Three months ago I knew next to nothing about self-publishing, but now here I am with my first self-published book Phases to Loving You due to be released in twenty-four days; both as an e-book and in print. This book has been my life for the past three months. Every morning I got up, went outside to meditate for five minutes, drew a couple of Tarot cards to guide my writing for that day (when I was still in the writing stage), poured myself a cup of coffee, and got to work.
Many mornings I forgot to eat breakfast because I was so consumed by what I was doing. Many evenings I stayed up late to get more work done. Sometimes I worked in silence or with my son’s TV show in the background; other times with Stevie Nicks, instrumental Celtic music, or Vitamin String Quartet serenading me while I focused. My beloved workouts took a back seat. There were points on the home stretch where my mind teetered on the precipice of burn out because I was constantly thinking or doing.
I chose the self-publishing route because I had a strong vision of how the book should look and I needed the creative freedom that a traditional publishing route wouldn’t allow for. There were some learning curves and tears. Thank goodness for my mom-in-law who graciously offered her feedback and support from beginning to end. The process of editing, designing, and formatting was riddled with both frustration and elation. Spending hours on redesigning the cover only to start over after realizing there was a better way to do it was like a punch to the stomach. It pained me to have to nuke the formatting on my manuscript and reformat it for the e-book. Uploading and re-uploading updated files to four different distributors whenever I found one tiny typo or formatting issue made me want to tear my hair out. I nearly cried from joy the moment I held the first printed proof copy of my book in my hands.
Technical aspects aside, Phases to Loving You was an emotional roller coaster ride just to write. I was forced to face my past and embrace the truths about it – and myself – that I hadn’t been brave enough to face. Revisiting dusty old memories with a sense of purpose was both healing and exhausting. I wrote the book to help guide others on a transformational journey yet I found myself on that same journey along the way.
This book is all me – the life lessons, the past experiences, the mental health struggles, the relationships, who I am as a person presently. I put it all out there in a way that will hopefully resonate with women who have gone through similar trials and tribulations. Probably my favorite line in the whole book is, “If we always drive around the storms to avoid them then we’ll never find the transformational magic that resides within them.” Being afraid of what waits for us in the storms, or on the other side of them, holds us back from where we need to be – where we want to be. Through my book I take the reader by the hand and guide her through those storms to the other side where the sun awaits.
I am beyond excited for Phases to Loving You to be in the hands (or electronic devices) of people all over the world – many of whom I have developed a connection with already. The thought of them knowing so much about me on a deeply personal level should terrify my introverted self, but instead I feel liberated. How many of you have stories and parts of yourselves that you keep secret? If we all opened up a bit more I’m sure we’d find that we aren’t alone. My goal is for readers to close the book knowing that they aren’t alone, that they are enough just as they are, and that they are deserving of love.
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