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Writing a book has been a life-long dream. Once my kids became teenagers and our schedule started slowing down a bit, I became restless. I worried about what I would do when my kids left home and my husband was working. My whole world had revolved around the school and sports schedules of my sons. I started writing a bit again; poetry and journaling helped me get my thoughts sorted.

I had started looking into writing. Of course, most of the information that was coming up were links to vanity publishers – those promising me a published and marketed book for the “great price of $2,500!” I didn’t have that kind of money so I was back to the drawing board. I almost gave up hope when I visited with an author who did a reading at the local library who informed me that money does not flow from the author but TO the author but that is as far as the information went.

I started reading book and was overwhelmed with the content. I saw that the author was local and she had provided her contact information in the book. I wrote to her and let her know the impact that her book was making in my life. She wrote back and offered to meet with me. I was thrilled to meet her! We met and exchanged contact information.

Later she invited me (along with several others) to submit poetry or short stories for a chance of being chosen to be a contributing author to a new book, An Eclectic Collage Volume 2: Relationships of Life. I submitted two poems and a short story and then I waited on pins and needles to hear back. Finally, the day came when I found out that my work had been accepted and I would be a published author!

By being a part of that first book, I learned what was involved in a book signing and how to promote and market a book. Through additional workshops that were available through my new friend, I learned the steps of writing, formatting and publishing a book.

Because of the thrill that comes with being a first-time author, my heart has been to see other new authors experience that feeling. I have mentored and edited for several authors now, getting them from holding a pile of loose papers in their hands to holding the finished book. Becoming a book coach has had me on cloud nine as I am covering all of the things I love: reading and structuring to see a book come to completion, reliving my first moments as an author as I witness the emotions of the people I work with as they complete each step, guiding them in having their first book signings, and sitting back as I watch them beam while they talk about their new book to prospective buyers.

To expand even further now, I have been able to team up with a group of women with the same heart and passion. Together we formed the Idaho Creative Authors Network and we use our skills of speaking and our knowledge of the step-by-step process, social media and administration to offer workshops and contests for others who want to write but do not know where to go from there. We host writing events, inviting talented speakers with a wealth of information, as well as make ourselves available for conferences and individual consults.

If you are interested in writing a book, but that seems like an overwhelming task, I would offer a suggestion: start small by journaling then look for contests in the area and local writing conferences or workshops, write articles for a local newspaper or church newsletter or anywhere that you can practice your writing skills. Then dive into that book you have been wanting to write! You have something to offer that the world needs to hear!

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