When I finished my book, “Griefprints: A Practical Guide for Supporting a Grieving Person,” I thought “getting it out there will be easier.” Not so. I have had many rejections for many reasons: unknown author, first book, wrong genre and from some queries, not even a response. The publisher that published the “Courage to Roar” took a year to get back to me with a “no.” It seems so far that no one wants to touch an unknown.
I was all ready to self-publish and then found obstacles there too. I am working to see if I can overcome these. I have told myself that “it is going to happen” — just keep putting yourself and your work out there. I am still steady on the path and I know it will happen. When it will happen is the mystery!
I want to help people with the information that “Griefprints offers. If it had been published, I would have sent many books to Newtown, CT. It has information that all of us will use in our lives because a loved one will pass at some point in all our lives.
In working with grieving families, I’ve learned to be a good listener, and to allow people to talk as much as they need to about their loss. But I’ve also learned to make gentle suggestions to the friends and family about what they can do to support their loved one and family in their mourning. Even the smallest gesture like walking the family dog is meaningful.
“Griefprints” is a commercial non-fiction book with lovely art pictures, quotes and practical grieving information. And this is part of the problem. The lovely art work makes a book like this more expensive to print. But I want the price of the book to be reasonable so people can afford it. All this I have learned along the way.
Another significant realization that has come about while finishing my book is that I don’t want my son, Christopher’s, life to be defined only by his murder. There is so much more to his life! I also don’t want to be defined only by “She is a mother of a murdered son.” There is so much more to my wonderful life. Even with the murder of Christopher, I have a great and full life. As hard as that trauma was for our family, we are on the other end and living!
I want to help people feel hopeful and show them ways the sun can begin to shine into their lives after the death of a loved one. I do not have illusions that I will retire on the proceeds of this book. It has already cost me quite a bit to get this far, though I’m not complaining! It is a human service to me. I feel obligated to help others in the most gracious sense. It is another gift that came with Christopher’s death if I can make someone else’s life just a tiny bit easier, better or more hopeful. It is important to me to give back in any way I can. This is another step.
Every time I have a few minutes, I think, “What can I do today to get my book out there?” It is testing my patience, but I have learned to be open to the process, and as my mother, Jane, would say “It will all dovetail.” I am trusting and I am waiting, waiting. I recently sent a submission to a gift book publisher. They state you will not hear anything for six months. There must be allot of us out there….waiting.
Radha, You are absolutely right not to be daunted by the publishing world that is on its own path to obscurity. Keep trying all the paths to find that ONE that will lead you to getting your book out and helping people like us who have had significant losses. By the way, I started participating in a writing group that meets once a month at Book Passages in Corte Madera. The teachers are people who also help with publishing … don’t know if that would be of interest to you, but it would be fun to have you in that little group. Love to you, and don’t let the (****) get you down … I know you won’t. Love, Ruth
Deep breaths. Life will swirl around you. Center yourself. Virtual Hugs.