What Publishing Ramadan Vegan eBook Taught Me
Updated: Aug 30, 2020
I’ve been going on about my ebook the past few days. I am indeed super proud of it.
Before it was made public, I thought to myself that I’m proud of this and that I won’t get affected by the outcome.
It could go two ways: people like it or people don’t like it.
Being aware of that, I set little to no expectations. Such is life.
After it was made public, I did feel a certain calmness followed by euphoria.
I was calm even though the Malaysian government announced the extension of the partial lockdown.
I remained calm even though I know that I’m not getting paid as much due to this situation.
I’ve created and published a project that has my heart in it and all I am now is a figure of tranquillity and determination.
It feels like my heart chakra has been unblocked. It felt congested just a week ago. I couldn’t express myself very well and I hesitated with my words and actions.
Now, I’m ready to just share and give something of value.
So here’s what publishing an e-book has taught me — Eli Orkid style (a.k.a. countdown style lol)
5. I’m not alone in this journey
Sometimes in life you feel so alone like no one understands you.
My Muslim upbringing paired with my new-found belief in Veganism seemed contradicting at first. I didn’t have anyone to ask for reassurance or comfort.
I knew it’s not wrong but there are nuances to it and I just needed to feel assured.
Perhaps I needed permission.
And so I had to rely on Google to find sources that are for the practice of the vegetarian or vegan diet.
Of course, there is always the opposing side. But one has to know if the author is debating for themselves or for the general good of the world.
The more I searched, the more I was convinced that being vegan is indeed not wrong or not haram. It’s just like any other diets that humankind has been adopting for centuries.
The only difference is that a Muslim should acquire the understanding that although the practice of slaughter is horrific, it is not impermissible.
I’ve learnt that there are many Muslims out there who are seeking the same answers as I was.
At the end of the day, Muslims are just human beings. And some human beings just want to act with justice and compassion but have been brainwashed by society to do the opposite in their day-to-day life, even though it may not be as apparent.
So I was really amazed that there are quite a number of Muslims who are interested in veganism or who are already vegan but want to be able to talk about it more effectively with their friends and family.
As I mentioned in my ebook, the Prophet’s way of life was about 90% vegetarian. So it’s really funny how we as a Muslim society has become such heavy meat-eaters.
4. People can be generous if you ask or give something
My ebook is free to download. But I also have an option of pay-as-you-wish.
From my marketing experience, I know that putting a price and scarcity on something would encourage more people to get the item.
But I also acknowledge that I’m not yet as reputable as I’d like myself to be.
Plus, this is my first ever ebook project so it’s only fair that I don’t set a price. I only ask for people’s email addresses because I want to communicate directly with them through my newsletters.
I’m trying to beat the common ruthless marketing game and be as genuine as possible with my approach à la The Minimalists.
I didn’t expect anything. So I was really happy and grateful that over 50 people have downloaded it and that I’ve made a few sales from this labour of love.
Offer something or simply ask. You’ll get what you deserve.
3. Planning, structure & habits help A LOT
I’m not the most organised person. I used to be in the mindset of ‘going with the flow’.
But ever since I became a full-time freelance writer, I needed to build my own structure. Previously, I was a slave to the company structure.
It’s either you own your time or someone else does.
So in the past 6 months or so, I’ve been building up my own structure and habits. It took that much time because that’s just how messed up my life had been.
My human brain takes time to adjust to something and so it took me a while to establish an organisational structure that suits my way of doing things.
I didn’t get everything sorted by the time I started my ebook but I felt that it was good enough to try.
I broke down each step and put a deadline to every step.
During the writing and editing process, I did have to push the deadline forward because I was either procrastinating (getting stuck) or I suddenly had a burst of different idea and had to redo most parts.
Such is the creative process.
But I’m glad I gave myself an overall realistic timeline.
Initially, the publication was to be today — 14th April. I liked the look of 14/4. But then I realised it was the last day of the partial lockdown and I didn’t want that to overshadow my ebook release. (I didn’t have to worry after all as the partial lockdown is now extended to the 28th)
Nevertheless, I stuck to the new earlier date 11/4 and I’m glad I did.
2. I broke a limit and opened up new possibilities
Sure, I did think and dream of publishing a book. I’ve always enjoyed literature and I’ve been journaling for years and years.
But that doesn’t mean I was a writer.
My pathway seemed to be digressing from that dream.
But little did I realise that even being a science student was helping me becoming a better writer. Writing reports was a good practice. You improve your grammar and you get straight to the point. Knowing the attention span of people nowadays, it’s a good skill to have.
Even so, I didn’t imagine I could publish a book, not least on my own.
I guess this was just driven by my current mindset to just grab life by the horns and grab every possible opportunity.
Life is short.
I don’t want to die with regret.
Since I didn’t have the means to get a publisher, I thought, “Why don’t I just self-publish?“.
All I needed to do was first to write something of value and then find a way to give it to the world.
I’m also grateful for my marketing experience in the past 2 years. It’s true that a huge part of publishing a book is marketing.
So I published a short book and now I feel like I’ve gone through a hurdle.
The limit that I thought was an impediment to my progress has broken because I was determined to achieve something greater.
And now I only see that my life is full of possibilities despite the rather bleak situation right now.
Do something that’s hard and that scares you yet excites you.
Only once you’ve done it, you can actually believe that your bigger dreams are actually possible.
1. Enjoying the process makes the outcome even more worthwhile
Any process is a chore — even creative ones. There were many times where I doubted my writing skills and the imposter syndrome kicked in.
But it wasn’t an unenjoyable chore. Like washing the dishes. I find it therapeutic but some may not enjoy it.
So planning and writing this ebook was a project that I gave some meaning to. If I didn’t have my strong why for this ebook I doubt that I would’ve finished it.
Driven by my why, the process — though difficult at some parts — was rather enjoyable.
And because I enjoyed the process, I was truly satisfied and happy with the end product.
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