Since starting Lipstick & Ink, I’ve been able to reconnect with my inner writer, the part of me I suppressed for the majority of my 20s. You see, I’ve considered myself a writer since I was able to pick up a pen. And I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I read Little Women, where the main character, Jo, writes a book of her own and becomes a published author.
As a kid, I loved to dream up short stories and jot them down in my wide-ruled notebooks. I typed up my first “book” in the 6th grade titled A Life Too Short. Then, in college, I wrote another piece of fiction work titled Wilted Love and seriously considered getting it published. Instead, I kept it hidden on a flash drive because I didn’t think I was qualified enough or good enough as a writer to be published.
MAKING MY DREAM A REALITY
One random night in late 2018, the idea of writing and publishing a book revived within me. At that moment, I decided to make it a reality. In January 2019, I announced to the L&I community on IG Live that I was going to write a book. Since then, I’ve been mulling over the topic, outlining like a mad woman and questioning again if I was worthy of being published. It’s been a real rollercoaster.
When 2020 arrived, I committed to getting my manuscript written. It was now or never! I even wrote my goal down on paper and pinned it to the wall in front of my desk as a constant reminder to myself. Then the pandemic hit and all of our lives turned upside down. Simultaneously, I started a new role at work and found myself working 12 hour days during the months of March, April, and May. With work taking up all of my time, I lost the energy to write my book. Once again, I tucked it under all of my other priorities.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, I’d revisit my outline and write little snippets here and there when I got random bursts of inspiration. Little did I know that those small steps would lead to big outcomes. I was able to get clarity about my message and what themes I wanted to write about in each of my chapters. At the same time though, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to write, as I was trying to be mindful that this year was not normal. Because of that, I didn’t come close to meeting my goal of finishing my book this year. But what I did do was get serious and put in place what I needed to be successful.
In October, I decided to take action and hire a book coach (shoutout to The Studio Press!) who could help my writing along the way and hold me accountable. Ashley-Ann encouraged me to put myself out there and talk about my book. I announced on my social channels that the book writing process was officially beginning. I shared my why behind the book and what I’d ultimately be writing about. If you missed it, you can watch the video below!
BOOK UPDATE & ANTICIPATED LAUNCH DATE
Working with Ashley-Ann has been a game-changer as I’ve made my book a priority, writing one chapter a week. This is something I hope to continue until the first draft is complete. As I write this post, the draft of Part 1 of my book (Chapter 1-3) is complete. I am moving onto Part 2 and beyond thrilled as I’m clear in my mission.
While it’s been exciting to envision what the future will look like once this book is published, it’s also been a challenging and frustrating process to write it. If I could compare it to anything, it truly feels like I’m on a rollercoaster, riding all of the highs and pushing myself through all of the lows. As I write this book, I’m revisiting all of the memories and experiences I had from certain times of my life that got me to where I am today. It’s bringing up a lot of emotions but it’s liberating writing them all down.
I also hired a book designer, the amazing Amanda at XO Art & Design! We’re going to start working together next month to bring our vision to life.
I plan to have the draft of my book done by the end of February (fingers crossed) with an official launch date sometime in fall 2021. I will continue to provide behind the scenes on Instagram Stories (follow along here) and updates here on the blog and in my email newsletter (sign up for that here) because I want to take you along the journey. I think it’s important for you to see all of the ins and outs of what comes with writing a book. It’s a wild ride, guys!!!!
Thank you for all the support and excitement along the way – it truly means more to me than you could ever know!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Senior Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.