Writing a Book: What are You Waiting on Time or Courage?

Food for thought for want to be authors

I remember each year in the early years of my marriage, my husband and I would write a bucket list of things we wanted to accomplish. This was usually at my prodding. The years got busier and we would revisit this exercise on the 5 year mark and then it became stretched out to the 10 year mark. The truth is between both of us working full time and supporting our children’s activities, much of what we wanted to do took a back burner.

One of those things for me was to write a book. Looking back to when the idea first popped in my head, it was  probably 19 years ago that I verbalized this goal. Initially, when my daughter was born I had a few ideas for children’s books. I even thought that my daughter and I might co-author a children’s book when my daughter Haley was little. They say the days are long but the years are short. That was so very true. As she packed her bags to go to college, I realized that time may be running out. This started to come back to the forefront of mind again.

So if you are in the same place of wanting to put pen to paper, but don’t know how or when to get started, here’s a few tips that will certainly be helpful.

1. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. I mean really passionate about. One that makes you want to live more days thinking or doing the focus topic. Writing can be a grind so you need motivation.  If you are connected to the topic it will be easier to be motivated.

2. Decide on a writing schedule.  I was

CHapter One Type at a Typewriter
Getting Started is the First Step. What are you waiting for?

fortunate enough to see Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank Fame speak at an event.  Her ” can do attitude” and business advice lit a fire under me.  That night I came home and wrote two chapters of a book that I had dancing in my head for some time.  Then life got busy again and those two chapters sat as lonely as an ice cream truck on subzero day in Fargo, ND.

I finally recommitted.  Knowing myself, and my habit of packing a lot into my days and weekends. I took the opportunity while recovering from a minor surgery to binge write.  That’s right.  Bang it out.  It was effective for me.  This may not work for everyone.  It may be helpful instead to pace yourself and write a little each day. It all depends on who you are wired.

3. Don’t edit as you go.  Part of the writing process is to quickly get all the ideas on paper.  Perfect grammar and well constructed sentences can wait.  For this first book, I didn’t edit at all.  I’ll be honest when I read it later, I was pretty shocked at how sloppy I was on the first pass.  At the end of the day, it didn’t matter. There was plenty of time to come back and add commas or a pithy sentence here and there.  The most important thing was to put perfection to the side and just get the words on paper.

4. Ask for advice.  There are many people who have written books and know a lot about the topic.  I received a great recommendation for the site www.createspace.com that walks novices through the whole self-publishing process.  I learned a ton about marketing, distribution, and categorizing your book.   If I had known, it was truly this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.   Additionally, I am eagerly anticipating putting together a second book after learning the ropes.

5. Inspire others.  This experience has given me the opportunity to tell my story.  Along the way, I’ve heard the stories of other aspiring authors.  In full own recruitment mode, I’ve encouraged them to follow their desires.  Put those words out in the universe.   You will write that book by (insert a date).  I am especially excited to encourage other female authors to take this next step.

6. Have Fun with it.  I wrote and published a  book. Mission accomplished. As the author of the “Misadventures of the Hip and Fabulous,”, I look at the book as an entry point.  My hope is to start a #hipandfab movement whereby women of all ages can share and learn from a vibrant community of women.  These woman by tagging their Instagram posts with #hipandfab can be part of a positive and supportive force in the world.  All of this while having just some great kickass fun.

A Mother’s Love: Meet Sarah Betz Bucciero

My dear friend Melissa reached out to ask me to feature someone on the Hip and Fabulous site. For those of you who have been following the instagram channel @hipandfab, the content is often light with fun tips and tricks and a little mischievous at times. We feature emerging artists, poets, and pick out photos of women who are enjoying each other’s company. The underlying theme is for women to support other women while having fun at the same time.

An angel on earth: meet Sara Betz Bucciero

This nomination is someone incredibly special who is a different kind of hip and fabulous.  Her qualities are sometimes taken for granted as most mothers have them.  However, when these qualities persist in an unrelenting way during the most challenging circumstances that life offers, witnesses are left awestruck and overcome. These qualities are strength, and the never-ending love and commitment to one’s child.

The woman is Sarah Betz Bucciero, the child is her son Carter. Sarah is a newly published author. Her book is entitled “St Judes Momma, A Love Story.”. I am certain when Sarah first gave birth to her son Carter, she did not anticipate what life had in store for them. I am guessing she never knew at that time, she would one day write a book about their journey. You see, Carter was born with an inoperable brain tumor. From the footage of he and his family, they didn’t retreat when they received the most heart wrenching news imaginable. They didn’t turn their back on all the incredible beauty that life has to offer. They celebrated with smiles and pixie dust. They lived each day to the fullest when Carter was here. Carter’s journey in the physical world may be is over, but in many ways his Mom’s journey is just beginning.

When I learned of Sarah’s strength and love, I visualized one of my favorite animals, an elephant. If you have ever seen a mother

Elephant and a baby elephant
Elephants are a sign of strength, loyalty and often seen as a good luck charm.

elephant and her child, the bond between the two is readily apparent. In fact, parenting aside,  African culture revere the African Elephant as a symbol of strength and power. It is also praised for its size, longevity, stamina, mental faculties, cooperative spirit, and loyalty. This association was incredibly appropriate as you come to learn more about Sarah and her son Carter.

Buy The Book

Sarah continues on in Carter’s memory and his honor. Carter’s life has made a difference and Sarah’s dedication and loyalty to the cause will also make a difference. Through the sales of her book, Sarah is raising money on behalf of other St. Judes kids who are still fighting, still smiling, and still in the arms of their loving family. There will be a $5.00 donation for every book sold up to 100,000 which is Sarah’s goal. You can visit Amazon and purchase the book here .

I wrote another piece about the death of my father and my own struggle following. I have learned so much about grief and the physical and emotional pain that ensues. Here is the best description I have come across regarding grief.   The waves that tighten your chest, fill your eyes with tears, and constrict your heart with sadness, is essentially that grief is love that has no where else to go. From my perspective, Sarah has found the most beautiful place for her love to go and that is in the service of others in Carter’s name.  I celebrate you Sarah and the mission you have taken up. An elephant never forgets and neither will we.