I’m a first-time author with zero published books. Here’s how I got a meeting with a publishing industry professional.

Rosemary Richings
5 min readJan 30, 2020

I’m writing a book, and up until now, the amount of people who have read my book is limited.

I keep going on it despite all that. Because I feel like I’m on to something special. I’m nearly thirty and since I was a little girl, I wanted to write and publish a book. It just took a while for me to figure out what I wanted to write about.

When I was 15 years old, my friend Andy and I met via a writer’s group for teenagers, and we still continue our tradition of helping each other out with our writing. Now, he runs his own writer’s group. When I started writing my book, I craved the supportive, communal energy of a writer’s group. So, I reached out to Andy and asked him for more details.

He was open to new members and happy to include a familiar face in his group. It took a while for the day, time, and place of the group to not be a huge inconvenience.

Once I joined, I quickly went from being a passive participant to someone who hosted meetings and had direct input in the overall structure of the group.

But the biggest turning point was the day when we practised the mission statements of our books…

I found an exercise in one of my writing resource books that sparked a really great conversation.

The goal was basically this: write a mission statement for the book you’re working on, share it with others, and get others to ask questions about it. The feedback I got on my mission statement helped me fill the most important gap in my book: identifying my audience.

The book focuses on my life experiences with Dyspraxia, a fine motor skills and spatial processing disability. So most of the questions related to the definition of Dyspraxia, and how common it is.

This led to a major epiphany:

  • Focus less on the challenges of remembering something that happened a decade or more ago
  • And focus more on aspects of the story that help people who live with the disability.

That evening, my group and I…

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Rosemary Richings

Writer, editor, author, neurodiversity advocate with a lived experience, dyspraxic POV