Monday Motivation: Crushing Your Dreams

Two years ago today, August 16th,  2019 was one of the happiest and most fulfilling days of my life when the first ever copies of my brand new, hot off the press children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” arrived on my front porch. 

I had just spent the previous year and a half working on it from start to finish which included writing, editing, working with my fabulous illustrator and finding the “perfect” and most patient company to help me self-publish it. 

For the next four plus months I worked non stop trying to get my book into as many hands as possible. I attended one event after another, reached out to  Mental Health Advocates on Social Media, got it on the shelves of some independent bookstores in Toronto, sold it at large retail chains, made several National Television and Radio appearances, was interviewed by local Newspapers, gave book talks at Preschooler/Mommy & Me programs and I had just begun filling up my calendar for the new year with book talks on Mental Health at Elementary Schools as well. 

And I had endless possibilities still up my sleeve.

I met so many incredible people along the way. I also had such incredible support from so many fantastic friends, family, acquaintances and strangers alike.

It felt like my dreams were coming true. I felt like I had purpose and I even felt like royalty somedays, especially when I attended my fabulous book launch party that Fall in my honour, hosted by a friend and her husband.  

And then, BOOM💥, 2020 hit and it hit hard. I got a concussion on day two of the new year which put me out of commission for close to a month and then the Pandemic hit us all in March and then in June of 2020 I found out, just by dumb luck that my Publisher had closed his business after 35 years, without any warning to his clients or a simple courtesy email or thank you.  Instead he disappeared without a trace and took with him, several thousands of dollars of Grant money which had been gifted to me by a prominent Mental Health Organization along with any additional inventory of mine they had held on to for safe keeping for my personal use and my Amazon account.  

To say I felt defeated is an understatement. One obstacle after another left me feeling purposeless again and very broken. It was the final blow. My dreams felt crushed.

I wanted to give up completely. I didn’t see any point in continuing.

How was I ever going to move forward from this especially knowing I now needed to somehow find a way to republish my book. We were in the midst of a global Pandemic and money was extremely tight.

But how could I give up on my dream that I’d worked so hard for and wanted more than anything? How could I let anyone dull my sparkle?

Surrendering to my current situation was difficult to accept. The “what ifs” controlled my every waking moment, making it even more difficult to forgive myself and somehow find the strength to move forward. 

I took some time to figure out if I could somehow save my dream even though it felt too crushed to repair. 

I leaned on my support system for encouragement and reassurement even more. I didn’t want to give up on my dream even if it felt crushed beyond repair and that my anxiety and depression had taken over my ability to pivot my way through this, especially during a global Pandemic. 

I began slowly trying to rebuild my dream by learning how to use technology I’d never even knew existed before in order to keep my book relevant. I knew that with each passing month of the Pandemic there were more and more people in need of my voice and my book.

I kept reminding myself this was not my fault. 

I am still actively looking to republish my book when I am ready and able to and this time I plan to take everything I have learned through this process into account when choosing a new publisher to work with. I am wiser now.

I am also so grateful to still have copies of my book in my possession which has allowed me to continue promoting it in the meantime. And of course with the help of technology and social media I’ve found so many new and innovative ways of doing so during a Pandemic through guest spots on Podcasts, Book Talks and Conferences on Zoom, pre-recorded story times, Google meet-ups with Non-Profit Organizations and Facebook/Instagram lives.

These obstacles I’ve endured since January 2020 have taught me many important lessons. My dream has never changed. My vision hasn’t either.

It may feel crushed beyond repair but like so many of us have had to do over the last 17 months, I am learning to pivot. Pivots in life do not equate to failure. Pivoting simply allows new doors to open and new dreams to come true.

#crushingmydreams #pivoting #childrensbook #author #dreamsdocometrue #selfpublishing #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #failure #mentalhealthadvocate #blogger #youareenough

The Corona Silver Linings Anthology

I am so excited to finally receive my very own copy today of the book I was so honoured to be published in a few months ago.

It’s a compilation of stories, poems and images from individuals around the world.

