The Book Idea That Took Over My Life

When I revealed the cover for Embraceable last week, Facebook reminded me that my cover reveal for my first novel, In Her Shadow, took place exactly three years before that.

Kinda trippy.

Most everything else, however, was different in my professional life back then. There was no Girl Boner® blog, brand or radio show to speak of. I was focused on my first book release, with my second thriller-in-progress on the back burner.

“I’m going to write a novel per year!” I’d exclaimed numerous times, to which my then agent said, “Great plan!”

In order to build a lasting career, he and others told me my best bet was writing and publishing the next thriller, then the next, then the next.

My heart had other plans.

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As the giddy euphoria and hectic-ness of my novel release settled, I honed in on finishing the sequel. I forced myself to plug along, feeling as though I were writing under water—which is quite an awful feeling for a hydra-phobe like me.

I kept recalling an epiphany I’d had several years earlier after an intensely erotic experience (which you can read about in Embraceable) that prompted me to think seriously about sexual empowerment—and, more specifically, my historical and other folks’ lack thereof.

Girl Boner… Girl Boner… Girl Boner…

Long one of my favorite terms used for inside jokes and flirtations, Girl Boner kept bouncing around in my thoughts. (Is anyone else digging that visual???) I had to do something about that term and all it stood for in my mind.

Here’s one of my favorite things about being a deeply sensitive person—as most artists are: We have a low tolerance for angst. What others might be able to brush aside as “no biggie,” we ache over. Cry over. Lose sleep over. Hopefully, at some point, we act. How else would we survive, much less thrive?

So act I did.

One morning I woke up, sat down to work on my novel and screamed at the top of my lungs said, “NO MORE.” That manuscript wasn’t the best place for my energy, I sensed, at least not then. If our hearts aren’t in our work, the work suffers, and so do we. My whole body seemed to exhale as my mind, soul and pen found synchronicity.

I would write a book called Girl Boner, I decided—a good girl’s guide to sexual empowerment. In effort to build a platform to hopefully attract publisher interest, I applied to trademark the term (holy difficult, but worthwhile process), then launched my blog series.

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Since then, I’ve switched agents, written several book proposals, gotten praise and rejections from publishers, launched my show, began speaking publicly about all-things-Girl Boner® and decided to publish my first sexuality book (the soon-to-release Embraceable) myself. While I still have lots of growth to cultivate and work to do, I’ve never felt more authentic.

During what’s been an incredibly tumultuous time in the world, it’s easy to feel helpless. I sure have. But I also know at my core that we’re not. We can all make a positive difference by staying true to our paths and asking the right questions of ourselves to ensure we stay on it. This is a practice and a journey for me, something I’m not sure one can ever fully master to a point that the work is no longer necessary. Luckily, the work itself is an awesome reward.

When have you gone with your gut instead of listening to others’ advice? How did it pan out?

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20 Comments

  1. Marc Schuster

     /  November 23, 2015

    Great post! I had a similar experience a while back. After my last book was published, I immediately started working on the next because “that’s what writers do.” I wasn’t loving it, though, and eventually I realized that I wasn’t loving writing in general. All of my writer friends told me to tough it out — to keep writing — but I knew that I needed a break. I also realized that what I really wanted to do was play music — “play” being the key word, because I wanted to have fun. Though I still value my friendships in the writing community, I’m having a lot more fun making music than I was with writing.

    Reply
    • I love hearing that, Marc. We never know where our creativity will lead! And that’s a great thing, IMO. 🙂 Wishing you the best with your music.

      Reply
  2. Over the past two years since quitting the day job, I’ve explored a few different creative outlets (photography, sketching, learning SEO and refining my blog’s design and focus) all to help support my writing, and build my brand, Wild Ozark. It is also NOT the direct route of writing one book after another and focusing solely on that, but I too have found it to be immensely satisfying and I think was the better route for my long term career goals. Good for you for listening to your instinct!

    Reply
  3. More than not, I go with my instincts when it comes to the medical profession. My success rate is fairly high! 😉

    Just recently, however, a health crisis launched me into a writing crisis. Writing has been a part of my life for decades–I don’t have a book published but have some shorter publications–mostly, writing has been getting me through one moment after another, including illness. It’s how I learned to trust my instincts. Yet, I turned away from writing in this recent illness–my health did not improve, and I felt lost–a return to writing may or may not improve my health but at least I’ll be on my path.

    Wonderful post, August. Really looking forward to reading Embraceable.

    Karen

    Reply
    • Ha. If only all of our life areas could be in-sync all the time, right?? 🙂

      I imagine we all fall away from the path on occasion. I’m ever impressed by how beautifully you trust yours, and your instincts. That you’re reconnecting with and acting on your need to write only shows more of this. Cheering for you hugely!

      Reply
  4. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Gamechanger.

    You rock. So much. I’m so proud to know you. I can’t wait to hang out with you again and that time cannot come soon enough. You are so inspiring, August.

    Reply
  5. Kourtney Heintz

     /  November 25, 2015

    August, I love your journey and I’m so glad to have been here to see it. Can’t wait to read the new book!

    Reply
  6. This article was all heart. Very inspiring and powerful. Congrats on all your achievements. I follow your Huff Posts and look forward to checking out your books.

    Reply
  7. I love this post – and I love your courage. You follow your instincts and that’s what you ought to do. You’re a great writer, yes – but you’re a great instinctual entertainer as well. You follow your heart and what feels best to you – and that’s what turns out to BE best!
    You rock, August! And your book will be a bestseller, you’ll see! ❤

    Reply
  8. Ironically, my gut has led me to abandon my dream of being published and stick to blogging.
    Funny how life works, isn’t it?

    Reply
  9. I continue to remain so impressed with everything you’ve accomplished, August. I know it’s a result of long days, hard work, and endless determination. Good on you!

    Reply

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