Photo taken by author
Have you read "Are You A Writer? Part 1?" If not, go back and read it... OK, here we go. I have written previous blogs, such as Moments in my Life, and one for my home staging business, Eye Catching Homes. They were personal experiences that impacted me and usually had a teachable moment. You can read them here. So many of my past memories center around moving, and starting over in new homes. Each of these moves have brought mixed emotions. Joy and sadness are hard to feel at the same time, but I have felt them many times? Have you?
Our most recent move was our “downsize” move and we were finally going where we wanted to go, which was back to Georgia. Once again, the 48 Days podcast with Dan Miller inspired us to find the work you love, in the place you love. We decluttered, purged, and put our house on the market, not knowing exactly where we were going. In about 48 days we were packed, sold and the Clark and Clark Expedition to Georgia began. Working from home was a great move for my husband...the commute is from one bedroom to another.
As days passed, and a home renovation ended, and 3 grand babies came along, I decided to write a children’s book. Of course, writing is just one part of the process I had to get my mind to stop sabotaging me. Do you know what I mean? Who do you think you are? Who would want to read a book about bugs? Over and over these thoughts would start, and an almost panicky feeling set in. I had signed up for a coaching/publishing system called Kary Oberbrunner’s,Authors Academy Elite, and the first step is to make a video called “I Am An Author” As I was preparing the speech, I remembered a vision board I made in 2015. Yes, it made the move! I pulled it out and my word for that year was Anticipation. I had written “I am a writer “ in big letters.
I made my video and put it on the community website, and within days, I panicked and cancelled my membership to Author Academy Elite. I CAN"T DO THIS! IT'S TOO SCARY! I could not get past my fear. Why did I go from confident to total fear so quickly?
Have you ever had one of these moments? Imposter syndrome, I think they call it...it's a real thing. The Lord would not let me back out. He reminded me of the confident woman on video only a few days before who talked about being a writer. How could I suddenly decide I wasn't a writer? The book would not leave me alone either! It kept me awake at night as each of my characters continued to grow and develop in my mind. I re-enrolled in the course the next day. Two themes in my book are overcoming fear, and being courageous. I had to go through those feelings to bring my bugs to life.
The process of finding an illustrator was another challenge. I asked around town and at the local University Of Georgia Art School, for a children's book illustrator. No one had illustrated a book, so one morning I got the brilliant idea to run an ad online in my local area Craig's List. Immediately, applicants started sending me their websites, and through a process of combing through these sites, and also through a Facebook ad I ran, I settled on an artist from out of state. I even got responses from overseas. There were so many qualified illustrators, it was hard to chose. We set a deadline and he began the process of interpreting my story into real characters. This part was fun, and I did have a good list and description of what I needed. I guess all writer's picture their characters a certain way, and it's hard to get it out of your head and onto paper, and into someone else's head that you've never met.
The pages came to life in about a month, and then choosing a cover and final title was another time of anxiety. This book will be in the Library Of Congress...so it better look good from the front. Getting someone to want to buy it just from looking at the cover and the back is the key, I hear. Once again, my vision, the illustrator's vision, and my family's opinion, all had input into the process. It was a majority vote...thanks for the input from my family. At first, the picture was too dramatic and scary, but the final cover choice was a more enticing picture to get children to want to open the book, I hope!
Now, the interior layout designer has the book, and is getting it ready so I can upload it to all the sources that actually sell books, such as Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any local bookstore in your area. This is one area that has me full of anxiety this week. How will it actually look in person? During a pregnancy you wait nine months to see your baby. This is a similar feeling. I am giving birth for all the world to see my baby! Hope you like him/her!
When you visit your local bookstore after April 14th, 2018, ask for Big Changes for Little Bugs, PLEASE! and share a picture holding my baby, with the hashtag #bigchanges4bugs, on your social media platforms. I would be thrilled and honored!
I am having a BIRTH Day launch party on April 14, to show off my newborn baby. This will be an event for local children and families, and we will give away Butterfly Bushes to attract Rosie Ladybug, Jumpy Cricket, Harvey Bee, and Gracie Butterfly, my four characters.
I encourage you to plant a Butterfly Bush and enjoy many hours watching the bees, butterflies, etc. that come to your yard. What a peaceful and comforting sight it is to see God's creatures all living on one bush, happily. They teach us to live peacefully, be generous to others, and be kind to one another.
This planet...it's the only home we have. It inspires my writing, and every author around the world. We see our books come to life, and hopefully impact others to dream big dreams for themselves.
Stay tuned for Part 3...Are You A Writer? Writing is nerve-wracking, and exhilarating, all at the same time.