I am over the moon to share the news that as of the 8th March 2022, I will be a published author! Read on to find out more and for a sneak peek into my book writing journey.
It doesn’t feel real to type these words, but here it goes: I’ve written a book. And not just any book. The book of my dreams. And it’s coming out on the 8th March 2022.
I’ve been holding this news in for a long time – since November 2020, to be exact. I remember that email as if it were yesterday; the invitation to write a book all about how watercolor can soothe the soul. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself! You’ve all been such a huge part of my journey as an artist and a teacher: now, I want to share with you the story of me as a writer.
‘What you put out into the world has a funny habit of finding its way back to you.’
I launched my business back in 2018. Pretty much from the word go, I knew that writing a book was my ultimate goal. Not that I truly believed it. Self doubt tends to stamp out that flame, doesn’t it? But still – it was on my five year vision board. I could picture it. I just didn’t know whether it would actually happen.
Fast forward to April 2020. Everyone was adjusting to the pandemic. Stress and anxiety was high, for endless reasons. I had just released my ‘Watercolour for Relaxation’ class on Skillshare… And the response was astonishing. Clearly, this was something that people not only wanted, but needed. Long before the pandemic, the desperate desire to slow down and switch off was palpable; people just weren’t listening to it. Me included. When I shared this class, it seemed to be exactly what people were looking for.
This sparked something within me. I already knew that I wanted to shift my attention deeper into the wellbeing space. This was the nudge I needed to go for it!
A few months later, I sent a message to my business coach. I told her that I wanted to include ‘the book’ (whatever that might look like!) on our next meeting agenda. It was an offhand comment. Something said and quickly forgotten.
That was until a week later and an email from David & Charles Publishers. They had a book in mind. And they wanted me to write it.
It’s no exaggeration to say that email changed my life.
David & Charles are an indie publishing house of craft books. I have their books on my own shelves! When I first read that email, I immediately thought someone was having me on.
It turns out that they had seen my Watercolour for Relaxation class and thought I would be a good fit for a book they wanted to produce: Watercolor for the Soul. Less than a handful of days later we had a call… And everything felt perfect. It was as if this thing I had dreamt of was finally falling into place. It was becoming a reality, and it was better than I could ever have imagined.
Of course, soon after that familiar feeling of doubt crept back up to the surface. Could I actually do it? Was I the right person for the job? It’s worth sharing that this was also around the time that we were moving out of our home and into the in-laws while work was being carried out on our house. Oh, and we were all in another lockdown. And I was releasing new classes. And caring for our little one while his nursery was closed.
Luckily, I had an incredible group of cheerleaders behind me. My husband – who never fails to lift me up and provide generous support whenever I need it – my honest and loving family and, now, my publishing team. The next six months saw various planning meetings, photoshoots (!!), marketing meetings, deadlines, edits and more deadlines. It was a whirlwind. A beautiful, exciting whirlwind.
Believe it or not, writing the majority of the book away from my home was a blessing in disguise. My in-laws are enormously kind, supportive and (most importantly) don’t shy away from giving an honest opinion! If I ever wasn’t sure of something, all I had to do was bring it down to them and they’d give it a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.
That isn’t to say it was all plain sailing – far from it. I was forever worried. One day I would think the projects and guides I had put in the book were too simple. The next, they’d be too complicated. It was a long process of trial and error. However, with my family as a sounding board, I finally got to a place where I felt: YES. This is it. This is something very, very special.
I want this book to inspire and help others. To show that anyone can pick up a paintbrush and find peace among the rush of everyday life.
I’ve poured my everything into this book and the content held within the pages have changed several times. Why? Because I wanted it to be as valuable as possible for you. Every brush stroke, every colour combination. And so I approached it like my own personal project, adapting, shifting, trying things out and going back to the drawing board. The finished product needed to provide total and utter relaxation.
You will learn how to use watercolor to soothe your soul. To shake off the label of ‘not creative’ and take simple and actionable steps to indulge in artistic mindfulness.
And do you know what? I am SO proud of it. It’s the biggest thing I have ever created (aside from our little one, of course!). It’s taken over my life but in the most special way. Everytime I see it on Waterstones and Amazon my heart does a little happy dance. I can’t begin to imagine how I will feel when I hold it in my hands for the first time… I’m sure tears will be involved!
So, here’s to an incredible, scary and thrilling chapter. The countdown is on and I hope that you’ll join me in my excitement!
You can officially pre-order the book (if you think you would like a copy, please do consider a pre-order… These are super important for new authors!) and watch out for 8th March 2022… I know I will be!