From time to time in this space, Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Svetlana Kim, author of White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee and co-author of The Last of the Four Musketeers. For more information about Svetlana, check out her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press.
I am honored that our paths crossed. I feel such connection with you because I know exactly what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Not only is your story unique but we need your story now. We live in such extraordinary times of changes and challenges.
It has been a long journey for me with sorrow, destitution, joy, and peace. I remember reading this quote by Mandy After, “In a very sense, we’re the authors of our own lives.” I have found this to be true.
I escaped from Russia three months before the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2009, I self-published my first book titled White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee. I dedicated it to my beloved Babushka, Bya-ok (Korean for White Pearl). It depicts my journey from former USSR to America. I arrived in NYC with only a dollar (yes, one dollar!) in my pocket, speaking not a word of English. I spoke Russian and conversed fluently in German. I had no place to live, no iPhone, no credit history, no work experience. Despite it all, I have survived against all odds stacked against me. I write from the most sacred places- my heart.
My wish for you is that you fear nothing and let your readers crawl into your heart. Fear nothing!
Have you ever watched surfers? They do get crushed by big waves over and over again. They swim right through the waves. When I saw that for the very first time, I was in awe. Then they would stand up on the board, wait for the next big wave, and ride on the top of the wave.
I feel that as a writer we must learn to navigate through the waves of our lives. You know what I am talking about? We must write, write, and write from our heart.
You maybe editing your manuscript right now or looking for a publisher. Some of you wish to publish a book. Appreciate all your efforts and accomplishments so far.
I honor your path. It’s unique as your fingerprints. When I look back, I deeply feel compassion for all my fears, setbacks, hardships, humiliations, tears, desperation, heartaches, and limitations.
They made me more human. They made me a better person.
The road to the authentic, real human art is through our Divine Self. It must come from our heart. Heart is the home where creativity is.
Be aware of your thoughts. We often hear that our idea is not original or boring, too ordinary, we are not famous, and our writing is lousy.
Nonsense. Do you hear me? It’s nonsense.
Burn away all your fears and doubts of your greatness. Not only are you unique and your ideas original, but the world needs your gifts. We are living in the most interesting times in human history.
You and I have a purpose to fulfill on earth. You’re creating your personal brand every day by living your purpose.
1) What’s your personal brand? How would you describe yourself using one, two, or three words? What’s your heart’s desire? Do you want to write a book to stop world hunger, fight human trafficking, support special education, help newly grads to get right jobs, teach meditation, or be an advocate for organic gardening? What’s your calling?
2) What is your message? What will you write about? If you’re already communicating through your blog, check your stats. What’s most popular with your readers? What do they like to read about?
3) You know that great brands create emotional bonds with consumers, their tell stories, and create memorable experiences. Branding is more than a name and catching logo. Today brands are created by vision, stories, and real life experiences. They are just like humans. They grow, change, and leave a legacy. What’s your story?
4) Your life story is your brand. You have the power to create your brand that people will remember and cherish.
I will not be able to write your story better than you. It’s your story. The idea was manifested by the Universe through you. You may call this power Master, Source, Divine Energy, or God.
5) What can you offer? These could be webinars, monthly workshops, or live conference calls with Q&A sessions. Offer topics based on your expertise and experience.
So, take a long breath and relax. Imagine how effortless your writing is. Every thought comes with ease. Feel the flow. One sage from India said that our fear and doubts are burned away through the knowledge of ourselves. Be mindful to be kind and compassionate toward your creative Self.
Trust that the Universe is supporting and guiding you. Rumi once wrote, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing blog@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.