How to Publish a Book: My 1,000-Day Journey

    How to publish a book

    In life, lots of things are relative.

    What looks hard seems super-easy compared to something harder.

    Writing is hard.

    But it is easy when compared to what it takes to go from “writing” to “getting your writing done.”

    If I’d known it would take 1,000 days for my first book to be published, I probably would have given up. I’m glad I didn’t.

    Here’s how it happened.

    This story took place between 1980-1983. We lived in a small town called Madikeri in the state of Karnataka in India.

    The Hunger to Read

    Like all kids my age, I was fascinated with stories. For me, it bordered on obsession.

    It started with monthly Kannada language magazines for kids. We used to buy all four of them every single month. Sometimes, I would wait outside the house so that I could read them first—before my elder brother got his hands on them.

    Slowly, my interest shifted to novels. My mom had a treasure chest of them.

    The local library, of course, had a lot more. They lent two books per person.

    From our home to the library was a 90-minute walk. I still remember the days I would walk to the library, borrow two books, and walk back reading one.

    I was always confused and conflicted, because I would almost have finished one book by the time I got home, and had only one more book to read.

    Without hesitation, I would turn around and walk all the way back to the library, quickly reading the other book. If I hadn’t finished the second book by the time I reached the library, I would stay there to complete it. Then I would borrow two more books, ensuring this time that they were thick enough, so I wouldn’t run out of reading material when I got back home.

    I slowly upgraded to Enid Blyton, and then to Erle Stanley Gardner.

    My parents were probably happy about my love of reading. More likely, since my grades were good, they didn’t bother much about this side of my life.

    In this way, I’d read about 700 books by the time I was ten.

    I used to play guessing games — guessing how the stories would evolve and how they would end. Sometimes I would win; mostly, I lost.

    But the games themselves were fascinating, as I was trying to get a peek into the authors’ minds.

    The Writing Journey Begins

    One day, I had a “brilliant” idea. Why guess what happens in other novels?

    Why not write my own?

    I had already read hundreds of books in both Kannada and English.

    I thought I could make up a plot, some characters and scenes, and stitch them all together.

    That thought quickly turned into action. I started writing my novel—a spy thriller— in June 1981.

    That I struggled to complete the novel would be an understatement. We didn’t have a typewriter nor did I know how to type, so I wrote by hand. I rewrote often, getting stuck with a character, not knowing how to further the plot, wondering when and how to finish the book.

    But after eight months, I had a complete draft of 200 pages.

    The (Naive) Dreams and the Reality

    The next logical step was to publish the book.

    I thought it would be a piece of cake; anybody who read it would lay down the red carpet for me.

    It was a good book and deserved to be sold in bookstores.

    If I tell you all the dreams I had about how fast I would see it on the shelves, you’d think I was totally crazy—and you’d be right.

    I started pitching it to every publisher I knew. Most pitches were written on postage-paid letters. I kept track of each one.

    I was waiting for multiple publishers to reach out to me, expecting to choose between their offers.

    It didn’t take me long to realize that I wouldn’t be faced with the problem of choice.

    Most pitches got no answer. Occasionally, I would get stock rejection letters. Then the rejections began coming more frequently.

    For almost a year, there were only two outcomes: no response, or a stock rejection letter.

    My reaction went from “shocked” at first, to “totally expecting it” by the end of the year.

    I had to do something else.

    A Ray of Hope

    The next year, I started reaching out to some of my favorite authors for help.

    I’d get their addresses from their books, or address my letters to their publishers.

    Most went unanswered. To be fair, I don’t even know whether my letters reached the right people.

    Then one day, there was a ray of hope.

    One author, G. Prakash, responded, giving me some words of advice on a postcard.

    I was delighted. Actually, I was ecstatic.

    After all I had gone through, this was a breakthrough.

    Meanwhile, I had not stopped writing. I was on novel #3 by this time. My theory was that once my first book was published, there would be a demand for more novels, and I wanted to be ready. Why waste time, right?

    Over the next few months, I built a snail mail relationship with Prakash. He was wonderful and patient, responding promptly to all my questions via postcard.

    I decided it was time to pay him a visit. I wrote to him, requesting an appointment, asking him to let me know if he wouldn’t be available on the day.

    I didn’t hear back from him, so I convinced my parents to allow me to make a day-trip to the city of Mysore.

