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

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