Editor’s Letter: Want to Write a Book? I Submitted My Manuscript & If I Can Do It, You Can, Too by Elisa Schmitz
Nearly four years ago, I finally started to write the book that had been marinating in my mind for years before I finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Over the years, the book took on many shapes, approaches and titles. I shared my ideas with very few people, but each one made their mark on my thought process.
A book writing workshop at my alma mater, UW-Madison, was a turning point for me. The moment where the book actually started to crystallize.
The process of signing with an amazing literary agent, and then landing a book deal with an inspiring publisher, made it feel all the more real.
But, the actual writing of the book was so much harder than I ever imagined. Being a journalist, I thought writing a book would just be a longer form of expression, that I’d easily adapt to because I love to write.
It turned out that writing this book required me to open up in a way that I’d never done before. I had to dig so deep, and examine my childhood in a way that felt really intense and, at times, pretty uncomfortable.
But, without being vulnerable, and sharing the heart of what makes you, you, I learned that you can’t really make an impact. To write something meaningful, you have to “go there.”
Last week, I submitted the manuscript for “Become the Fire: Transform Your Chaos Into Career and Life Success.” In it, I share the vulnerable, the heart. A lot of the chaos.
It’s not everything I’ve ever been through, not by a long shot. But, it’s a lot of what made me, me. And, a lot of what enabled me to go from being burned by the fire, to become the fire.
But, it’s not only my story. In the book, I also share the stories of 10 other women who’ve been through the fire and come out stronger. They, too, transformed their chaos into success. They, too, have become the fire. I’m grateful to these diverse and dynamic women for sharing their stories, so others can learn from their journeys.
I’m exhaling now, and preparing for what’s next. Thank you, and mil gracias, to my husband, family, friends and colleagues for your belief and support. I quite literally could not have done this without you.
If it’s your dream to write a book, I’m here to say you not only can do it, but you should do it. Because if I can do it, you can, too. Yes, it will be hard. Maybe harder than you can imagine. But, through the process, you’ll learn and grow so much. And, what you learn, you can pass on to others in order to make life better.
And, if you’re anything like me, making life better makes it all worth it.
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