The Manuscript’s Journey

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 Kate Nagel, author of Untethered and Becoming Kate. For more information about Kate, check out her website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInPinterest and Instagram. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press. 

I looked at the spiral bound copy sitting next to me. My heart was fluttering, like that moment when you are excited and nervous at the same time. Writing, to me, is at first quiet work. I dive into the depths of my emotions and inner soul and allow my creativity to emanate onto the page. In time, words form into sentences and then pages, chapters, and finally, a manuscript is born.

IMG_3814The first time I read it, I looked into my words to be certain that what emerged from those depths captured the essence of my journey. I wanted to be confident as I prepared to stand behind my words forever, because that’s what happens when you publish a book. I made some changes to fill in the gaps and chopped out some spots where I seemed to ramble on.

I read it again. I gave it to an editor, a childhood friend, and a trusted confidant. I was seeking advice and counsel as I asked them to help me find ways to make my story stronger. I encouraged them to find spots where I could dig deeper and find the entirety of my feelings and messages. As they read it, I wondered what they would find in themselves and what conversations (internal and external) would spark from the experience.

With the benefit of their thoughtful, critical eyes, and loving hearts, I read it one more time. I traveled back through the words and pages. I pushed the edge of my emotions and creativity as I enriched, infused, and blended ideas – re-worked, expanded, contracted, smoothed. I quietly read the story out loud and listened for that fluid, forward motion that would (hopefully) allow the readers to flow into and along with the current of my story. I wondered what the reader might discover about their own story and what my words might mean to them as they sailed along with me.

724377.sample.cover.compThen, I sat with my story – quietly – and read it one last time. I considered the entirety of the journey that had led me to the words, pages, and chapters. The spiral bound manuscript held in my hands. As I turned each page, I reflected one more time on what it meant to have lived the words. My stories are very personal. I chose writing as the medium to share my experiences, not as a prescriptive, but rather as an example of the possibility that exists within each of us to change if we choose. I use what I find in myself as a basis for providing those in search a quiet opportunity to explore their inner worlds. I tell my stories because I believe in the profound power and comfort that lives in the essence of “me too.”

As I finished that final chapter, I closed the manuscript and sat it next to me. It was time to let it go. I exhaled deeply and checked in with my heart and soul one last time. I felt the fluttering feeling of possibility stirring inside me. There was fear, too, the kind that tells me I am pushing the envelope on my own life – that I am living it large! My story is ready to become… it’s ready to live into the intention, the purpose of my writing and my work. One more exhale, as I accepted that the quiet part of my writing was completed. I left the chair, wandered into the kitchen, grabbed a cold beer, and headed into my office. I raised my glass as I watched the file upload to Balboa, and wished it a safe journey as it finds its voice, its current, and its flow outward and into the hearts and souls of those in search or need.

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 blog@ 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. 

1 Comment

  1. I was so intune with Kate, as I recalled my own journey which finally became a
    published book called THE GRETA PROVIDER. My life is a very busy one, however reading what Kate has written, I feel motivated to write the sequel which has been asked for over and over again. Thankyou Balboa Press & Kate for motivating me forward once more. Jenny Edwards.

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