It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. These were the words that were going through my head as I was plucking up the courage to hand over my book’s complete and printed first draft. I remember telling myself, “it actually looks like a book.” I was so proud. If only I could keep my treasure to myself. However, the purpose of writing a book is to share knowledge, so I knew I had to hand it over to others – colleagues, patients, family and friends. Now was the time. It was never going to get any easier, but my thoughts and emotions were overwhelming.
What if they don’t like it?
What if people find it offensive and don’t like hearing the truth?
Was my writing good enough?
Why should people listen to what I had to say about eating disorder recovery?
Were my points clear?
What if it confused people?
These and many other questions could only be answered by you guessed it – seeking feedback. So in nervous anticipation, I made a plan and handed my baby over.
“Wow this is impressive” was the initial reaction after a quick flick through the 200 page document. My heart settled. I had done it. I had made the first steps in putting my work out there for others to scrutinize. To my surprise it felt good. I knew that the making of a book is not in the writing but in the readers thoughts, opinions and acceptance. And so began my change process. I took all the feedback from my 50 or more readers I had handed a copy of my book. I began to enjoy hearing or reading what they had to say with everyone giving me different and valuable insights into how the world interpreted my writing.
Now, 3 years on from my first time, my book has it 3rd working title, which I think will be its last, but who knows. My next challenge is to finish wrapping it up and ensuring that every point I have made has a purpose before sending it to the editor for the first time, which will start the actual publishing process.
What do you need to do for the first time that although scary has the potential to change your life in some way? Remember, sometimes there is no easy way. You just have to hand it over and allow the process to begin.
My second working title