If you missed my first part of how I wrote my poetry books check out the blog here before continuing, or check it out after it doesn’t really matter. Everything is written. Now you may think, wow the bulk is over. No. It’s not even close! Remember I wrote them in a notebook by hand so I still have very much left to do! Just the typing them up in 3 separate documents for each book and organizing them as I go through took a bit of time. I also have 2 kids so time was limited and I would spend a few weekends in the afternoons or mornings to type them up.
I now have to start the long process of editing and typing up every poem in the proper files, since I wrote 3 collections at once I need to take then time to get all of the poems out at first. Editing is something I did myself. I felt with it being poetry I could do it myself. If it were the short stories or novels I eventually would like to write that would more than likely require an editor. One that knows the details and rules. Now, is there spelling mistakes? Yup. And I am okay with that. I need to go through and re-edit now that I know more about what to do. Which is incredibly challenging but still. I knew editing was something I would want to try to save money on because I was spending money on other things. The fact is, I am a brand new author and poet. Not everything is going to be perfect in the very first book. There is, like much of life, going to be things that I will change or tweek as time goes on. This is no exception. But what I have put out I am proud of though.
Formatting was a very very unexpected expense. I thought I too could do this on my own and I was very wrong. I felt like formatting the books to look a certain way I was taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I ended up finding a great person with great reviews and they formatted the books from Fiverr and used them to format all 3 books. While it was an expense it saved so much time for me. I felt like in the end there was no way I could have done the tips and tricks for formatting. Not to mention if I were to figure it out I would more than likely need to have gotten another program which there was a good chance it was subscription based also. Which would have still been more money.
Covers were something I also paid to have done. The reasoning for this was due to the fact that I had a very specific idea for them. I wanted them to be custom made. And all 3 to have similar covers due to the fact that it was supposed to be a trilogy. I had found an artist that I liked their art style a pretty retro take. They did all 3 covers so they look together. The main thing when getting covers done is ensuring that you get the source file. That way in the future if you wanted to tweak things in the back etc, you are able to do so. Getting the source file is normally the reason why getting covers designed are fat more expensive than they normally would be but our family friend who has been giving tips along the way said this was a big thing to remember to get when having covers created.
Publishing seems to be the easiest step. Because once you have the formatting and covers, publishing to Kindle direct publishing like I did is just some answering questions and uploading. Though you do have to think of certain criteria like keywords and also a price point. Before uploading to KDP it would also do a lot of good if you have time (and if not should make some!) To browse the category you are using. See what other books are selling for that are similar. This also is HUGE when designing a cover and creating the ideas. You want to have a catch cover for the genre so people know what your trying to show. If you have a romance and a cover that isn’t hot and steamy people may be totally lost and have no interest to even read the little paragraph describing it. Much like crime books also have their own look as well with the cover designs. A bad cover can literally make your incredible book not sell. It has to grab the attention of readers.
Marketing is one of the hardest things I struggle with and on top of it I am just not being consistent. At the end of the day you have to market your books endlessly but if you don’t do anything no one else will. I try to do Instagram and also tiktok. Though I can admit I have been majorly slacking in all areas and need to keep hammering down and putting out info on different platforms. With 2 kids and a 3rd on the way though it really is challenging even if it doesn’t sound to be that hard to upload or record a quick little video. But that’s okay. Eventually I will keep plugging away. Same with these blogs, that is why I try to link the books via the posts in hopes someone reading may be interested in my other works too!
Overall, writing and publishing was not easy. I would be lying to you if I said that it was. I also had a lot of help from a friend of the family who had published things before. This was a great way for me to bounce ideas or even ask how things go. It can be overwhelming to google things like how to publish a book especially because everywhere around the world does things differently. Hopefully you have an interest peeked though and check out the first ones I published too!
I say this as two parts because well, it is for sure a lot. If you haven’t seen the abundance of links and photos of my poetry collections in previous posts you are sadly missing out. These were 3 collections with 100 poems in each and they really were a labour of love. Something I wanted to do, put my mind to it, and worked hard at achieving!
You can read more about each book here The Darkness, The Light, The Colorful. I won’t bore you with those details because it was already been written. But if you wish to purchase any of the books via paperback or kindle simply click the names above and it will link you to where to buy them! What I will tell you is how I even did it when I am a stay at home mom to 2 boys. One, 2 years old and the other was about 9 months old. Well, it took a LOT of dedication that is for sure.
One of the first things I am sure people are wondering is, how did I find the time? I found the time when my kids were sleeping in the day time, they normally slept for about 2 hours and I would sometimes set goals for myself to be able to write even 5 poems each day or some days a bit more. That way I had goals on how much to write. Now was there some days I wrote 10 and 15 poems? Yes. And they helped a lot when I was feeling unmotivated and skipped a day or two. I also wrote at night when they both were asleep too. I made sure that I never wrote too much because I had done that a few times and found myself burnt out. I would write and write and write and there was periods of times when I wouldn’t write for a week or so because I needed the mental break.
Now, To dip a bit into why I wrote 3 at once. I know wild right? Well, A brief overview of the books if you haven’t checked their individual posts. The darkness is about depression, suicide, drug abuse, hatred and more. This was a very heavy collection to write because I did have some examples of my personal life in there. Though it may be hard to find which though. The light was also a bit hard to write with subjects like overcoming obstacles, strength, perseverance and more. It still was a lighter feel than the first. And then The Colorful which has subjects like music, winning, children, laughter, and everything in between too. When I was writing the 3 together I could flip through different collections based on my moods. I also could flip to change it. Maybe I wrote a bit too much for a few days in The Darkness and my mind would become very dark, I’d flip to the colorful with the light in between to break it up. This was a lot healthier on my head because as I mentioned, some memories were stirred up while writing them that as freeing and amazing as it felt, I still wanted to not have to worry about keeping it dark for a long time.
