Life Lessons Learned by Writing a Book Part 2

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. 

Take a look at Life Lessons Learned from Writing a Book Part 1 before you continue reading below…

Often we cant see the forest for the trees!  After pouring over the manuscript countless times, uncovering the tiniest inconsistencies, punctuation errors, and typos, my editor and I failed to see a much larger discrepancy. Thankfully the publisher caught it!  Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to point out the forest that is right there among the trees!  This same thing can be said about life.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day details that we fail to recognize what is right before our eyes. It is important, from time to time, to take a look at your life from a different perspective.  Look at it as a whole, instead of just the minute parts.  Here is where we have the greatest revelations and insights!

Leave space!  Books contain blank pages, margins, space between words, sentences and paragraphs, and space between the end of one chapter and the start of the next!  The concept of space is powerful in writing books and in life.  As I worked out space between paragraphs, margins, chapters, and journaling in the book, I became aware of how important it is to plan in empty space in my life.  We need blank pages, margins, and spaces in life to give ourselves room to pause and breathe.  We also need space to process and integrate what life teaches us, or else it just blurs together!  Can you imagine what a book would look like if everything was crowded together without spacing?  Just as space is deliberately left between chapters, margins and the beginning and end, how much more so can our own lives benefit from inserting space intentionally!  This was a revelation for me, and I have begun to insert space in my schedule for breaks, reflections, and for the unexpected.

Feel free to rearrange!   Create your own life in a way that makes more sense and flows more easily!  I wrote the book as I taught “Enlightened Eating” classes.  By trial and error, chapters were moved, changed and adjusted, to make things flow just right.  Rearranging the chapters was almost like rearranging a room in order to have better feng shui!  Nothing is set in stone.  If the flow of your life is not working for you, feel free to rearrange things to make it work optimally!

Alchemy exists!  If you believe in yourself, and believe in your work, strive to serve others, and are passionate about what you do, that is alchemy!  Yes, these are the magical ingredients to achieving anything!  There are endless amounts of energy, ideas, time and creativity, if you do what you love, live what you love and share it with love!  With this formula alone, your work will be loved!

Shine Anyway!  Some people will resent you for your accomplishments.  Shine anyway!  Along this book-publishing path, I was surprised and hurt by the reactions of a small number of acquaintances.  Not everyone has been happy, kind or supportive. There have been a few individuals who have seen this journey of mine as a threat or competition, and have made hurtful comments. At first I was baffled by this behavior. Then I realized that their resentment is really about themselves!  Instead of shining their own light brighter, they attempt try to darken the light of others. Don’t be deterred by those who don’t rejoice in your efforts, just keep moving forward, and let your light shine!

Some things take a life of their own.  Many days it seemed like the book just wrote itself.  It was merely my hands working the keyboard, but the insights, ideas, and flow of words came from beyond me!  Something bigger than me was also at work!  I think life works the same way.  There is a powerful, loving and creative force beyond us, full of wisdom and intelligence, guiding and leading us, writing the story of our lives.  It is just up to us to let that magnificent force flow through us! When we allow this force to work through us however it wants, great things become possible.


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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