I have had so many questions from my peers about how I wrote my book and how I self published. I already wrote a blog about my self publishing journey, and this one is for those of you that have been inspired to write a book but don’t know if you’re really qualified, or how you would ever begin, let alone finish the book.
To start from the beginning, I had always been writer of some sort. I liked to write stories as a kid, wanted to write a novel for teens when I was a teenager myself, and later wrote songs.
In my Angel Therapy Practitioner® Course in 2009, I got a reading from one of the staff who said that he saw me around a sea of books, which was true. I have been a voracious reader all of my life. He then said, “Don’t you think it’s time to give back to the world the gift that books have given you?” Wow.
Then, in2010, I posted a long ‘note’ on facebook about my 1400 mile move between Minneapolis and Boston. I did that because everyone was talking about moving long distances and I wanted to tell my story so they knew how I did, and how emotionally difficult it was at times. After I posted that note publicly, several people that read it told me I should write a book, because they wanted to read more. One actually nearly quoted the reading I had prior, verbatim, telling me to “share my gift [of writing] with the world”.
Every time I thought of writing ‘the book’ (which I figured would tell me what it was going to be about as I wrote it), I was intimidated by it all. I worried about the end product before I even began. I thought I wasn’t qualified to write a book.
Then, in July 2012, I had a dream that I died. In the dream, I saw the white light just like you hear other people account in their near death experiences. I followed that light because the love and peace I felt required no thought in decision to follow it. As I was about to literally cross over to the other side, I took pause and realized I’d hurt my mother and other people if I left. So I said to whomever was listening “I don’t think I’m ready to leave yet”. All I heard in answer was “Then WRITE THE BOOK”.
That scared me into action. I still didn’t know what kind of book I was going to write, but I knew it would be targeted at Mediums and developing as a Medium in some way. When I was trying to open up as a Medium and didn’t know where to turn, the first place I looked was to books. I never really found what I was looking for, and wanted to write something like I was looking for back then.
That first night I can’t even remember what I wrote. I didn’t know how it would all come together, I just knew I was going to write what I felt and stop when I felt done. I’d write what I now realize were chapters of different subjects that I thought people would want information on, and wasn’t really sure how it would come together at the end. From what I knew of books, I was sure there were many revisions and edits. It was hard not to get into my own way and think everything I was writing was crap.
When I started the book in 2012, I was working a full time job, and had also started a new relationship. I wrote maybe an hour a day in the beginning, and for the first 3 months of my new relationship, there wasn’t much progress.
In the fall of 2012, I got back to writing, and just wrote as I felt inspired. If I tried to force it, or write if I was emotionally exhausted and needed some down time, it wouldn’t come. I wanted the book to be of quality, and that meant not forcing it.
As it were, once I started writing, the information seemed to fly out at first. I type fast: 60-80 Words per minute. One day I wrote 8000 words, and my finished book was about 33,000 words. That was not a normal day, I just figured it was information that was flowing through me because I’d been putting off the book for so long.
I wrote consistently from September 2012 – February 2013. A few hours a week, that’s it. I knew I would know when I was done, and I did in February. I could have torn the whole thing up if I would have looked at it and overanalyzed it when I was done, so for the most part I let it be when I felt I was done.
The only thing I was having a hard time with was the “How To Do A Medium Reading” chapter. Something wasn’t coming together with it, and I could not put my finger on it. I was so glad to be nearly done with the book. I felt guided to wait to finish the book until after an advanced mediumship weekend with John Holland and 49 other Mediums in May 2013. I had no idea why, but after that weekend, I had learned a few things that allowed me to tweak that chapter in the way required to finish it. I realized so many things that weekend, like that many of the mediums had a history of being a musician or performing on stage in some way. I saw the connection and how it likely prepared all of us for giving readings to others in public.
In mid May my book was done. Hallelujah! Now all I had to do was organize the chapters. I was not looking forward to it. My whole book was written on a Microsoft Word document, and it involved a lot of cutting and pasting once I finally decided on the order.
Then I sent my book to my editors I’d selected. They’re a husband and wife team, and were great. The husband did most of the editing, and mid way through the book they’d seek my approval to do the second half. At this point, they suggested revision editing instead of the basic copy editing I’d asked for. They didn’t think any major revisions would be necessary, but pointed out a few things with phrasing and the like. During this process, the wife gave me feedback about what she liked, and also what may be a good change to consider, such as the order of the chapters.
I took it all in, but decided that I had selected my chapters in that order for a reason, and would leave it as is. Looking back, I wish I had some beta readers to read the book in advance and give me feedback, but I’ll know that for next time.
When I finally got the editing done paired with cover design, it was time to finally submit to createspace and order a printed proof of my book. That’s an advance copy that the author sees so they can make changes if need be. You could do a digital proof for free, but I wanted to make sure the print size looked good, and later ended up changing my size (more about that in my blog about self publishing).
When I was going through that first proof, it was the first time that I sat down and read my book, cover to cover, as a reader. It was then that I realized that April (the wife), was right in some of her suggestions. It didn’t make sense to put my story in the back of the book, as I’d considered first, and some of the chapters didn’t flow correctly.
It was during this final edit that I added two more chapters. Bad Spirits? And The Self Care of a Medium, Psychic or Intuitive got added. I had been guided for the entire book to address the topic of evil and demons and how they basically don’t exist, but I resisted because I believe words hold energy and did not want that stuff in my book. Still, there are so many that needed to hear it, so I finally added it. In part, I was trying to get more words in my book and anything helped. It ultimately got chapters in the book that needed to be in there for it to be complete.
I started my book with the goal of it being around 50,000 words which is a good size for a non fiction book. I also didn’t want to force information to get a longer book, andthat’s how my book turned out to be around 31,000 words when it was complete. I wanted it to be a bit longer so I could be in compliance with the 130 page minimum to get the spine on my book that had been designed. Without that, it would have just been a blank spine. I didn’t know how many pages my book would be until it was edited, and that’s the hard part of this process. Letting go. You have to be patient to write a book, because it doesn’t happen overnight. At the end, when I did the 2nd edit after Id’ thought I was done, I nearly screamed in frustration at how much longer it was going to take. But I knew I had to do it right, and if I’d waited that long, I could wait a bit longer, still.
The final thing to be addressed is you. The person reading this. My peer. The one thinking you’re not qualified, don’t have the time or can’t do this. You can do this. You were born to do this, and you are very qualified. The world needs your knowledge NOW. Please write your book, even if it’s a little bit at a time. There are others that can and will benefit from your wisdom and perspective in some way. You don’t need to take a class on writing. You don’t need to spell perfect or have perfect grammar; your editors can help with that stuff. You are perfect and wise, just as you are. Instead of thinking of all the people that might criticize what you’re doing, think of all the people you might help.
Now that my book is out and people are telling me specific parts of the book that meant a lot to them, I know it was worth it. I know I love writing, and will continue to write. I have one more book in a similar genre to the one I just wrote about Indigo Adults & Children. After that, I’m going to try writing a novel. Whatever I feel guided to write, I now realize that I love my new career as an author.