Author In Training, How To Eat an Elephant, Virginia Pillars

How do you eat an elephant?

March 13, 2016

Zim 543I read an old saying this morning, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, “One bite at a time.”

Boy, do these words seem appropriate for this time in my life. I just finished getting my first book ready for publication. It’s been exciting, incredible, amazing, humbling and scary all rolled into one. Lots of people have asked me, “How did you do it?”

My answer, “One bite at a time.”

Over  the next few months, I plan to discuss my process: from the tiny seed planted during the summer of 2008 to finishing the final edits of my first book in the winter of 2016, and on to marketing it in the summer/fall of 2016.

Up until the summer of 2008, the only thing I had written was the annual, dreaded Christmas letter, along with some random notes and letters over the years. Although, there was one exception. Many, many moons ago, our local newspaper had a contest: readers were invited to create a scenario to describe how the writers of the TV show, Dallas, would bring Bobby Ewing back after he died in a previous season. On a lark, I concocted a ridiculous story and mailed it in. To my surprise, my submission was chosen and I won the $25 prize. I took my winnings and pierced my ears. I wanted to always remember the circumstances of doing such a daring move for me, a rather no-frills gal. At that time of my life,  I didn’t wear any jewelry except my wedding ring and an occasional  necklace – if I felt especially daring. The thing that tickles me the most: I didn’t even watch Dallas on a regular basis. I couldn’t, I was a young mom with four children, ages 5-11. Who had time to watch TV?

But taking my writing seriously? I didn’t consider it. I thought my passion was raising my children, sewing, and not, but not least, helping my hubby run the family farm.

My focus changed after two strangers made similar remarks to me within a week. It helped that my children were all grown and living life on their own terms. I still enjoyed sewing, and our farm had morphed into an enterprise that no longer required my services.

Join me as I remember how I chewed  – one bite at a time.