I first thought about writing a book when I was 8 years old. I have always loved to read and was known for sitting up late at night with a hidden torch under my covers to read the last few precious pages before going to sleep. Then as an adult while that dream grew the reality of the situation set in. I joined Qld Writers Association. I heard how hard it was to get published, the barriers, how few people ever made any money from publishing and so over time it started to feel impossible. We have a mortgage, children in school a book was a pipeline dream that could not be afforded the time or finances. So I put the dream to the side, and it felt awful. When we put our dreams too far to the side it can affect our wellbeing. Despair or feelings of failure can make us ill. It felt like I was constantly trying to deny a part of myself, and that part would not be silenced.
Then one day I decided it was better to try and fail miserably then to never try at all. I felt sick, nervous, fraudulent but I still decided to write and self publish. The book has had moderate success. 2000 copies sold since April 2014. I still fear reviews and each book sold from the website makes me anxious to please but the feedback has been tremendous. We have almost broken even financially though it was never about the money. It was about producing a book that may in some small way assist people in grief and could be read by readers of all ages and levels of development. I am still extremely humbled and proud to find it on a bookshelf or when people take the time to email me and thank me. So the book is now a gift that hopefully continues for the reader and absolutely for me as well. I encourage you to think about what would enhance your own wellbeing. Are you doing enough of what you love? Follow your passion, not with foolhardy blindness, with strategic plans and backups. It may come with sacrifices. What is the worst that can happen? If you fail you can enjoy the journey and experience and learn from it. Failure will never taste as bitter as the well of regret. I cannot tell you of the thrill and almost childlike delight at finding my book on the shelves of Gleebooks in Glebe NSW and Kinokuniya in the Sydney Galleries this weekend. Be brave, it has it’s rewards.
You will have to excuse the hat, it was very hot in Sydney over the weekend!