Decades ago, I dreamed that one day I would publish a book. I pondered different topics and genres.
Would I write for adults or for children?
Would it be fiction or non-fiction?
I researched several topics. I read a variety of genres. I couldn’t decide. Would I lose sight of my dream?
Instead, I poured my energies into raising four sons. I pursued back-to-back graduate level degrees. My desire to write a book remained in limbo when I increased my understanding of Jewish history/culture and became proficient in the fine points of educational theory and methods. I started teaching and wondered whether it was possible to combine a teaching career with the aspirations of publishing my first book?
Somewhere along the way, I relocated to Colorado. My family obligations continued to be my priority. The years passed one by one. My desire to be a published author remained unfulfilled. There was a lingering sense of disappointment as I failed to address my dream to write a book. Would I ever establish a writing career?
Before I knew it, I became an empty nester. All four of my sons were no longer living at home. I researched a few more topics. Ideas drifted in and out of my brain. I wouldn’t commit to any. Nothing sparked my creative energies.
Then a series of events caught me off balance. I was given a unique opportunity to live in a Third World country. I weighed my options. I slowly moved out of my comfort zone and started making plans to teach in India. Many people thought that I was crazy.
Suddenly, I was in a strange environment, far removed from my cushy suburban existence. I started to record my observations in a private blog. I knew that I had the beginnings of a story. Some of my friends, relatives, and former professors encouraged me to write. Other people told me that I should return to the US.
- Would I procrastinate again?
- Would I avoid seeking my dream?
- Would I retreat to my familiar shell?
Not this time. I overcame my hesitations. I took pictures. I kept notes as I traveled to different places, coped with culture shock, and interviewed for teaching positions. With considerable apprehension, I signed a teaching contract. Within no time, I had relocated to Bangalore, India.
In my memoir, MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE, I share what I learned as wife, mother, teacher, traveler, expat, and friend.
Yes, I agree with Walt Disney who said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Almost two years after I returned from my amazing adventure in India, I published my first book, MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE
Just a few days ago, May this Be the Best Year of Your Life was released on Amazon. Since then, I haven’t stopped thinking about my writing journey. For so many years, my irrational fears prevented me from accomplishing my dream. Now I can step back and reflect. I laugh at my decades of silliness and indecisiveness. Why didn’t I start writing sooner?
Yes, I did encountered many obstacles along the way. But, I had an amazing journey that should never have been delayed. I accomplished so much as I strived to figure out the writing and publishing process and simultaneously learned how to build my platform.
- Deciding to bring my private life to the public’s attention
- Organizing my ideas
- Determining my style and voice
- Writing my rough draft
- Agreeing to have editors and independent readers review my work
- Being open to constructive criticism
- Choosing which changes I would make
- Revising and editing numerous times
- Researching and weighing the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self publishing
- Selecting the company that best served my needs
- Reviewing their options and deciding which were essential
- Picking the format- paperback, hardcover, and/or ebook
- Designing a book cover
- Undergoing multiple revisions and edits
- Making decisions on formatting features
- Proofreading and checking different versions
- Choosing a web designer and template
- Organizing a website
- Creating categories for a public blog
- Writing content for the blog
- Establishing a social media presence- Author Facebook page, LinkedIn and Twitter
- Researching Video Book Trailers and reviewing the pros and cons
- Creating a Video Book Trailer
- Accepting the book for publication and ebook formatting
- Pressing the button that officially made me a published author
- Creating my Amazon Author page
- Fulfilling a dream- Publishing My First Book
Most of the time, I was confident that I could accomplish all of my goals. But sometimes, uncertainty prevailed. What should I do next or should I hire someone to help me?
I reached out to experts for assistance. I appreciate the free advice I received from countless strangers. Some days were more challenging than others. Throughout it all, my husband and 4 sons encouraged me. My second son, Adam (www.bornfitness.com), a professional editor/writer/author, reminded me that writing is a time consuming process that is always a challenge.
I realize now that my Indian adventure stirred something deep inside me. By stepping outside my comfort zone, I became more willing to take risks, explore new territory, and avoid being a conformist. This change in attitude was a motivating force.
I can proudly say- My dream came true. I published my first book.
I sincerely hope that my story will encourage others to pursue their unfulfilled dreams. A dream can come true if you acknowledge your aspirations and dismiss the irrational fears that cloud your mind. It’s never too late to cast off the chains of doubt and follow your dreams.
Please watch my YouTube video and check out my Amazon page.
The paperback and electronic versions are available.
I’d love to hear your honest feedback. Published authors thrive on blog comments, Amazon critiques, Goodreads reviews as well as other online book evaluations.
Elaine Benton says
Good luck with your writing. I enjoyed reading your web site and wish you continued success.
Sandra Bornstein says
Elaine, Thanks for taking the time to visit my site and comment. If you enjoy my blogs, consider reading MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE.