Author Feature, Publishing

Journaling as a Foundation for Publishing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Pamala D. Larsen author of “Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying, and Widowhood.” Here she shares some advice on how journaling is the foundation of publishing. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 


October is breast cancer awareness month, and although the survival rate of breast cancer has steadily increased, it remains an ever present threat to both men and women. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicate that in 2015, in the U.S., approximately 1.65 million individuals will be diagnosed with cancer, while 590,000 will die from the disease.

ResizeImageHandler (1)Although heart disease remains the most common disease and cause of death in this country,  cancer is the disease that strikes the most fear in people. Often we interpret a diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence. Thus when my husband, Randy, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010, we approached the disease with fear. For some reason, the day he had the diagnostic test that would reveal the cancer, I took an empty journal with me to the surgical waiting room instead of my usual ‘work’ things. I didn’t know it at the time, but with my first entry in the journal on November 23, 2010, my Archway published book, Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying and Widowhood: A Memoir, had its beginning. My journal became my safe place. I could yell and scream “it’s not fair” in my journal. Randy’s cancer was never in remission and although he gave the cancer fight all he could, he died 18 months later at age 64. I continued to write in my journal throughout my first year of widowhood sharing thoughts that often could not be spoken out loud. I searched for books and articles that might help lessen the pain of losing a husband of 43 years, but I found few things that were helpful.

Sometime during that first year of widowhood, Time magazine published an article about ‘indies’, independent book publishers. I was instantly intrigued. I had never thought about publishing my journal, but perhaps my journal, telling it ‘like it was and is’ could help someone else through the cancer journey and widowhood.

With publication in mind, I began researching publishers. There is a large number of independent publishers.  I narrowed my list to 4 or 5 and then listed the pros and cons of each.  Archway met my needs by offering a variety of packages that could be customized to meet my needs. Working with the staff at Archway was easy and seamless. I wasn’t transferred from one person to the next, but I had a core number of individuals that I worked with that understood my book. From publication through marketing, the process went smoothly, and the final product was published in December of 2013. Thank you Archway!

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