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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Gabrielle Pelicci talks about the inspiration behind her new memoir, All This Healing Is Killing Me, and her creative writing process.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Gabrielle Pelicci about her life and career, what inspired her to write her memoir, All This Healing Is Killing Me, and how she hopes to help her readers.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I completed my doctoral work in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies with a dissertation on women healers — and studied plant medicine with indigenous healers in New Mexico and Guatemala. I have been a University Professor of Integrative and Holistic Medicine since 2007 and a regular presenter at global conferences.
I was named one of the Top 100 Women of the Furture in 2022 for my work in emerging technologies. I am the Head of Provider Relations at Third Wave, a trusted, research-based psychedelics education and community platform. My first book, All This Healing is Killing Me, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. I wrote a fantasy novel in the 4th grade, I’ve been keeping a journal since middle-school. I started writing All This Healing is Killing Me in 2007 and continued to work on it for 15 years before publication.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been publishing articles and blogs for 20+ years.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
What made you want to write All This Healing Is Killing Me?
I’ve always been inspired by memoirs and personal stories of healing. I wrote my PhD dissertation about the life stories of women healers. I felt it was important for me to tell my own story not only because it was a healing process for me but also because I wanted to reveal the woman behind the professional successes that I’ve had. I hope that my authenticity and vulnerability will inspire others to do the same.
What were your biggest challenges with writing All This Healing Is Killing Me?
I had to learn how to write memoir and I had to learn how to deal with the emotions that the writing was evoking. Both of those things required 15 years of classes, trainings, healing and finding the right people to assist me. I also had to overcome my fears of being seen for who I really am and not just a fake version of me.
What was your research process for All This Healing Is Killing Me?
I took many writing classes and read hundreds of memoirs
How did you plan the structure of All This Healing Is Killing Me?
I didn’t have a plan. I wrote scene by scene and then worked with an editor on the structure of the book.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did All This Healing Is Killing Me need?
Yes, I re-wrote the entire book with an editor who has expertise in story structure
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
The writing process is very similar to the healing process – it’s a miracle and also terribly hard sometimes. It will challenge you and change you. It will give you insights that are inaccessible any other way. Sharing your writing with others is also one of the most liberating things you will experience. It’s an antidote to shame and fear.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Yes, my next book is a memoir about plant medicine and psychedelics. It starts in 2019 and follows me on a journey to several countries to study with healers and experience many medicines such as magic mushrooms, peyote and ayahuasca, leading up to my present day work at Third Wave.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I’m so relieved to have finally finished it. It’s a huge accomplishment – something I’ve been working towards for a very long time. I’m also so humbled to receive so much positive feedback. I was secretly worried that people would love me less when I spoke my truth, but the opposite is true. The truth brings you closer to the ones you love.
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