Last week, I signed a contract with a literary agent to represent me and my spiritual journey memoir, Little Red Wagon. While a big, next step in the publishing process, inking the agreement gave cause to reflect on the book’s genesis and its steady development.
“I’m gonna have to write a book about this, because no one will ever believe what’s happening to me,” I told myself eight years ago while in the midst of the most frantic and fascinating night of my spiritual awakening, where I discovered my psychic gift. But, me, an author? Certainly, I was a writer, having had a love for words as a child and majoring in journalism, but had no idea where to start with scribing a book. A novice, I didn’t even have my own personal computer!
Everything starts with an idea. Thus, the outline began with, “the man at mid-life goes through many changes…blah, blah, blah,” capturing a tone of what some would describe as a self-help book. Sounding boring to me, I thought, hell, I wouldn’t even want to buy that book! I wadded up the sheet of paper and tossed it into File 13, and determined the book had to be a memoir, chronicling the before, during and after of my spiritual awakening.
Writing a book is a labor of love. Getting it published is like having labor. Going down parallel paths, I put my heart into each chapter of Little Red Wagon, reaching emotional places of which I didn’t think myself capable, while my brain processed the how-to-get-it-on-the-shelves dilemma. Both roads have had bumps and curves (including early on when my computer crashed, destroying the latest version of the manuscript at the time), but they were also paved with a multitude of learning opportunities.
One of the best pieces of advice I received came from a New York Times bestselling author: “Edit, edit and edit even more!” I listened; so as I pitched the book to agents, I continued refining page after page. Bins of drafts later, each revision helped to make the book stronger. Interestingly, I’d just finished the latest polish when a talented writer friend offered to introduce me to his literary rep. Less than two weeks later, I had a contract.
Everyone has a Little Red Wagon, a book or other aspiration, that they want to bring to life. The important thing that I’ve learned is to keep rolling.
Love and light,