The Ups and Downs of Writing a Book

July 10th, 2010 | Posted by Sherry Gaba in Uncategorized

I had the opportunity yesterday to participate in the panel of the television news show Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell to talk about the Lindsay Lohan case.  I found out about the opportunity about two hours before I appeared.  I was waiting for a client to arrive and I got the call.  I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity because for almost a year now I have been consumed with the launch of my book this September, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.”  So there I was frantically putting on make-up, hoping I had something to wear since I hadn’t been to the dry cleaners in a month.  My hair was dirty and I was not prepared, but had to make it happen.  This is just one example of resilience one must have if one wants to write a book.  There are many ups and downs to the process.    The ups being the voice mail I got from the editor that the publishing co. had decided it was a go and they liked my proposal.  This was after sending the publisher a few other proposals that had been turned down, which was discouraging, but I never gave up.  I wasn’t necessarily looking to write a book at the time.  I was filming Celebrity Rehab and hired a publicist to get a little extra media exposure and under some very unique circumstances, made a connection with the publisher and before I knew it, I was writing a book proposal. 

Then there were the negotiations of a book deal, which I knew nothing about.  I hired an entertainment attorney because this was new territory.  This was extremely stressful because once again, I had no idea what a good book deal was or wasn’t.   After the contract was signed, I had to find a ghost writer.  The ghost writer helps organize the concepts of a book.  She edits, does research, and tightens up the chapters of the book.  In some cases, although not mine, they actually write the book.  I had to find a ghost writer who would work within my budget, because, after all, I was a first time author.  I was blessed to find an amazing ghost writer and we had roughly three months to get the book done.  We made all our deadlines and at the same time, I was running a private practice seeing approximately 25 clients a week, working at a rehab in Malibu,  making telephone calls to clients, networking, marketing my practice, writing a weekly blog, and trying to find time to spend with family and friends.  It wasn’t what I pictured an author does.  For instance, Wayne Dyer, writes most of his books on the shores of Hawaii.  He can focus solely on his writing because that is his sole profession.

After the book was finished, there was the final editing that needed to be done, photos to take for the book, and writing for two more blogs to create a buzz about the book.  I also started a Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter page to also get the word out.  Shortly after that, a third blog was added where I write five more blogs a week,  in addition to the two I write strictly for the promotion of the book.

I am not writing this to complain, but writing this particular blog has been very therapeutic for me.  I wanted those who have ever dreamed of writing a book to know what type of commitment it takes, especially for first time writers.  There will be many decisions to be made and sometimes, you truly don’t know if you are making the right ones.  You will work with many different personalities from publicists, to editors, to computer personnel, to agents, and the list goes on.  Everyone is under pressure and has deadlines, and in today’s economy some of these individuals are doing the job of more than one person. 

Although this blog is not necessarily a blog related to addictions, I believe the many tools I have learned from being in this field is what has gotten me through most of the year.  The most important thing I have learned in this process is that I am truly powerless.  I am not powerless over my persistence, but I can’t expect others to be on the same pace as I am.  Everyone is doing the very best they can.  The other lesson I have learned is I am powerless over the outcome.  I don’t know if my book will be a best seller or not, and actually, I have spent very little time thinking about that.  If I did, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get out of my own way to make all of this happen.  I have practiced gratitude, as well, for all the blessings I have, but most of all,  thank god for the wisdom of the 12 step program I have in my back pocket.   Without it, I would have been one irritable and discontent person.  Although I do admit I have had a few of those days.    The one that has helped me the most is to just “put one foot in front of the other and stay out of the results.”  Amen.

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