How a Mild Panic Attack Changed the Title of My Book

A lot of people tell me they’d like to write a book, then again, a lot of people tell me they like to win the lottery. I often get asked ‘how on earth did you write two books?’ It’s quite simple, just one sentence at a time really, and then a lot of self-doubt and confusion. The process of writing anything, especially a book, I find interesting and therapeutic. I am sure this varies from author to author.

To give you a bit of insight into the process, the other night I had a total panic attack. Again, a varying symptom dependant on the author, I’m sure. I wanted to share with you why at the 11th hour I changed the name of my upcoming book.

I have spent the last six, seven, maybe eight months fleshing out a book idea I have wanted to write ever since I posted a BLOG that garnered some attention. In the BLOG, I shared my story about going ‘alcohol-free’ for an entire year and how empowered I felt after saying ‘no, thanks’ to shots and shandies for twelve months. I received endless comments and emails from people asking me how on earth I managed to go alcohol-free as they wanted to do the same, but for one reason or another, just couldn’t. It became obvious to me that I had navigated through something I needed to help others overcome. This inspired the book.

At the time, my line of thinking was, drinking habits are usually kept on the down-low. I remember underselling how many beers I’d had at Big Day Out or say it was just a couple of wines at the gig on Saturday, when we all know it was more like number of kids in The Brady Bunch. In our modern-day society, we don’t seem to talk much about our knee-jerk reaction to ‘get a drink’ at any occasion, be it sad, bad or brilliant or how a slew of drinks and even shots can accompany the range of hiccups in one’s day (anything from the supermarket running out of dry shampoo, to your dog being run over).

I decided to title my book, ‘UnSpoken.’ The unspoken rules of social engagement, the unspoken pain we are masking with wine, the unspoken comfortability of our relationship with alcohol.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, they said. But we do. You do, I do, it’s human nature, and as much our Grannies would be disappointed in us for all the book cover judging and quitting sugar, the truth of the matter is I sometimes let my judgements rule my emotions and before you judge me for being judgemental, surely, we are all slightly guilty. This brings me back to the book title. The simple fact is, you are going to judge my book by its cover, or at least it’s title and UnSpoken means nothing to you. Right?

One of the key elements to writing a best-selling book, although my book sales are yet to prove this, is to give it a title that explains the concept of the book, or so I’ve been told by several people ‘in the know.’ If you can succinctly give your reader the concept, you are in with a chance of selling a book. When I came up with the original title of the book, ‘UnSpoken’ it meant something to me. This title felt right and I got it. Hey alcohol, we need to talk was the perfect by-line, because we do need to talk about how much we are drinking and why so much all the time, Jenny? When my manuscript was made into a pretty .pdf and I re-read it for the millionth time, still finding small typos and refining chunky bits of text, the title stopped making sense. The manuscript had found its own voice, and I was left without an appropriate title. I kept this quiet. UnSpoken.  

As the premeditated failure arose, the defeatist attitude surfaced my brain went into overdrive, ‘should I even bother submitting the book?’ Frowny face. I could have ignored this feeling and gone against my gut, citing it was ‘too late.’ But as I was in control of my project and my emotions, and I’m not exactly a perfectionist, but I’m not far off, I couldn’t leave it as it. UnSpoken. Unfinished! I had change it. My gut told me to do it. Oprah would be proud. My manuscript deserved to find its true name and I realised sometimes we must look at things from a new perspective. I took out a blank piece of paper and my sharpie to try and find what I needed, a new name for my flippin’ book.

I looked at the draft cover of my book, and I judged it. What if I name it something dumb? I rubbed my temple and took in a deep breath, I asked myself, yet again;

What is the purpose of the book?’

Articulating, yet again, the reason why I wrote the book, who I want it to help and what social norm I feel I’m leading a rebellion against, it was after several hours of writing words, phrases, slang and scribbling that I sat back from my late-night brainstorm and I saw it. Like when the letters in the Matrix fall into some sequence that unlocks something cool. Like a magic eye 3D Illusion that sticks out on the page. Like an army saluting. It’s makes so much sense! Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

I often refer to myself and ‘a social rebel’ because I don’t drink, it’s been well over three years now. By definition, a rebel is someone who revolts against the establishment and in our modern-day social drinking is the norm; the establishment. We rarely question why our social engagements are fuelled by alcohol or how our moments of true joy or despair are often dealt with by drinking. As a society we have lost the ability to find another way to celebrate or commiserate, be it alone, at home or out with friends.

So, this book is the rebellion.

The Social Rebellion. It exists to redefine the social norm. Allowing each person, the ability to take some time away from alcohol to redefine its role in one’s life. Arming people with the necessary techniques and tools required for a guided lesson in self-assessment and habit formation, enabling each person to make an empowered choice about the role of alcohol in their lives, rather than going along with the crowd.

It’s for anyone who feels a bit trapped in their drinking habits, or that perhaps they drink a bit too much or a bit too often. The Social Rebellion is a movement that will empower you to become aware of your own choices, assess your relationship with alcohol and make a positive change

The Social Rebellion
True Freedom Begins with a Cheeky Month Alcohol-Free.

Available now for pre-order now. Ships next month.