you give it to them. American people, as far as I know, most of them are like it has to flow in the right way, in the right structure. So you have to be more careful how you write. Unlike in Polish, or French, for example… in French you can also write whatever you want, and people will pick it up. But for the American reader, the English-speaking reader in general, it has to be laid out in a slower way. So that’s why the introduction is longer. I explained a little bit more, and I paid close attention to each and every word, because sometimes one word can put someone off.

 

In the marketing of your book, do you have a geographic strategy in mind?

Not so much. My dream is China and India, because they are so big. I want to get it into the hands of lots of different people. I’m sure it’s a great book for a Western person. I’m not so sure how it will be in China or in India, although I think that those societies are also becoming Westernized and young people there may not differ so much from young people in the West these days. But I don’t worry about this.

 

 What do you plan to write next? Could you describe a bit about the book you are planning to complete?

In the series, I have five books. The remaining is “Power Expedition,” “Courage Expedition,” “Life Expedition,” and “Pain Expedition.” The last will be like an expedition through pain.

I have written quite a bit, but I have to put it together, so whether I put together the “Power Expedition” or the “Courage Expedition” first, I’m not sure. One of those, but maybe it will have a slightly different title. Still, likely, “Expedition,” because it’s a series: “To Become the Alpinist of Life,” so the book would be “The Expedition to Courage.” For power, though, I want to call it a little bit differently, because I want people to understand what I mean by power – I am looking for a different word. It’s difficult.

Maybe strength… Courage seems to be much more concrete than power or strength.

 

Yeah, in power, I think of things like “power dynamic,” like who has the power.

Exactly. But actually, I have the title – “Personal power.” I have this idea, “Expedition to Personal Power.” That’s more concrete. In fact, it’s “Inner Power,” like talking about “inner power”…

 

Inner strength?

 “An Expedition to Inner Strength”? No, but “Expedition to Personal Power”? Perhaps, or “Personal Strength”?

Anyway, I have some really awesome stories that I want to put in there. The problem is how do I put different stories in different series – I’m kind of writing all the series at the same time, and if I put them all in one book, what do I have after that? I have to find other stories…

 

That leads to what I was going to ask you next, if there is anything different that you’d do in your future works that you’ve not done in your completed books? Like in the structure, or the way that you tell stories, or…

Maybe.

 

Okay, we will see as they go along… the last series of questions ask about what you hope to achieve with your writing. Do you have an overall goal that you want to achieve with your writing? Is it tied with the same goals that you have with your coaching practice?

It will be very good when these books will spread out, and when I would have had to them the most amount of people in the solidest possible way. That is my dream. And of course I have some numbers, I have this number of minimum of course because it’s a nice number – after a thousand that I have sold.

Of course it would be nice if it got to people who would spread it out…

 

What if there was a Chinese Oprah?

Yeah, actually I have some contacts, but it kind of goes slow. I’d like to somehow get to all the corners of the world as much as possible. And I know some of this may not happen so soon, but of course there is some patience, and I also have to be more active in spreading it out.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have any long-term plans?

Well, one of my dreams was just to write, but I think to myself that it will be tough. I think I will still be doing the combination of things I am doing – not so different, just bigger and wider…

 

To continue the writing…

Yeah, and training. If I am still full of energy, I’d like to help people in all sorts of different ways, although yes, I would love, and I envision, big meetings with people interested in my books, plus coaching and stuff. You know, like courage conferences… I know there was one courage conference in Wroclaw, and I wasn’t invited – nobody knew about me, and so on. But now, they could invite me to such conferences and I could speak at such conferences…

 

And have your impact…

Yeah, impact on these people, and impact on other people. But first of all, I want to help people who really have issues, who are really disadvantaged – they’re really young or poor or not in the best conditions, think that they cannot do anything. I want them to believe that they can.

 

To use one of your own closing questions from your latest book, what do you think will make you proud of yourself at the end of your life?

I think this book will. Not just this book, but it’s going to be one of the things, this book. Because one of the things that this book really, somehow… I did a good job – I’m proud of it.

 

It is well-written. I’d have to agree with you there.

I guess I’m proud… it’s not a good feeling on the levels of consciousness, being proud. But I say what I would be is joyous about all of these experiences that I had – and the book is kind of secondary – but I hear from people again and again that they didn’t know me from that side. I’m hoping that my friends and other people, my family even, will know me much more through the book, and I will stay with them much longer than my life. So this is very important…

 

A legacy.

Well, beyond legacy, I hope that the world will actually change because of this book. Maybe some person will help another, because they actually will get the courage of doing so. Or some person will overcome their weaknesses and have a much better life because of this book or their kids will have a much better life or they will spread some other things.

I had this idea to train leaders, 10 of them, and each of them would train 10 of them, and then they would train 10 more, each of them, and they would spread it to different… maybe if each person gave 10 of these books to some other few, and they really read it and they really intonated what’s in it, and then that person reached 10 more… maybe I should write about that in the next book, that this is my dream – 10 by 10 by 10…

Also, I give away a lot of these books to people who can’t afford it, or for people who can give it to someone who can’t afford it, and who knows what happens? But I know what happens, all the time it happens – people get inspired and they change.