The Story Behind My Book, 'The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep'



AN UNCONVENTIONAL OFFER


In April of last year, I was approached by a publisher about writing a book on sleep. The request came in the form of an unexpected private message over Instagram. I thought it was a joke at first until I reread it and handed my phone to Jake for him to read.


The Quarto Group is the global leader in illustrated non-fiction books. They’re also really nice people. They wanted my book to be beautiful on every page and to be the type of book you could give as a gift and dip in and out of. A coffee table book.


I remember listening to the details of the timeline and hearing that the book would be published in the summer of 2020. At that time, it felt so far away. All through the process, I was so excited, but it also didn’t feel like it was ever going to actually happen. It really didn’t feel real until the book was in my hands at the end of July.



THE WRITING PROCESS


The actual writing process wasn’t magical. I spent a LOT of hours at Starbucks with my laptop, wondering if it was good enough. Part of me kept thinking I had to write words I had never said before, and the other part of me kept saying, “You talk about these things ALL THE TIME. What are you waiting for?” I found that the best way to start was to take what I had already written on a certain topic in a blog post or podcast episode, and rewrite some of it. I didn’t want to come up with brand new material, I wanted to use what I was already saying. By November, I was submitting a completed manuscript that was in dire need of an editor.


A friend asked me the other day which chapter I enjoyed writing the most, and I would have to say the chapters about learning to love sleep. The sections where I taught the science of sleep and sleep aids were important, but I love sharing my own stories and how what we think on and focus on can change the way we sleep. I would be bored talking about sleep stages for more than a few minutes. It’s interesting, but it didn’t change my life and I’m not passionate about it.



ADDING THE PERSONAL FINISHING TOUCHES


Besides sharing all my favourite sleep tips and techniques, my favourite part of the book was writing the acknowledgements. I laughed and cried while thinking of all the people who helped bring this book into the world. I was grateful that this section was the only section not edited because it really was written in my own voice. The editors did an amazing job making the rest of the book sound like my own words while still being grammatically correct and legible, but I appreciate them letting me be myself completely while thanking my friends, family, publishing team, and my favourite teacher from high school.


The book is dedicated to my grandmothers for passing down their stellar catnapping genes. Only one of my grandmothers is alive today to see her name in my book, but they are both wonderful women who influenced my life in so many ways, not just when it came to day-sleeping.


The theme of The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep is the idea that sleep is the ultimate act of self-care and self-love. I really do believe that.


Buy your copy of The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep here: https://www.sleepcoachbeth.com/thebookofsleep



GOING BEYOND THE BOOK


Because I couldn’t release a book without offering help from a coach, I’ve got a free Facebook group called, The Calm & Cozy Book Club! In it, we’re talking about our biggest sleep challenges and working on the small changes that can make sleep less elusive. It’s not the traditional book club where you have to read a certain chapter by a certain date - it’s completely self-paced. Heck, you don’t even have to buy and read the book if you don’t want to! Nobody will be checking your receipt at the door. It’s a place for people to talk about sleep and I’m there to guide you through whatever you decide you need help with.


Join us in the book club on Facebook!


This post is a shorter version of the podcast episode of the same name. Listen to the full story of my book in episode 69 of The Calm & Cozy Podcast.

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Spring photos of Beth by Melissa McCallum Photography

Winter photos of Beth by Rae Connell Photography

Copyright Beth Wyatt, 2020