I arrived in St Peter’s Square, with Peter and Paulius my personal apostles, 6 years ago on the 24th November., completing my 2000+ kilometre journey on the Via Friancigena from Canterbury to Rome.
A lot has happened since then:
A failed plan to walk a farther pilgrimage from Rome to Jerusalem by myself as a result of seized lower back triggered by a severe ankle sprain then hip and pelvis issues. I
completed a diploma in Holistic Counselling so I could walk straight in the direction of my dream to work 1 on 1 with clients to help them walk into their own dreams.
I accepted a last minute invitation for a diving trip to Palau (part of Micronesia) and met my future husband. We got married two years ago today.
And throughout all of this, I have been working on my book, The Path We Make: A woman’s search for purpose walking the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome.y.
Writing this book has been an even bigger journey than walking the Via Francigena with so much to learn about the writing and publishing process and myself.
The timeline of my book
I completed the first draft by May 2014. I finished my edits by July 2014. I spent a month wondering what to do next. I decided to submit it to some publishers and did this between August and November 2014. This was a rookie error. The manuscript needed a lot more work and of course I received rejections.
I did some research and learned about the editing process. In 2015 I invested in a structural edit. Then worked through the edits and kept revisiting them.
In 2016 I started studying my diploma in holistic counseling and invested myself in that course. Then I met my husband. The book took a back seat for a while.
In 2017 I invested in the second stage of editing, a line-by-line copy edit. Then I worked through those edits slowly. Later that year I got married and the focus was on visa application for my husband and helping him settle into a new life in Australia.
Just over a year ago, I started moving forward with self-publishing, seeking the permission of those people I speak about in the book to use their names, and then I proceeded with getting the book cover and layout designed.
I was almost ready to self-publish but I held back.
In my book I write about painful events from my childhood. I felt like I needed to work through a healing process with my dad before I could publish, which I did work through. Then I went into another round of edits and re-edits and deep into fear and uncertainty about whether I should release it and whether I was doing the right thing.
I’m also a first time author learning the whole process of marketing and promotion. For a few months I lost my head in research and trying to figure out how to launch a book. There’s so much information out there and so many different ways to launch from getting reviews to growing your audience to running competition and promotions.
Eventually I came back home to my body and asked myself what I wanted to do and what felt right for me.
How to get unstuck
I know without a doubt that I need to move forward, that not publishing this book is taking up precious time and energy and blocking me from undertaking other creative projects.
What feels right for me is to keep it simple and take the actions that feel joyful and expansive to my heart. I need to follow my own path, not someone else’s (although I can learn from others and seek inspiration from them too.)
Otherwise I could stay stuck eternally in the search phase of trying to launch this book just right, which is a form of resistance from fear of not doing it right.
So last weekend, I made the decision that I would move forward and I started inviting people to join my launch team.
This was a simple but huge step. You see I’ve been playing the story over and over in my head that nobody would want to help. I was also telling myself that there’s not enough time left to launch this year and that it will fail. These stories conjured a lot of fear.
And here’s the thing, people signed up to my launch team. I’ve received so much encouragement from others sharing their excitement that I’m finally releasing my book. As soon as I said yes and continued forward, the fear vanished. My body was flooded with uplifting, forward moving energy as my resistance stopped working against me and started moving me in the direction of my dreams.
Sometimes when we are stuck in resistance, we are avoiding saying yes to something very big, and very obvious in front of us that we simply must act upon.
As David Whyte writes in his poem Start Close In:
Start close in,
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
you don’t want to take.
Whilst fears of not getting this right and starting before I was ready have kept me stuck, I realised that not getting it right isn’t the end of the world. It’s all experience and learning. I’ve never needed this book to a New York Times best seller or even an Amazon best seller. I’m not concerned with accolades.
What does matter to me is that this book finds its way into the hands of those people that it is destined to serve, to encourage and inspire them to move through their fear, and trust their intuition and act on it. This book will never be able to do that if I don’t sent it out into the world.
“Action spawns courage, not the other way around.” - Marie Forleo
What action do you need to take to take to grow your courage and give your own gift to this world?
With love and courage,
PS The Path You Make: A woman’s search for purpose walking the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome will be available on Amazon from Monday 25th November 2019.