While serving in Iraq, I worked on my book every day from sunup to sundown, researching self-publishing, and communicating with publishers in the United States. The information was overwhelming but I became obsessed with the process. After my deployment ended, an author’s copy of my book was waiting for me at my home. I was finally a published author of my first book, A Soldier’s Heart, which I later renamed, Sand Beneath The Sheets. Eventually, I took my final bow and retired from the Army, departing from the only world I had ever known for 23 years, and jumped into unpredictability and uncertainty with childish anticipation of what the real world would offer me. Once again, my journal was there to document every failed attempt of wrapping my mind around the separation anxiety of no longer being apart of the military. In my mind, I had succumbed to the dreadful reality of being ordinary, one of many souls navigating in a world fixated on time, beauty, and wealth. The admiration and curiosity had decimated once I was out of my combat boots, So in writing stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, helped me channel those feelings that I came to realize was a mutual reckoning of retires I
had come to know. Writing allowed me to take long, deep breaths even when the world forced me to breathe out of fear prematurely. Creating realities through my lens, where I can be seen and heard, brought my reassurance to a comfortable place of solitude. So if you are contemplating carving out your slice of solitude, then self-publishing might be a promising avenue to get your words on paper. Everyone has a story to tell, especially in these uncertain times. The hardest part of writing a book is finding the time while still trying to fulfill life obligations. Carve out the time, block out the world, and write your book, simple, write! It will take consistency and good writing habits on your part. Begin with a concept of ideas you want to cover in your book; this will give you a starting point to get the pen rolling and get the creative juices flowing. Research your topic; never assume or take for granted that the information you provide is enough to seal the deal; this also applies to topics you are well-versed in knowing. Your goal is not to run a sprint while writing but rather to go at a medium pace to develop a good storyline. Find a good editor, and I do not mean a neighbor that scored
high marks in an English class, because there are some things you should allocate your money towards, and an editor is one of them. If all else fails, write some more.