I have an announcement to make.

I am writing a book. I’m writing a book about writing a book. (To which Paris, our marketing and communications coordinator, said: “That’s so meta…”)

This should be a cinch for me. I have been an editor for nearly twenty years, over which time I have worked with hundreds of writers. Most of them were professional journalists or feature writers, but in recent years in my role as publisher at LifeTree Media, I have worked almost exclusively with first-time authors.

Every day I support people in writing their very first nonfiction book. I give them a framework to follow, help them choose a focus for their book, and supply them with tools to organize their thoughts, overcome self-doubt, and follow through to completion.

Over time, I’ve developed quite a colourful bag of tricks to help even nervous, inexperienced authors to get the words out. We now have a neat and effective system for turning a glimmer of an idea into an outline, and then a manuscript, and finally a finished book on store shelves. It works.

So you could say I know a thing or two about the process. Documenting our system in a book of my own should be a walk in the park, right?

Wrong. The truth is, I am totally intimidated by the size of the task before me. (Just like the authors I work with.) You see, although I have worked on many books, I have never written one myself. (Just like the authors I work with.) I find myself fretting: What if nobody likes it – or, worse, if nobody reads it? What if I never even get it finished? I am a busy person, you know! Hm. This is sounding all too familiar.

Clearly, it is time for me to practice what I preach.

Luckily, I have a program to follow. I’ve seen it work for others; now it’s time to put it to the test on myself.

As I write, I’ll be sharing my experience and excerpts from the manuscript on this blog and in our newsletter. (Pro tip: accountability boosts productivity!) It’s bound to be an exhilarating, exhausting, sometimes nerve-wracking ride, so send me your own tips, suggestions and words of encouragement. Every new author needs a coach, and I am no exception.

PS: to all those brave and brilliant authors I work with… I get it now.

maggie langrick
Founder and Publisher, LifeTree Media


Maggie Langrick is the President and Publisher at LifeTree Media, a publishing company specializing in nonfiction books and ebooks that help, heal and inspire. Before founding LifeTree in 2013, Maggie was Arts and Life editor for the Vancouver Sun newspaper. In June 2016 she was shortlisted for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, Canada's only national peer-reviewed editing prize, for her work on Shell, by Michelle Stewart. She is the author of the forthcoming book Bold, Deep and High: How to Write Your Best Book. Maggie calls herself "an optimistic cheerleader for the human race", and thrives on a balanced diet of yoga and ribald humour.