    The Day-Trip that Turned into a Two-Day Trip

    I reached Mysore early in the morning, excited at the prospect of meeting my favorite author, who had been my guiding force for the past few months.

    I was in for a surprise. Prakash was not there.

    In fact, he didn’t even live there! He lived in a town called Hunsur, and used his in-laws’ address for correspondence. I learnt this from his in-laws.

    But all was not lost.

    As luck would have it, Prakash would be visiting them that afternoon. They asked me to come back at 2.30pm.

    I spent the intervening three hours roaming around.

    I went back at exactly 2.30pm. Prakash had not yet arrived. He might be on a later bus, his in-laws said, and asked me to come back in an hour.

    I went back at 3.30pm. Same answer.

    I went back at 4.30pm. Same answer.

    I went back again at 5.30pm. Same answer.

    By this time I was getting a bit anxious, as I needed to get to the station in time to catch the last bus home to Madikeri.

    When I went back at 6.30pm, Prakash had still not arrived. But they had heard from him. He was on election duty and wouldn’t be visiting them that weekend.

    I tried my best to not show my disappointment, but my eyes filled with tears. Prakash’s mother-in-law noticed. She asked me my name, and whether I’d eaten anything since morning. I said, No. They asked me to come in and served me food. I tried to explain, but they asked me to eat first; we could talk later.

    After an early dinner, they heard my story.

    I was carrying my unpublished manuscript. Prakash’s father-in-law actually read the entire manuscript. This was novel #4, so I had better writing skills than I did when I wrote novel #1. He liked it.

    They decided to help me reach Hunsur so I could actually meet Prakash, and asked me to stay the night. We called my parents to tell them of my changed plans. It took some explaining, but eventually, they were convinced.

    That night, we talked more about the book and my journey thus far.

    The next morning, they both saw me off at the bus station.

    At Hunsur, I didn’t have any trouble finding Prakash’s home. There was no one there, so I waited outside.

    Two hours later, Prakash returned from election duty, surprised to see me at his doorstep, not knowing who I was. He hadn’t read my most recent letter, and it took him a while to understand that I was one of the fans he corresponded with.

    But he was nice.

    We spent the next few hours together. I narrated my story all over again. He didn’t read the manuscript right then, but promised to do so that evening. If he liked it, he would endorse the book and also put in a good word about it to one of his publisher friends.

    For the first time, there was real hope.

    I went back home, eagerly waiting to hear from him.

    How to Publish a Book

    True to his word, Prakash wrote to me the following month.

    He liked the book, and had talked about it to his publisher friend Natraj. Natraj from Chethana Book House had promised to look at it, and had asked me to meet him in Mysore.

    There was no guarantee, but at least I was going to meet a publisher in person.

    So I was on a bus to Mysore once more.

    Nataraj Chowdhury was a nice person. He asked me to wait as he was still reading the manuscript. I stood some distance away, waiting for him to finish it.

    I didn’t know whether his answer would be “Yes” or “No,” so the anxiety was building up.

    After about thirty minutes, he looked up and realized that I was still standing.

    He asked me one question: “How much do you want for this?”

    This was a question I wasn’t prepared for. Again, I had tears in my eyes. But these were different tears.

    I finally had a deal. My first book Mr. X Killer was published in 1983, when I was thirteen years old.

    Lessons Learned

    Rajesh Setty

    1. Anything meaningful is hard

    My first book was published when I was thirteen years old, but six of my books were published before I was seventeen. The first time was hard, but because I got something done the first time, there was a second time, and a third time.

    1. Tenacity is invaluable

    I didn’t know what tenacity meant when I was trying to get my first book published. But I was immersed in it 100%. The fact is, I didn’t know when to give up. When you get more than 100 rejections, you become immune to them, and it helps you to keep moving forward.

    1. There is so much to be grateful for

    I still remember the two days I spent with Prakash’s in-laws and the day I spent with Prakash. Those were some of the defining moments of my life. Today, I have published fourteen books and over 1900 articles on my blog. But the journey would not have begun without Prakash and Nataraj believing in me and giving me a chance. It was a leap of faith for them, and it was the biggest breakthrough of my life.

    There is so much to be grateful for in life.

    Whether or not you’ve been published, I’d like to hear your story. Share it in the comments below to bolster the writing spirit in each of us!

