The Best Investment I Ever Made in Myself
Settle in because it’s essay time.
This is a post for writers, especially for those of you who’ve been struggling to get your publishing shoes on. It’s about the one course to rule them all: Publish & Thrive.
I’ve been writing for many years. I finished writing my first book long before the self-publishing boom, but I put all thoughts of being a published author on hold while I raised my family. Then, in 2014, I heard about NaNoWriMo (forever late to the party), and started writing a book that had been in my head for almost thirty years. It was supposed to be a standalone, but we all know how that goes. One book became two, then four, then five, then six.
Then came the endless rounds of editing, the relentless grip of impostor syndrome, and the exhausting spiral of self sabotage.
Self publishing had become a big thing by the time I finished writing that series in 2017, but I couldn’t publish yet because what if it wasn’t good enough? What if I just tweaked those books for another few years? That would make them good enough, right?
I mean, no.
Adding extra glitter to a cake doesn’t make it more edible. My books weren’t necessarily getting better; they were just getting a teeny bit prettier, but not to everyone.
The weight of those people’s opinions had me making minor fixes for years, until I realised that I’d just been slathering my books with frosting only to scrape it off again.
Don’t ask me why I went with a baking analogy here. Not that I don’t love cake (who doesn’t love cake?), but I’m not any kind of baker. I should probably have just gone with too many cooks spoiling the broth, because that’s what was happening to the books I’d poured my heart into.
That’s just the writing part of the story. I haven’t even got to the publishing part yet.
I assumed I would just put my books into Kindle Unlimited because that seemed easy, but I had made a lot of writer friends on Twitter by then, and the hassle they had with Amazon put me off publishing altogether.
I started using their experiences as an excuse to never put myself out there. I was so scared of trying and failing, but I was getting older, and my health wasn’t what it used to be. And I started thinking about regrets. What if all my good health years were behind me? What if I never published a book? Would I resent myself forever? Just how many regrets did I want looming over me for the rest of my life?
So, I looked into wide publishing, learning all I could, so I would never be at the mercy of Amazon’s algorithmic whims. And I learned a few things. I learned lots of things in fact, including that I really wanted the freedom to make my books available to libraries, and to those parts of the world that Amazon doesn’t serve. I pumped my brain full of information, determined not to make the same mistakes others had made. But that doesn’t worry me anymore. Mistakes are inevitable… part of any new business starting out.
And that’s what I’ve made myself—a new business. I am an author, publisher, marketer, formatter, copywriter, web designer, and more. I hesitate to call myself any kind of designer, because my attempts at promo images are stone cold trash, but I’m working on it.
All this is to say that self-publishing is not for the weak. It’s a long hard slog, but as soon as I realised I needed to treat it as a business, I became both more terrified and more determined than ever. But I was still floundering.
I’d found the Heart Breathings YouTube channel by then, and had become obsessed with Sarra Cannon’s kanban board and HB90 planning system. And through that channel, I found the Heart Breathings Writing Community on Facebook. I was participating in their YouTube sprints, meeting other writers, showing up for them, and for myself.
But I still wasn’t publishing. I was still letting fear rule me.
I’d bought a publishing course for indie authors before, but I’ll be honest, I never finished it. I was a little reluctant to buy another one, but I knew I would get through Sarra’s course because I work best with accountability, and those weekly live Q&A sessions gave me the kick up the bum I needed to get the work done.
I’m not sure I would have been ready for it even a year before, but when I took Publish and Thrive back in August of 2022, I was in the process of setting up a newsletter and giving my scrappy blog a makeover. I was fiddling with things… tweaking and gilding.
But the course had a huge impact on my mindset. The “Thrive” part of Publish and Thrive was absolutely what I needed to hear, and by the time the course was over, I’d set up the preorder for Book 1 of my series, which launched the following month.
The confidence I gained from this course was astounding, and I can’t wait to go through it again, knowing just that little bit more about being a published author.
Because that’s the best thing about Publish & Thrive—you get lifetime access, so you can join in over and over again, go through it at your own pace, or go back to lessons when they become more relevant to where you’re at. And you get access to any new content Sarra adds in the future, including her excellent masterclasses.
Sarra has been busy re-recording all the videos for the February 2023 round with new and updated content, and she is currently opening only one round of Publish and Thrive this year, so if you’re thinking about taking it, now’s the time.
I can’t emphasise enough how the live weekly Q&As motivated me and helped me realise I’m not alone in this. Writing can be a lonely business without community, so if you do nothing else with this post, please do yourself the favour of joining the Facebook group.
But if you can relate to my struggles… if you’ve been putting off publishing until you’re better prepared, or your book is perfect, or you’re certain you won’t make any mistakes, there will never be a right time to publish. There will always be some reason to wait.
I know this because I’ve been there.
But now I’m here. On the other side.
I’m a published author, with a second book coming out tomorrow, and a third going into preorder. And those books are available everywhere. I have a steadily growing newsletter and even get emails from readers. I’m not quite living the dream yet, but I can feel it coming.
Now, it’s your turn.
I don’t endorse things often, but this course is without doubt the best investment I ever made in myself.
So, when I got the chance to become an affiliate, I jumped at it. It means that at no extra cost to you, should you decide to click on the link below and purchase the course, I’ll receive a commission for sending you in Sarra’s direction.
Trust me when I tell you that she will help you find yours.
Publish & Thrive
Registration closes on February 4th at noon EST (5pm GMT).
Here’s what’s included in the six-week course:
- Live kick off call on 4th February
- Weekly live Q&As at the end of each of the six modules (typically 2 hours)
- Hours of videos for each module, unlocked one week at a time
- Additional masterclasses
- Past Q&A videos
- Lifetime access (including new content as it’s added)
- A private Facebook group for students
- Market research and preparing to publish your book
- Publishing your book, including vendor upload walkthroughs
- Running your author business
- Marketing your books
- Sustainability in self publishing
- Successful author mindset
- And more!
For more information, head over to the course page here.
Heart Breathings Links