“All the lost souls tell themselves to do the logical, practical thing and then they’ll get to do the thing they love later. It almost never happens. You have to tell the universe that you’re here to do it NOW, that you’re committed and that you’re going to make it happen and make it successful. And then every step you take has to be in that direction.”– Sue Frederick
After nearly two years of writing and researching and rewriting and editing, my novel is finished. This, I am told, is the easy part. Now the real fun begins: building a platform and getting it published. Then there’s the marketing, something that was traditionally done by the publisher but now falls heavily on the shoulders of the author unless you’re a big name like Danielle Steele or James Patterson.
But help may be on the way. Just before I finished my final edit, an email from Balboa Press popped into my inbox announcing a fiction writing competition. The grand-prize winner will be awarded a publishing contract with Hay House for the launch of their new fiction imprint, and the second- and third-place winners will receive self-publishing packages from Balboa Press. I scrambled to meet the deadline, sent in my manuscript, and last week I was informed that my book was selected as one of the 30 finalists. As you can imagine, I am very much hoping (and visualizing and praying and asking all my friends, relatives and even the most casual acquaintances to do the same) that my book will be selected for the Hay House contract.
This doesn’t mean I can sit back and wait until July 16th when the winners will be announced. I need to press forward, develop content and begin building my brand which involves creating a stunning website, producing a trailer for my book, and engaging in social media in a more productive way just for starters. And while I’m doing all of that, I need to begin the process of acquiring a literary agent in case my wish for a contract is not granted. Oh, and I need to begin writing my next book because this one is the first in a trilogy. I am overwhelmed to say the very least.
While my giant to-do list seems daunting, I know it’s doable. Before I began writing my book, I consulted Sue Frederick, an intuitive career coach. I was ready to close my photography repping business of 15 years and move on to the next thing, but I couldn’t quite bring it into focus. Sue saw me writing books, producing CDs, and conducting workshops that would inspire people to connect with their personal power, in short, building an empire like that of spiritual activist, author, and lecturer, Marianne Williamson.
WHAT? ME? I had yet to connect with my own personal power, so how could I possibly do this? Just the thought of putting myself forward as a paragon of spiritual wisdom, not to mention standing on a stage and speaking in front of a group–any group at all–nearly sent me into a panic.
When I recovered sufficiently to express my concerns, Sue assured me that there was nothing to fear. All I had to do was set my goal and begin to make my way toward it by taking baby steps. She even set out an ambitious plan which included submitting articles to holistic periodicals, getting certified as a life coach, and setting up a coaching business, all before beginning work on what she saw as a memoir/self-help book.
Shortly after my consultation with Sue, I took an online coaching course, but as much as I loved the idea of helping people, I couldn’t get myself to hang out my shingle. So instead, I turned my focus to the memoir and began organizing all the material I’d gathered since I started this blog. But I didn’t feel ready to take this on.
As I thrashed about trying to get myself to take the next baby step, an extraordinary thing happened: Another book began coming through–a mystical coming-of-age story about a girl named Selene and her reunion with her seven missing soul parts. Actually, the characters had been trying to get my attention for months–they had been appearing in my dreams and following me around during the day-but while I acknowledged them, I made every effort to get them to step back while I continued on with the program Sue had laid out for me. But the scenes playing out in my mind were so provocative and the characters were so insistent, that I finally gave in. I’d fallen in love with them and felt compelled to give them life.
And now here I am exactly two years after my consult with Sue, standing on a different springboard, ready to take the plunge and embrace my destiny. Arriving at this point seems something like a miracle, and while I have no idea how everything will come together, I really do believe that Sue’s baby steps are key.