On April 1st(no joke) I published my first book.
“Ramblings of an AFC coach” and I was full of mixed emotions.
For years, I have been writing and publishing blogs and this book is made up of just that, years of writing blogs; painstakingly put into order and tidied up to become a book.
If I had told my 14-year-old self I would be good at writing (so modest), and that I would love writing, I would have thought my future self to have turned quite mad; But here I am with a book published by create space self-publishing.
I was asked to write by a man involved in the media, to give a martial arts view to the martial arts community and mainstream audience. I was so naive about this, mostly because I had not even thought of myself as someone that could write, never mind gain a following for my blogs.
I started off writing about things about Martial Arts, techniques, and fitness related subjects but as I grew with confidence, so did my topics. As I developed over the years, I wrote about every aspect of life and how life affects you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
This drew attention to my writing, but some of the professional writers disliked my blog writing fame. Then one fine day the sub editor told me I should set up my own Blog, as I was gaining popularity and loyal followers (stand by for the god complex), she then set about helping me to do this. So, thank you Sue sincerely.
From this new platform, I decided to get more disciplined with my writing so I had to restructure how and when I wrote. I teach a lot, so I needed to find a day to fit in my writing rather than just writing when I felt like it or fitted it in. Looking at my teaching I had to stop teaching on a Friday afternoon and make it a writing afternoon; this made me more focused on my writing and treat this as my
Friday afternoon job. This helped so much with my writing because if I did not take it seriously why should anyone else?
This had a great knock on effect because my audience started giving me feedback via Facebook and Twitter which then they asked about my old blogs, how could they read them and why did I not make a blog book. A book had never crossed my mind and as I had already been writing a self-protection book named “Switched On “
(hopefully out the back end of this year).
So, myself and Kerry set about collecting all the blogs from the different sites and then putting them in order; this took some doing, some had to be copied and pasted, some had to be rewritten and they all needed spellchecked. When I started writing I did not know how to use spell check so I sat with a dictionary and painstakingly looked up the word which was a slow and painful process. Now I just spellcheck and my life is so much better since I came out of the dark ages. After we got them in order I then had to find a way of publishing them.
I phoned and asked lots of local publishing houses about my book but the same old reply’s that Martial Arts is not what they want to promote; so, I decided to go with Create space through Amazon and self-publish. This was a massive learning curve, I have learned how to do a cover for the book (front and back) and how to upload photos and edit text and make it look pretty! So, then I uploaded the interior and sent for proof reading copies. Then we gave a copy to two very educated people, Micky Caul and Baz Dunn to proof read (thank you from the bottom of my heart) after a couple of months of changing text and spellings and generally tiding up the writing, Kerry checking and changing and me re-reading; It was finished.
I pressed send and within a few hours, create space sent me the confirmation email in the earlyhours April 1st (no joke) and it was up on Amazon that day for general sale.
It was a strange overwhelming feeling, all the work, the self-doubt and all the AFC team work had been for this goal. I was frozen in time and it brought me to tears. Currently the book is selling well (if you have not bought it please buy it!)
The hardest thing I have found was when people have asked me to sign it, I feel unqualified and a little strange that people want me to do this, but I am working to get over this, by signing increasingly more of them. I remember Geoff Thompson signing books for me and saying lovely things about me, I hope I can give people the same feeling as he did for me.
I am currently returning to continue writing my Switched-on book and have a Ninjutsu book and children’s self-defence book in the pipeline. As they say it gets easier the more times you do it; so, I am.
I am also doing technique videos for my own YouTube channel advanced fighting centre, subscribe please so I can share the knowledge I have and embrace the multi-media era we have been throw into. This is a whole new learning curve for me, but I will do it just as I said I would become a professional writer. I feel like I am just scratching the surface of my potential and aim to get the world to see me!
Standby for the new me, beret wearing cravat wearing lovee darling!
Until next time,
Big love from the AFC.