Woah, baby! I have two books published and out in the world. I am still in shock.
My writing journey for Where Will We Go? is a unique one. Why? Because I worked on my book for over a year and a half.
I had almost completed my first draft when I started working with an editor (A Developmental Editor) at Creator Institue. Unlike other Creator Institute and New Degree Press Authors, I didn't write my book in a semester term. I didn't join the program until 9 months into writing my book. I wasn't searching for a place to publish yet so it wasn't something on my mind. But then in December, one of my author best friends told me her writing and publishing program was starting up classes soon. She sent me a Google form, I scheduled a call with the head professor, and he accepted me into the program that same day. I was late, but I had an almost complete manuscript and was almost ready to start editing. That's when my epic and hard journey to publication began for book two.
Now over a year later, I published my second book, Where Will We Go? with New Degree Press at the end of December 2021. I can't believe I am finally here. I can finally say I have two books under my name. Here we are, and I am loving it.
Even though something amazing is happening now, it wasn't an easy year for me. Last year, was a major rollercoaster.
In March 2021, my family found out that my Nanny (my mom's mom) had Cancer (not the curable kind). We were absolutely broken. I didn't know how to feel. This news came just before my 25th birthday. To put it lightly, I didn't really celebrate my birthday. I didn't go out with my family. Instead, I wanted to stay home - next door to my Nanny to be close by if she needed me. Everyone begged me to go out but I just couldn't with how empty I felt. That was hard for my mom to see through her own grief. But I did what was best for my mind at the time. I felt like I would have other birthdays to celebrate with my mom, so I chose to stay close to Nanny for this year. My now fiancé and I stayed at my parent's house (also visited my Nanny) cooked Lasagna, watched a Marvel movie, and had a lightsaber battle in the front yard. Overall, it wasn't the worse night. Yes, I upset my mom, but I couldn't bring myself to be 20-minutes away from Nanny after being at work all day as well. That part of my year was terrible. It affected my book journey as well. My mental health was crumbling, fast. Yet, somehow, sharing the impact she's had on me has helped me over the last couple of months. She truly was my best friend; that's why I dedicated my book to her.
To my sweet angel, my Nanny, Jean Casteel June 23, 1941 - April 25, 2021
Like I said before, my journey wasn't typical, but it was mine. And now, I do this for my Nanny. She is my motivation to keep pushing forward in my career. I know she'd be here if she could. I am so glad she's watching over me. Losing her made my journey so hard - everything from waiting, making meetings, talking to people, and revising my book. Everything was so much harder. I disliked not being able to talk to her about it. She would have loved to hear it all - every last bit of it.
I've been in the Creator Institute - New Degree Press Program for over a year now, and it has been one wild year. I honestly don't know how I made it to publication, but I made it. From days where I couldn't stop crying to nights when self-doubt crept in, I didn't give up on my dream of making my dreams come true. I made it to the light at the end of the tunnel.
As I look back on book two's journey, I am thankful I trudged through the miserable days to finally make it out the other side. How do I feel? Relieved, thankful, proud, and excited for what comes next. Even though I don't know what a full book writing journey looks like without my Nanny, I know she'll always be with me.
My biggest takeaway from 2021: Life is unpredictable so make the most of what you have and enjoy the ride.
Although my journey wasn't always the easier or prettiest experience, I am grateful for every bit of it! Where Will We Go? - book two in my Will You Love Me Again Series is out in the world!
In this article series, I share excerpts and stories from my book, Where Will We Go? I hope you enjoyed this post — if you enjoyed it and want to connect you can reach me here via email: email@example.com or connect with me on social: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, you can also find my book on Amazon.