Thrive Titbit 2

This week, I’m getting ‘Thrive: the Bah! guide to wellness after cancer’ ready to go to the publisher. And so will begin the journey out of my hand and, eventually – well, in September – into yours.

The experience of this book is very different to the first. Partly, I think, because by the time the Bah! book got to this stage it had been through so many rewrites that there was very little else I could do with it (except wait for a copy-editor to improve it immeasurably). Whereas ‘Thrive’ is a newish manuscript, so there is plenty of room for improvement. It’s very rewarding to see it start to scrub up, I think, rather well.

I have to be careful. though, because another point of difference is that, with the first book, I couldn’t quite believe that it was really going to happen. Yes, I had a contract. Yes, I was going to lots of meetings where people were talking about my book as though it was a real book. But still, it all felt a bit unreal.

This time, I know what will happen: I know the work I am doing now is making the book that will become an Actual Book. People will hand over money they have earned for it, and invest time that they will never get back in reading it. OK, in the scheme of things, it’s not a lot of time and it’s not a lot of money. But it still matters. And I hadn’t really hoisted in, with Bah!, that that would happen.

So the process, this time, is slow and complex and meditative. I write for a couple of hours, and then I do something quiet – I knit or spin or sew or bake – and think about what I’ve written. Then I go back through the writing and make sure I’m happy with it. And then I move on. Slowly, gently, and always with the idea of thriving – mine and my readers’ – in my heart.

I think, this week, the book will be done. I hope it will be everything it can be. I think, too, that this process is teaching me something about how to work and how to be and, well, how to thrive. Which bodes well.

4 Responses

  1. carol surtees says:

    Hi stephanie, i read your blah to cancer in two sessions over the last couple of days, i found it so helpful to realise that we all go through the same hopes and fears. i was diagnosed with bc in november, i have had two lumpectomys at the rvi in newcastle and i am finally starting radiotherapy at freeman next week..Just want to get back to some sort of normality. Like you i am going to carry on going to work through my treament, i have to as i recently got divorced after being maried for 20 years, my husband went off with someone else..So finances are very tight. i have a son at uni not working but living at home and a daughter who has just started work. Thise two have kept me going and like you i am very proud of them. My mantra at the monment is things can only get better! Looking forward to your next book. Like you i would have never chosen this path but there are positives and ii has made me realise what fab friends i have and not to worry over all the stupid little things in life!

  2. BucksWriter says:

    Sounds like a wonderful and thoughtful creative process to me!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi Carol, and welcome to Bah! It sounds as though you are doing really well. I know what you mean about getting back to normal – I didn’t realise how wonderful normal was until it vanished! Take care, be well, and please let me know if I can be any use. x

  4. Teresa says:

    I can totally related to the feeling on the first book…since that’s where I am now. It’s only just starting to feel real. And I can’t imagine starting a second book just yet–you’re amazing!! Best of luck.

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