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I'm pleased to announce that you can now purchase 300 Practical English Words and Phrases from my online store and from various Amazon stores. I'm grateful to everyone who has purchased the book so far, and I'm excited to hear feedback from those who get it and benefit from it. I hope you will be one of those people!
However, I won't spend this blog post talking about the various features of the book. You can read all about those in the book description, or in this blog post.
Instead of discussing that, I want to share the story of how my life as a writer of English resource books began. Perhaps you have heard parts of this story before, and if that's the case, I hope the way I tell it here will still be interesting.
We all know that life changed for everyone in 2020. It definitely changed for me.
When the pandemic hit, I was working at a language school in Montreal, Quebec. The majority of students at the school were international. We had students from Brazil, Korea, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, China, and almost anywhere in the world you can think of.
But when the pandemic hit, the school had to close, and we had no idea when it would be able to open again. In the end, the pandemic continued for much longer than people expected, and the school had no choice but to close its doors. Permanently.
Suddenly, I was without a job. Well, not completely. I realize that compared to many others who really didn't have other options, I still had my YouTube channel. I still had engVid. And I still had the support and attention of my online students from all over the world.
So, I gave myself 3 months to accomplish 3 goals:
Finish writing my first English resource book, 100 Practical English Phrasal Verbs. I had started writing it a few years before 2020, but at some point, life became incredibly busy, so I put the book down, waiting for the right moment to pick it up again.
Design and launch my website. The same website that you are reading right now.
Start offering and teaching private online classes.
It wasn't easy. In addition to the stress of teaching online during the pandemic, and having two young kids taking online classes in the house at the same time, I didn't know if students would be interested in my written work. I felt confident about being able to teach online, but the books...I wasn't so sure about the books.
Something that you might not know about me is that I can be a bit insecure. If you have ever struggled with insecurity like I have, you know that it doesn't matter how many times other people tell you how great or how talented you are, sometimes, it's still hard to believe it yourself.
The only positive thing about insecurity is that it forces you to ask questions about yourself and the quality of your work, and it forces you to be careful. And I was very careful with my first book. Because it had to be good. A 7-minute YouTube video was one thing. A 100-page book was another.
Yes, the first book was the hardest.
I worked for hours on weekdays and weekends. I looked up and down pages of text until my eyes hurt. I used three different online dictionaries to triple check my work. And I talked to friends and colleagues about it when I could because writing a book can be a very lonely thing.
Eventually, I finished it. I put it down for a few weeks before coming back to it again with fresh editing eyes. More work. But enjoyable work. I then asked my sister to help me with the cover and the interior design (Thank you, Madzia). I started an author page on Amazon. I decided on a price that I felt was competitive, and I hit the publish button.
And wow, people started buying it. Not only buying it, but liking it. In a couple of weeks, the question "When is the next one?" was already being asked. Lucky for those asking the question, I already had the second book (and actually, the idea for the third) in mind.
And the rest is history.
It hasn't been easy. Writing is still often lonely, but it's also incredibly exciting and rewarding. In the end, teaching is what I love and what I do best. Whether that's in an engVid video, in a blog post, in a book, or on a Zoom call, I love sharing my knowledge and learning as much as I can along the way.
Speaking of learning, let's return to this book. The third book. The one you opened this blog post for. It's here, and it's waiting for you when you're ready. I've learned a lot because of my experiences with my first two books, and I hope you will agree that my work has only become clearer, better, and more useful with each new book that I have written.
Will there be more after 300 Practical English Words and Phrases? Absolutely. Because this isn't the end of the road. It's just another beginning, and I'm grateful that you are here to share it with me.