Ever since I was in my final stages of high school, I had the idea of writing and publishing a book on how I viewed life. Over the course of three weeks when I was back in Vancouver from completing my capstone research project, I finally took on the task of writing the book and realized my 4 year-old idea. This is the complete reflection of my experience writing and publishing my first book, Life through my eyes: How to feel fulfilled.
The first thing I want to address is why it took me so long to get around to actually writing the book. The reality is that there are many factors that collectively led to this long delay. Firstly, I always had schoolwork, hobbies, or other personal projects to work on. These tasks were prioritized and ultimately took up so much time that I had to wait to write the book. This brings me to the second reason (also the reason as to why those tasks were prioritized): I didn't feel like I could articulate my ideas and perspectives well enough. I wanted to wait until I felt that my ability to express my thoughts was beyond serviceable; I wanted to be able to phrase every concept in a way that would maximize the chance that the readers would interpret them the way I do. Lastly, I waited so long to actually write the book simply due to the fact that it was more in the back of my mind and the background of my life.
Over the years, I accumulated many moments where I jotted down new ideas or novel phrasings of my existing ideas that I thought would be compatible with my vision of the book. Prior to starting the process of writing, I went over all these notes and gained true clarity for the format and the essence of the book. At that point, I was determined and set out to actually to write the book. The first part I wrote was the index; I knew that I wanted to have a comprehensive outline of the book's content. In retrospect, this was absolutely brilliant, as it made the writing process much more trackable.
During my writing sessions, I discovered a couple things about myself. The first is that I found it to be incredibly vulnerable to document one's ideas and perspectives of life. Knowing that I would be publishing it an putting it out there for anyone to read only made it more vulnerable for me. The second thing I discovered is the joy and the pleasure I get from writing. Moreover, I realized just how much I loved being in the mindset of creating new content and articulating my thoughts. I was never a part of the philosophy - literature - art circles of the Parisian cafés throughout various influential eras, but I felt that energy (or at least what I have always imagined that energy to be) while I was writing my book.
Through this experience, I also improved as a writer and developed an even deeper understanding of my own ideas. It is like what people always say about teaching being one of the best ways to learn. When I want to express everything clearly and simply to others, I literally could not avoid understanding everything extremely intimately. Furthermore, I pushed myself to learn how to format, create book covers, and understand the many aspects of self-publishing. Overall, I want to describe this experience with two simple adjectives: educational and valuable.