Broccoli, Love & Dark Chocolate
Hey everyone! Since my new book has officially launched (Yeah! Yahoo! Yippee! Hooray! Finally!!!), I wanted to share with you a short, fun video about the book (it’s less than two minutes long), along with seven life lessons learned while writing the book. Here they are:
1. Book Writing Ain’t Easy
If anyone tells you it’s easy to write a book, don’t believe them. To write well takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and concentrated effort. I spent about two years of my life on this book and worked really hard. Nutrition writing is particularly time-consuming and challenging. There are so many studies to wade through and still so much we don’t know about how food impacts health. My goal has always been and always will be to give the best advice possible. Developing recipes is also quite the process. My kitchen was often a disaster as I attempted to make each recipe one more time. Thank goodness for my daughters, neighbours and friends who happily tasted each and every concoction. Lastly, this was the first book in which I also did the food photography for the recipe section. I borrowed my neighbour’s high quality camera, got “how to” guidelines from the publisher, and took the pictures in my backyard using natural light. I bought different plates and placemats from the dollar store so each photo would look different. The pictures turned out amazingly well. The food looks so delicious you just want to eat it!
2. With Age Comes Wisdom
This is my fourth book. Each book I’ve written, I’ve enjoyed writing more than the last. I think it’s because I’m older and wiser (smile) and much more relaxed about the whole thing. I know what to expect. I don’t worry so much about the outcome. I appreciate and enjoy the journey more. As with all things in life, enjoying the journey is what really matters.
3. Book Writing Is Not For Everyone!
My sixteen-year-old daughter Shannon is my free spirit girl. She’s very social and prefers play over work any day of the week. As she watched me spend endless hours at my computer, she shared with me the following words: “mom, I don’t ever want to be a writer!” Writing a book is definitely not for everyone. You work alone and at your computer for long periods of time. Not everyone can do this. Not everyone should. I can and did and for me, it worked.
4. Meditation, Dancing and Walking In The Forest
Self-care is really important when working on a book. To keep myself healthy and happy while writing, I did three things every day. First, I started each day with meditation. This helped me to get centered and calm, and in a good creative writing space. Second, I took frequent dance breaks from my computer (after all, sitting is the new smoking and I do love to dance!). Third, I spent at least forty-five minutes walking in the ravine near my house each afternoon or evening. Being active and in nature helps keep me sane.
P.S. I also made sure to eat healthy (I am a dietitian!) and get enough sleep (okay, I didn’t always get enough sleep, but I tried. Sleeping has never been my thing.).
5. Road Blocks Along The Way
This project was not all smooth sailing. My key contact at Whitecap Books (my current publisher and the publisher of my last two books) left suddenly for another company. My project was put on hold mid-contract. One of the largest book distributors in Canada went bankrupt which had a huge impact on the industry. My project was put on hold again. My manuscript was too long and significant chapters needed to be cut. This took time and effort. I wasn’t happy with some of the initial stock photos chosen. More time and effort was required. Bottom line: perseverance, staying the course and paying attention to details was important (and it always will be).
6. Working With Great People Produces Great Results
Over the years I’ve worked with many editors – this includes my last three books and during my time as a columnist for Chatelaine magazine. I have such an appreciation for a good editor! For this book my publisher hired a freelance editor by the name of Tracy Bordian. She was fantastic!!! A good editor cleans and tightens up your writing, but doesn’t change the style or flavour of who you are and how you communicate. They also make suggestions and give input where needed. My book, without question, is a better book because of Tracy. I would work with her again in a heartbeat. I also had the pleasure of working with Setareh Ashrafologhalai, who did the interior design of the book. When you see how beautiful the book is on the inside, you see how wonderful her work is as well. I am so grateful to both these women.
7. I LOVE IT
Here’s the best news of all: I love my new book! I’m so happy with the final product! Yeah! Yahoo! Yippee! Hooray! I think it’s my best book yet (and my last two books were National Bestsellers and both won awards). This book has a beautiful layout and beautiful pictures, along with great recipes, solid nutrition advice and life lessons that are truly heartfelt. Feedback from those who already have the book include: “once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.” How wonderful is that! Bottom line: it feels really great to produce something I love and other people love too.
My final wish:
Now that the book is out, I hope lots and lots of people read it (like millions and zillions of people, including you!). Most important, I hope that the life of each person who reads it becomes healthier, happier and more delicious in so very many ways! Why? Because food, love and life should be delicious!
Don’t forget to watch the video.