Writing and Publishing as Therapy

by Janie Lancaster
(California)

Julie and the Lost Fairy Tale

Julie and the Lost Fairy Tale

My life crashed in ruins about five years ago. It was as though a fire had ravaged me. I was suffering from Fibromyaliga, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Post Traumatic Stress and Menopause.

Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. Writing became my therapy, and my characters became my friends in the loneliness of my recovery.

I wrote my first book, Julie & The Lost Fairy Tale, in three days. (4,000 words a day!) The story grew out of my dreams and favorite fairy tales. (I wrote pictures books and other novels as well as therapeutic poetry.)

Then it came time to publish my written works.

I did a lot of research about the publishing world and went to many seminars and writing groups. I was not encouraged by what I found. I was told that my story would not be published for at least three years because of the process and waiting periods involved.

This would not work for me. I knew I would have been published years ago if it had not been for the traumas I had suffered as a child and the survival mode I had entered into at an early age.

Publishing my book meant more to me than being known as a writer. It would mean establishing my real identity - the creative side of me.

So I went to Covington, Georgia, where my story takes place, and asked the local newspaper to print my story. They did. I finished my story in July 2004 and had it published in The Covington News in September of that year. Then the editor told me about Newspapers in Education, where they publish serial stories. I called newspapers around the country and placed my story in many states, and also in Canada.

Then I learned about Star Publish. I was looking for a publisher to publish a poetry chapbook. I read their contract. When I learned that I would have the freedom to publish my book, keep my rights and be available on-line and also in bookstores, I made my decision to publish my Julie book.

And I am glad that I did. I love Star Publish. They treat their authors with dignity, respect and kindness.

I don't think that self publishing or POD publishing is for everyone. It is not easy to go down this road. You have to be willing to multitask and become whatever is needed to publish and promote your book. I have had to learn to write press releases, create marketing materials, write articles, post on blogs and learn different ways to sell my book... and so much more.

I can assure you it is a roller coaster ride. Self publishing has its ups and downs, successes and failures. But I think no matter what way we choose, publishing is not "Easy Street," like it was at one time. I think we need to be willing to adapt and love our work enough to seek out innovative ways to find success in this ever changing world of ours.

Visit Janie's site, where she shares her thoughts on therapeutic writing.



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Oct 12, 2008
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Call me to get healed
by: stanley allen

Janie,

I was looking at this site to determine what experiences people had with self-publishing, which I am not too keen on, and I read of your experiences and your ailments.

I pray for people over the phone, and God heals them instantly, usually in less than 30 seconds. I noted that you were suffering from fibromyalgia. Call me anytime in the afternoons or evening at (954) 624-2564.

Stan Allen

May 21, 2008
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Newspapers in Education
by: Janie Lancaster

Thanks, Steve. It's nice to meet someone "Real" like you to connect with.

I wanted to add that I do get paid for putting my story in newspapers as a serial. I've made money, received a lot of free publicity, and experienced a lot of encouragement from NIE coordinators by putting my story in newspapers.

This is how I am launching my career and collecting a reader base. I have a
box of letters from kids sent to me by the NIE too. And I have also been invited to do school visits through newspapers.

Janie

May 20, 2008
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Writing and healing
by: Steve B.

Janie, thanks for your post. Know that we are all wishing you health and happiness.

Congratulations on already having achieved success with Julie and the Lost Fairy Tale. Even if they didn't pay you a dime, getting your work into newspapers and in front of all those children is more than a lot of writers accomplish in a lifetime!

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