Yesterday this post was titled ” an ocean, a rowboat, and one paddle”. It was all about how if I’d know how traumatic it would be to publish a book, I might have changed my mind. You may never have got to read Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness.
It’s been almost a year since I finished the manuscript. The writing was an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own; reliving the 20-year-old journals I wrote to my daughter Jacqui Bree before and after her death at the age of four.
But if I thought that was tough…
Phew, editing is like being dragged through a thorn bush backwards.
Reading the words over and over until you can’t see them anymore. Then having someone else read them and edit every line – ouch! Losing the message and feeling like your dream has become a drudgery. OK, time to swallow my pride and choose yes or no for each suggestion. And somewhere to find the boundary for what I will and won’t tolerate, and learning to ask for help – again!
The end seemed so very, very far away.
But Today is a whole different day.
Today a very friendly young man delivered a small cardboard parcel to my house. He remarked what a lovely day it was and how good it was to see the sunshine. I presumed it was another online purchase for my eldest daughter and headed back inside.
A quick look at the label and my hands started to shake. I ripped off the cover and there it was. I’m holding my book in my hand. Not far away at all.
I say to my youngest son Frazer, “Look! Look!” A big grin cracks his face and he gives me a hug.
I’ve done it. Not only written the book, now it’s been published. I am a published author.
It felt a little surreal. It has been so long incubating, and now I can touch it. Go me.
This dance isn’t over yet.
Next step is to get the book’s message out to the people who need to hear it. With more than 10,000 books being published each month, my friendly marketing consultant described it as…
…being in the middle of the ocean, in a rowboat, without a paddle…
So now it’s time to find another oar, pick a direction, and start paddling!
How hard is it to promote your own work, to talk about yourself. The old tall poppy syndrome grinds along in the back of my mind, undermining my belief in myself, in my message. Who do you think you are? Who on earth would listen to what you have to say?
Where do you find that oar? How do you pick a direction? Where does the strength to keep paddling come from? Stay tuned for that while I work it out.
A good friend said to me the other day that she doesn’t know how I do all the things I do. And she meant all the things that she sees me do out in the world, not even all the at home or in my time off things, though she shares some of that time too.
I did stop and think about that. The answer that came is not the how—how can be learned. (And as you probably realise if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I am an insatiable learner.) If I want to know, I’ll find a way to learn. The answer is why—why do I do all the things I do.
This mortal life is too short to waste, too short to live with regret. And I’ve already had too many regrets.
My why for doing all I do and for being all I am is that I want to make a difference to as many people as I can, starting with me.
I want to live vibrantly and fully, and to create for myself and my family the greatest joy and quality of life that I can. I want to help myself and everyone I meet to be inspired to live the purpose and meaning in their lives so that they can be the best they can be.
Making your difference needs time, flexibility and courage.
You can make a difference one-to-one, and I still work at that every day; work at being present, inspiring and compassionate in all my interactions with others. But there are physical limits to one-to-one. So I also work with groups, facilitating workshops, speaking and teaching and coaching. Still not enough? Then time to write; a book and blogs that can reach people while I sleep and live and gather more stories—and the energy to tell them.
One of the simple exercises I did at a workshop several years ago can still prompt me to stop, reflect and revise how I live my life—to choose differently. I thought I would share it with you. You can download it for free by putting your details into the box on the side of this page.
I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you find the courage to spend more time, energy and money on what you love and value.
And if you’d like to read more about what I discovered about hope, courage, resilience, strength and a whole lot of other lessons, you can add your name to my book list friends at the bottom of the page and I’ll let you know when the book is available.
It’s not far away now…
Thanks for reading