How I (Almost) Didn’t Publish My Book (Part 2)

This is my personal account of how I almost didn’t publish my book. If you haven’t already done so, please feel free to read Part 1 HERE.

This is my personal account of how I almost didn't publish my book, "50 Freezer Meals: Easy Dinners for the Busy Family."

How I (Almost) Didn’t Publish My Book (Part 2)

I remember the first email I received about my novel. At first, I was excited. I thought, “Yay! Someone took time out of their day to write to me!” The email was a scathing, insulting email about my inadequacies and lack of poor judgment, writing skills, and other personal attacks. The writer tore me (not so much my novel) to shreds.

I was left in tears. I thought I was doing a good thing. I was trying to better myself, to be brave and self-reliant in a way where I could support my family from home. The reviews on Amazon also came in. The majority of comments were honest reviews. However, there were several comments left by people who were bullying and crude. Eventually, a running commentary was started with this group of individuals as they tried to outdo the other person’s insult.

I cried, a lot.

My husband eventually hid my laptop from me so I would stop obsessively checking reviews and ratings. I was mortified. I regretted the decision and wished with every fiber of my being that I could take it all back. I wanted to erase every copy everyone downloaded and carry on as if nothing happened. I wanted to pretend I never did anything outside my norm because I failed at it.

To make matters worse, after returning to work at the end of my maternity leave, I had to maintain a daily association with one of the people who sent me the opinionated email. I was again embarrassed. I felt trapped (like I couldn’t escape from the mistake I made). All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and stay there. My husband would give me pep talks and sweetly remind me how proud he was of me for at least trying. I wasn’t proud, I was mortified. And I hated myself.

I felt like I let down everyone: God, my husband, myself, and above all, my new daughter.

I felt like I tarnished our name, since, once something is put on the internet, there’s no going back. There is no magical ERASE ALL button you can progressively and passionately hit over and over and over.

Eventually, more time passed. My husband was still in school, I was still working. I was still receiving crude emails even though I took down my ebook from Amazon’s website. Those eventually stopped (thankfully). We became pregnant with our second child and my husband and I did TONS of research on freezer meals so we wouldn’t have to cook for several months after the baby was born. These freezer meals saved us in more ways than we can count.

I kept a file on my computer with all the recipes we used, changes we made, pictures we took, and other notes in case we wanted to make any of the meals again in the future. After our sweet Winston was born, I remember nursing him in the dark hours past midnight. The thought came to me, I should compile these recipes and write a freezer meal cookbook with what we had collected.

Well, I laughed that idea out of my head. I already tried writing a book, I was NOT GOING THERE AGAIN thank-you-very-much.

God did not leave me alone.

The idea became so persistent and urgent that it was almost alarming. When I finally decided to write the freezer meal cookbook, all of my inadequacies, failings, imperfections, everything and anything the adversary could throw at me came back. He did a VERY good job at it too, I might add. I was slow to get back up again, fearing that if I did by some miracle publish this cookbook, that my past would come back to haunt me.

I worried no one would want to publish me because of my failed ebook. No one would want to buy my cookbook because of my first time failed novel. 4 a.m. became my (undesirable) best friend. I wasn’t going to take time away from my family, so I woke up early. I worked hard on this cookbook, organizing and typing up all of my notes. Eventually, I finished everything, took a leap of faith and sent in my manuscript to Cedar Fort Publishing.

I received an email three days later and read the word, “Congratulations.” I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

I did it.

I still have moments when I regret publishing my ebook. I will see the title on Goodreads or when I log into my Amazon Author account. But I have to remind myself: I can’t regret that decision because I learned so much from that failure. I learned I can be really horrible at something, and it’s okay.

I learned everyone has a matter of opinions and differences in viewpoints. I will never be able to please everybody. I only need to worry about pleasing God. Everything else will fall into place. I learned a lesson in the school of “hard knocks” to not worry about what others may say, to stop basing my worth and value on others opinions.

Although not all of the reviews on my novel were bad reviews. Some people actually enjoyed reading it. Sadly, I don’t remember those reviews as much as I do the negative ones. Fear can be paralyzing. It can take the breath right out of you.

Don’t let it.

Don’t give up, no matter how far you fall or how many times you hit the ground. You can’t afford to give up. Keep going, keep trying. I promise it’s worth it. You might not see it now, but when you look back and see how far you’ve come, you’ll be so glad you kept going.

And above all, remember there is One who loves you perfectly. I cannot number the times when I felt the Savior put his loving arms around me and tell me, “It’s okay, I got this.” I knew I wasn’t alone, through the ugly and the good. My tears were His tears and my joy, His joy. The same can be for you too.

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2 Responses to “How I (Almost) Didn’t Publish My Book (Part 2)

  • Sally A. Peckham
    1 year ago

    I’m sorry people did that to you. There are some who leave negative reviews just cause they can. Don’t let them make you regret following your dream! I can’t wait to check out your cookbook! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Sally. You’re so sweet for saying such kind things. I hope you find my cookbook very helpful. 🙂

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