Well, the book has been out for two full days! WOOHOO!!
I must say, I’m feeling a bit of withdrawal. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t need to sit at my computer and do some sort of edit or reread or troubleshoot. I feel a bit like I’ve given birth! 😀
I received my first copy in the mail two days ago and I must say, it’s quite thrilling to open a package and pull out a book that you created.
I’m so thankful for the love I’ve received so far by friends on all my social media platforms. I’m hoping that you’ll all read, share, and spread the word about the book. But most of all, I really pray that there’s some part of it that blesses you or provides a bit of healing, clarity, or a revelation of some sort. As I mentioned in a previous post, whenever I reread a portion of it, I’m reminded of the situation that brought about a certain lesson or revelation and I’m so grateful for those reminders.
A friend of mine commented that I did this undercover, very quietly. And it’s true. I did. I first started this writing process in 2014, not knowing that a full book would come out of it, just knowing that writing always helped me get things out. Once I started reading what I’d written, I realized that there was more there than just a journal for me. I explored many different ideas of what I thought it might be; a daily gratitude journal for women, a devotional, or just writing prompts. I have to be honest and say that reading through everything and deciding what to share was not an easy process. I had so many reservations. Did I really wanted to be so vulnerable about emotions that I was feeling? Would people who know me read parts of it and draw their own conclusions about what I shared? These and other questions swirled through my head. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a memoir or tell-all. But it is vulnerable. As we all know, true vulnerability is not an easy thing to navigate. So I did have some reservations. I also wondered if parts of it came across as preachy. But I concluded that these are the experiences and stories and lessons and words that God gave me to share. And I have a right, just as everyone does, to share them the way they were given to me. And now that it’s out, I feel absolutely no fear! I truly believe that when you’re bold enough to be vulnerable and own and share your own story, you’ve empowered yourself and no one can hold anything over you. That’s true freedom!
That being said, the procrastination has been REAL. I moved back to New York in early 2016 after having been on tour for close to six years. My original goal was to finish the book while I was taking some time to rest and get back in the groove of the city. Well, it didn’t happen. It sat on my desktop and I’d open it, do a little edit, close it again, and not re-open it for months. I knew that I wanted and needed to get it done and I mentioned the project to a few people, but I just wasn’t doing what was necessary to make it happen. There was definitely some fear involved in all that procrastination. Reading through made me relive certain moments and feel emotions all over again and I didn’t like the way it felt. But I knew that there was a healing element to what I’d written. There was also the question of how to get it published. Between the fear and the questions, I was completely bogged down with things that kept holding me back from actually finishing. Even though I was putting it off, I knew it would get done…because it HAD to get done.
I got to the end of 2016, not having kept my promise to myself to complete the book, and so it was on my list of goals for completion this year. A friend of mine, Claytine Nisbett, self-published her first novel earlier this year on Amazon (read it!). After seeing that, I was so encouraged to finally get mine done. I reached out to her with tons of questions about the process and she was so gracious to encourage me to get it done and walk me through the process of self-publishing on the Amazon platform. From that moment, it was up to me to just do it.
The writing and editing proved to be the easy part. The tedium came once I got into the formatting process. Whew! There’s not time enough to go into that! Let’s just say that I learned a lot about formatting a book; editing for trim size, proper margins which had to be correct down to 1/100 of an inch, cover and spine measurements, converting photos into different file types, and more! The Kindle version was finished first. The paperback version took longer and made me a bit crazy due to the specificity of measurements for the cover. I’d decided to create my own cover, not knowing anything about how to format a book cover. I taught myself how to use Photoshop (kind of) and two days before I was set to release, I was still being driven crazy because the file just wasn’t the right size. No matter how many times I started from scratch, reformatted and resized every little component, things still weren’t lining up with the provided template the way they needed to. By this point I was feeling pretty impressed with the fact that I’d figured out so many things on my own, but I decided to abandon my “do-it-all-by-myself” resolve, bite the bullet, and pay a graphic designer to do what I couldn’t seem to figure out. Since I belong to so many social media groups full of artists of all disciplines, I didn’t have to look far for someone with experience designing book covers. A gentleman by the name of Will Focus stepped in and gave me three quick edits of my book cover two days before the day I was planning to launch! Perfect!!
So that’s the Reader’s Digest version of the whole process. And now, time to promote the book. Prepare to see lots of social media posts! I’m hoping to be able to do book readings and signings, talks and presentations, and everything that comes with being a self-published, first-time author. And if you live in NYC, there will definitely be some sort of launch event. I’m so ready for the ride!
As I’ve said before, I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve received thus far. I hope you all find some piece of the book that resonates with you and I hope you’ll share with others. Please feel free to send me feedback or leave it on Amazon. I’d love to hear it! Also, be on the look out for other projects. Now that this one is finished I’ve got more sparks of creation, more stories and ideas that need to be created. I’m committed to getting out all the visions that have been placed inside of me!