This blog was featured on 07/29/2016
[SWP: Behind the Book] Say It Out Loud
Contributor
Written by
Roberta Dolan
February 2014
Contributor
Written by
Roberta Dolan
February 2014

Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse was being written long before I ever dreamed of writing a book. It began as a series of journals kept during my six years in therapy for a childhood of sexual abuse. As my healing journey progressed I knew that one day I would use my experience to help other survivors—a bit of the “pass it on” philosophy.

I started by organizing the strategies I used to release anger, cope with depression, reveal memories and more. I had firsthand knowledge of the healing process from my own work in therapy, and my candid journal entries authenticated each strategy. I worked on this unique blend of memoir and how-to for six years, taking breaks from my writing for a few reasons, one being to learn how I could get this baby published.

And boy was I as naïve as a newborn baby when I began exploring getting my book in print. Don’t I just find a publisher or two, send the manuscript out, and choose the best contract to sign? (It’s okay, you can laugh.) After a pile of rejections from publishers and agents—I was told no one would take my prescriptive nonfiction because I wasn’t an “expert” in my subject matter (a blog topic itself)—I began exploring self-publishing. My background is in education and my reason for writing Say It Out Loud is to help others on their healing journey, unlike others who always knew they wanted to be an author, so the amount of autonomy required to self-publish was overwhelming.

Since I didn’t have a PhD in psychology, traditional publishing was out, and because I was scared to death of navigating alone through the steps of self-publishing, I felt I couldn’t pursue that option either. I began to doubt that my book would ever be in the hands of other survivors. And then one day, as a member of She Writes, I clicked on She Writes Press. As long as they wanted my project, it sounded like the answer to my prayers—and it was!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with an amazing writing coach, Annie Tucker, my manuscript has been proofread, cover details sent in, and I am well on my way to a fall release date. I feel supported and I’m getting the education I need through the author handbook and conversations with Brooke.

Now my fear is of marketing and publicity, but at least I know I am not alone—and if I made it this, far you can be sure I will do what it takes to conquer this fear too.

You can learn more about my journey on my blog www.write-to-survive.blogspot.com.

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Comments
  • Roberta Dolan

    Thanks Karen, and yes, SWP was the right choice for me!

  • Karen A Szklany Writing

    Roberta ~ Congratulations for persevering toward publication with the right press....and for your impending release!

  • Roberta Dolan

    Susan, I love that thought and will keep it close at hand. Thank you.

  • Roberta Dolan

    Thank you Rossandra. This is a long time vision coming to be.

  • Rita Gardner

    Thanks, Roberta!

     

  • Rossandra White

    Congratulations, on all levels, Roberta!

  • Susan Troccolo

    Congratulations to you. I've been hearing great things about She Writes Press from other sources on the Internet. I self-published my first book and you are right: finding the right editor, working with cover design, book design....it is all a tremendous amount of work. One thought for you? Although your subject is a tough one, the marketing part can be a lot of fun if you relax and realize how much you are offering to others. You might think of it as a privilege and that changes everything.