How I Wrote a Book

Manuscript next to a laptop

If you would have told me, that one day I would write a blog, and published a couple of books; all around the same time I become a mother, I would have laughed in your face. No seriously though. I’m still in shock that I can officially call myself a writer. With all the book PR I did last year with Big Girl Decisions and all the book PR I’m about to do with Grateful Mama I frequently get asked, “How do you work full time, have two kids, and publish books?” Well, I want to tell you, at the process, I went through to write Big Girl Decisions.

It was a bright and hot summer day. I was running on the street in our neighbor when it hit me. I was overwhelmed with this idea of sharing my journey to motherhood. At the time, I didn’t know what it would look like, all I knew was that other women needed to hear about my fear of motherhood and my experience of a miscarriage.

That night after my run, I sat down at my computer and started typing. Luckily, I had already written the story of each my son’s birth, but I knew that was only part of my story. I need to write about everything that led to those two precious moments in my life.

I did what any good writer does, I wrote my outline. I had my birthing stories. I knew, even as painful as it would be for me, I needed to write about my miscarriage. Ok, there are three chapters and counting. I had to decide how and where I would begin with this story.

I knew my readers needed to understand my relationship with Thomas. They needed to understand how we influenced each other’s growth. We spent eight years building our love and life together, before we had children. It is the foundation of our family and needed to be the beginning of this story.

After the outline was created, I started to write each chapter. Now here is the magic sauce and the secret to writing a book. Are you ready? Write this down. Write all the time. I wrote all the time. Ok enough said. I’m done with this post. But how did I make the time to write a book? That’s really what you want to know, right?

Every weekday night when it was Thomas’s turn to put the boys to bed, I pulled out my laptop and wrote. Depending on the week, I was writing anywhere from4-6 hours in the evenings. Some weekends during naptime I sit down and bust out another hour or two. I wrote at the airport and on plane rides. There was a conference in Florida I went out to the pool; every night after the conference ended, with my laptop and wrote as I enjoyed a tropical inspired cocktail.

Laptop by cocktail

It took me about a year to write the book and then I took about two months to edit it. I gathered all my mama bear bravery and asked a slue of well-read mamas read it and give me feedback. Yes, I was terrified to have something else read my work.

I got very good insight from them. One suggested that I include more background of my family. Another suggested that I talk about my religious upbringing because she knew how that contributed to the fear I had around motherhood.

After added two more chapters it was time to hire an editor. It took almost another year to get through those painful edits. I say painful because any time you put yourself out there the editing process is going to be painful. I was admit that my story be honest. In the end, I believe the story rings true to my experience.

After edits were complete, I hired a graphic design. I know I could have designed the book myself but it was too much pressure for my first book. During this process, I googled self-publishing. I read up on Kindle Direct Publishing, started an account, and submitted my manuscript. All of this of course occurred after I had obtained a copyright.

This process was challenging and rewarding. I questioned myself throughout the entire process, but had this determination that outweighed my fear. I hope this delivered a bit of insight for you. If you are in the process of writing, a book or self-publishing please reach out to me. I’ve already consulted a few women’s manuscripts and I love helping when and where I can.

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