Ten years ago, I stepped on an airplane 35 weeks pregnant with my third child. The few years previous had not flowed well. I had worked my way through PTSD and then a double miscarriage. Things began to look brighter when we received our residency visas and I was seeking a new life down under for my boys and my soon-to-be-born rainbow baby.
When we arrive I had a huge urge to write. It was children's books at first, I wrote Australian Animal Walkabout then and in 2010 I wrote my first novel in 30 days. The Visitor was a heart-centred novel with my story woven through it, I self-published it and had a negative publishing experience but I decided to focus on the positives, which were that I had a basic understanding of how to publish a book and now I also had a passion to help others share their stories in a positive way. My first publishing press was born.
200 books later and I have evolved so much, but my passion for sharing stories with the world remains the same. I want everyone to embrace the power in the written.
Today, I own an empire consisting of a widely recognised traditional publishing press, Serenity Press, my own Karen Mc Dermott author/speaker brand, a magazine and a Publishing Academy that is helping many authors get published successfully.
As I am a busy mum in business I have tips that I find work for me that help me manage the juggle and maintain a positive balance for me and my family.
I work from home. (I have hired office spaces but working from home is best for me and my family and it is the most productive for me)
I book out school holidays as slow time, I use this time to really catch up with my kids and also focus on my own writing.
When I begin to feel overwhelmed I stop, take a day off or go for a walk along the beach. It rebalances me and I work best this way.
I focus on my strengths and outsource my weaknesses.
Prioritise daily and full focus on one task at a time.
Everyone will have different tips on how they juggle but I urge you to step back from what is stereotypical and find a flow that works for you and your family.
Publishing a book is a fast-track way to raise your profile, no matter what it is you are doing in life at the time. If you are a busy mum, passionate to share a story I suggest that first you
Set the intention
Allow the inspiration to flow.
Allocate a time to writing your story.
Being consistent is the most productive way to approach writing. Make it a habit.
Finding your way of managing life and work is so important for your overall happiness Consider the following questions when you are working out what is best for you.
What are your non-negotiables?
What does your dream life balance look like?
Are you willing to grow a little slower but yet consistently so that you can have it all?
What can you do that will work well alongside your growing family?
I know that if I were to work for someone else I would not have the flexibility I need to have the days off I want. I want to be there to do school drop offs and pick-ups and there on school holidays. I have the power of choice and that is something I never want to negotiate. I live my perfect life and make dreams come true for other people. Yes, I work very hard indeed and I believe that when time and circumstance align, magic happens. It is ok to stand out from the crowd and you will be rewarded for it.
It is my wish that everyone lives the life they dream of, I am grateful beyond belief that I get to live this adventure every day.
Question: What inspired you to set the goal of publishing 100 books in 2018?
Karen Mc Dermott: I really wanted to help as many books come to be this year, really make an impact and I knew with all of the publishing houses I had help set up, with all the authors I had contracted through Serenity Press and my Making Magic Happen Academy and the amazing authors in my Everything Publishing Academy that I had a chance of doing it, so every month I counted the books that were coming to be each month. I couldn't believe how fast it happened.
Question: When did you achieve this goal?
Karen Mc Dermott: In August.
Question: Can you tell us about some of the 100 books, you've published this year?
Karen Mc Dermott: Yes for sure, Vasilisa the Wise by Australian Author Kate Forsyth was my big success followed by some children's book authors and also romance authors did well. There were a lot of non-fiction, some planners and journals. I have a few books in there myself.
Question: How do you balance family life with running your own business?
Karen Mc Dermott: I find a flow that works for me and my family. It is as simple as that. I never compare myself to others and I work with what I can do right now, not what I can't do. I also outsource things that are not my genius zone so that frees up time for me.
Question: What advice do you have for Australians wanting to write a book?
Karen Mc Dermott: My advice to anyone wanting to write a book is to firstly set the intention, once you do that things tend to shift around you to make it possible. Also, get the first draft out, it can then be shaped into something perfect.
Question: How do you work through writers block?
Karen Mc Dermott: I believe that any blocks come because something needs to be realised or worked through before moving forward. Magic happens when time and circumstance align so ensuring that you are ready when the time comes is important.
Question: Do you have a morning routine; can you share that with us?
Karen Mc Dermott: Yes, I get up most mornings at 5am. If I am writing I write then and if not I get a head start on the day. Writing is like meditating for me.
Question: What's next for you and your business?
Karen Mc Dermott: Serenity Press has some special books coming out over the next few years so I am focused on those. I am in the process of organising my 2019 retreat in Crom Castle, Ireland. I am now mentoring author-publishers and loving it and my Everything Publishing Academy is about to reach 100 members so I am celebrating by launching a members hub exclusive to my academy members. Personally, I am finishing off my series of empowering books and I have a children's book launching in March 2019. Did I mention that I LOVE what I do?
Interview by Brooke Hunter