Launch Day

It is here…finally! It is launch day!

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Run For Your Life – Lessons Learned From Going the Distance.

I am a published author. I am an author! I took my blogging and elevated my writing into a chapter in a book.

Run For Your Life is step one for me. And I am going to bask in the glory of authorship. I am going to enjoy this. I am an author! Hear me roar!!!

How did it all start?

How did this happen? I saw a post one day from Christy Holt on the Facebook Edmonton Running Community. The post in August 2023 was a call out for authors with long distance running stories. I sent a few email requests to Christy and the publisher, Larissa Soehn with Next Page Publishing Inc.

As they say “one thing lead to another” and I found myself applying to be an author on Run For Your Life. I don’t know how many applications they received, but I was selected to write based on my application. I can tell you that there are some really strong authors and stories in the book. I am humbled and proud to be included in this book.

My application included the following:
Thru sobriety, I’ve found solace in running and endurance training. I enjoy the long runs and quiet time. For me, it’s meditative. I’ve been blogging about my journey since January 2022. I’d love to take my experience with sobriety and tell my story about how I changed my focus to be a better and healthier me. I think my story will resonate with a lot of people.

I was thrilled to be selected as an author in early October 2023. Christy’s email was to the point:
Run for Your Life Book Project – YOU’RE IN!
Ready, set… run for your life!

I mean, there was the formal invite in the email as well and some information. But that is what I took away from the email, I am in and get ready to run for your life! Sweet!

Larissa kicked things off the following week with contracts and a kickoff meeting and we were off to the writing races!

I had a solid vision for my chapter so I started writing early, in advance of being selected. I am not cocky or arrogant, far from it, I was just super eager to get started! According to my versioning folder, I had a solid 5,800 words written already by that first week in October when we kicked off!

Then I found out during orientation, that our chapters should be around 2,500 words. Oops! I have always been a bit on the wordier side of writing. My final chapter ended up around 2,700 words. So during the editing process, I cut my story in half to end up with the version that you will read in the book as it is published.

I went through three rounds of editing. The first round was with the publisher. The second round was with Christy. And then a final round of editing with the editor of the book. Editing is an interesting experience. I might be more confused about how and when to use a comma than ever before; everyone seems to have a different idea including applications like Grammarly and Word. It certainly is an experience to have someone read your material and see your vision, and have the ability to refine those words into a sentence of emotional beauty like a fine black stallion galloping along the coast!

Most of the edits made a lot of sense and I accepted them. In a few cases, we discussed and agreed to a final edit. Throughout the process, the chapter and the content was mine. The editors definitely helped me craft a more descriptive story. I definitely have a problem sharing my emotions on paper. I can feel them while I am writing, but still have a hard time expressing them. My editors were excellent in leading me down a path to share more of my emotional side!

When I read through my own chapter, I think I have grown so much in my writing in the last six months. My writing is better now. I think more descriptively about writing. I feel emotions while I write and I am able to communicate those emotions more clearly.

For example, I remember chatting with Paula about joining a band and I wrote this:
You are now a gypsy in the wind following the sweet scent of music in the air!

What? Who is that guy that said that? I did not just make that up out of thin air. Paula has referenced being a gypsy in the wind before. But the entire sentence is so poetic. Old Dennis might have just said “Yah! You’re in a band!” See…the message was simpler and old Dennis was allowed to use contractions.

Dennis on the run – quick side chat

This blog is all about celebrating the arrival of Run For Your Life. But, while I was writing and focusing on Run For Your life, my wife asked me about writing my own book. “I think you can do it!” she exclaimed.

I discussed the possibility of writing my own book with Larissa. We exchanged many emails and had a couple of conference calls. I hemmed and hawed over it initially. The contract would be a hybrid writing deal. Larissa and Next Page Publishing Inc. would mentor and coach me through the writing process. At the end of the process, I would self-publish my book. So I was investing in myself and I was investing in Larissa as a mentor to coach me through the process.

At the end of the day, we signed a deal in September of 2023. I am happy to report that I am in the final stages of my initial writing process for Dennis on the Run. My book by Dennis Kreba. I will be published twice this year!

Run For Your Life only scratches the surface of what I want to say. I have a passionate story to tell about my sobriety and recovery and the process of turning my life around.

