Last week I became a published children’s author and it will not surprise you to know that a central theme is running! 🙂
I am smiling as I write this as it does feel somewhat surreal to say; I am an author, but it is true! (just go check out Amazon). The Cheetah Cub Running Club by Philip Laslett is now available in print and ebook. As such, Tuesday 29th June, 2021 will always be a date I look back on fondly.
The release of my first book is something I am very proud of. Not purely because I am pleased with the finished article and the effort put in to make it a reality (all those 5am starts now seem worthwhile!), but because of what I have learnt and how I have grown during this process.
Why did I chose to write a children’s book?
Writing for me is a creative outlet that I had left untapped for many years. I had written a short story as a child, as mentioned previously, however not returned to the proverbial pen until recently. Rediscovering my love for writing, at the start of the year during the pandemic lockdown, has been a blessing.
Just having the structure as part of my morning routine, writing with purpose, committing to a set number of words a day (initially 400, now 500) and achieving it most days. Then seeing the words aggregate, and once edited, see the finished product has been a joy and provided me with a lot of satisfaction.
Now hearing of children enjoying reading my book is incredibly fulfilling.
Over the past eighteen months I explored various pursuits in a bid to add some colour and balance to my life, driven somewhat by the pandemic and being locked down. The two that stuck were running and writing!
Writing for children has allowed me to express my inner sense of adventure, let my imagination flourish, introduce characters I hope will be cherished and share my love for running, travel. It has also provided an opportunity to share positive values around helping others, teamwork, exercise, health and mindset and explore important topics such as conservation, diversity and the environment.
With all that said, the inspiration for my words, and driving force in keep me disciplined to make my goal a reality, has humbly been focusing on inspiring even just one child, through an entertaining storyline and likeable characters, to explore, share their creativity, keep active, believe they can achieve great things if they put in the effort, and to have confidence in themselves.
If this leads them to take up running then even better! 🙂
A new perspective
My confidence, most recently, has come from my progress in running. It has been the vehicle by which I have set goals that I would have previously felt unobtainable, and through disciplined effort in learning my trade, my body, nutrition and planning, and executing against that plan (with many hurdles, mistakes and pivots on the way) I have broken through some belief barriers.
It is also fair to say I have leveraged running, and my book writing experience, to practice tying my identity to the progress I am making in the pursuit of my goals, rather than my feelings being tied to results which are not so much in my control. This new perspective alongside looking at my mistakes in a new light, as an opportunity to learn and grow, is something I see as valuable to learn at an earlier age than I did!
I’d be lying If I said I was not keen for my book to be well received. However, just holding my finished book in my hands has been extremely satisfying and unexpectedly emotional, and to a certain extent has delivered the personal growth and achievement I originally set out for.
That said, I have big plans to publish more books. Starting with volume two and three of The Cheetah Cub Running Club to be released later this year. I will be extending my distribution channels and exploring other vehicles for my creative efforts and methods to entertain and inspire others whilst encouraging a health and active lifestyle and positive mindset and outlook on life.
What is your creative outlet?
Writing (and running) are my outlets which are providing me with balance in my life, that only come second to my family.
Both have been extremely helpful in providing structure, allowed me to express myself creatively and physically.
What are your hobbies and interests that are your tools and mechanisms to channel your creativity and art?
I am a strong believer that everyone has something to share with the world and being your authentic self in doing so, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, as Seth Godin advocates ship your work, and not being stopped by anxiety or the opinions of others, is so important for your own well being, and can be incredibly fulfilling.
This is not about perfection it is about progress, it’s about giving your gift to the world without looking for reciprocation. It’s about doing things that are exciting and honourable and the opportunity for fulfilment from seeing your progress and the impact your authentic self can have on others.
Painting, music, sport, web design, architecture, writing, dancing, photography, cooking, try it all and more. Then one day something will connect and by committing to a daily practise of learning and producing an output it can lead to amazing things. I am very confident of that.
Be you, express yourself, Share your art with the world, who will thank you for it, as will I.
Let me know what your outlets are and please share or tag me into anything you have shipped. I can’t wait to see it!