Life Lessons Learned by Writing a Book Part 1

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 Elise Cantrell, author of “40 Days to Enlightened Eating“ which won the USA Best Book Award for 2014 in the Diet, Health and Fitness Category. You can find out more about Elise and her book on her website,, Facebook or Twitter. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press. 


It has been several years since I began the adventure of writing 40 Days to Enlightened Eating. Had I known in advance the work that was involved in writing, editing and publishing a book, I can honestly say I would have run in the other direction as fast as I could without looking back! Fortunately, “ignorance is bliss” … at least until it was too late, and the book was written. I was too far in to go back. What a learning experience! Most surprisingly, I found that the lessons I learned writing and publishing a book can also be applied to life itself. Here are the hard-won LIFE lessons I learned on the journey.

SKU-000564943Think of everything you begin as a rough draft! Just get started with whatever it is that you want to accomplish. Don’t think it has to be flawless the first go-round. In fact, just plan on revising anything you take on in life! You can edit is as many times as you need to, until you get it just right! I cannot begin to explain how many revisions, changes, corrections and edits were made in order to create something I can be proud of. Things have been added and subtracted, shifted and moved. In life too, we are free to edit and revise things until we get it just right and can be proud. Let it be okay to keep editing away at life, day by day, and eventually you’ll have a masterpiece,

Perseverance is the path. I was a strong-willed child. My stubborn, dig-in-your-heels approach to life, made me a challenge to parent. My parents often marveled at how I wouldn’t let something go until I made it happen. My grit and determination often wore them down, and got me my way. I don’t give up! In book writing and publishing, this quality has been an asset. If I gave way to difficulty and challenge, there would be no book. It was sheer perseverance and persistence that allowed me to give birth to 40 Days to Enlightened Eating.

Perfection is an exercise in futility! No matter how many times you edit, there is no perfection. There are still flaws in the book: a missing comma, an extra space, a typo. Perfection does not exist. But something doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be great. Allow things to be great without agonizing over perfection. Even with imperfections, my book was still good enough to win an award! Aspiring to perfection is an imperfection in and of itself. Perfection steals the joy and creativity from anything you do in life. Let go of angst and relax into good enough!

Divine timing is real. Nothing comes to fruition until the universe is ready! As hard as I tried to reach a September deadline, the book was delayed until November. At first I was devastated by this glitch in my timetable. That is until it dawned on me that it would be released right in peak holiday shopping season and on the cusp of the New Year’s dieting craze. Divine timing! In our limited views, we often mistakenly think things just aren’t working out for us, but instead, divine wisdom comes along and works things out even better! Allow things to flow their own way. Trust in divine timing, knowing that the intelligent unfolding of things is far beyond our human understanding. The order in which things come together don’t always make sense until we see the big picture. Diving timing allows the pieces to fall into place in ways we could never orchestrate ourselves!

Continue reading part 2 here.

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, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing dghosh@ 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.


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