I Wrote a Book! Here’s How…

The other day I was thinking about my talents. What are my talents? I can eat a whole box of cookies in three days! In all seriousness though, I recently realized one of my talents is writing. I started writing… I wrote a book. Now that book is being published, coming soon from Mascot Books. I thought I would take a break from my typical posts, and share a little bit about the book-writing process. When I think about it, it still seems surreal. I have been working on this book for a few years now. My book is truly like my 4th baby. It’s my labor of love. Many people have asked me how I’ve had time to write this book. Well first, idle minds—I just can’t do it. Once I had two children, I realized it made more sense for me to become a stay-at-home mom. Having two children in childcare is not cheap. I struggled with the idea of leaving my job as a school counselor—a job which I loved—but I knew it was the best thing for my family. Ever since I was young, I knew I would have a job one day where I could help people. Once I left my job as a school counselor, my eagerness to help others never left. As a new mom, I felt the pressures coming from all around me about how I should be parenting. I felt the anxiety, the fear, the mommy guilt which comes with being a parent, and I thought, I want to help other moms who are feeling the way I am. I wanted to share my stories and experiences so other parents will know they aren’t alone. So, I put my creative energy and my idle mind into writing. Second, as I wrote my book, I took it one step at a time… one day at a time. I tried not to let myself feel pressured. I did not want it to become a chore. I wanted to enjoy the process as I saw my book come together. I worked on it when I was able, typically during my kids’ nap times, and realized it would come together in its right time. Was it chaotic trying to manage it all? Absolutely… but does chaos make anyone else more effective instead of less? Throughout my life it was like the busier I was and the more activities I participated in, the more effective I became. This continued into adulthood. It’s like the idea that an object in motion stays in motion. Being busy made me become more effective at managing my time. I talk a lot in my book about my lowest low and how that low has shaped me as a mom and person. I truly believe the lows I have experienced as a parent have helped me gain the perspective needed to write this book. They gave me a drive to try to help other moms who have likely felt the same way. They gave me the resilience to push through even when I have moments of difficulty or weakness. They taught me how to make the most out of the times we have even if they are hard times. All in all, my lows gave me the motivation I needed to work on, to finish, and to publish this book.

How Do You Write and Publish a Book?

It has been a neat and exciting process so far. One might assume it’s best to start at the beginning and write. Well, I didn’t write it top to bottom. I didn’t do the brainstorming clouds. What I did do is keep journals of my thoughts as they came to me. Raising two children at the time, it wasn’t possible to stop and get to a computer whenever a thought came to me, as I may be right in the middle of something. As a parent, I feel we are pretty much always right in the middle of something. So, I made notes in my journals. I made notes in my phone, or texted myself ideas. I separated all of my ideas by topics. Eventually, these topics became my chapters. Once I had added all my ideas and the ideas stopped coming, I went through and edited my book and made it flow as a whole. And there you have it, my book was born. The next step was networking and reaching out to publishers. I prepared a query letter, which is basically a one-page letter you submit to literary agents or publishers to get them excited about your book and then started reaching out. When my publisher shared they were interested in my book, to say I was excited would be the understatement of the year! Hearing for the first time someone else liked my work, that it wasn’t just me, was the best feeling. I felt like all my hard work may actually be worth it. Next came meeting with the publisher and the signing of the contract. Mascot Books exceeded my expectations and I was super excited to get the ball rolling. I met my amazing team and project manager and was set up with a fantastic editor. It is pretty neat how a book can be edited on word with tracking on so that you can see and approve each and every edit they make. God bless my editor. Even though I had re-read and re-read my manuscript, I couldn’t believe the number of edits made. Now I am deep in the editing process. One day, as I was going through my book edits in Panera, I was crying. Re-reading the book makes me so emotional. I actually love it, that the words mean so much to me, but the people around me started to look concerned. I had to get myself in check. It has been an emotional, but beautiful process. The next steps will be designing the book cover, laying the book out as it will be printed, and then having a book in hand! Eek! I will be sure to keep you guys informed as we go. Follow along at They Say Parenting on Facebook and @theysayparenting on Instagram. For anyone out there considering writing a book, I encourage you to go for it! Were there challenging moments? Yes. Did I have fears along the way? Definitely. My husband told me during one of these moments, “Think too much and you will create a problem that wasn’t there in the first place.” I had to keep reminding myself of this as I kept focusing on my goal and my purpose. I am so glad I did, because I’m almost at the finish line and I can’t wait to see what’s to come! I used to think my dream of writing a book was too big. But, it wasn’t. So dream big and put your whole heart into those dreams. You’d be surprised how far you’ll go. See more about the purpose behind my book and blog on the About Me Page. You may also enjoy: Sometimes Strength Requires a Break

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