Book Update Two: Self-doubt and The Synopsis

image courtesy of Kateopolis

Regular readers will know that I have written a self-help book, those not in the know can read about it here and here.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve now completed my final edits for the time being, and commissioned a professional editor today. I was planning on leaving the manuscript for a month and going over it again one last time, but self-doubt has washed over me this weekend and for my own sanity I need it to be critiqued by an expert. This move didn’t come cheap, but I think it will be the key to me moving forwards with this project. As I’m going back to work next month and will be getting paid again I can just about justify it.

If I’m laying my cards on the table here I currently alternate (in equal measure) between feeling that I’ve got something really special on my hands, and feeling that it is a pile of self-indulgent drivel. Only time will tell I guess, but hopefully he will be positive and say that I’ve got something to work with at least.

I said last week that I might share the synopsis in my update this week, so here goes…

After having a dysfunctional childhood, and self-destructive young adulthood, I broke away from my past and created a much brighter future. Rather than just talk about my children never having to experience what I went through myself (like my parents did) I worked damn hard to change my destiny and ensure it was the case. Throughout this book I will share stories from my life and insights on how I overcame the many obstacles I have faced over the years.

I’ll tell you how I broke the cycle of dysfunction, and hopefully it will inspire you to go off and do the same. Getting passed my past wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible. I promise not to delve into matters of which I have no personal experience, and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. I might just have the ones you are looking for though.

Thanks for reading! As always thoughts and constructive criticism gratefully appreciated in the comments section below.


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Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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  1. Self doubt is there wriggling away with all creatives but push through it because you have a fabulous sounding book on your hands! Go get em honey! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  2. Fab, will read this shortly! x

  3. Thanks so much Becky, will do! I posted another update today xx http://mummytries.com/2014/09/22/book-update-three-introduction/

  4. […] last week’s post I shared the synopsis of my self-help book, which is essentially a condensed version of the full intro page (as below). […]

  5. Yoiu must be on cloud nine! So pleased for you x

  6. This is so exciting! I would definitely be interested in reading this, I am embarking on a big personal lifestyle change in my life right now, and want to stick to it this time after several years of going round in circles. Continue to update us with your progress please! x

  7. Thank you my lovely xx

  8. It was an amazing feeling to get that letter! Just hoping the editor doesn’t come back and say he thinks it needs rewriting!

  9. Thank you so much lovely, just can’t wait to get it back now xx

  10. I love the honesty of your synopsis and I think people will respond to that. Handing the book over to a professional editor is a big step but you must have confidence in your words to do it. I hope it works out brilliantly for you. Best of luck. xx

  11. That’s fantastic news! Good luck!! Xx

  12. Well done! See, it’s all happening 😉

  13. Thank you so much hon, I really hope so. If I can use my experiences to help others I’d be over the moon! xx

  14. Thank you so much hon. I will definitely be coming back next week with more news 🙂

  15. Thank you so much for your advice Sophie, I really appreciate it. Writing in the third person is definitely much trickier, but it’s something I need to learn to do. I have to get my thinking cap on now, because one of the literary agents has requested the full manuscript! I’m rather excited as you can imagine, and want it to be in the best possible shape it can be xx

  16. Thank you so much hon xx

  17. Thank you lovely, I know you’re right! I loved reading your post yesterday, you are definitely a writer and should be very proud of what you’ve achieved through your blog xx

  18. You are so right on this hon, we are definitely our own worst enemy! But guess what? Hot on the heels of feeling like this, one of the agents I sent the first three chapters to has asked for the full manuscript. So very exciting! Just need to wait until it’s back from the editors xx

  19. Thanks so much hon xx

  20. Keep going, you can do it! Best of luck with the book. I look forward to reading it x

  21. I think your book will be something very special. You’ve come so far and I can tell from your blog that it will be inspiring. The self-doubt comes with the territory. I have moments reading things back where my skin literally crawls but you can still change things and it is never as bad as you think it is. We are too hard on ourselves.
    Looking forward to hearing more and well done with the last edits!
    Thank you for linking to #whatimwriting x

  22. A bit of self-doubt is completely understandable. I may have just updated Facebook to say I’m currently a writer at mumturnedmom, but I have to keep stopping myself from deleting it! You have put so much of yourself into this book that it’s inevitable you will feel nervous and unsure and doubtful, but what I’ve read so far shows me that you have nothing to worry about. It can be difficult to be objective about something so personal though, so getting a professional editor to look at it is an excellent idea and I’m sure it will be very useful. In terms of the synopsis, I was going to suggest the same as Sophie and and to try writing it in the third person, just to see how it sounds. Remain confident lovely, you’re doing an amazing thing x

