Monday, August 27, 2018

Never Give Up on Your Dream


Last month, I was able to see my dream come true.  Eight years after I’d written it, I finally published my book that helps children who are struggling with grief.  It’s called My Mommy Is a Butterfly, and it gives children hope by assuring them that their deceased loved ones are still connected to them through the power of love.

I wrote the story in 2010, but for several years, my attempts to put it out into the world were blocked in every direction.  Rather than submit my manuscript to publishers, I was guided to self-publish.  Sometimes, the guidance we receive takes us down the most difficult path, but I was never one to avoid a challenge.  After doing lots of research about self-publishing, in 2011, I sought out potential illustrators at local art schools, but every candidate wanted to do digital illustrations, and I wanted fine art.

In 2012, I posted the job on a freelance website and found the person I believed was the right artist for my book.  Initially, I was pleased with the results, but as time went on, I felt that some of her work was amazing, but some of it was inconsistent.  She was enthusiastic at first but then decided to take on other jobs and put mine on the backburner.  When I finally received the completed illustrations, I knew that the inconsistencies prohibited me from putting them out there.

I went about looking for another illustrator to fix the inconsistencies.  Again, she was enthusiastic to start but must have grown bored because she let my project sit while she worked on home improvements.  When I received the final illustrations, again, they were inconsistent, and I knew I couldn’t publish them.

In 2013, for a third time, I hired yet another illustrator to fix the inconsistencies.  Again, she was enthusiastic at the beginning but became bored with the project and let it sit.  When I received the final illustrations, the same glaring inconsistencies were there.  I had reached a breaking point of frustration, and I knew I had to do something else.

During the years that the grief book was in limbo, I wrote three manuscripts of angelic poetry.  I decided to put the first book into production with Balboa Press, the self-publishing division of Hay House.  I would still maintain my rights to the words, but they would assign an illustrator who would complete the project in a timely manner and to my specifications.  I was elated.

In January of 2014, Angels, Angels, Everywhere went into production, and in October of 2014, I had the book in my hand!  It was such an amazing feeling to have completed a project and to have it look so lovely and consistent!

Since I had such a positive experience with Balboa Press, I decided to have them publish My Mommy Is a Butterfly.  Production began in 2017, and I was thrilled to find out that the same illustrator who did my angels book was available to do my grief book.  Susan Shorter captures emotions brilliantly, and she was the perfect person for the job.  This book was my baby, and I spent a year and a half going over the sketches and illustrations to make sure everything looked just the way I wanted it to.  Susan had outdone herself!  The illustrations were perfect!  In July of 2018, I had my second book in my hand.

On July 18, 2018, my baby was born, and she was everything I wanted her to be.  I now realize that divine timing was with me every step of the way because the book wouldn’t have been right years ago.  I had made significant changes to the manuscript, the illustrations, and the introduction.  I had also added a much-needed explanation in the back.

I want to encourage you to never give up on what sets your heart on fire … to do what you’re most passionate about … to bring your message or product to the world.  If the idea was put into your head, and you can’t stop thinking about it, you need to put it out there.  If it’s truly meant to be, you’ll find a way to make it happen.  The key is to never give up.

With love, light, and angel blessings,


Michelle

www.michellebeber.com

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Picking Up Where I Left Off


I apologize to everyone who enjoys reading my blog posts and has been wondering why I haven’t posted in more than a year.  As they say, sometimes life gets in the way, and, honestly, I guess I just got a little lazy.  I’m not afraid to admit it.  Also, I kind of gave myself a hard act to follow.  Most of my posts were very lengthy and imparted such valuable insights that, frankly, I felt like they were being divinely guided, and I was constantly questioning myself … how will I top that one?  I put undue pressure on myself, and then I’d start saying I’ll do it next month, and then the next month, until I just let it go entirely.

Maintaining a blog is a commitment, and I’m usually very good about keeping commitments, but I let this one slide.  I needed to focus on getting my second children's book done, which I’m happy to say I finally accomplished this month.  On July 18, My Mommy Is a Butterfly was published!  I can’t believe I’ve finally put what I feel is my life’s work into the marketplace.  It turned out even better than I could’ve imagined.  I’ll be doing a separate post about my book’s journey from inception to completion.  It needs its own special title.  LOL

This will undoubtedly be my shortest blog post ever, but that’s okay.  They don’t all have to be monumental masterpieces.  They just need to be words from my heart, however long or short that may be.  It’s important to stay current, and now that my second book is out, there’s no excuse.  Yes, I’ll be taking time to promote it, and it can be difficult to burn the candle at both ends with a full-time job, commuting, and taking care of basic responsibilities, but I’ll make time to do it.  I really need to remember to try to have fun in there somewhere too.  LOL

So, although this entry is short, it says what I needed to say.  Now, I can get back to business … and blogging.

My message for the month is not to be so hard on yourself if you get lazy.  It happens.  Just pick up where you left off with whatever it is you let slide.  Sometimes, you just need a break.  Always follow your heart in everything that you do.  Your heart will show you the way to your most fulfilling life ever!

With love, light, and angel blessings,

Michelle