deb blueright

Debbie Lillard – Author

Be patient with yourself

I was a stay at home mom with three children back in 2006. My little business was three years old and it was part-time. I was a professional organizer and saw clients about once or twice a week for a few hours each. I had always loved to write and speak. I worked on my school newspapers, got a degree in communications and even spent some time as a stringer reporter for a local newspaper. I also kept a journal religiously and knew in my heart that one day I would write a book.

So in January of 2006 I made a New Year’s Resolution: This year I will write my book and next year I’ll worry about publishing it.  A good friend of mine was doing the same thing and she told me about a great book called, “How to Get Your Book Published” so while I was writing, I read that and took the author’s advice to pitch my book before it was finished. By May of that year, I had a contract with F&W Media and a small advance that would supplement my part time income. It took me about six months to write. I had a very regimented writing schedule because my toddler was in preschool from 9 – 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s when I could write, and I loved every minute of it! By the time I turned 40 in 2007, my book was on the market and doing pretty well. The publisher asked me to write a second book and I felt like a full fledged author. My dream had come true.

What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?

It was a burning desire. I was always giving advice to other Moms because I was speaking at Mom’s clubs about organizing in the home. I found that most Moms I knew were a bit overwhelmed by the transition from working full-time to having kids, and I thought I could help them. So I did a mind dump of every home organizing process I could think of that I employed in my own life. That’s how Absolutely Organized came about. I also had a very difficult third child and I felt like I needed an escape from my every day stress.

What were the specific obstacles that you faced?

One obstacle was that I had three school-aged children. Time was an obstacle but as I said, I used a strict regimen to get it done.

What helped you get through them?

My own discipline and organization and the support of my husband who would take care of the children when I needed to edit the manuscript or just go somewhere else to think and write.

Were there people who tried to discourage you?

 No, I think my close circle of friends and family know me well enough to know that I could do this. They really encouraged me.

How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?

Proud, accomplished. Nothing like setting a New Year’s Resolution and realizing it before the year ends. I felt legitimate because a real publisher saw the worth in what I wanted to put out to the public. There really wasn’t a book like mine at the time.

What advice would you give to others that are contemplating finally living their dream?

Put it out there. Say you are going to do it and find people who will encourage and help you get there. Turn away from the doubters and nay-sayers. They will only bring you down. Then you have to have a specific plan to accomplish the goal. That might take investigation, research, or making tough decisions. Be patient with yourself.

To learn more about Debbie and her book, Absolutely Organized, click here.

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