Process of Illumination

Help me write my BOOK!

I could write a blog post today and catch you all up on what’s been going on the past few weeks… or I could start the process of writing my book.

Yes, you read it right. I’m finally ready write a book.

In fact, I feel like I NEED to write it. And, it’s about time.

I hope you all appreciate how incredibly courageous it is for me to declare this fact, publicly, because now I have to hold myself accountable to it. I have to make the time, plan it out and actually DO it!

Am I scared?

Well, not really.

Not yet, anyway 🙂 I’m excited and I feel ready, so that’s good.

But, I’m going to need your help…

You see, the truth is that I’m not quite sure how to go about this. Well, I know how to write now, since I’ve been practicing, here, for the past few years, but now it feels as if I’ll be investing more of myself into this greater project and I really want to make sure I’m being mindful of what is involved. I want to collect all the possible creative components together so I can assemble them into something that will flow out of me, authentically, while also creating a structure to work within, so I can develop guidelines for myself… a kind of road map, if you will.

It’s kinda funny, because, as I’m writing this, I realize that what I’m looking for is very similar to the “Character Questions” I recently received from the directors of the Riverdale Players‘ theatre company I belong to. We have just been assigned our roles for our new production of “Bad Habit” (performances are Feb 4-6, 2016, so mark you calendars!) and, with that, came a list of almost 50 questions to help us begin to develop our characters.

Questions like:

What is your real, birth name?

What do you look like?

What is your fondest childhood memory?

What is something you had to learn that you hated?

What song is “your song” and why?

What is your deepest, most well-hidden sexual fantasy? Would you ever try it?

You get the idea…

So, this is funny because, when I received the 3-page, single spaced document of questions, I think my text to my friend (and our costume designer) was something like

“Holy shit! What’s the deal with these 50 questions for the play? I feel like I’m studying for an exam!”

I felt totally overwhelmed because, on one hand, I wanted to get it “right” and, on the other hand, I didn’t want to put that much effort into something which (at the time) I couldn’t quite understand the benefit of.

And now, here I am, about to ask you (and myself) to do the same thing, pretty much.

Hahahahahaha!

Isn’t life funny?

I guess I see the benefit now… 🙂

Here’s why:

I realize that I don’t actually know how many of you are out there, reading my blog or following my work. I don’t know what posts most of you really resonate with and which subjects (that I’ve written about) you are most interested in… or why.

I do get lots of feedback from many of you and that’s been really helpful and validating, so thank you… and so I’m hoping that each of you will consider taking some time to sit for a moment and check in with what it is you get out of these posts and, hopefully, help me answer some questions. The purpose will be to help me get a sense of what works and doesn’t work. You’re answers will likely surprise me, inspire me and guide me and I promise to read and consider each, and every, insight or suggestion.

I also promise to mention each of you in my acknowledgements. Needless to say, I’m hoping that my acknowledgement section ends up being many pages long 🙂

Remember, as much as writing this book is for me, it is also for you. I want to create a book that is both inspiring and practical. One that is authentically “me” and yet resonates with as many people as possible.

I hope you will accept my invitation to travel this journey with me, as my collaborators. Your personal stories about the subjects I’ve written about would be incredibly powerful to include in this book. The possibilities for how to design and craft it are endless!

At the moment, my general idea is to make the book a series of essays about what I’ve learned in my “process of illumination”, broken down into subjects, such as Relationships, Parenting, Creativity, Culture, Spirituality, Self-Love, Money, Purpose… etc. but I’d also like to acknowledge, include or reference the work/experiences of other “real” people in addition to other professionals, public figures, etc..

Think Chicken Soup for the Soul meets Conversations with God meets Gifts of Imperfection meets Eat, Pray, Love… or something like that 🙂

That will give you an idea of what I’m playing around with so that you can comment and let me know if you “get it” and if you think it sounds interesting or if it’s too confusing or… whatever.

Please consider all the questions but if you can’t answer them all, I understand.

So, if you’ll indulge me…

1) What would you call the genre that my writing fits into? (Self Help, Memoir, etc…)

  1. What are the best books you would recommend I read in this genre?
  2. For those of you who like my work, yet find something missing, what is the “missing piece” you would like to see included?
  3. What is/are your favourite post(s)?
  4. What interested you the most about that/those post(s)?
  5. Did you learn anything? What did you learn?
  6. Were you inspired? How? Did it change your perspective in any way? Do you do things differently as a result?
  7. How is this valuable to you?
  8. How, do you imagine, is this valuable to other readers? To society?
  9. What do you want to see more of? Topics? More details? More storytelling?
  10. What do you want to see less of?
  11. Who, do you imagine, is my ideal audience demographic? (Age, Gender, Marital Status, Occupation, etc..)
  12. Based on these questions and the basic information I have shared, is there any other piece of advice you’d like to share?

My sincere thanks to everyone who takes the time to do this HUGE favour for me. I hope that we will all be sitting around chatting and celebrating the achievement of the finished product, a publishing deal and mega-sales, in the years to come!

Hey, gotta dream big, right?

Send your comments to:

tracybrichards@gmail.com and use the subject “book feedback”

Thank YOU!

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