Could you leap-frog when you were a little one? I could only manage it when the frog was tiny, after that it was useless! When our challenges are tiny then they are often managed with ease. The leap is hardly noticeable but sadly, the bigger the frog the greater the leap needed. Watching the pole-vaulters and the high-jumpers fills me with astonishment and admiration in equal measure. But back to leaping in the safest possible manner…

      One of the most interesting things that has happened in writing my next three books is that they got out of control…not in a bad way, just in an unexpected manner. I thought they would be finished and presented in a sequential order that so that their super-charged self-help could shine. I was mistaken.

       I researched and wrote the next book over several years. It took a decade for me to work out the structure and a year to research it. It was bigger than a degree and took up almost as many files. (The loft is heaving with them!) I did most of the work whilst waiting for Dad having arduous treatment, so it filled the time constructively in an odd kind of way. The first draft was finished just before the pandemic. Next, there was the mighty job of editing it. For me, editing takes longer than the initial phrase of writing. The layers of work are immense and intense, it can feel like it will never end. When anyone asks me what I am doing, the answer is invariably ~ editing. It is a calming yet demanding process. It calms my soul in between coaching and counselling clients and is a peculiar kind of self-care. This is the book that demanded most from my intellect and planning skills. The diligence required tested me to utilise every bit of professional coaching within me. I coached myself to produce 93,000 words.  If it didn’t get done there would only be me responsible.            

       This will be the finest thing I can offer you. Every one of the four hundred pages is overflowing with hope, courage, love, grace and joy. It is almost ready. We are on the last rounds of edits and dealing with the spacing issues that inevitably arise when setting text to a page. It has amazed me about the spacing thing. In the most recent book, Your Lifejoy Year ~ An Enriching Thought for Every Day, I heard our page-setter say the words that no author wants to hear ~ “I’m sorry to tell you that the file is corrupted.” CORRUPTED! NO! However, we plodded on and put it all right and then when you liked it, it made every battle with corruption worthwhile.

      In the process of editing the next book we escaped the lessons of corrupted-ness and just had to grapple with the longest book I have written. (My doctorate was even bigger and never ever to be repeated. What a tale I could tell you about that adventure!) This next book has spent repeated numbers of weeks away from me. I missed it during those times it was with the experts in page-setting and editing. Therefore, I experienced something that is very rare for me ~ time to spare! Unexpected time to spare is a luxury that is extra special for those who have to manage their energy very carefully. It is like a lottery win and can leave you a little bit giddy. I found myself playing a new game of literary leap-frog. I wrote the “next- next” book before the next one was finished. I thought I would just crack on and see what I could do and then guess what? I finished and it was ready before I knew it. This week I’ve made the phone call to say “GO AHEAD!” which feels quite surreal. It feels like I’ve sort of cheated the next book by sorting the subsequent one faster. Yet there is something rather glorious about trusting in the process of working life and just seeing where that takes you. Therefore with all this leaping about we had to have a plan…all being well there will be the next book (400 pages of hope) in November and then the subsequent one in the springtime. Oh and here’s the secret that I’ve kept until the end…the “next-next-next” book was written in between them both! Cheeky little frog that one! Moreover look out for the newsletter as there will be extra goodies in the packages for those who order early and some joy for everyone in the longer term.

      Whether you’re any good at something as a child often can have little bearing on the future. The opposite can also be true, so an open mind, a joy seeking heart and a hopeful spirit have much to offer. I wish you that trio of treasures alongside safe days and strong unity.

🌻 🌻 🌻

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