    About the author

      Rajesh Setty

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    • sravan says:

      It is a very touching story,,

    • journey is going on always to be thanks for sharing very nice to read out

      • Viswesh says:

        Great story my friend. Inspired me a lot.

        • Really awesome story man! I liked it very much.
          Keep sharing 🙂

    • That’s a great story buddy! Inspired. Tweeted. And bookmarked!

    • Dear Rajesh

      I am inspired by your story that has proven that by faith
      all things are possible. Your journey highlits most important
      things that today’s youth lacks which is Perseverance, Passion,
      Practice and Patience and Faith. Originality and sencerity out
      of your story is felt. Youth most of the time seeks for popularity,
      short cuts in life and quick money schems that ends up being a disaster.
      There is a need in our young people’s lives to bring back the understanding
      of their purpose in life and fulfilment in identifying that purpose
      and accomplishing their full potential of their purpose. Young people narrate their lifestory observing other people’s life journeys, not realizing that we are all unique and different in a special way. I am passionate in helping them unlock and help them undestand their potential, passion and their specific God giving talent.

      I have to say am not much of a reader truth be told and I am slowly reading from books from few authors.Your strory taught me a lot and I appreciate you as an author
      and the journey you travelled to get where you are. I have identified
      most young people do not want to read especially books, so my interest and
      targeted audience is young people with lack of motivation in reading novels,
      inspirational books and short stories with a punch, that will keep them interested
      by the time their giving up mode kicks in then the book would have been finished,
      and they would have learnt something and wanting to read more.

      Few goals I have and hoping to achieve

      * I would like to have a blog that involves young people and their realities.
      *I would like to activate my reading skills
      *I would like to share knowledge that I have acquired with young people that are interested
      *I would like to publish books

      You are really my inspiration I will be humbled and be glad to hear your response.
      I would also like to hear your tips and advice on that.

      God bless you and your family

      Ms Matsoso

    • Tolulope says:

      This was not just your story or the story of your first book Raj, it’s a story about life and I learnt precious lessons and found strength right there, in your lines. I could not help but also read your replies to the comments; you’re not just a master storyteller, but also a wise coach.
      PS: I’ll continue to practice for the sake of practice itself.

      Thanks for writing, Rajesh

    • Jireh says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. What words of wisdom would you say to someone that has a lot of passion about writing, truly enjoys expressing through writing and have lots of ideas to write about? I am no stranger to rejection, as a business to business independent rep, its all in a days work.
      Perhaps its a case of being overwhelmed and seemingly locked into the leaning phase of good writing.

    • Shreya says:

      Really an inspiring story even i am motivated with your story and now planning to launch my new ebook..

    • Self-publishing has really made this whole process a lot easier — but much more competitive, too. Every wannabe author today must be more than that. They must be entrepreneurs, too (authorpreneurs). That means marketing, publicity, and, yes, the writing all fall into their hands.

    • Arbaz Khan says:

      Thanks for sharing your story with us Rajesh.
      After reading your story, I am thinking of working more hard to achieve my own goals and never procrastinate again.
      I am really glad that you shared your journey with people like me so that we can take inspiration from it.

    • It’s tough to be a writer, but what makes it great is hearing stories like yours!

      One day, I’ll finish my own story. It has already begun. I don’t know the ending yet. Yep, you guessed it — it’s an autobiography!

      For now, my book of short stories has been published, and my second book, Letters to Julian (Julian is my son), will be out later this year. 🙂

    • Such a great and inspirational post! Thanks for sharing you story Rajesh 🙂

    • Joe Slaughter says:

      I enjoyed your story of persistence & I look forward to reading your new book.

      I am a pastor (so I teach and speak weekly) and I enjoy writing. But it seems that I have trouble taking it to the level of being professional where the writing might become a business endeavor rather than just being a part of the spiritual career I have.

      I am 61 years old and have many responsibilities of “caring” for several aging relatives as well as my 12 year old son – who is my constant enjoyment in life as he grows up.

      Thanks for your time.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Aamir.

      My new book is all about writing your book, FAST! Here is the link:

      It should be released soon.


    • Well, its highly inspiring story and a great read. And I would say here that You best symbolize the definition of Persistence. I guess your hard work paid you off well and your passion with the urge to succeed paved the way where you are today. Anyways I want to discuss about writing a book as I have been a blog writer myself but I write very often. So is there a way to talk to you if you can share and spend some time. I be grateful for that.

