Writing a book was both healing and triggering the same time. There are definitely a lot of phases that I have heard are common for authors, when they are writing a book. These phases consist of moments of inspiration, where you are in the flow: you’re writing and you’re loving what you’re writing. It feels so good. Then there are also moments where you feel like you are not qualified to write a book. This is where the imposter syndrome comes in so loud and strong and nothing that you write feels like something you want to publish. Sometimes you have the moments in between, where you get a little glimmer of inspiration and you only write a paragraph or two, and you feel complete. It’s rare that these moments happen all in the same day but they definitely all occur in the same week.
The best way that I found to deal with the imposter syndrome was to step away from writing when the voice got too loud. Or I would email my editor and say, “Sam, do you think people really want to read this? Are you sure people want to read this?” And she would always give me the best cheerleader supportive responses that would help me keep going.
When to take a break
A helpful part of the creative process is knowing when to take a break, step away, do something else, in order to continue to create later. This is a practice that I learned while I was getting my degree in music education and was practicing my flute in preparation for performances. There are certain times when you are doing something that’s creative, you hit a wall, and the thing that you’re working on is no longer in a productive state. Sometimes this happens because you’re frustrated or tired, but no matter the reason, it’s not helping you to continue to try to push through it. So the best thing that you can do for yourself is recognize that you’ve reached your max, and you need to find something else to do.
Pro Tip: Whenever I would step away from the manuscript, whether it was because I felt complete or because I needed a break I would always leave a visual bookmark for myself. For me, I would write the word “START” in BOLD, hot pink font, right where I left off, so that I could look for that spot in the manuscript and know exactly where I should begin during my next writing session.
While I was working on my book, sometimes I would have days where I blocked out time to write, and other days, I would move my day around, so that I could write. I never forced myself to write. I was always open to when I felt connected and inspired. Sometimes that inspiration would happen while I was driving, so I would take dictation notes on my phone. Or I would get an idea right before bed, so I would write it down on a notepad or in my phone. Occasionally, I would go through periods of time where I wouldn’t have any inspiration, and I needed to give the book some time to breathe. I started working on my book before the pandemic.
I spent a lot of 2020 feeling like maybe my book wouldn’t happen because it wouldn’t feel relevant anymore. We didn’t know what the world was going to look like when the dust settled.
There were a few months when I didn’t know if I would be able to continue to work as a stylist. I felt like my business was no longer relevant so neither would my book. Once my editor and I decided to continue to work on the book, I decided to remove a few sections that no longer felt needed and added more depth and vulnerability to it instead. This included a follow up to a short story that I wrote in the summer of 2020 that was published in the book titled, “Tell Me a Story: Volume One”. The first part of the short story was about the early part of the lockdown in 2020, when I quickly transitioned from successful business owner working mom to full-time stay at home mom with no clear end in sight. Writing this short story and having it published gave me the motivation to start working on my book again.
How did I start?
My editor, Sam reached out to me back in late 2018 saying how she had been a fan of my blog and the content I share on social media and she asked me if I wanted to write a book for her publishing company. If you want to know what imposter syndrome feels like, it’s having a well respected author, who is also an editor, who also co founded their own publishing company ask you if you will write a book when you never considered writing one before. I don’t think that I ever stopped asking Sam if she was sure that she wanted me to write for them. Thankfully Sam gave me guidance on some topics that she was thinking that I could include in the book and that structure really helped me to start. Some of the topics that she suggested were based on blog posts or Instagram posts that I had written previously, and I began making some pretty big edits and updates to those posts to make them work for the book.
What’s it about?
I always knew that I wanted to include evergreen style tips in the book, so that they weren’t outdated by the time the book was published. Style trends and tips can change so often that I really wanted this to be a book that didn’t show its age. I wanted it to be something that anyone could read during their style journey and read it again and again, and still gain something from it. I love books that you can continue to learn from each time you read them. I really wanted my book to have that effect for its readers. Depending on where you are in your life, there will be certain sections that resonate more than others. I personally read a lot of self-help books and books about spirituality. I also listen to a lot of podcasts about those topics as well as consume media on business development and entrepreneurship. My book has a bit of all of that. It also has personal stories about my life that have impacted the way I show up for myself, my family, my friends, and of course, my clients.
This isn’t just a style book just like I am not just a personal stylist. When you work with me you get the full package you get my guidance you get my spirituality you get my intuition you get my life experience and of course my style experience. My clients know that I am their radical cheerleader and that was something that I also wanted to come through in my book. I want my readers to know that I’m cheering them on in whatever journey they are currently going through in their lives. I think that the readers of my book will see that personal style is so much more than just the clothes you put on your body.
Where to buy “We Don’t Do ‘Just Okay’ Anymore”
Thank you so much for your support! I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.