So a scary thing happened a little while ago.
My dream had started to come true
It was happening, the book was written, it was edited and at the publishers. Then I got the proofs back. What do you imagine happened then?
Did I leap for joy at seeing my dream come true or run screaming from the room?
[Exit stage left 1 aspiring author]
The publisher had rewritten the back cover blurb and it was nothing like the message I wanted people to hear from the book, and they had ignored my draft. I was gutted, they just hadn’t got it, it was incredibly prosaic—my heart sank and so did my joy at creativity. I sprinted up the ladder of inference and figured if they didn’t get it, then nobody else would either. I was obviously wasting everyone’s time, including my own. If that’s what they thought would sell more books, then I’d written the wrong book.
Rather than being almost there, I still had so far to go. I felt like chucking the whole thing in. Days of drudgery loomed ahead. Anyway I was too busy, too tired, too anything to get the next stage. We had some family health challenges and I was in full protective mode. So many other things were on my everyday list. All those voices that I kept quiet for a while decided to all speak at once. Doubting Doris, Impatient Ivy, Procrastination Patty and all the rest. Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? Go and eat worms!
Then, I came across this inspiration from Alexandra Franzen.
“Whatever you can do – in whatever amount – is a gift, and it is enough.”
This makes me take time to think about why I wrote the book, who I wrote it for. I want the words to reach the people they need to reach. To give them inspiration and hope that there can be a better way to live.
And did I say that I’ve written a book? That part is done. Good job!
Life lessons from Breathing While Drowning
One of the biggest lessons that I write about is resilience.
Resilience is the capacity and flexibility to recover quickly from adversity. You get knocked down, and you get up again and again and again. How could we not become more resilient with Jacqui’s life dependent on us? How could we not learn to adapt, to be flexible, to let go of tiredness and sadness and despair? To swallow all that down and keep going?
So I take heart and keep going. Small steps, tiny goals, chipping away at the mountain, not worrying about finishing, just doing whatever I can do, in whatever amounts I can.
And I ask for help, which you know is not easy. And eventually I finish, again. And send it off, again.
What would you be doing if you knew you didn’t have to finish?
It’s a good question. Would that be too easy; do we need to have the struggle to complete to make it worthwhile? Do we need a trial of fire to scour clean the soul ready for redemption? All I know is that what works for some, is anathema to others. Find your own way in your own time.
And here’s the final blurb (thanks Tanja). Would this entice you to read my story?
Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness
A life map for anyone drowning in loss
Losing something deeply important – a child, a friend, or even a piece of yourself – can feel like drowning in an ocean of grief.
But there IS a way through that ocean, and there are life buoys to cling to while you search for and regather your strength. And then, when you finally reach the distant shore, there’s feeling, healing and reconnection waiting for you.
In “Breathing While Drowning”, Veronica Strachan charts her 20-year journey back to life after the death of her young daughter, Jacqueline Bree. She also shares her raw journals, tools, inspirations and powerful lessons to help and inspire you to do the same in your own life – in your own way, at your own pace.
This book will do more than help you to move through your loss. It will teach you to be surprised at your own potential; to dust off your own dreams; and to live your life consciously, creatively, confidently, and remarkably.
Regardless of what happens next, I’m happy with what’s happening now. It’s not all roses and bouquets. Sometimes the thorns and stinky water is all you get.
Tips for getting up again, and again
So when you get knocked down or hammered down or worn down, and your dream seems far away – or all too real – try these three things:
- Remind yourself why you’re doing it, why your dream is important. What inspired you, who needs this? If not you, who? And if not now, when?
- Take a moment to celebrate. Look at how far you’ve come. If you’ve been journaling, look back over the entries and give yourself time to acknowledge what you’ve achieved. We are so good at living in scarcity, the not enough society that we brush off achievement and success and lurch to the next thing without giving ourselves a chance to feel good and enjoy the moment.
- Get back on the bike and keep riding. It takes enthusiasm more than passion to keep going on your dream. Resilience is your best friend. Fill your battery and get back on the bike.
Thanks for reading
If the blurb entices you to read more about what I discovered about resilience and other lessons, you can add your name to my book friends list HERE, and receive early notification of the launch for my book. Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness is my story of returning to a vibrant life, after years of living a life filtered through grief. You can read more about the book HERE.