    • Hello dear Raj and to all the dreamers and brave writers that still believe:
      Your story, besides of being beautiful and inspiring, it’s the fact that we need and must to keep on going in the chase of our goals to see our books published, we just need the right moment, the right person and of course, a touch of magic…this is my story….

      I started writing in 1989, when I was 14 years old, I was a huge fan of the 80’s horror “B” type movies, now I have 38 but that passion for the movies made me learn English by myself (I am Argentine, living in Madrid) At that age I used to live with my grandparents, in another city, miles away from my parent’s house, my grandfather studied parapsychology, numerology and some dark arts, so he had lot of books that always called my attention and I had read most of them, specially one called “Introducción a la ciencia del mal” (Introduction to the science of Evil) from an unknown author called Eduardo A. Zeballos, I thought it was a “Dark magic” book, but it turned to be a psychological horror tales genre, the reading of that mysterious book turned into a non-stop passion for that kind of literature, after all, I loved horror movies as well. That year I read most of all of my grandfather’s library, all the same genre, horror, psychology, white and dark magic, unsolved mysteries, urban legends, and that kind of stuff, but still, my number one´s favourite was Zeballos book, which my grandpa gave it to me because he was never read it. That black book became my personal “bible”, not because religion, but as a very good reference to start writing my own horror tales. A few years later, I got back to my parents city, it was 1994 and I got a job as a florist in a shop next to the cemetery of my city, I worked hard there for a year, and then, the owners opened a new grocery shop in the town city center, so they transferred me there, of course, it was a better job, cleaner and not so hard, I worked the night shift for a season, there was not much clients but it was interesting for the kind of people you get to meet at night, specially one of them. There was an old man, white hair and beard, always dressed up in blue shirts and pants, he was lame, so he used a walking stick with a mysterious figure carved in the top of the stick, he always came to buy cigarettes and we became good friends, spending the late nights talking about the mysteries of life, urban legends and all that kind of stuff, the time passed by, until one night he asked me what kind of books I like to read, then, I told him my story with Zeballos´s book. He stood still and shocked when I said that name, until he react and told me “I am Zeballos”, I just knew his name at that time but not so much of his life, he was a very reserved man but I never cared about that, I just look at him and thought “He’s fooling around”, but then again he spoke “I wrote that book that you love so much”, now I was in shock, couldn’t keep talking, he took out his ID and showed me, he really was Eduardo A. Zeballos and I was frozen, I became friends with my favourite author at that time, for months we talked and share stuff knowing so little from each other, that moment was totally magic, he told me there is not such things as coincidences, that all in life has a purpose and we meeting that way, it was definitely, the cherry of my pie. We started to share writers stuff, I showed him my very naïve tales in teenager writing style and he gave me fabulous and unedited tales of his own, I flipped out, we became so so close as friends that he planted a seed inside of me, the true love for literature and to become a real writer. I have, of course my copy of his book specially signed for him, well saved as a relique. Then I moved and lost track of him but he always remains in my life as my biggest influence to become a writer, years later, my literature teacher, Alicia Gibilisco, became my second muse enforcing my skills to tell stories. In 2007, my mom got cancer, it was a really hard time for me and my family, I started to write a personal journal telling all the steps of the decease, of the pain and feelings that we went through, after 10 months of fighting, my mom died at age of 48. It was a big hit in my life, still is but I decided to turn the journal into a self-help-ish book in 2009, so that´s how was born my first book “Be strong and be brave”, I remember I sent the manuscript to many publishing sites, getting nothing more than negatives, until I got a deal with an unknown publisher, I paid an amount of money and even I was excited about it, things turned to be not so good, they didn’t fulfilled their part of the deal and I decided to cancel the contract, the book passed by with no pain and no glory at all, but I kept writing, believing in my dreams, so 2 years later, my second book “Remains of a lifetime”, came to see the light with a new publisher, it was kind of a sequel to the first one, telling the steps of the loss of someone you love, self-help books are no a very good deal to sell if you don’t get the proper publisher and readers but still, I kept writing. A couple of years later, I decide to play the game on my own with self-publishing and my first fiction book was born, “The Gates of Hell Saga”, the first printing was quickly sold and even is not a best seller so far, I keep writing of course, I finish the sequel, “Heroes & Demons” which is about to come out to the market and I’m finishing the final of the saga with “Hell on Earth”, so, the point is, keep working, never stop believing, someday it will come to you, someday you will step into the right path and meet the right people, I know it for sure, if you keep chasing your dreams, all comes in time…

