New You: How to Write a Book
When talking about the writing process, many writers will make the comment, “I had it in me and just had to get it out.”
Do you feel that way? Are you marinating in a story that just has to spill out onto paper or over the computer screen? If so, then Nikki Gresham-Record’s story is for you! A counselling psychologist, healer and intuitive, Nikki can now add ‘published author’ to her achievements.
As part of our ‘New You’ series, we are venturing into the unknown and exploring all sorts of new ideas and life challenges for 2021. So, if you found 2020 to be a year more of reflection and introspection, then what better way to make 2021 both a boundary and pen pushing adventure than by writing your very own book?!
And Nikki’s here to tell us how…
Becoming a writer
Let’s get one thing straight, and it’s something that might already resonate with you. Nikki never considered herself a writer. And that’s part of the pure joy of her story. Nikki’s life purpose was very clearly to become a psychologist. She was a born observer, naturally curious about everyone and everything around her. This curiosity drew others to her. People felt comfortable confiding in her, and so psychology became the obvious path, whereas energy work became a personal story. But in her late teens, Nikki’s life encountered a colossal challenge. And this is when Nikki’s energy work became her personal story...
At the age of 19, Nikki was diagnosed with Lupus. An autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks self, organs or tissues causing, for example, fatigue, joint pain and rashes. It is a debilitating and long-term condition. Importantly - it is incurable. For 15 years, Nikki suffered through inflammation and pain in her joints and head. She was prescribed an “awful lot” of steroids, but nothing worked. Forget about thriving, Nikki was barely getting through life. There came a point when she realised if she didn’t do something, nothing would change. She could no longer look outside for assistance, this approach had failed. So, she had to instead become her own agent for change.
This epiphany led Nikki into a massive personal journey of realisation. She read and researched. Sheopened her eyes to alternative health. The link between mind, body, spirit and natural medicine was of huge interest to her and so she began to look closely into herbs and nutrition as a means of healing. It took five years but, by the end, Nikki had achieved a total recovery from the disease.
The experience reshaped her. Nikki had shifted her own reality. She had the clarity to see and understand what she had done, why and how. Although it had quietly guided her, now Nikki could look back on her journey and identify there was clearly a method present - she realised she had received a gift. And now she wanted to share it with others.
Nikki had a story in her, and she needed to get it out.
Working with Chakras for Belief Change: The Healing Insight Method
Nikki’s book, ‘Working with Chakras for Belief Change: The Healing Insight Method’ teaches how to remove limitations and to connect to our true selves. It goes beyond affirmations and sets out practical, powerful tools to align and empower. Nikki had no idea why she felt such urgency to get this book out, but it came flooding forth. And then 2020 arrived, and it all made perfect sense. The world was about to be turned upside-down, and this book needed to be available and ready for all those left shaken and shattered. That’s why Nikki had to get this book out.
Are you feeling like this about a story in you? If so, read on, as Nikki now shares some great practical advice with us here.
Nikki, what’s the very first step to take in writing a book?
Really feel the passion. Let your heart bring it through and fully surrender to it. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you. Notice it, be aware of it, but then connect with your heart and energy and see what comes through. Remember, your experience is completely unique, and that is incredibly important and valid.
OK, so we need to really be in the right frame of mind first of all. Practically then, what are the next steps?
The first step is to clear the decks - mentally and environmentally! Clean up and create a physical space that is going to encourage you to do this, and then work to clear your mind. When you surrender to your higher wisdom, the flow will come. Your story is going to want to burst out.
We’re ready! Now, let’s look at the writing process. What do we do to get the story out that we know is inside?
Start with the ideas and have a broad outline in mind. Once you’ve got this overview, then you work through the chapters you will need. Summarise them. Now you have structure. At this point, you can begin to break down the chapters. Just aim to get it all out, don’t aim for perfection.
And if I get stuck? What about ‘writer’s block’?
I suggest trying a method called Morning Pages.
Can you tell us a bit about ‘Morning Pages’, please?
Morning Pages is a resource used by a lot of writers. It’s a process developed by Julia Cameron and it’s all about creating three pages of longhand, conscious writing as soon as you wake up each day. The only intent is to write. What you write is not what this is about, it’s just the act of writing. The idea is that it helps to unblock your flow.
So now the story is out and we haven’t aimed for perfection, how do we improve upon it?
Four people helped me at this stage. They each read through my work and gave me valuable feedback. One of the people was herself a writer, so she was able to look at it from an English perspective and just tighten things up.
The book is ready, or at least it’s near enough. How do we now publish our book?
Well, my experience was very indicative of the Method that my book teaches. I used my Method to energetically align with “being a successfully published author”. Low and behold, I found myself sat next to one on a plane. This encounter didn’t ultimately go far, but it was the inspiration I needed. He opened doors for me and gave me some fantastic advice.
Then I received an email from the National London Book Fair, which was happening the following week. That was it, I decided. I was going there to find a publisher. It turns out it’s not nearly as straightforward a process as you’d imagine. You can’t just normally arrive on a whim like that, you need to have made appointments. I received a good number of rejections as I wandered the fair that day, but then someone suggested a particular woman might be keen to hear from me. I approached her, and she explained she only had a few minutes later that afternoon. Without hesitation, I took them.
When we met some hours later, something just happened. We connected deeply. I found myself crying as I was speaking to her. She took my book proposal and 48 hours later, I heard from her. I had my publisher.
Incredible. You mentioned ‘proposal’? So you didn’t give her the book per se?
No, not at first. What you need to do in that initial stage is approach publishers with the following:
- The first three chapters completed
- A summary overview of the book
- A summary of each chapter
- An ‘About the Author’ (so, a pitch about yourself)
- A promotional plan (basically how you would PR the book and where it sits in the market)
Do you have any more advice you can share with people who are teetering on the edge of the writing process?
This is a really beautiful process. Allow yourself to connect deeply with the process, with yourself and with the reader. Remember, you are ultimately writing for an audience, and your story is for someone. There is an audience for your book. Resistance always comes up for anyone stepping outside of their comfort zone. Work with, and through, the resistance - clear the blocks and allow. If you have it in your heart, it’s meant to happen.
So there you have it. What better way to launch a ‘New You’ than by writing a new book! A huge thanks to Nikki for sharing not only her journey, but the knowledge she has acquired along the way. We really hope this inspires you to get your own book out. If you’re now interested to learn more about the Method, visit Nikki Gresham-Record’s website to buy her book.
The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.