From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Madison Kroeker, author of “Toward a Better Way.”
What started out as a purely self-centered endeavor quickly changed to include the scope of the rest of society. When I first started writing Toward a Better Way, it was, in a way, a documentation of my own recovery from bulimia nervosa. Not only that, but I would write bits and pieces looking into the future of my recovery—temptation battles waged and won, situations and conversations I was struggling with played out on a page, planned and executed after I’d hashed them out on my laptop keyboard in my room. In many ways, writing this book helped save my life. It wasn’t only looking back on what I’d been through, but looking forward also, motivating my journey toward a better way of living.
In the hallway outside the eating disorder clinic I used to go for treatment and counseling, there was a mural on the wall, a collection of short pieces of writing from the girls and boys, men and women, who were a part of treatment at the hospital the clinic was a part of. I found my title in one of the pieces. I can’t remember now what the piece said, but that was where I found the inspiration.
I’ve found that, since writing my book, I’ve opened up an avenue for other people to share with me. Mostly it’s about people who’ve struggled with the same thing, but I think that many people can find something in common with my book. Gwen Singer is not just a girl recovering from bulimia; she is finding her identity in the world, making a mold for herself instead of trying to fit into society’s perception of beauty and acceptance. It is for moms and grandmothers—not only of girls and guys who struggle, but for girls and guys who don’t know what beauty looks like, or where they fit into the world. It is for teenagers and college students.
I find my book like a bridge, closing the gap between the taboo subject of eating disorders and the other side. This is something we need to be open about—self-esteem and body image and dieting and our relationship with food—because not only is the struggle far too common in today’s society, it can be life-altering, and that is something that definitely needs to be addressed and changed for the better.
I want people to understand that my book is saying, “You belong. You are loved and cherished and so amazingly beautiful to Jesus Christ. God has created you in His own image, you are His poem , His masterpiece, His most treasured creation. Do something with that, and go forward in the power of knowing how truly special you are.”
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and