      You can find my books in
      You can follow me on:

      Josué A. Giunta

    • Akash says:

      Its such a nice story. Its too difficult to make your own book to be publish.. Lots no hard work, imagination and strong motivation needs to be done.. 🙂

    • neetuyadav says:

      I read ur story its really inspiring to me thease days I am also suffering that problem I am write poetry story short story but I have no any ideas how can I reavel and publish its would u like help me I am wailing ur reply at my mail id

    • neetuyadav says:

      Hello sir I wrote ur story its really inspired us I have also some story which I want to convert into novel but I have no any ideas about that would u like help me reply me at my mail id

    • I recently co-authored a childrens book with another woman…it was about Faeries…I have always had a love for writing but didn’t know what to write, so I began writing about things my Nana used to tell it’s a small book but it’s out there…I didn’t do it for the money, but so that someday my grandchildren could see this book and say “my grammy really did it, she realized one of her dreams” ….I have never been grammatically correct, just write and let it flow from my heart and imagination…I am glad you shared your story…..And I do not post this to get your attention or an answer back…I just really wanted to say Thank You for letting others of us know that it is possible if you keep trying….that’s a good example for all children…Have a most blessed night….signing off now before I start running off at the mouth like my children and grandchildren tell me I do…haha

      • Thanks for the note here, Levonda.

        Wish you the very best with the children’s book(s)


    • Eric says:

      Nice story. My reading started early, but my writing started much later. I love the story and the confirmation that some of our successes are luck and some, the time that gracious people take to listen and to read what we write. My writing has been mostly for my children and so the success I feel is very deep. Still I long for the validation that my stories have some worth. One of these days someone will see the books on my site and…

      • Thanks for the note, Eric.

        One of the keys is to “stay with the quest long enough” so that “good luck” and “good help” will find their way to lift you up.


    • Rajesh, thank you for sharing your story with us! It really illustrates the power of being willing to take a risk on a worthy goal and reaching out to others for advice and assistance.

      • Lynn,

        Thank you for the note. Over the years, I have learned a few lessons. One powerful lesson is that if you want to achieve something, you need to:
        1. Have a powerful “why” (why do you want to go after that something)
        2. Stick to the path for long enough and you will find new avenues opening up
        3. Keep growing along the way and the problems will start shrinking
        4. Along the way keep creating value for others and you will keep accumulating good karma that will keep to your aid sooner than later.
        5. Last, but not the least – be open to receive good advice and adapt quickly.


    • PJ Reece says:

      Raj… great story. Thank you. I’m starting to appreciate blog posts that are more like STORIES than the usual “how-to” style. Although your final list of lessons is useful, I like that. Anyway, I agree that DETERMINATION in this writing game is hugely important. I should write a piece about trying to cobble together a living as a writer back in the early 90s… while RAISING A SON on my own… and every year running out of money, and why was it always in the dead of November when I couldn’t pay the rent and I’d find myself out knocking on doors, yes, selling DOOR TO DOOR. Even vacuum cleaners, it’s true. And water filters and home insulation and sports videos. I was pretty good at it. I made that damn rent money in short order. I remember those struggles with great fondness. What a life.

    • Thanks for the story Raj, and the encouragement. I just self-published my first book about Hurricane Katrina and your point about tenacity hits home. I decided to self-publish since the tenth anniversary of the storm is approaching and my story would probably be irrelevant afterward. I’m working on my second book now and have been going through a crisis of self-doubt. However, what you said about anything meaningful being hard is true and the hardest and most meaningful thing any of us can do is face our fears.
      Thanks again, I have some writing to do now.

    • First off, I am from Bangalore and hence enjoyed your references to Madikeri and Mysore (my dance teacher lived in Madikeri, and we always enjoyed visiting her family. Their hospitality will remain etched in my soul forever!)

