Planting the Seeds: Poetry, Short Stories and Prayers
I have written 3 Diary Journals, a healing colouring book and 6 self-care books. This book is unlike any of the others. I wanted to write a magical book, because healing is magical. I wanted something that would invoke the magic already within the reader, to remind them of their potential, of the truth of who they are. There was no structure, no chapter breakdown and no book pitch; in fact I decided to self-publish this, so I had the additional task of deciding how to approach that, too.
I have been writing poetry since I was about 6 years old, hitting a peak in my late teens/early 20’s, and I have sheaf’s and bundles of poems stashed in folders hidden in the back of the wardrobe. So part of the process was to summon the courage to dig them out and root through them, to see if there were any of value. That took a long time, because a lot of it was drenched in heavy emotion. I dipped in and out of it but found that I had moved on, some of it was useful, but the rest was too personal and not so much magical as depressing.
Not having to write a “how to use this book” or to have duty of care for the reader was refreshing and I wanted it to be fun for me, not heavy or sentimental. So I looked to the present moment, rather than to the past, got a keyboard for my iPad and took it around with me into café’s, and the like. I connected to the energy of the book, new poetry appeared in me, and I would type it out. Strangely enough upon reading it back it had similar themes to my older work, but it was much more solid and, could I say, wiser.
To have somewhere to write is a blessing, but being tied to a desk these last 10 years has meant that my handwriting is bloody awful, I can’t even read it myself at times. I needed to keep it digital so I invested in Scrivener and had it synching across my iPad, iPhone and MacBook, so I could write anything, anytime the mood took me. However the synching was not working smoothly, and I wiped out a huge amount of work accidentally when I was inspired sitting at a cafe, trying to refresh to the cloud pairing to my iPhone… The system got confused and that was the end of Scrivener for me. (Unfortunately I had to buy two copies, one for iCloud and one for the Mac… both now lie dormant in my unused apps folder.) I then discovered Ulysses which is clean and fast and synchs beautifully, and you only have to buy it once, on subscription with iTunes. It’s well worth it, and I’m still using it now.
In my Ulysses folder structure I started to accumulate three sets of documents – poetry, short stories and prayers, some old and some new. I ordered them into separate folders, I began to edit them, tidy them up, and see which ones were solid, which were too similar to put together, and which were redundant.
This process took me a few months. In the meantime I asked my daughter if she would illustrate some of the poems and design me a book cover. Megan is in Art College and had already illustrated the colouring book, so she gladly provided me with snails, butterflies, skulls, mermaids and stars. I had already decided to use IngramSpark, and create my own imprint. I had known the name of my imprint for years, it was just there, tucked into the corner of my brain, and now it was time. I ran a competition on 99designs and chose a timeless logo with a hermetic flavour. It felt right to be doing this, like a foundation stone that had been missing for me finally settled into its place. I will be using this imprint for most of my books in the future.
The freedom of writing what I want, how I want was astonishing – I have always been motivated as a writer, so I can set my own deadlines and publish when I am ready. Realising that I could have total control over this new book felt invigorating. One of my closest friends is an editor, so I asked if he would help me with it, he was delighted to, and suggested mixing up the poems, stories and prayers rather than having them in sections. He also suggested arranging them by their energy, their theme, from dark to light. Brilliant! Ending on a high note would be the best way to end a book, so this is what I did. We worked at this point in Microsoft Word, that made it easier for me to add in the page breaks, page numbers, set the page size and orientation, and throw in the illustrations.
In the meantime the book cover was on my mind, my daughter was now caught up in assignments and college work, I got her permission to farm it out, and I knew exactly what I wanted so I wrote another brief for 99designs. It’s a fantastic website, I highly recommend it. The designer that made my logo hadn’t seen my new book cover competition, so I sent her a private message, and she came up with the most remarkable, beautiful book cover that I have had so far. Another freedom – being able to choose my own book cover! I had fought before with publishers over covers, to no avail. Based on their sales and marketing teams, they get the final say. However this was a work of love, and my daughter’s designs were going to be on the cover no matter what any sales team had to say! My designer placed them around a tree, which wound itself around the book title – Planting the Seeds, it is as if we are in a forest, it really has a magical, fairy-tale feel to it.
After all was said and done, editing the inner proof was tedious I admit, and I am so glad my designer was patient, as the number of pages changed towards the end of the writing process, the template for the book cover also changed as the spine thickened, but eventually I had a final proof of both cover and interior.
IngramSpark was easy to figure out once I knew how to embed fonts in a PDF and get the cover file exactly right. The proof copy came so quickly, but there were a few mistakes inside. I couldn’t see them, I needed a fresh pair of eyes so my husband did the final edit. He found a few repeated words, some dropped commas and ghosts of Microsoft Word’s tracking system (it’s a hideous thing, I would prefer never to use it again if possible).
And here it is! I set the publishing date to be my birthday. It’s a coming of age for me, a freedom to write, a new beginning, I’m excited. If everybody should publish only one book in their lives, this is the one that I would pick, this book is for me. The self-care books are for everyone else, but this one is so close to my heart, it could actually be my heart, in writing. And already it’s becoming a favourite of my reader’s too, they’re finding just as much magic in it, as I did while creating it. I hope you get to write a book which brings you as much joy as this one did for me.
(c) Abby Wynne
About Planting the Seeds:
For the first time, international bestselling author Abby Wynne publishes a collection of her poems, short stories and prayers. Designed to activate and awaken, to stimulate your heart and open your mind, these writings illustrate magic in action.
Known for her self-care books “How to Be Well”, “Heal your Inner Wounds” and “The Book of Healing Affirmations”, Abby brings her unique blend of shamanism and magic, psychotherapy and healing into a new format which is guaranteed to lift your heart. Let Abby’s words help you open to receive a source of unconditional love which is already here, you just need to let it in.
Order your copy online here.