I first came across the gorgeous Greta via Instagram back in early 2017. I read a post that she had written about being a highly sensitive person (sometimes referred to as introverted) and it resonated so completely that I had to follow her immediately. Since then, I have followed her with great interest as she has returned to the UK from Norway ✈ and started her natural hair journey 👩🏾 👌🏾 I discovered that she was, among other things, a writer, who has been a journalist, a songwriter, a model (well, duh! 😍) and an actor. Those of you who have followed me for a while may be aware that I would love to call myself a full-time writer. I was impressed and still am.
I was due to sit on a panel with Greta last year, but, unfortunately, the dinner I had eaten the night before had other ideas and I was either writhing in bed holding my belly or bent double over the toilet instead 🤢 Apologies if TMI. I finally met Greta at a book launch, funnily enough. We were both invited to celebrate the launch of Anya Hayes’ latest book, The Supermum Myth. And she was everything I thought she would be…she really is the person she presents on these squares. There is something quite distinguished about Greta. She exudes confidence, but in a very gentle and unassuming way… Anyway, she was lovely 💛
Since then, I have been determined to get some time with her to work on my writing, but, for one reason or another, it hasn’t happened. So, in an inspired stroke of genius, I thought I would ask Greta to guest post on the blog and share some of her wisdom for those of us (like me) who would love to introduce themselves to strangers as a published writer. I wanted Greta to let us (me) in on the things has she discovered along the way that she might have liked to know when she started out? She, very kindly, obliged 😘
Greta’s first book, Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills was published in 2013 by McGraw-Hill. Her second one is available for pre-order now with Publishizer – a online platform that matches authors with publishers. Check out Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life here https://publishizer.com/heart-soul-sass/ and pre-order by 15 May to get some fab bonuses. You’ve got a day and a bit. Make it count! 🏃🏿♀️🏃♀️ 🏃🏻♀️ 🏃🏾♀️ 🏃🏼♀️
But first, read this 👇🏾
5 things I didn’t know about getting published
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way on my journey from journalist to writing coach to author (with lots of wonderful detours along the way – yes, beauty pageant and wannabe actress days, I’m looking at you!)
1: That it would take me on a journey of self-development
Writing a book about using writing to help live a fully-expressed life has meant I’ve tackled the biggies, such as love and loss and dealing with narcissists. So, a few times I’ve needed to stop and recoup. Just like during the initial proposal writing phase when I suddenly came down with a nasty case of laryngitis, that my doctor could find no medical reason for! Things were being processed and emotions have to come out somehow. However, overall, the journey has been joyously healing, and I feel different pre-and-post book.
2: Belief is the single biggest factor in getting published
My book coaching clients sometimes ask me: ‘will I get published?’ and the somewhat annoying answer is if you truly believe in your work, then you will. For my first book, I sent out hundreds of proposals via email and was offered a couple of deals. But my lawyer at The Society of Authors advised me to turn them down. I knew my book had legs, so one Saturday my now-husband and I spent the entire day stuffing envelopes with my proposal and forked out a fortune to have them sent by special recorded delivery. It worked, and I won a deal with McGraw-Hill (from the slush pile – something they assured me had NEVER happened before).
3: You have to drum up interest BEFORE your book is published
This one totally escaped me first time round, but if readers, magazines, podcasts and the like are ready, primed and excited about launch day – then you’ll get a flurry of sales. If not, you’ll be forever playing catch-up and people will be onto the next, shiny new launch.
4: Getting published is the beginning, not the end
Once you’re an author, then you kinda get the taste and want to repeat it. Even Harper Lee who famously only wrote one book (To Kill a Mockingbird) couldn’t resist penning a second – albeit 55 years later!
5: That it would open up so many opportunities
A large part of my work now is coaching people who are writing, or who want to write their own self-help, inspirational or how-to books. I help to coax the creative content out of them, and then we shape it and restructure it together so that they have a killer proposal package (along with sample chapters). I love that, through writing books, my writing coaching career has shaped and moulded itself around my personal passions.
So, all of this is to say that while it may not dramatically change your bank balance, the journey to getting published WILL change your life.
Greta Solomon is an author, creative writing coach, business writing trainer and former journalist for British newspapers and magazines. She is the author of Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills (McGraw-Hill, 2013) and the forthcoming book Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life. Greta lives in South West London with her husband and daughter. She runs creative writing workshops for bloggers and the business world, and coaches people to bring their own books to life. Pre-order Heart, Soul & Sass at https://publishizer.com/heart-soul-sass/
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