A couple of years ago I self published a little children’s picture book called The Dragon and the Lizard.
It started out as a thought – me just wanting to preserve a favourite family tale told to us by our mum when we were kids. We had very few books growing up. Books were expensive then and we weren’t well off.
This one story, The Dragon and The Lizard, was one of our favourite bedtime stories. I never wanted to write a children’s book. But after having my daughter, I realised very quickly I wanted her to know the stories I enjoyed as a child. So I decided to write this little story to preserve it. I initially wanted to create something small — a copy for my family to keep and for friends to enjoy. But then I saw that there are people out there self-publishing their own tales and I thought maybe I should bite the bullet.
I have no grand plans of selling millions of copies. It would be cool if I did though. But I am just really glad and relieved that the book got printed. With the help of friends and the online community, I made this one little dream come true.
And the thing is, I’ve never gotten a “not another children’s book” comment from anyone. People are truly inspired that I did this and my heart just swells with the amount of support I’ve gotten. I think it’s because if I can do it, they know they can do it themselves too. I know of many mums with stories in their heads that they want to turn into a book, but the book-making idea seems too big, or too impossible, or too much work.
The reality is that with various self-publishing tools these days, it is not impossible. For my case, I saved money because my friends put in their time to edit and do the illustrations for my book. I was able to do the layout myself because I have designing skills. But various self-publishing tools online provide these services too – for a price.
Because of this one little dream coming true, several new possibilities emerged for me. I wrote and self published a second children’s picture book – one about the simplicity of life in the Philippines when we were kids.
The story is based on our life growing up with very little money, but still having a grand time cherishing what very little we had. When I showed the final book to my family and friends, they got teary and remembered their own childhoods as well.
After that last project, I embarked on yet another project – a dream that was placed on the backburner because life got in the way. I wrote a novel introducing the very rich Filipino mythology to the western world. This little novel is on its way to being published the traditional way. It was an unexpected event that took me by surprise.
So you see, taking the risk of making one little dream come true is so much better than not taking any risks at all. And if you want to do the same, feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to brainstorm with you to make your own project come alive.
What is your little dream?