Another thing I did when I wrote was I got a huge notebook and wrote poems by hand. There just is something about writing poetry by hand that makes it special. Typing things up online can just feel stiff. You can’t really see the poem unless you REALLY space things properly. And a lot of times you find a better word to change out to do you try to it on a computer I feel like the time to do this is so much more than just scratching it out with a pen or a pencil. I also loved using the notebook because I could sit upstairs and I could write different times. I only recently got this laptop I am typing this up on and my bigger personal computer is downstairs. Which sometimes in the middle of the day or even evenings I really have no desire to even want to go downstairs to sit there and type.
Now, how did I keep track of what I wrote? I had the chapters thought out ahead of time. I wrote them out on the first page of the notebook. As I wrote poems and flipped through I would tick off a check beside the chapters as I wrote them. I did this so that I wasn’t always writing in one chapter and had a good range. The goal was to have about 10 poems for each chapter minimum. That was one of the little goals I had. Obviously though as you write and have more inspiration you kind of write how you feel at the time. By doing this there are some chapters with more than others but that is okay though. This was also to help keep track of how many I had written. For some reason I thought I wanted 100 poems for each collection. I liked the number and thought it was good to start.
Was there times I questioned myself? Yup. There was a lot of times when I barely talked about my writing and wanted to quit because I felt like why bother, no one is even going to read them. But I never gave up. I kept going because I wanted these and many more ideas I have to be part of a bigger plan to provide financially for my family while I am still a stay at home mom. It was something that I did when I was a teenager and struggling with friends or even fitting in. I wrote about how I felt and it made me feel better even if they were really dark poems too. It took a lot to finally write some of them down to paper but honestly it was amazing and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. And after all, The hardest part (So I thought) was to actually write them. WRONG. There was SOO MUCH MORE TO DO that I didn’t even know where to begin, thankfully my moms friend had some help with my questions.
I am writing a book! Well a collection of poems that will be released as a book. If you haven’t read my other blogs explaining it here they are if you would like. I wrote about my collections in general here and then I also talked about my first book in the collection, The Darkness here.
There may be things in this post that are a trigger warning for people. I wanted to put this out there in case you have subjects that you are sensitive about so here it is.
The Light is my second collection that I am releasing as part of a trilogy collection and premier books being released. This is the second book that I had written. The Light is a series of poems with a more uplifting vibe. It has chapters relating to Hope, Resilience, Generosity as well as many more. This collection is about overcoming obstacles and seeing The Light (pun intended!) at the end of the tunnel. It is showing that even after many of the troublesome things life may throw at us there is still a way to come out on top.
I wanted to write this into the trilogy because I feel life is about balance. If you aren’t familiar with The Darkness it is a collection about the hardest subjects one can think of. Things that in some way, shape, or form at least one poem in the previous collection will have some sort of meaning to everyone on the planet. The Light is to demonstrate that even after having some of the worst experiences of my life, having a different outlook and seeing that things can change has been a great experience for me.
Sometimes when we see things like in the first collection, it can be hard for people to see that things change. If I was to look at myself turning 20 and feeling like I was stuck in the worse relationship of my life, that I would in fact be able to fast forward to now, a 32 year old with 2 children and with a spouse who loves me for who I am and not making me feel like I am useless, that things do get better. It felt like I was never going to break the cycle of my life until I just had to do it. Life has a lot of things that can change us. That is undeniable. It is how you deal with them in the future that you may wish you could see the future to know that it does in fact, get better.
The Light is a collection of hope and dreams being realized that they are attainable. I have also labeled some of these poems with different sub-subjects similar to the first because there may be some trigger warnings as well that could hurt the readers. Some of these poems talk about weight loss struggles, maybe overcoming health issues or leaving an abusive relationship when the time is right. It is showing that even after being through hell you can see some sort of relief even if you are dealing with something you have no idea how the chips may fall, so to speak.
The Light and the third collection, The Colorful were written about as I wrote poems for the first. If you are familiar with the first you will know that it is very heavy mentally. I loved that I wrote these poems at the same time as the total trilogies (Ill write a blog about how I wrote them all in a year later too!) and it was refreshing at least for me to write about a few of the heavier topics, and flipping to these to write and change my mind set. I think if I was to stick to one of them and complete then move to the next it would have been a lot harder due to the mindset that I had to be in for the first collection.
This book in particular was a very eye opening experience as well. It made me think constructively about things that I never really did. How I made it through a rough relationship, a tough teenage and high-school life, and somehow I made it on top. Somehow I was able to change things and how my life was going for the better. I never was able to critically think about how I have grown as a person from these circumstances until I wrote the poems that went along with them. I tried not to focus so much on the actual events leading up to them (That is the first collection!) but more so on the perseverance (another chapter subject!) it took to keep going and realize that I am strong and that I am able to move forward with growth.
My hope is if people have been able to read the first book they will see that this one is a continuation. This one is a flip side of darkness that hides in the corners of the world, but a bit of light that is trying to grow if we let it! There is no timeline for healing for various reasons. One being no situation is the same and how we all handle things is also different too. For me it took me over 10 years to have any desire to express how I felt even in this collection where I talk about how I came through the champ and thrived since dealing with that in my early adulthood.
I hope that when this is public and released that you find yourself relating to this book in many ways. Maybe you do some of the things every day, or maybe you can relate to the situations and overcoming obstacles that you may have, in the moment felt like you were stuck.