“The Corona Silver Linings Anthology” captures real life experiences, raw emotions, meaningful issues and life lessons that we have all been challenged by or have had to face in one way or another during this past year while looking for those silver linings.

“The Lifewrite Project” is a non-profit initiative which publishes anthologies “encouraging people to tap into their power to write and share their unique stories” while collaborating with different charities related to the topic at hand and raising funds for many initiatives in the process.

The proceeds from this book are being donated to a variety of charities including “The First Responders Children’s Foundation”.

Check out their website for details on any of their upcoming projects. After all there’s an inner writer somewhere inside of us all just waiting to share our own unique story with the world.

#thecoronasilverliningsanthology #thelifewriteproject #author #writer #blogger #advocate #wheredidmommyssmilego #youareenough #silverlinings #grads #covid19 #coronavirus #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #yourmentalhealthmatters #kidshelpphone #lawnsigns #initiative #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #amazondotcom

A Labour of Love

In mid December shortly after I did my interview on Global TV’s “The Morning Show” to discuss my children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go? and the impact that Mental Illness can have on a family I decided that I had to take a much needed Mental Health break to regroup as it had just become too much for me (which I wrote about several times in late December and early January on my Blog). 

I figured it was the perfect time to take a break right before the start of the busy holiday season and right before the start of a new cycle of upcoming events I had booked for the new year. One of the first things I wanted to do at the beginning of 2020 (after my much needed rest) was to start exploring more ways to market my book; my list I had made months earlier was only getting longer and it felt endless and mostly unattainable to me that I began a downward spiral and giving up seemed like the best option.

January hit me like a ton of bricks and literally knocked me off my feet and there I was on the first of the month stressing out that I needed to get back to my list like I had promised myself three weeks earlier and then BOOM; January 2nd the stress and overwhelm of so many things combined turned to panic and before I knew it, February was here and I had just spent close to a month in bed recuperating from a concussion caused by fainting 3 to 4 times the day after the new year began. And aside from the personal marketing I was still doing on my social media pages and Amazon account, February was no better for several other reasons and then before I knew it another month was gone and I really began feeling like giving up was truly the only option.

But there I was, heading into March and finally starting to tackle my list once again and rebook events and book talks I had to cancel because of my concussion and well at this point in time the next one hundred plus days of 2020 need no further explanation. When I decided to create my book from a poem I had written as nothing more than an ode to my children, I never really considered trying to have it published through a “Traditional” publisher. I knew that by trying to go that route could take years and I also knew that I would have to basically give up all my rights and vision to it. 

I’ve had a really difficult week and a bit just now and I am feeling very defeated, worthless and sad and once again giving up feels like the only option more than ever. My book was written as a “Labour of Love” and I never set out to publish it with the intention to become a New York Times Bestseller. My best intentions were to help other families like mine feel less alone in their journey and help children understand and cope with their feelings when someone they love is suffering with Depression, which I believe I have done. 

Albert Einstein once said “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” which has always been my main goal since the beginning by striving to help others. With every single page (from the front cover to the back) I had a vision that was brought to life by my incredible illustrator; the bright, colourful and truly inviting illustrations represent each one of my family members and the story itself is so personal to me but recently I did speak with a “Traditional” publisher who basically wanted to take my “Labour of Love” and recreate it for what they promise to be “A New York Times Bestseller”.

Here’s the thing I told them that I will never change the integrity of my “Labour of Love” and take away from my vision or intent no matter what. This conversation set me back, I mean it set me way back, but it didn’t end there because the other day I went to look something up on my current Publisher’s website and saw that they were “temporarily closed” due to Covid-19 which I found odd but it was only upon reopening their website again that very same day that Google told me that they were now “permanently closed”.  36 years of self-publishing books, gone or more like disappeared I should say because their phone number and email addresses have both been disconnected and they still hold money and product of mine!

Is someone trying to send me a sign? And if so is it a good sign???

#wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #childrensbook #author #blogger #youareenough #children #bekindtoyourself #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #mentalhealth #itsoktonotbeok #suicide #alberteinstein #givemeasign #concussion #selfpublish #2020sucks

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