The challenge I’ve embraced this year is to write and publish a book. I’ve been writing on and off for three years and at the beginning of the year made the commitment to myself that I would finish writing my book and somehow publish it. I didn’t know how, I just knew I would.
Sometimes books are written in a flash and others take a while longer. I have written three books so far but all of them have been to do with my business. This new book is a personal story and therefore has been an entirely different process than I’ve experienced before.
Back in the winter of 2016 I attended a writers workshop in London with the publishing firm Hay House. Julia Cameron, author of the fabulous Artist’s Way was going to be one of our writing workshop teachers during the weekend, which meant it was far too good an opportunity to miss. The Artist Way is a brilliant course in discovering and recovering your creative self so seeing Julia in person and learning from her was a must.
There was also another opportunity on offer, by attending the workshop every attendee was invited to submit their own book proposal for a potential book deal with Hay House. At the time I had an inkling of what my own book would be about, however by the time I left the workshop on the Sunday evening I realised despite the potential book deal my book was not ready to be fully written, yet.
My book could not be rushed, deal or no deal. My story needed more time to unravel and unfold. Because I planned to write about the loss of our baby Grace Rose and despite my initial belief that my book would detail the year following our loss, it transpired there was plenty more for me to learn and experience as I was still immersed in my own grief and healing. But attending the writers workshop had sown the seeds and I trusted I would find my way forward with the book, especially as the weekend the workshop took place coincided as exactly a year to the day we’d lost Grace.
I knew I’d been led there for a reason and that one day our story would be told
As the months passed I continued to write in spurts as and when I felt I had something pertinent to document. Writing had become one of my go-to therapies so there were pages and pages of notes written in my journal.
Every time I thought I had enough to write about and the time had come to wrap it up, along came something else that called to be included. Another nudge guiding me that the story was far from finished, yet.
It transpired it would be just over three years before I reached the end. In June after eight months of intensive writing and re-writing my book came to its natural conclusion. On what would have been Grace’s third birthday.
In between the spells of writing I wondered how am I going to publish this book this year? Should I leave it a while longer? Every time I found myself fretting about how to self-publish and that I didn’t have a book deal I’d hear an inner voice re-assuring me to “Just focus on the writing. Get the job done. Forget about everything else. Finish it. Then sort out the rest.”
Believe me the biggest challenge was sitting down and writing it.
I haven’t found the right copy-editor…yet
The next challenge was finding the right copy-editor. Even though I chose to self-publish I knew I had to invest in a copy-editor. I was searching for someone who had the capability and expertise, but more importantly understood the gravity of my story.
Over a lovely ladies what lunch date with my friends Lesley and Karen our topic of conversation came to the progress of my book and I shared my quest to find the ideal copy-editor. Immediately Karen suggested one of her friends who had set up her own copy-editing business and is a writer and blogger - Anne Thorn. As soon as Anne and I met online I knew she was absolutely the right person for the job. We clicked instantly. Working with Anne pushed me to become a better writer and write the best book I could.
I don’t know how to do that…yet
Once the manuscript was complete along came another challenge, getting it into the correct format for self-publishing. I didn’t know how to do that and considered out-sourcing it. But after spending some time doing my own research and watching several Amazon KDP publishing tutorials I decided to give it a go myself. In the past I’d spend days working on large tender documents so surely I could create my own book?
It may have taken me almost a week going completely goggle-eyed but now I do know how to do that too.
So I am delighted to say that my book is complete and it also has a name “Living With Amazing Grace – a journey through grief, healing and transformation”.
You can read it, just not…Yet.
But you can on 7th October if you wish because this is when my brand new book will be published. You’ll find it here.
And I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom, just because you don’t know how to do something now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Just don’t forget to add in the powerful word YET!