My new book !! – Rediscovering Wisdom, Peace and Happiness

Several years ago, it was my New Year’s Resolution to write a book and get it published; not just any book, but a novel; a psychological thriller. I had always enjoyed writing poems and very short stories, for fun, but had absolutely no idea whatsoever about constructing a novel. Or writing thousands of words. Or writing a compelling story. Or even anything about publishers.

I guess I had it in my blood; my father wrote literally dozens of novels, short stories and plays but never managed to get them published. Unfortunately, he was too early for the advent of self publishing let alone for the good type of self publishing, rather than vanity publishers, that many authors now actually choose over agents or traditional publishes.

Blood or not, it didn’t help. I turned to google for guidance but the more I tried to understand the barrage of information offered to me, the more overwhelmed I became; apparently there are as many ways to write a novel as there are authors!

I drowning under a sea of information. You know when you recognise most of the words but not in that order? It was like that. Every time I thought I was getting close to an answer, a mountain of more questions surfaced.

Yet my creative ambition was strong…I reminded myself why I had started and did the only thing I was able to do;

I started at the beginning

Every time I started thinking ahead to how many more thousands of words I had to write, in order for it to be accepted as a novel (rather than a novelette) or to the front cover design, or how one went about marketing, I became evermore daunted by the sheer magnitude of what I’d started. I had to keep dragging myself back from the edge of paralysing overthinking to the present moment…to what I was writing at that moment.

I’d heard of writers’ block but most usually, I experienced the opposite…the more my characters took shape, the faster the plot streamed from them…from them, not me! Or maybe I’m being fanciful? Far from it being a chore or a job, it was easier to write than not to write…I even took my tablet to Egypt and wrote by the pool….until suddenly my personal circumstances changed rather abruptly and writing had to take a back seat….for over a year.

Who were these people?!

When finally I reopened my word document, it was like reading someone else’s work. Where I’d been so comfortable I now felt like a stranger. Parts definitely needed rewording but some parts, though pleasant to read, seemed foreign to me. The characters who had been my friends now felt like acquaintances…and barely that; I didn’t know them any more. I was more overwhelmed than I had been at the very beginning and had to keep reminding myself to concentrate only on the task in hand and that fear was illusionary and couldn’t affect me unless I let it. Have a look at Nothing and no one can ever hurt us. Laboriously, I read every word and made notes on their characters, experiences and preferences….slowly I began to ingratiate myself with them and after a while, they welcomed me back as one of their own.

Keeping the timeline under control was the most difficult part for me, and the bigger and more unwieldy the document became, the trickier it was. I would copy and paste a section elsewhere and end up with somebody eating their desert before their starter or suchlike! It was a massively steep learning curve but cut to one year later…when I was writing my sequel, I make it much easier for myself, whilst I wrote, by instead of chapter headings, I had times and dates. It made a world of difference for me. As it was a fairly complicated plot, I decided to leave them like that for the readers.

I kept my thoughts on now, on the only time we ever have…and one day, I typed ‘the end’

Of course, it wasn’t the end because it had to be proof read and edited and I had to learn about agents and publishes and front covers and blurbs (no, I didn’t know what that was either).

Each publisher I looked at require different information with a submission; it might be the first chapter or the first so many hundred words of the novel. Many specified a font and size and whether they wanted it single or double spaced. Some wanted a blurb or a bio (what the hell was that?!) or my friend’s dog’s inside leg measurement. I lied about that last bit, sorry… but you can see how confusing it was and how it would have been easy to get stressed…but I didn’t; I stepped back and saw that I was actually very lucky to have time to write and how proud of myself I could be for attaining my goal.

l wrote my first book, What the Butler Saw, to challenge myself, to see if I could actually do it, to hold my paperback novel in my hands. Having two versions was pure indulgence because most people buy kindle versions these days and if anyone does buy a paperback, the commission is only pennies, but I’m old fashioned and it was important to me. It was such a wonderful surprise when…

It reached number eight on Amazon’s crime chart

Unfortunately, not all the reviews were good and I admit, that temporarily, I took negative opinions to heart…but then I realised they were just others’ views and couldn’t damage me one jot if I didn’t allow them to.

This week I sent my fourth book to the publishers; this one couldn’t be much more different from a psychological thriller and is an explanation of the beautiful understanding that I share with you in these posts; the understanding that changed my life. If I can have written something which might just touch peoples’ lives, it will have been my greatest accomplishment to date.

I faced my fears, I ignored my excuses, I refused to give up.

We all have dreams and often we don’t think they could be anything other than that but if I could fulfil and surpass mine, I know that you can fulfil yours.

What have you got to lose?

 

The next two weeks will be Christmas and New Year’s Day, so I’ll be doing lovely Christmassy things with my family; I hope you’ll be having a wonderful time too. If this is a difficult time for you, please reach out to me, and accept my love.

Next year (!!), I’ll be writing about learning how to stop arguing. Until then, please let me know if you have any questions or comments (I’ll still be checking my correspondence); I’d love to know if I’ve inspired you to turn a dream into a reality.

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