Family, creativity, contribution.
I do the work I do because:
I love it AND sharing the healing and transformational benefits of expressive writing creates so many benefits in my clients’ lives.
If I could invite two or three people to dinner to discuss his/her life journey and career, I’d invite:
Maya Angelou (although she is no longer with us in this physical realm), Natalie Goldberg (one of my favourite authors who writes about writing), Wayne Dyer (author of many great books on the Power of Intention, etc.)
The next big challenge for me around my work is:
Creating and launching successful online products and programs. My dream is to grow Creative Wellness into a hugely successful online coaching business that supports helpers, healers, leaders and women around the world with personal growth, self-care and optimal health through journal coaching, writing and narrative.
If my clients hold on to only one piece of advice from me, I hope it’s:
Self-care matters, self-expression heals, creativity makes a difference.
If I couldn’t do the work I’m doing now, I’d be:
Writing books on beaches and in cafés around the world.
I can never get enough of:
Writing in my journal, reading great books, shopping in stationery stores, snuggling with my boys, date nights with my honey, sunrises over Fulford Harbour.
A person in my field I admire greatly is:
A famous person I admire is:
My favorite question to ask people is:
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
If an hour suddenly opened up in my schedule I would:
Go for a hike then go to a café and write.
The biggest compliment someone could pay me is:
Your book (or course, program, etc.) changed my life.
My biggest accomplishment so far is:
Being a mother, completing 3 university degrees, writing a book, living beside the ocean.
My top three bucket list items are:
Live a long and healthy life (celebrate my 100th birthday), write my adoptee memoir and have it become a bestselling book, create many amazing moments with my family and the people I love (live in the moment, give thanks often).
I would love my name to be synonymous with (or when people hear my name I want them to think):
My favorite work of fiction is:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tart (most recent book I read) and many other books!
My favorite nonfiction book is:
What was the deciding factor that propelled you to write your book?
We were experiencing many benefits from our journal writing circle (we are three women who came together once a month for three hours to write in our journals, read aloud, listen and bear witness) and we thought that our experience might inform and inspire other women to explore the transformational and healing benefits of journaling in community with other women.
What was your experience of the writing process?
Our collaborative book writing process was much more challenging than our journaling together process! Being co-authors is a journey of becoming colleagues together and our book writing was spread over approximately 5 years on and off, it lived alongside our lives. As such, it was a nuanced path with ups and downs, like life itself.
Do you have any advice for anyone struggling with the writing process?
Just keep going. Writing creates more writing. Breathe. Stay focussed on your goal and your inner motivation – stay connected to “why” you are writing the book – that helps pull you through the times of struggle (which are also an important part of the process). Notice your resistance (struggle), breathe, be kind with yourself and keep writing (and sometimes take a break too) – there is a rhythm to creating, there are starts and stops, this is normal. Again, be kind and compassionate with yourself – this will keep your creativity alive and your inner critic at bay!
What has been the feedback from clients and your community since publishing?
We have felt loved and supported in our community on Salt Spring Island – over 65 people attended our local book launch, which was extremely gratifying. It is also a great honour to receive positive feedback in emails, on social media and so forth – spontaneous praise for the book and comments on how it is impacting women (for example, we are getting notes telling us that our book has inspired various women to start a journal circle of their own – that is the best compliment of all!)
How has your book affected or changed your business?
We are all moving our book out into the world in our own unique ways. For me personally, I am striving do more speaking engagements as a result of this book. I have a dream to grow the speaking end of my business and I trust this book will help me fulfil that goal.
How has publishing your book given you a bigger voice as an expert in your field?
I am being invited to be a guest on podcasts, online programs, guest blogger and so forth – so it is allowing me to expand my reach and impact. The book is new so the answer to this question will continue to evolve in the weeks, months and years ahead!
How/where did you publish?
We chose to self-publish our book through the imprint name Butterfly Press. We researched and learned the various elements required to publish a book professionally – everything from getting our ISBN, editing, designing and printing the book – all involved collaboration with others. We opted to use CreateSpace.com, the self-publishing division through Amazon, as well as publishing it as an e-book via Kindle Publishing, lastly we have a local printer where we get copies produced to sell/share directly.
Why did you choose this route?
There were many reasons we chose this route. We did write a comprehensive book proposal for the book and sent it to only one potential publisher. As three authors, we wanted to learn more about the publishing industry and we also wanted to work at our own schedule. Self-publishing allowed us to do these things. Also, even with a publisher – they want to know our “platform” and our “book marketing strategy” – we figured if we need to develop all these aspects of the book marketing and selling process, that we might as well give it a shot on our own and learn as we go. That being said, we are well aware that writing a book is one thing, marketing and selling a book are completely different skill sets. We hold a dream that perhaps we still could partner with a publisher for this book on the path ahead.
Were there any obstacles along the way?
Yes. There are always challenges in any long-term, collaborative process – decisions to be made, roles to clarify, personality differences to navigate, etc. – our challenges were not so much with the writing, but with all the other decisions and elements required to birth a book into the world (hiring and working with editors, book designers, etc. – there were a lot of decisions and logistics to navigate – these weren’t so much obstacles, as normal challenges along the way).
Do you have any suggestions or words of advice for others considering self-publishing (independent publishing) for the first time?
Do your research. Talk with other authors who have self-published…ask them what worked, what they might do differently, etc. There are many services out there for self-publishing authors – packages, etc. that promise to do it all. Take a good look at these and decide what is best for you, your book and your own unique circumstances.
What is the best advice you can offer authors-in-waiting?
Trust yourself. Believe in your book and believe in the value that your book will offer your readers. Get clear on the purpose of your book and the impact you want it to have for others. A book is a contribution. Let your gifts and words shine. Your book can only be of value to others once it is written, published and available to read – keep writing! Your voice matters, your book matters. Self-expression is a gift we give to the world, to ourselves. Seek support – others will want to help you stay the course and go the distance to get your book written and in the world.