The other day a friend of mine reminded me of a blog I wrote back in October 2009.
Inspired by the Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "Do one thing every day that scares you", I had decided to embark upon a Month of Brave.
Every day for that month I did something that forced me outside of my comfort zone. I took part in a film. I wrote some poetry (if you knew how bad my teenage poetry was you would understand quite how brave that was!). I went on a writing retreat and I explored new areas of London on my lunchbreaks.
And there, at the end of my list of daring deeds, came the immortal words:
"I have also made the momentous decision to self publish my novel Dear Dylan. I did have a traditional publisher for it but they had been messing me about a bit so what the hell – why not go it alone? In my role as self publishing editor for Writers’ Forum magazine I have witnessed so many self publishing success stories it’s been very inspiring. And what better time than a ‘Month of Brave’ to make that decision?"
I had no idea back then that this decision would go on to spark a chain of events that would completely transform my life.
After choosing to self-publish I was invited to speak at the London Book Fair to an audience of about 500 people. This in turn led to many other speaking engagements, as a result of which I have met some amazing people and made several new friends.
One of the people in the audience at the London Book Fair asked me if I would like to be featured in a book she was working on called Writers in Black and White. So I ended up in a beautiful coffee table book alongside some of my writing heroes. And Anne Mortenson, the photographer who took my picture for the book, has ended up becoming a close personal friend.
In the mean time Dear Dylan started creating a bit of a buzz online.
In another act of brave, I entered it for a national book award, assuming that as it was self-published it would automatically be disqualified.
It ended up winning!
It went to auction and I got a two book deal with Egmont.
Two weeks ago my agent Erzsi Deak sold the French rights, and I'm currently working on the treatment for a screen adaptation.
And all from the decision to do something brave one October day back in 2009.
Why not make this coming March your Month of Brave? Who knows what may come of it?!
To read my Month of Brave blogs in full, please click here.