Sign up for free personal development and journaling e-books, writing kits, plus monthly newsletter full of resources, tips and advice on writing and journalling. You'll also be the first to hear about Jackee's upcoming workshops, courses and retreats.

Sign Up Now
Journal writing course Trees Banner
jackee holder - qualifications
client logos Welldoing.org

Happy Birthday Soul Purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is the official 13th birthday of my first book Soul Purpose published way back in 1999. Where has the time gone? I wrote Soul Purpose when I was 37 years and achieved a life long ambition of publishing a book. Despite being out of print I still receive letters and emails from readers and in the last couple of years sat in the same carriage on a tube where someone was actually reading my book.

I am glad I had the courage to go and ahead with pushing the book out into the world. It’s part of my legacy and I am deeply thankful that Piatkus books took a chance on an unknown writer like me and published it in the first place.

At the time I was an inexperienced writer who had a choppy on off relationship with creative writing but had huge dreams and ambitions of being a writer. I modelled myself on literary giants, the likes of Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and the new writer on the block at the time Iyanla Vanzant. Whilst I admired writers from other cultural backgrounds these writers were significant because of their racial backgrounds, If they could do it then I believed in my heart that I could do it too. 

What I learnt from writing of Soul Purpose

  • One needs to cultivate a regular habit of writing. It doesn’t need to be an hour a day but it needs to be regular
  • Wanting to tell your story is not the same as knowing how to write your story. There’s an art, science and synchronicity that all work hand in hand when writing
  • Writing is a physical act. We write through and with our bodies and you need to show up and actually write to call yourself a writer
  • Soul Purpose was not the book I intended to write. Once I started to write the writing created it’s own path which I followed
  • We have to let go of our plan for the book and allow the book it is meant to be to come through
  • Writing is a practice
  • How grateful I am for that very first step of my publishing journey. I sent out ten book proposals and struck lucky. But I wouldn’t have given up

What I would do differently if given the chance to do it all again?

  • I would ask for more help. I seriously needed a writing mentor or coach
  • I would have more people read and comment on my text
  • I would have been much braver on writing about taboo subjects such as sexuality and race
  • I would have edited more and negotiated a new deadline with my editor to give the book more time to incubate and mature
  • I would have worked from a more organised work and writing space so my creativity could have flowed better
  • I would have delivered my second book for Piatkus and not let fear get the better of me which it did, which resulted in a seven year gap between books one and two
  • I would have invested more in learning the craft of writing and opened myself to more feedback
  • Made sure both my parents attended the book launch and invited them both to say a few words

What I would keep the same?

  • Definitely the cover, which I still love to this day
  • The first few opening lines at the start of the book
  • The quote at the beginning of the book
  • The opportunity to write Soul Purpose
  • My innocence in writing Soul Purpose
  • The synchronicity surrounding obtaining my book deal, which included a chance conversation with a stranger in a workshop queue whom it turned out, was a  commissioning editor at Harper Collins who at the time had my book proposal sitting on her desk.
  • The excitement and buzz at my book launch at the Ritzy Café in Brixton on the 11.11.1999

I have some exciting plans for Soul Purpose in 2013 & 2014 when it will celebrate it’s 15th birthday including publishing her on kindle.

Soul Purpose is my baby and holds a special place on my writing journey.

No Comments

Categories Writing | Tags:

Leave a Reply

By submitting a comment here you grant Jackee Holder a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.