Closed Doors, Opened Doors — 5 Lessons I Learned While Writing My Book
“God Said What?!” — Words to Inspire
by Miriam Racquel Feldman, Somatic Healer & Relationship Coach, Author
Dear Awesome Person,
I hope that you are enjoying the warm weather and flowers still in bloom. I love the colors, scents and freshness that accompany summer, with new buds and slow but dramatic change in the garden.
There are exciting current buds happening for God Said What?! #MyOrthodoxLife with a recent very positive review in The Jewish Press, an upcoming one in The Jerusalem Post and beautiful feedback from new friends far and wide who are enjoying and speaking about the book.
Here are a few fun quotes to share from The Jewish Press:
“She allows us to go back with her to meet herself, friends, and family and to follow the ebb and flow of her spiritual and philosophical odyssey, and we, the readers, come away better for the experience.”
“I am glad that I took in every word of this book. It is filled with many interesting Torah thoughts and contains a well-told and somewhat mysterious tale as well. This book was clearly a labor of love in more ways than one. There is a lot to learn from the several-year-long story that the book covers, including what happened with that boyfriend, David.”
“…this rich book serves to give a lot of food for our hearts, minds, and souls to take in.”
Every day I wake up feeling so fortunate that my book is in the world for people to enjoy, for curiosity to spark and for interesting conversations between readers to be had. I look at this so miraculously because hundreds of things could have stopped me from fulfilling this dream to write and publish my story.
And since you, dear reader, may have dreams that you may feel compelled to bring into the world, I’d like to share 5 lessons that I learned along my journey:
1. Not Everyone Will Like What You Have to Share
A coach once told me that there will be people who do not like what you share, people who don’t care what you share, and people who are your tribe. So when you are birthing something precious, something that you care deeply about into the world, know that you’re doing it so that your tribe of people can find you. They are needing you to show up for them, to believe in yourself enough to bring what is important to you from the realm of the imagination into the realm of reality.
Will it hurt and disappoint if what you’re sharing isn’t liked or cared about by some people — maybe even relatives or those you thought were friends? Of course! But don’t let those feelings (or fear, even) stop you. Feel the feelings (as a somatic/mindbody healer I always teach that emotions are very important to notice and process), but recognize that there are people who will be helped and healed by what you are sharing when you’re coming from a place of kindness, love and service.
2. There Will Be Stumbling Blocks
There were many stumbling blocks that happened during my 8-year writing and publishing path. I started with a wonderful editor and we connected on so many levels. But she had mistakenly told me that since I had a rough draft, we’d be able to birth the book in about 8 months. Wrong. She had me writing other things to perhaps draw out something for the book, but in the end I chose to part ways (kindly) because my life savings would have gone out the window with no finished book on the horizon with the way we were going. From a spiritual perspective, we were meant to meet, work together for a bit of time and then stop. And I had learned so much from her. But the task was not meant to be completed with her.
It was tough making the decision at first because she had helped some famous people write their books and she was extremely wonderful and professional. And my expectations were that she would be the one to take my project to the finish line. Yet, that wasn’t the case.
I went onto editor #2, who was fantastic and really helped me make progress. We got through chapter 8 together, but I was noticing that her comments were a bit off about the content of the book. She kept saying that it was sounding like Evangelical Christianity. She was not Jewish (just like all my editors were of a different faith) and besides being unfamiliar with Judaic concepts, she was also not fond of religion. She had attended Grinnell College as I had, a very questioning, more liberal based school, and the conservative values, including religious ones, were hitting her in an uncomfortable way. Again, a kind parting of ways, yet a disappointment all the same since I was a little lost as to how to find my next editor.
If you’ve read God Said What?!, then you are aware of the role faith plays in my life. I knew that G-d had a plan. I was sure of it. I just needed to keep my eyes open, believe that there was another wonderful editor out there to help and take action by putting in effort.
One of my healers recommended that I call up the local University’s writing center to see if they had editing services for someone who was not a student. When I reached the helpdesk in the writing center, I was told that editing services are only available for those who attend the school, but the young woman mentioned that she does editing privately. I said, “You’re hired. When can we meet?” And we did, in the local Barnes & Noble. That went on for many months and we continued for a few years even over zoom when Emma went overseas to teach English in the Czech Republic.
Other stumbling blocks were personal health challenges, children’s health challenges, rejections from publishing agents, and even burnout. I even put the manuscript aside for a year, wrote another book (mostly published as articles on TheJewishWoman, Chabad.org) before picking up God Said What?! again to complete as a published book.
Whew, those are a lot of stumbling blocks. And I would often ask G-d when those challenges happened, “G-d, don’t you want me to finish this book? How can I make that happen when …. is going on?” I wouldn’t hear an answer. But I would return to my intention which was to birth this book into the world and just keep going.
Faith + effort = results. Perseverance, flexibility, determination, resilience.
3. Keep it Kind
When I was sharing my life journey, there were impressions that I had as a young 23-year old hippie. They were just my impressions and as an older person, and hopefully wiser person, many of my perspectives on life have changed. Plus, I’ve been humbled greatly along this journey called life. As souls in bodies, it’s important to share our truths and yet, keeping it kind is key.
We can always soften our words by at least 10% and that can make a huge difference.
4. There Will Be Closed Doors
When you’re doing something important, there will be closed doors. I spent a lot of time, money (I worked together with my editor) and energy writing cover letters and reaching out to agents and small publishing houses because I thought it would be crucial to get my book traditionally published. I did get many kind responses and yet the answers were “no.” In today’s day and age, the popular stories are of those leaving faith rather than those embracing faith. My thinking was limited at first to believe that it was crucial to get traditionally published. Those doors that were closed were a benefit to me because self-publishing was a gift and provided tremendous freedom.
When there are closed doors on your journey, it’s ok to pause and give yourself compassion, but then keep going.
5. There Will Be Amazing Doors That Open
Along this 8-year + journey of birthing this dream, an abundance of amazing doors have opened. Beautiful connections with people across the globe, warm words and favors exchanged and so much wisdom gained. One door that opens leads to many others. We are all connected in the world wide web of life.
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When you have an intention of bringing more light to the world, much of the world aspires with you to make that happen. Divine providence also brings bumps and detours — there is so much going on behind the veils of the spiritual realms that we don’t understand. But don’t give up! Our planet needs you to shine.
Haven’t had a chance to get your copy or desire to gift it to a friend? Here’s the link to purchase: God Said What?! #MyOrthodoxLife
And again, thank you!
If you haven’t had the chance to read your gift E-guide, here it is: 10 Questions to Inspire Your Life Journey Based on God Said What?!
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If you’ve written a kind review on Amazon or Goodreads or passed on a good word about the book, I am grateful. If you’d like to take a photo with your book (either headshot or just hand shot) for me to share, that would be wonderful.
More of my writings can be found at MiriamRacquel.com and YourMarriageMagic.com. As a Somatic Healer, Relationship Expert & Clarity Coach, I help empower women to trust the wisdom of their bodies, emotions, and souls as well as blogging about the mystical happenings of an ever-changing world. Check out the latest blog: “It’s Time to Nurture Your Brain Garden!”
Love & Blessings,
Miriam Racquel (Meryl)
Somatic Healer, Relationship Coach, Author