My vision statement started out pretty long but it is an accurate statement:
My vision is to empower readers to see themselves and want to make a change for the better, today. I want my readers to have hope and feel the strength to stand up and make a change for themselves. My readers will learn how to be self-aware and honest with themselves so that they can admit that they are not okay so that they can build an action plan to take back control of their lives. My readers will be able to take care of themselves without resorting to addictions. My readers will learn to spend quiet time with themselves without filling that time with activities and stuff. My readers will be motivated to find their focus activity and be able to replace bad habits with good habits.

Dennis on the Run is a self-help type of book that will inspire you to make healthier and positive choices in your life.

Larissa Soehn is amazing! She is a solid addition to Team Dennis. I am super proud to be on this journey with her. The writing process is extremely hard and emotional. She keeps me on track and we have some really great conversations about my content. I could not write Dennis on the Run without her.

Subscribe to my blog to stay up to date on information and the release date of Dennis on the Run. Launch date – Fall 2024!

Meet some of the authors in Run For Your Life

I was able to have a brief email chat with some of the authors that wanted to be featured in my launch blog.

I asked them:
1. How has the Run For Your Life writing experience impacted you?
2. And what’s next up for you?
3. If you have a public social (like blog or YouTube or website), I’m happy to list one address in my blog as well for you.

Christy Holt

Christy is an absolutely beautiful person. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her through this process via conference calls, emails, chat, her podcast, her book, and her public Facebook posts.

She is a true inspiration. If you have the opportunity and desire, find Christy and give her a follow. You will not regret it!

I am thrilled to introduce you to Christy and give you a little more insight into her world. And I appreciate the Happiness Hussy keeping things mostly PG in her response! Christy – You are a gem in the rough!

1. How has the Run For Your Life writing experience impacted you? Being a part of this incredible project has reminded me of the power of both community and our stories. Both truly have the ability to change our lives exponentially! It has been a wonderful opportunity to grow myself, not only as a writer but also as a co-publisher of this project. It has been an absolute gift being involved in this project and I am beyond excited to watch all of these incredible humans become published authors. Over the years I’ve slowed down and haven’t been running as a result of injuries.  While I don’t have any intention of running any more marathons… it IS my hope to volunteer more at local races this year (when I’m not out hiking in nature with my favourite pace bunny)!

2. And what’s next up for you? What I’m working on next is my podcast, Create Your Happy, and my next solo book, Unstuck for Relationships, which has been waiting patiently for its finishing touches. I anticipate (with much excitement!) being ready to publish it before the end of 2024. In the meantime, it is an absolute joy for me to guide people through my programs and mentorship in order to create healthy and loving relationships that make them truly f*cking happy! 

3. If you have a public social (like blog or YouTube or website), I’m happy to list one address in my blog as well for you. Www.coachchristyholt.com

Sarah Hughes

This is what I had to say to Sarah after I read her chapter:
I love that you started from nowhere and built up to this endurance athlete. I loved reading your story. Anyway, I’m very proud and humbled to be included in the book with you. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s amazing! I read your line about running as fast as your boobs would allow to my wife, and we both had a good chuckle!

Her chapter title says it all “You can’t run, you don’t have a bike and you only swim breaststroke – good luck with that!” Reading her chapter instantly tells me that we would get along “swimmingly“!

1. How has the Run For Your Life writing experience impacted you? – it made me really grateful for all I’ve been able to do and made me realise how much running and racing has become a good part of my life.  It’s weird seeing my own story on paper and there is so much more I would like to share.

2. And what’s next up for you? A few triathlons, a couple of half marathon… and maybe my first ultra

3. If you have a public social (like blog or YouTube or website), I’m happy to list one address in my blog as well for you.  I don’t – as I have too much going on already ha ha

Priscilla Forgie

This is what I had to say to Priscilla after I read her chapter:
I just read your chapter in Run For Your Life. Amazing writing. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m humbled and proud to be included in this book with such awesome people.
We have something in common, it’s the use of mantras. I don’t talk about it much in my chapter but I have a section about it in my book coming out this fall. You can do hard things. I like it. Anyway, I loved your chapter. It was so descriptive
.

