As you all may or may not know, I am writing a book (or more so wrote a book)! It has been a process for sure I can say. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write a book. In fact, it was in high school that I said that I would be a best selling author. I even remember one of my friends writing in our yearbook that she hoped that my book would land on Oprah’s list of books that should be read. I’ve even written a book while I was in high school, although I never got it published and it was probably poor quality lol but I worked my hardest on it.
Fast forward to some years later, I haven’t written not one book. I was at a low point in my life and that is when Cara Alwill’s books came into my life. The first one being “Sparkle: The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously Dazzling, Wildly Effervescent, Kick-Ass Life”. In it, she talked about how she started out as a blogger and she wrote her first book, which was Sparkle. Her boyfriend at the time laughed at her and she was rejected 19 times from publishing company. 19 TIMES! It was after that when she decided to just self-publish her book. After I read that, I was determined on writing a book and self-publishing it.
I haven’t had much inspiration before and well…I barely read any books for years (or at least I didn’t read books the way I used to). It was go to work and then come home and crash…unless I was reading a Cara Alwill book. It didn’t help that those around me were telling me what I can and couldn’t achieve and what dream was too high. Her books were my saving graces. It made me want to go after everything I wanted in life. I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, I just knew that it will. The only problem is….I’m impatient af!
I’ve been working on muscipts for years. The very first I wrote in high school took me years to make and boy oh boy I wish I still had that book because….it was tragic. Again, I was like 16 or 17 and not knowing about life so the dialogue made no sense and I mean it was everything to me at that time but looking back, it (the book) probably made not one bit of sense lol. Then some four or five years ago, I had a dream with my crush and I told it to him and he was like telling me that I should make it a book and I was like, not a bad idea! So I wrote the book and it took forever. I would work on it and then put it down and pick it up some time later and then put it back down. It was that endless cycle and to be honest, it’s still not done. I wanted it to be a psychological thriller. It still will be but it felt like I was forcing it as I was in the writing process and I didn’t want writing to feel like chore so I put it down until I felt the need to write again.
I’d do the whole NANOWRIMO () with the hopes of finishing my novel but it just wasn’t happening for me. Again, it’ll feel like a chore and I was so preoccupied with meeting the daily word count and trying not to edit it (you’re not really supposed to edit as you go) but my brain would not allow it for every time I’d start to write, when the words didn’t seem to flow, I’d get frustrated. Again, I’m a super impatient person so I’d get upset with myself when my book wasn’t finished. I’d see all these people release their books and I’d be sitting on the sidelines wishfully thinking, wanting to come out with my own book.
When Sarah Ordo came out with her books, I was real excited because we’re around the same age so I understood some of the things that she talked about. I was able to identify with what she was going through. I loved her and Cara’s brand and became an avid reader of theirs. When Sarah came out with her self publishing course, I was like oh my goodness. I have to buy it! I bought it and watched it so many times (hell I’m still watching it even as I get ready to launch my book) and even bought another course she had for writing a book. I was so grateful because I was lost on this whole self-publishing and writing world.
I kept going back and forth on the book that I was writing and something in my spirit was like, you need to write a book about your story and your journey in life and I was like “who am I to write a book like that?”. The thing that really made me get up off my ass was seeing how when Sarah had a book idea or any idea for her brand she dove head first in it and didn’t stop until it was accomplished. I found that me saying I was going to do something and then put it off was hurting me so when the idea came for me to share my story, I finally sat down and did it. Also at the time, writing a book was on my bucket list because at the beginning of last year (2020) I gave myself 6 months or after my lease was up to accomplish what I wanted to because I made up in my mind that I would kill myself when my lease was up, so I had to get my book done.
So I went on my blog, took posts that I really thought would fit well with my book and took it from there. Cara Alwill gave the advice of taking our blog posts as chapters and expanding on them for books and her advice worked! I sat down and combined my posts together and the next thing you knew, I had my first draft put together. Everything came together and I was so excited! I finally completed one draft. That was the first hurdle I had to get over. Now I had to deal with the editing and the self publishing before my due date that I gave myself of June. No one really knew that I was writing a book but when I started posting here and there about me writing a book, it was well received and people actually congratulated me! I was blown away! I thought no one would be interested in what I had to say. My grandma even joked a little by saying that I should write a book about being stuck at home during quarantine since I like to read so much. Little did she know that I actually was writing a book. It made me chuckle I do admit!
I found my editor by chance on Facebook. She was having an event called “Write That Book” and I signed up for it and scheduled a meeting with her. After our meeting, I knew that she was someone I wanted to work with. She published her own book and is a teacher herself and I am so blessed to have her in my life. With her expertise and experience (and Sarah’s course) I have been able to see my dream come to life. I cannot believe my first book is going to be publish. I am nervous for what my family or what strangers would think, but at least I’m putting myself out there! Even my therapist is proud of me with chasing after my goals!
I told myself that even if it didn’t sell well, at least I put myself out there (which is terrifying I might add) and going after a dream that I’ve always wanted to do. And that’s my advice for you, if you’ve always wanted to write a book, or anything for that matter, what’s stopping you? You honestly never know when your life will be over and so you don’t want to live with regret over not going after something that you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t let your fears talk you out of what you really want in life. Go for it! You never know where life will take you. Once you do put yourself out there and accomplish things you’ve always wanted to do, it can be confidence building. You’ll feel so proud of yourself and something that people can never say about you is that you never went after any goals. Oh and trust the process. Nobody is ever perfect the first time around. So start that small business or side hustle. Start that Youtube channel you always wanted to or that podcast. Start that blog! Run that marathon. Lose that weight! Just start!
What’s something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet? Share in the comments and lets cheer each other on!