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Self-Publishing as a First Time Author by Ronan Gallagher

Writing.ie | Magazine | Tell Your Own Story | Writing & Me
Ronan Gallagher

Ronan Gallagher

I self-published Stop Being Your Self on 9 December 2021. It is a self-help book on emotional intelligence, personality types and mindfulness. The book is based on the enneagram personality framework. Why my take on the enneagram is unique and effective is that I have stripped back the theory and put the 9 personality types into 9 life stories. The stories are narrated in two voices, the first-person conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Using 9 life stories and the subconscious mind as a narrating voice makes the complex area of emotional intelligence accessible, relatable, and memorable. Each chapter or personality type has a self-help section at the end, which recommends awareness and mindfulness practices to help us change our beliefs, behaviours, and emotional patterns.

Book Idea

The idea for the book came whilst relaxing on holiday during September 2019. I didn’t have a desire to write a book before that. I had left legal practice August 2019 and I had decided not to rush immediately into what was next. I was hoping that some time off the legal hamster wheel would provide intuitive direction.

The idea for the book randomly came in that period. I was someone that always needed to know what was next, so the book idea has been a counter intuitive lesson in how creativity and self-expression cannot be forced. It was one of the first times in my life that I didn’t have a strangle hold on my choices and future path and a creative and beautiful idea happened to me.

Writing Timeline

I started to plan the book during November 2019 and commenced writing in early 2020. Covid lockdown presented a strange opportunity to write. Training legal professionals in negotiation and leadership was my new career and when Covid struck, it was reduced to occasional online presentations. Emotional intelligence is the most significant aspect of negotiation and leadership courses, so I knew that authoring the book would make me more marketable as a trainer and deepen my knowledge. I have to say that changing career during a pandemic led to a protracted period of uncertainty and anxiety, however writing proved to be a fantastic antidote.

I finished a rough first draft of the book by the close of 2020. Some months were better than others for writing. I had taken on some part-time legal consultancy, namely advising a previous employer on ongoing litigation. Litigation is invariably hostile and stressful for the parties and on reflection my writing dried up over these few summer months of 2020. Positional and aggressive litigation moves do not seem to lend themselves to a creative self-help book. When the consultancy finished in August, I got back to writing and quickly got back into the groove. When I completed the first draft, the question was, what’s next? How do I get my book out there? Do I use a publisher? Do I use a literary agent? Do I self-publish? I had no clue.


I spoke to several Irish authors who were very generous with their time and advice on the writing and publishing process. After the chats and some research, I decided that self-publishing the book would put me into the strongest position for potentially attracting an agent or publicist. I needed to get the Book out there and take it from there. Self-publication on Amazon KDP was my new focus.

My first step was to find an editor; and so, he appeared. A lifelong friend posted in a WhatsApp group, an article about his brother-in-law Gerald Brennan. Gerald is a crime writer based in Northern Ireland. It is hard to capture how much I learned from Gerald, asides from his strict editorial function. Another discovery I made is that if you keep focused on where you want to go- things will unfold for you. That might sound strange or too metaphysical to some, but finding an editor was the perfect example for me. You must trust that whatever you need will appear- be it an idea, an editor, or an inspirational book.

I reviewed the manuscript over the course of February to April. I wanted it to be in reasonable shape for handing over to the editor. Gerald reviewed the manuscript from May to August 2021, and we had a final master copy ready in early September. Gerald advised me that what I needed next was a typesetter and cover design consultant. He recommended Stephen Connolly. I worked with Stephen from September to December on designing a cover and formatting my book. I learnt from Stephen that Amazon KDP required two different formats for each of the paper back and kindle versions. Stop Being Your Self was finally ready to buy on Amazon, on 9 December 2021.

Writing Process

Each day of writing started with a small degree of rumination and anxiety- like looking into a blank unsupportive abyss. But then it starts, writing happens. It is a strange and beautiful process and words come onto the page without much conscious direction from I, as writer. There is no control and no perfectionism- the writing happens without rigor or critique. Writing, and the compulsion to write is an effortless activity- it is something that just happens.

Where the ideas and words come from is fascinating- it is beyond our conscious mind. When you let go, writing happens. It is an excellent analogy for life- the greater strangle hold and control we have on our life choices, the more limited and difficult our circumstances might be. Writing is similar, you just must let go and trust that you have enough material of interest in your subconscious mind, that will make your writing engaging.

My second book is well under way. It is a sequel to the first, named Stop Being Your Self- in Negotiation and Leadership. It is an emotional intelligence guide for negotiators and leaders.

(c) Ronan Gallagher

Website: https://stopbeingyourself.ie/

Link to buy: https://lnkd.in/gYXSc9sm

Stop Being Your Self: A unique and practical take on the Enneagram personality framework

Stop Being Your Self is the complete emotional intelligence package and guide. It presents the 9 personality types under the Enneagram in 9 life stories. The life stories run from the type’s childhood through to their adult self, portraying the unconscious beliefs, behaviours, and emotional patterns of the 9 types. The life stories are narrated in two voices: the first person and the subconscious mind. Using the two voices makes the unconscious motivations for the types’ behaviours, easy to understand, thereby demystifying the power of the subconscious mind.

Each type’s life story has a tailored self-help section, which provides mindfulness and practical tools for growth. The tools include a first of its kind personalised audio hypnotherapies. The hypnotherapy audios are tailored to the 9 individual personality types, facilitating real change on a subconscious level.

After reading Stop Being Your Self, your empathy will increase, and you will understand every person in your life- why they behave as they do. More significantly, you will commence or springboard a personal journey of emotional intelligence, personal growth, and self-awareness.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Ronan Gallagher is a barrister-at-law, author, and trainer. He formerly enjoyed an international practice in financial services law. Having discovered the Enneagram and lived its transformative power, he left legal practice at the end of 2019 to pursue his love of people training. Ronan delivers training in Negotiation and Leadership for Law firms and legal professionals. He has delivered and designed executive, masters and diploma courses in negotiation, communication, and emotional intelligence since 2009, working with Ireland’s largest training providers and corporates.

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