Publishing My First Book – A Lockdown Adventure

Publishing My First Book – A Lockdown Adventure

I have just published my first book, thanks to Covid 19!  2020 has been a year of challenges for us all.  It has been a year of dealing with disappointment and discovering new directions.  It has not turned out the way any of us expected when we made our New Year’s resolutions on January 1st.

I had expected to spend 2020 building up my Yoga and Reflexology business in my new garden studio.  I had planned a number of exciting holidays, courses and retreats.  Instead I have spent much of my time walking and writing.  It has been quite an adventure.

I had been mulling over ideas about doing more writing for ages, but I never seemed to have enough time.  A plan for a novel about midwifery and outdoor swimming was bubbling away in my brain, but I had only got a few fragments written down.  Then along came Covid.  Suddenly I had to close my Yoga business and I had hours to spare.  It was time to get on the laptop.

During the spring and early summer lockdown I completed the first draft of my novel, Breaking the Waters.  I now have over ninety thousand words to shape and edit.  Quite the task!

I joined a couple of online writing groups, and one of them, Ninja Writers, offered a summer challenge.  It was called Blog Your Own Book, (or BYOB for short).  The idea was to write a blog post every single day in August on a chosen theme, and then to spend the autumn putting these together into a book for publication.

I am a girl who likes a challenge! The idea appealed to me, and the lovely lady who runs Ninja Writers produced some very helpful guidance.  Following a little consultation I came up with the idea of Finding Your Calm Space: Thirty One Ways to Find Calm in a Crazy World.  There are thirty-one days in August, right?  So that’s one way to find calm for each day of the month.

My Yoga and Reflexology expertise is all about helping stressed people relax and find calm, so I had plenty of material to draw on.  I included lots of little stories from my own life about finding calm, plus background information on the science and history behind each calming practice.  I really enjoyed researching each post and choosing pictures to illustrate them.

It was quite demanding to find time to write every day in August.  We were lucky enough to go on a family holiday to Norfolk and sadly we also had to travel to Cornwall for a family funeral.  But I kept writing regardless.  My laptop followed me everywhere. On a couple of days I had to write two blogs to catch up, but mostly it was one a day.  I must admit to a rather pleasing sense of achievement when I reached 31st August with 31 blogs live on my website, www.thecalmspaceyoga.co.uk.

In more recent weeks I have been busy reorganising the material for publication as a book.  I needed to tidy everything up, remove references to very specific times and events which were now out of date, and generally get the thing into shape. 

Then it was time to do battle with Amazon’s publication software and requirements.  It has been quite the learning curve.  I spent many hours curating the perfect picture for each chapter, only to learn later that the book would be too expensive to print in colour.  You can still see the pictures in colour on a suitable screen, but if you buy the paperback I am afraid the photos will be in black and white.  Sorry about that!

Cover design was another challenge.  I wanted the learning experience of doing it for myself, so many iterations were needed.  Hopefully the finished design expresses the calm feel of the book.

It felt like a true moment of triumph when the email arrived from Amazon to say that my book is finally available in both Kindle and Paperback formats on their website.  All I can do now is hope people find the finished book both enjoyable and genuinely helpful.

My aim in writing was to share ideas about how to incorporate more calm into your life in as friendly and accessible a way as possible.  The book offers you 31 simple ways to find calm.  It covers themes of Body, Breath, Nature, Creativity and Connection, concluding with suggestions about how to make your favourite calm practices an ongoing part of your daily life. Most of the calm practices can be done in 10-15 minutes.

Now I have published my first book I will be turning back to the novel.  This is a much bigger project, but publishing one book gives me hope that I can do more.  It is quite an adventure!

If you would like to read Finding Your Calm Space, you can find it here on Amazon.  I very much hope you enjoy it.  I would be extremely grateful for any positive reviews.

You can learn more about my writing and my novel project at my writing website Home

You can learn more about my Yoga and Reflexology at   https://thecalmspace.co.uk/

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