      Second, your article made me feel both ashamed and inspired at the same time. The twist at the end – that you were THIRTEEN? – instantly brought tears of pride, joy AND anguish! LOL

      I have never befriended tenacity, instead always looking for the easiest route while making excuses along the way. I am ashamed for never having the courage, commitment, confidence or CLARITY that you already possessed at age 13!

      Kudos to you, Mr. Rajesh – now I wish I could meet YOU! LOL


    • Sasha says:

      I wasn’t going to read this story, but something said, just take a chance and read it. I wasn’t even expecting anything. That said, this is so beautiful and inspiring.

      For a young writer I will always remember (or try to lol) this article. It’s really inspiring. When you mentioned you were 13 when it was published, I was like “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”

      Lately I haven’t been focused on getting “published” in the publishing world, but just about writing each day and trying to make my story the best it can be.

      Thanks for this inspiring post!

      • Thanks for the note, Sasha.

        So glad that you not only took the time to read the story, but also took the time to share your feedback.

        Thank you.


    • AngeLeya says:

      Thanks so much for this story! I’m still in the middle of writing my own story, which can be found more extensively at I’ve self published two books, and I’m in the process for writing a third, with plans for more. I didn’t really realize my love for writing until a few years ago, and honestly have allowed self-doubt to get in my way a couple of times. Ultimately, though, I keep coming back to writing, because I just have so many stories to tell. Hopefully one day I will become traditionally successful, but for now, my success is in continuing.

      • Hi AngeLeya,

        Your comment reminds me of the book “Mastery” by George Leonard. One of the key highlights of the book is this sentence:

        Practice for the sake of practice itself, NOT for reaching a certain level

        When you enjoy the journey without being pressured to reach a destination, you will go to awesome places.


    • Mikri Riba says:

      Hi Raj sir, your story really inspired me. I love writing but I was so confused until now. Thanks a lot for sharing it !!!

      Here’s a link to my story, I stopped halfway, as I felt maybe its not good enough. Hope you read it 🙂

      • Hello Mikri,

        You are very kind. Thank you for the note.

        The first five books I wrote were in Kannada, a South Indian language. I was never comfortable writing in English. When I first started writing in English, it was laughable to say the least (even to me). However, I continued writing every day and never published anything for the first 2 years. I never stopped writing either.

        Slowly and steadily I started publishing a few of my articles. Positive feedback from a few people around me re-ignited my passion to write – this time in English.

        When one of my idols, Tom Peters ( wrote the foreword for my first book “Beyond Code”, I hit a jackpot. There was no looking back after that.

        Wish you the very best.


    • hannah says:

      Hi Raj,

      I am so inspired by your story and I think everyone should read this whether they are writers or not.

      Of a truth, “when you see great success, there is a back-end story.” So glad you shared yours.

      • Hannah, very kind of you..

        I was rejected about 160 times over three years. When I was in the middle of all this, I never realized that I was on my way to setting world records for being rejected so many times at an early age.

        That one experience influenced the way I look at life in a very significant way.

        Today, I simply thank God for giving me the opportunity to go through that experience.


    • Lately is seems like the supernatural is guiding me to write. Everywhere I go I seem to run into the same messages and symbols. The moment I took notice they became more frequent. These were guiding symbols from an unknown source, but the more I followed the more meaningful the became. Everything in my life seems to be aligning. I am creative now more than ever!

      Usually, I am a person who is shy of the limelight, but there is writing has helped with the undoing of that. Constantly I teeter between the extreme confidence and doubt, but I can 100% agree persistence is key. Momentum comes with continual work. Recently the signs and symbols I encounter have guided me to start planning a book. This all started with keeping a journal of all of the ‘coincidences’ and seemingly supernatural things occurring in my life. These instances haven’t stopped, mystical experience, seeing auras and odd dreams have become a frequent part of my life and serve as a creative inspiration for me daily!

      Yesterday I had writer’s block, so I went to the store to clear my mind. As I was standing in line to buy some much needed snack I checked out the hats on the stand, something I almost never do. In bold print was ETHOS across the front of the hat. I was overjoyed with emotion instantly. I had been using a lot of Greek influences in my book and I had a great idea how to incorporate it into the book. When I came home was able to both write down new ideas for my book and finish the creative application I been working on for the past few days.

      When I was just started writing on my blog in November I wasn’t expecting to think about being an author, but life has a way of throwing unexpected bricks of inspiration at you.

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