The Story Behind “Norm”!

Hi friends! 

Welcome to janasipeberndt.com. The official home of all things Finding Norm. I’m so glad you’ve decided to follow along and learn more about my story and how I came to write my very first memoir, Finding Norm

Just over a year ago, I had an inspiration to expand the last 4 years of my own personal journaling and go public with my story. It happened one Saturday afternoon in early July, as I was sitting at one of my favorite spots at our lake cabin in central Minnesota. 

It was a rather cool, crisp day for July so sunning on the dock was not in the plan. Read a book?  I think not, I just wasn’t in the right mood to read. So I picked up my computer and started to journal.

At the time it almost felt like a Forrest Gump moment – I started writing and writing and writing. And I didn’t stop until my computer ran out of battery. What I didn’t fully realize is how therapeutic the writing would be for me.  Before I knew it, I had the start of a manuscript. The following days and weeks were consumed with penning the story of my life these last years without my beloved Randy. My husband, my soul-mate and best friend. 

Randy died unexpectedly in the fall of 2014 and our family was instantly surrounded by our family, our community and our friends, near and far. We started a CaringBridge site to keep people abreast of what was happening and eventually, it turned into a way to stay connected to our circle of strength.

As I continued to blog, I received posts and comments that people appreciated being updated. Many traveled the journey with us through these writings. I wrote blogs for several years until one day, it just came to me… “I wonder if I have enough here to publish our story?”

I supposed it was a bit of a dream at first, but as I wrote that summer of 2018, I began to see the thoughts come together in a way that stretched my mind into thinking about the possibilities of this book touching the lives of others.  Widows… those that have experienced great loss … or those that were grieving something in their life.

I finished the first rough draft of the manuscript last August of 2018 and by September I had received enough encouragement and excitement from family and close friends to publish the book.  “Jana, you can do it. This story is worth sharing with others,” I heard from many.

In October of 2018, I began the painful process of having the book professionally edited. It’s a good thing I just jumped in with both feet and didn’t look back, because writing a book is not quite as easy as it might seem. The entire process has been full of painful edits, tough emails to make changes, prompts to keep digging and write more of your story were the themes that continued much of the winter months. 

After seven months of working late into the night and spending most weekends reading and sending more edits to Carol, my editor, we made it. We have a manuscript worth publishing. And it will soon be ready for the world to read. It’s been a long road, but I’m very excited about this message of hope finally touching the lives of others! 

This coming September 2019, Finding Norm, my debut memoir, will be available in hardcover, paperback, and eventually eBook version.  I can’t wait to start sharing the story publicly and speaking to groups that are also searching for their “norm”. Check out the website for ways you can connect with me and learn more about other resources available.

Thank you for joining the quest to finding your norm, a journey worth taking! More to come soon….

Jana

PS: Be sure to sign up for updates to be notified when the book is officially available. Keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram! @janasipeberndt 

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