  23. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) says:

    Eek scary but I think a very good idea to have a professional read it and critique it for you, I’m sure it’s not an easy process but worth it to silence that self doubt and get the book to be the best it can be!! Best of luck lovely xx

  24. I reckon getting a professional editor on board is a really good move – it’s so hard to keep an appropriate distance from a project you’ve invested so much into, and I can totally understand the doubt creeping in. Fingers crossed he’ll come back with some good feedback! From everything else you’ve said I think you’re in a really strong position to self-publish, and this could be just the boost you need to get you there…

    In terms of the synopsis there are a couple of things I’d say. I think it’s useful to have an opening sentence which sums up the book – an intro to the intro if you like. It also might be worth seeing how it sounds in the third person – it might give it a slightly more professional edge, though I know it can feel awkward to write! Finally, if the synopsis is going out to agents/publishers (or actually just for potential readers too) it might be useful to reference a couple of other books that are of a similar ilk to yours. I know there’s nothing out there that’s quite the same, but it would give them a sense of where your book would sit in the current market. Again this is something I found quite difficult but it might be a useful exercise.

    Hope that helps! And I hope you get your confidence back soon – I still think it sounds like a fantastic book 🙂 xx

  25. Oh my, this makes me want to get my hands on a copy just as much as previous excerpts I’ve read! I do hope you come back to the ‘table’ with the intro next week 🙂 #whatimwriting

  26. Thank you so much Vicki xx

  27. Trust me I usually believe in my own abilities but this experience has been a whole different animal. Pouring your heart and soul into something so personal then putting it out there is completely terrifying! My mind changes on an hourly basis, which is why I’ve hired a pro to give me some guidance. Asking for help isn’t my strongest trait, but it’s something I’m working on and know I had to in this instance to move forwards. Fingers crossed he doesn’t come back and say it’s a pile of sh** xx

  28. lifeatthelittlewood says:

    Oh wow! Good for you, this sounds brilliant! Don’t doubt yourself at all my love – we are very often our own worst critics, and it really does sound like you have an opportunity to help others here. Loved reading this! Xx #allaboutyou

  29. thanks lovely!

  30. Thanks so much Cat, I really appreciate your comments. After all you have been exactly where I am right now, and have successfully self-published your own self-help book! I might need to pick your expert brains at some point if that’s ok? xx

  31. That would be good to read 🙂

  32. Thank you so much Tas xx

  33. Ahhh thanks so much Maddy for your kind and considerate comment! That’s exactly what I’m hoping for, and why I’ve gone for the people I have done. This particular editor has a lot of self-help experience so I’m sure he can help put me on the right track…

    I should have the manuscript back by next weekend so all will soon be revealed here. Love this linky btw, such a great idea xxx

  34. Thanks Iona, the full intro does just that and sits at almost 450 words… I nearly put this up but went for the scaled down version instead! I might share the full intro next week 😉

  35. I think hearing stories and experiences from those directly involved is very appealing and will chime with many people. For what it’s worth, I might be inclined to shorten the pitch and tighten it up a bit. If it’s possible after tightening, to then include a brief excerpt to illustrate how you’re telling your story? Just a thought.

  36. maddy@writingbubble says:

    Though I don’t know much about self help books yours sounds like it would stand apart for containing the personal stories too. I think those will make it interesting, meaningful and relevant. I think it’s a great synopsis especially the second paragraph.

    And it’s great that you’ve hired an editor! I think it’s hard to have clarity and perspective on a work you’ve written and this can be true for friends too. But a professional will know what to look out for and help you to make the book the best it can be (which, I bet, will be amazing!) Try not to doubt yourself although that’s totally normal! I’m loving following the journey of your book! #WhatImWriting

  37. You sound so passionate about it that I bet it’s written straight from the heart. Keep going, you are almost there. Xx

  38. cat1978 says:

    Good for you, great synopsis, looking forward to reading more. Don’t lose heart if you don’t get a publisher, I self published and feel great about it, I am sure you will love your book even more when it comes back well edited, I did anyway! Good luck lovely xx

  39. That’s a good synopsis. Punchy and to the point and engaging.

  40. I think it’s a great idea to hire a professional editor. There are a couple of minor grammatical issues with the synopsis but your editor will sort that out no probs. Don’t doubt yourself though – self-belief is so important! Xx

  41. Stop the doubt! You are brilliant and your book will be too. I can’t wait to read more. Well done for getting so far. You are fab!

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