How I Became A Published Author
by Brian Cormack Carr
I self-published my first book How To Find Your Vital Vocation: A Practical Guide To Discovering Your Career Purpose And Getting A Job You Love last month, after promising myself that I’d have a book written and published by the time I hit 40 in June 2013.
It took me around ten months from start to finish. The journey has been a lot of hard work – but great fun. If you have a book in you, then I hope my story will help you to get started on your own writing/publishing path.
I’ve Always Been A Writer
Creative writing was my favourite subject at school, and I even won a couple of creative writing competitions when I was a student. In fact, I ‘wrote’ stories before I could write words. When I was very little, I created a marvellous super hero called BAM! and I used to tell myself stories by drawing pictures of him in action on my toy blackboard. I’d draw one picture, then rub it out and draw the next to advance the story – almost like a comic strip.
Unfortunately, because I only had a small blackboard and had to keep rubbing out the pictures, absolutely no evidence of BAM! now exists. But I’m telling you – he was amazing. He’d definitely give Superman a run for his money.
Writing (I did eventually graduate from the blackboard to pen and paper) soon took a back seat to more practical considerations like earning a living. But I still wrote sporadically through the years, and was briefly a member of a couple of writing groups. I always knew that one day I’d come back to it…
Writing To Promote My Work
In 2009, I set up a life and career coaching practice, and started blogging to promote my coaching service. Pretty soon, I remembered how much I loved writing, and started putting it to work in my coaching work. I wrote an online coaching programme for my clients, and soon started guest posting on other career coaching blogs. I even landed a paid gig writing for a blog about healthy eating! Writing was beginning to take a more prominent role in my life and work.
Writing For Writing’s Sake
The coaching clients on my online coaching program – which I had named Vital Vocation – gave me lots of positive feedback on the material in the program, and several asked if I would consider turning it into a book. I didn’t need prompting twice. It was ten months until my 40th birthday, and I had long harboured the ambition to be a published writer by the time I hit 40.
I got to work and repurposed the modules in the coaching programme into chapters for a book. Some of the material was audiovisual, so that had to be converted into new written material. It was a madcap, hard-working ten months. But it was fun, and so worth it. Four days before my birthday, I self-published How To Find Your Vital Vocation onto Kindle. In the week after its publication, it charted in the Amazon UK Kindle careers bestsellers list. Not bad going for a first-timer!
Self-Publishing Or Bust
I chose the self-publishing route not because I don’t want a traditional publishing deal – that’s certainly something I’d be interested in one day – but because I wanted to get my work out into the world, and I was impressed by the many self-publishing options available to authors today. EBooks, print-on-demand paperbacks, social media platforms – the scope nowadays for authors to write, publish and market their work is just amazing.
I’m making the most of it – what about you?
Brian Cormack Carr is a writer, certified career coach and chief executive of BVSC The Centre for Voluntary Action, one of the UK’s leading local charities. He trained in personnel management with Marks & Spencer plc and gained an MA (Hons) in English Literature and Language from the University of Aberdeen. Brian has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of personal development and leadership, and has helped hundreds of clients, readers and workshop participants to find fulfilling work and a renewed sense of purpose.
HOW TO FIND YOUR VITAL VOCATION:
Genre – NonFiction / Careers
Rating – G