Behind the Scenes of Say Yes to What’s Next
I cannot believe we are just days away until my book, Say Yes to What’s Next, is finally out on bookshelves and available for sale online! Collaborating with my publishers at Thomas Nelson has been such an incredible experience, and my entire team has been working so hard to spread the word about my book and prepare y’all for what I hope will be a pivotal, transformative moment in your own lives. I know writing this book has truly changed me, and I wanted to share with you some of the snacks, sweat, and tears that went into the writing of this book.
Sometimes, it helps to have a writing partner; a person to motivate, encourage, and just hold up the proverbial mirror to your face so you can truly see what’s inside and then translate that all onto paper. My daughter Mollie went through the trenches with me as we co-wrote this book together. We wrote the proposal and chapter outline over three long days in her office, fueling our creativity with tons of Starbucks, Starbursts, and Peanut M&M’s. Y’all know I had to put in some extra gym time afterward, and that was just the beginning!
Many writers will keep paper and a pen nearby to write down thoughts and ideas whenever the inspiration strikes and if was no different for me. Throughout the entire process, I kept a journal by my bed and would often wake up in the middle of the night to jot down notes and stories so I wouldn’t forget important things that I wanted to share with my readers.
I also kept a mental image of my target audience in mind as I weaved through topics, anecdotes, and stories. Every day, I work with mothers of the bride, and so many of these women are lost and stuck at their own what’s next moment. They’re marrying off their children, transitioning away from working full time, facing empty nests, and a lot of unstructured time on their hands, and they just don’t know what to do next. Women my age can be forgotten, so I wrote this book so that we stop being this invisible demographic. My prayer is that this book opens up a much bigger conversation about how women over age 50 are ignored in the media and by brands. It’s time for women over 50 to know their value and that value is to be recognized.
It’s so true that to write a book, you need to focus 110% of yourself into the process. It became challenging to write while also running a full-time business, filming my show for TLC, and all of the other responsibilities in my day to day life. I had to take myself out of the craziness of my life to reflect and focus. Mollie and I decided to go to a hotel for one week with our friend and co-writer Kay Diehl and just shut out the outside world and write together. Normally, I’m not good at being “deep” or spilling my emotions, but during that week I cried more than I have cried in 20 years! I poured my heart out on the pages so that my readers could connect and get to know the real me. There were some chapters, such as raising adult children and aging parents, which were really tough. I wanted to be honest but I also didn’t want to offend my son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or parents. There’s that fine line that you always have to straddle between being transparent while also being sensitive to our loved one’s feelings. I hope that sensitivity comes across in these pages.
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the launch of my book, but life these days is just full of the unexpected. Truthfully, I’ve been a little worried about my book coming out in the middle of COVID-19. I truly hope that the optimism in my book lifts people and helps y’all look forward to what’s next, even as we struggle with the uncertainty of our new reality.
Did you pre-order my book? Video your unboxing on social media and make sure you tag me! We’ll share your pictures and video in my feed and on my Instagram stories so make sure you’re following me on Instagram @bridalgirl80.
As always, thank you so much for your support! I cannot wait to read all of your book reviews.
Until next time,