GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
In January 2011, I sat wondering if I was strong enough to take the next step in the journey I had embarked upon the previous year. In my hand I held the product of my vision – an unedited manuscript of ‘Maxdog’; a story of a Golden Retriever, who had touched my life and touched the lives of hundreds of people across the world through his blog, ‘The Adventures of Maxdog…in South Africa’.
From the moment I honoured my commitment, it took me 8 months to write the first draft. It was a story that simply HAD to be told – there was no debate. The difficulty, at the time, was that "I" was the one who would have to do it. I didn’t see myself as a writer and I didn't really believe that I could do it.
Nevertheless, the compulsion persisted. What kept me going were the two crystal-clear visions in my mind:
1) I simply had to give voice to the powerful relationships which can develop between some companion animals and their owners and
2) I knew that by sharing my own, very personal story, I could provide some hope to the millions of people around the world who live daily with the affliction of depression and anxiety.
So, picture this:
There I was with a completed manuscript in my lap, but my mission was only half-accomplished. I was stuck. Where to next? I had reached the rhetorical ‘brick wall’ and if I were to be honest. The 'brick wall' was made up only by my fear. I needed to conquer my fear if I was to move on.
Was I brave enough to finally contact the man who I knew had the knowledge to advise me on the ‘business’ front? Was I brave enought to expose my soul to the world?
Somehow,in my heart of hearts, I also still didn't believe that I could do this. Simply put; years of lack of self-esteem had become my biggest enemy and it was being made obvious to me every second I delayed acting.
Well, if ‘MAXDOG’ was to get out there, I knew I had no choice but to confront my fear head on! I would have to make the call - even if I had to get someone to come along and ‘hold my hand’.
‘Howard’, a high-powered and well-known successful businessman was the person I’d targeted. His family and mine had strong ties, but I’d always been rather intimidated by him. Much to my surprise,he immediately and graciously agreed to meet me at a small coffee shop, where I tentatively handed him the manuscript.
‘I need your advice and your guidance’ I said. ‘I need you to tell me if this is going to work. And if my story has merit, I need you to guide me, please,’ I begged
His answer was simple:
1. "It will work – but YOU need to believe it!
2. “You need to get yourself a good editor.”
4. “You need to have conquered your depression.”
It was the best advice I could ever have hoped for. I went straight to the bookstore and bought this book. In the days ahead I read it and made that 'all-important' call to the publicist. With the vision for ‘MAXDOG’ intact, I began to implement some of your principles whenever I could. The minute I felt my anxiety rise up, I applied the ‘Affirmations’. My meeting with Helen Holyoake (the publicist), for example, was preceded by some heavy visualisation and my nerves were steady when I finally got to her office. I started changing my thoughts to positive ones and put a firm image in my mind of ‘MAXDOG’ in print. Yes, as you would expect, the correct avenues started opening for me…the perfect editor, the cost-effective publisher, etc.
“MAXDOG” was launched on the 24th November 2011. There are already 500 copies ‘out there’ in South Africa and my constant prayer for the book, i.e
‘Wherever MAXDOG goes, let it do good!'
... is being honoured as I write this blogpost. I know this by the emails that arrive from people who have read the book and have told me how it has resonated with them.
I have made the decision for a further print-run of 1000 copies (based on intuition and gut feel). I am certain that this book is going to follow the same pattern as that of my blog, i.e. slow, strong foundations of word-of-mouth. But above all, I know that, ‘no-matter-what’,
MAXDOG WILL ‘do good!’
In the next few weeks, MAXDOG will become available on Amazon.com and therefore be accessible to my international blogging friends
(Please watch this space and PLEASE spread the word about this book. I desperately need your help with this task...I really do!)
Mr John Kehoe, is in South Africa at the moment and just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to him for his inspiration in my ‘Maxdog’ journey. Whenever, I have the smatterings of anxiety creep up, (yes, they still do) I reach for his book. Having written it in 1987, I am sure that it is was always destined to be a classic.
I look forward to hearing Mr Kehoe speak in Durban on the 15th.
Do yourself a favour today...
It will change your life!
Sending lotsaluv to you all.