Priscilla’s chapter is titled Finding My Fire. Her dedication brings me to tears “For all the children who kept quiet to survive. I hope one day your voice can set you free.” Thanks for sharing your story! You are amazing!

1. How has the Run For Your Life writing experience impacted you? Run For Your Life offered me an opportunity to share a really vulnerable part of me to the running community I love so much. I am forever grateful for what the running community has given to me and I hope that in getting vulnerable I can give the community something back. 

2. And what’s next up for you? Lots of running (as usual)! Focusing on training for Western States Endurance Run and beginning a passionate project of coaching to ultrarunners in the near future.

3. If you have a public social (like blog or YouTube or website), I’m happy to list one address in my blog as well for you.  Instagram: @prissyforgie

Tania Jacobs

This is what I had to say to Tania after I read her chapter:
Amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m so humbled to be included in the book with such amazing people! CDR sounds really hard! I think it’s great that we all have different stories to tell. I hope that you found happiness and that you are doing okay.
I found your psychology home page. Walking sessions – very cool idea! I love to see you combine two passions. Your site is very nice!

I love that Tania offers walking sessions as part of her psychology practice.

Tania replied:
Like you, I am also writing a bigger memoir about my experience of widowhood. I have a lot of words written, but it still needs a lot of work before it will be ready to see the light of day. I stalled out on it last year and haven’t picked it up again. But being a published author has been on my bucket list since I was a kid, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to contribute to this project.

I enjoy writing a lot, but putting my personal thoughts and experience out for greater consumption is terrifying. This piece is a little part of my story that I hadn’t written about in the bigger memoir, but also felt like a gentler introduction to being published with only one chapter to write, edit, and send out into the world.

The feedback I have received thus far has been overwhelmingly positive, so I am encouraged to keep going with the memoir and also, it has been a very impactful experience to read and get to know the other group members, a collection of human experience stories that just all happen to have running in common.

Ed Bickley

This is what I had to say to Ed after I read his chapter:
Amazing! I’m training for my 2nd marathon in May. (Calgary) This morning was my tempo run. My comfortable pace for a tempo run is normally 6 mph, which is a 10 minute mile pace. Haha. I have run a sub-30 min 5km. But that’s not close to a 6 minute mile. I even pumped my pace this morning to 6.5 mph. Wow. It’s so fast! I’m inspired by your story to get faster this spring through my training. I’m so humbled to be included in this book with so many amazing people. Thanks for sharing your story.

Ed has inspired me to run faster this year and train harder in my tempo runs! Just keep it safe though, am I right?!?

1. How has the Run For Your Life writing experience impacted you? Its been a fun learning experience about the steps and mechanics of the publishing cycle.

2. And what’s next up for you? I intend to continue writing on various topics, and writing a book of my own; I’m not sure if it will be running-themed or not.

3. If you have a public social (like blog or YouTube or website), I’m happy to list one address in my blog as well for you.  I’m really only on Facebook (and Strava!) at this point: https://www.facebook.com/ed.bickley/

Neighbours of Summerside

In other news, my wife and I were featured in a community magazine called the Neighbours of Summerside. It is a cute article about our family and our neighbourhood. What a great looking family!!!

Writing a chapter…writing a book…is not a solo event. It takes a group of people supporting writers. And at the top of that list is my wife! She has been tremendously supportive of this collaboration. She has been anxiously awaiting the release date with me. She consoled me when I needed it. She listened and talked through various content, stories and edits as I captured my story. I could not have done this without your support.

As a family, we love and support each other! We both have many hobbies and at times that can be difficult. But through it all, we are together, supporting each other.

Wrap Up

There are so many great stories and quotes from Run For Your Life – Lessons Learned From Going the Distance. I hope that you order a book and read it. You will not regret it. I am not joking when I say “If you can read, you will enjoy this book and you will find something relatable.” This book has something for everyone!

Once again, here’s my affiliate link to purchase the book:
https://amzn.to/43hBlfv

So as I wrap up my first book as an author and wrap up this blog, I leave you with the same words in both:
So, that is my story. I hope I have inspired you a little bit. Step out there and walk or run! Get fit. Drink less. Trust the process. You will be changed forever if you take that first step. Do it…today!

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