My friend asked me why it’s taken so long. That if I finished writing the book a year ago, why was I releasing it next month? And all I could say was ‘it’s taken this long’. It was actually the first time someone had asked me. Probably because people are so polite. I think I might have buckled under the question if I hadn't been asking myself the same thing. The truth is multifactorial but it largely comes down to vulnerability. I finished writing over a year ago and shortly after, I left Scout’s dad, she was 14 months old at the time. I started a new life. I owned a shop that needed me at the time and I needed it too, to survive (mostly financially but also to connect with other adults). It took me months to come back to the book, to find a new artist and a new editor. And then of course the fear sent me in to a spiral of two more rewrites. And even still I’ve only just made it through to the manic end of the self publishing rainbow of emotions. When my belief in myself and this project will shortly arrive on my front door step in the form of paper. The realisation that I may not really know what 2000 books looks like, when it’s in my living room, in fact what 2000 books even looks like at all. It’s the time when having to bet on myself has arrived. My biggest fear is that I’m not enough, that I’m going to mess this up. And it’s not because 2000 books x 156 pages is a waste of paper. It’s because this project needs to exist and it needs to do well. In my life time the annual diagnosis rates of breast cancer in Australia has grown by 300%. And I’m happy to discuss the effect of an ageing population and better diagnostic techniques on these statistics but that still doesn’t add up to me. What I’m really sure it means is that finding a cure is important but identifying the cause and preventing it is imperative. This project doesn’t have the answers but it starts to ask the right questions, like if heart disease is the leading killer of women, how come no women in movies have heart attacks? If only 20% of smokers are women, why is the leading cause of cancer death in the developed world lung cancer? Why are women still scared to call themselves feminists? Or why a woman that’s been on the pill for 20 years, has rarely or never been asked if there have any recent lifestyle changes or changes to her family history by their prescribing doctors? And why documented carcinogens are still used in women’s personal care products? Sometimes the answers are not clear, but the fact that the questions exist is the bigger problem in its self.
The book is just the beginning, the profits will fund the next part of the project which will move across to interviews, podcasts and short films (hopefully!). Platforms that will reach more women than the book can. If you would like to help your sisters and global sisters to begin to ask the right questions buy a book, maybe one for a friend...here is the link. If you would like to become a wholesaler please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org there is only 600 copies reserved for wholesale.
If this is the first time you've heard about the book, here is my elevator pitch. I wrote it to elevator music, I encourage you to set the mood with some Kenny G for ambiance.
It started off as a little social media project three years ago. After 6 posts, I was told to go and find a publisher and to turn it in to a book. The premise was simple, I would write one note about women’s health and then sandwich it between 2 notes that were witty and relatable to all women. Lots of women related to it. Even though a lot of the notes were a little counter culture they trended really well. So I wrote more notes and it has now become a collection of notes that will hopefully make you smile, laugh, maybe cry, to speak kindly to yourself and to other women, to care for the earth more and want to make it a safer world for women.