Writing a book was a very rewarding experience. It took about three years from the time I thought about it until its publication. I had begun blogging in a diary format as a way of personal reflection. It helped me process through some pretty challenging life-changing events in my life. I heard about a writing contest that was offered through Guideposts Magazine during the spring of 2012. I had until June to get it completed. The requirement was to have at least 10,000 words about an inspiring experience similar to the writings that are found among the articles of the magazine. The winner would get their book published free of charge. The second and third runners up would get a large discount to the cost of self-publication. I had never entered a writing contest of that magnitude before. I sent in an entry to a magazine once for publication. I thought I had nothing to lose at least by entering my manuscript and hoped I would at least get some free criticism on my writing.
Three or so months went by. When I heard that a winner had been chosen, I was curious as to how well my manuscript had been received. I got up the courage to call the publishing company. I was surprised to learn that they had liked my book entry very much. They encouraged me to consider self-publication. They even offered me a steep discount to the publishing costs. I decided to publish my book.
The work really was about to begin. I had to come up with not just 10,000 words but rather at least 15,000 to be an acceptable length by most popular book standards. I had to come up with a title that would be unique and eye-catching. I had to decide what the book cover would look like, how my bio would read for the back cover and what photo of myself I would choose. I had to work with an editor over changes that were suggested on grammatical corrections, sentence structure or better wording. Some things were completely removed or were completely revised. I had to change the order of different chapters or sections. I had to decide on pictures that I wanted to use in my book. I was challenged technologically. I knew very little about photo uploading, downloading, shopping and cropping and had to work closely with an office store to help me transfer images onto discs so that I could send them to the publisher in the accepted format.
When my book was finally complete and I got the first copy in my own hands, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I had done something that was a lifelong dream and goal.
My book is entitled Bagpipes, Planes and Strings: A Woman’s Journey In Letting Go. It is available at http://www.inspiringvoices.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, and http://www.amazon.com. It can also be purchased at Lifeway Christian Bookstores.