WatchFit expert Joey Bull gives us the inside story on bringing her superb book ‘Tidy The Temple’ to life. From initial ideas whilst walking in the mountains of Snowdonia, to reality via a number of adventures, hurdles, lessons learnt and a monumental personal tragedy.
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It is often said that there is a book in everybody. Of course individual levels of literacy might vary wildly, but the greatest stumbling block is more likely to be settling on a subject, finding the time and committing to something that is likely to be an extensive project.
There is no license required, no test to take, no qualification necessary. Anyone, anywhere can have a bash. Furthermore, writing, as opposed to publishing, requires almost no financial or physical resources. Sitting in pyjamas at odd hours with a pen and paper or bashing away at your laptop could get you to the end of your book. I say could, because completing and perfecting to personal and publishable standards is no easy task.
But then what? Finished and filed away, who will ever get to see this work of art? There is a statistic that about 98% of all books written are not published.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
That’s enough to derail any grand thoughts of becoming an author for a start. Thankfully I was fortunate and managed to defy this off-putting statistic. Months of daily time and effort were rewarded with three offers of contracts of varying degrees of appeal. I settled on one with a significant London based publisher and the major process of design, publishing and marketing swung into action.
Surely now all the hard work had been done?
Now was the time to sit back, watch everything unfold and to get excited. Well, that did happen for a month or two but then things began to unravel…
The publishing company failed to meet its own deadlines, there was talk of cutting pages, lower grade paper, black and white images, a different format. The list went on. It got to the point where I barely recognised my own product and, if it had been produced in the proposed revised format, I would not have wanted anybody to spend money on it. Not ideal!
Not only were things unravelling but we’d taken another year to get to this point. Meetings failed to resolve anything and a further year was required to extract myself from the contract. Another lengthy process and all rather un-motivating.
This was the kind of thing you hear about bands and record companies!
All that time, effort and energy was close to going down the drain. And after this performance I did not feel like returning to any of the previously interested publishers either.
Thankfully there are other avenues to explore and with the encouragement of friends I pushed on down a different path towards publishing the product in the form that I had originally conceived, devised and written.
The timeline now looked like this: I’m nothing if not thorough and spent three years running courses on which the book was to be based, then there was a year writing it, another year sorting the publishing contract, then another year extricating myself from it! Then there was a further four months sorting out self-publishing, finding someone to do the layout, design, print, glue and distribution.
Entirely based on personal experience over a lifetime in fitness
All the while I was revising and updating my work. Delivering 25 years+ experience in the fitness industry, having immersed myself into every aspect of it including the most extreme environs of Adventure Athletics, finding out what really works and why – not to mention what doesn’t! And now, after all the trials and tribulations, my book – ‘Tidy the Temple’ – is out there.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the title suggests it’s about housekeeping in places of worship. It is not!
The temple is our body and the programme is an honest and effective 28-day plan that delivers your healthiest look, great shape and positive new habits for the long-term. It is also combined with personal biographical material.
Of course there are many programmes and plans that promise the same and more in only seven days, but in terms of the cells restoring, they are somewhat limited to how much they can do in seven days and there can be no comparison.
Realistic and Effective
When you think that a liver takes six weeks to regenerate, other organs are going to need nearly that or longer to replenish. A very positive thought is that for every year of sickness, it takes one month for each of those years to heal, so five years of disease could recover much faster in five months if the body is fuelled and cared for in a supportive, natural and healthy way. It is mind boggling how intelligent the body is and how self-corrective it is when given the best chance to do its job.
This isn’t to claim I know it all. Even collectively we know little about our bodies and molecular biologists would admit to that too. But when someone has lots of vim, vigour, glows with vitality, is trim and fit, we like to know how they do it. And that’s what I wrote my book for: a proven way to get you sparkling and on top form. A healthy, non-fuss approach with explanations, workouts, recipes, food lists for shopping, sequential exercises, motivational prompts, testimonials and my own personal and candid story to verify.
Being taught something is one thing, practising and teaching it another, but actually experiencing, working things out and getting it yourself, is the key to passing onto others.
We used colour coding, photos and true stories, but there was still more to be done to make sure people find their focus and discipline and remain engaged. So we’ve opted for live courses via the website with videos, webinars, a start date, menus, exercises, juicing and more.
The aim is to create a community around the principles in the shared temple of the world wide web!
We can all pull one another through the tougher days and relapses and just knowing there is a collective involvement ignites team spirit.
This project has been a huge passion. As I have touched on, there have been ups and downs, much like life generally. In some respects this reflects some of the content of Tidy The Temple where, in the biographical passages, I have not shied away from the more harrowing events in my life.
My second child died during labour after a normal full-term pregnancy. This occurred when the cogs were already turning for Tidy The Temple, and in the darkest longest hours of my life after Edward died, this project was still there to give me some kind of outward-looking focus.
None of this was undertaken with a view to making retirement sums of money. Writing, like most creative pursuits, does not bring a lucrative lifestyle to 99% of us. Even if a book sells well, the £ to hour ratio may not even match minimum wage.
So, written work is pretty much a labour of love and maybe that is how it has to be if you are going to truly convey your experiences and methods in a passionate and thorough way. And not being shackled by the requirements of an employer, organisation or sponsor allows for something that is 100% independent of external factors, honest and pure.
It has been a long road for myself and those who have collaborated, supported and cajoled.
When things are drifting or mounting up you need the right people to say and do the right things at the right time. Nothing dramatic, just appropriate, pitched and timed correctly. Thankfully I had two or three people who I could rely on for such support.
As the expression goes – ‘Nothing worthwhile is easy’. Although sometimes we might want to endure lesser degrees of difficulty! I can honestly say that even before a single book had been sold, I already knew it was one of the most worthwhile undertakings I’d been involved in. A side benefit of a lifetime in fitness is persistence and a stubborn determination and that can come in very handy!
Who knew that all these years of determined physical exertion would prepare me to sit on my butt for hours, days, weeks and months on end to give life to Tidy The Temple!
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