I’ve waited more than 30 years to say this… After dreaming about writing a book and publishing it, praise God, that day has finally arrived! As of 6:00 a.m. on August 6, 2020, I’ve finished the “original writing” aspect of writing my debut book.
I specialize in nonfiction and love facts. I also love working on descriptions of people, places, and things. I’m a huge fan of pop culture and have embedded as many kitschy references to my text as I could. If you get it, you’ll enjoy the joke, if you don’t, I encourage my readers to look up the references.
My book is a dramatic tale about a woman who falls in love with a dance studio and gets her heart broken when it is revealed that the studio made questionable choices during the pandemic. In trying to figure out fact from fiction, the woman realizes she misplaced her love in the first place. The true honor came from within her own family. Through three generations of dance, the love was there all along. She just had to find it.
When I was 10 years old, I read strictly teen romance. It was all fictional stories and lovely to my budding mind. Way back then before the Internet was invented, my grade school teacher taught us about a young author who had her first book published at the age of 13. I told myself it was a cakewalk and I could do the same thing. Not so much.
For many reasons, I took my mindset to different directions. I was motivated by the psychology of hardcore crimes and went to law school with a strong prosecutor mindset. I graduated and was unsuccessful in passing the bar. After trying for 15 years, I gave up. My husband, who graduated law school a year begore I did, also failed for 15 years but kept trying. 21 years after graduating from law school, my husband passed the bar and is now an attorney.
While I was waiting to hear back on whether I passed the bar, I laid the groundwork for my writing career. Starting in 1998, I created a consumer magazine and self published even before it became a thing. Over the years, I’ve evolved into writing for clients and now focus strictly on freelance writing for magazines.
In 2020, the pandemic hit. It affected us all. For me, personally, it gave me a much-needed break from rigorous activity. I dropped down from driving 250 miles per week to driving 10 miles in a month. During my forced break, I returned to my book authorship dreams. By “accident” I found a manuscript I started and abandoned from 2012. I started working on it with an intention to finish.
In April 2020, with my family’s blessing, I created a unique family publishing company allowing the four of us in my family to write and publish books as we pleased. On August 18, 2020, I had a ZOOM call that punctured my heart. That same day, I immediately changed course, shelved my 2012 manuscript again, and bizarrely began work on a new manuscript.
Nearly one year later on August 6, 2021, my official debut nonfiction book, “Conflicted with Joy,” is finished. (This is just the stage I call “original writing.” The next stage is editing, then interior design and formatting, etc.) My book clocks in at 205k words.
My particular path to publishing doesn’t make sense to most people, but it feels right to me. It took me more than 30 years to get to this point and it surely feels good. Admittedly, I still have work to do to finalize things before I send it off to the printer, but I’m celebrating with you all this very important first step.
To anyone struggling to finish their book, hang in there. Stay the course and you will succeed.