As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author and relationship coach Treva Brandon Scharf talks about the work that went into her new book, Done Being Single.
Written by JJ Barnes
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m Treva Brandon Scharf, ICF-certified life/dating/relationship coach, fitness professional, midlife marriage first-timer, and new author.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
After many years of writing my blog, an editor friend of mine told me I had a book in me. She was right. There was more to say and reveal, and more ways I knew I could help people through writing a book.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I already had the beginnings of a book because I had written so many blog posts about being single, dating, and finding love later in life. But instead of recycling or repurposing previously published material, I decided to use the blogs as a framework to create new content. The topics and subjects were already there, but the untold stories weren’t. And that’s where I went with the book. I wanted it to be a behind-the-scenes look at my life, and the events that inspired my blog. The book has given me an opportunity to provide more context and depth, as well as to be more vulnerable in the process.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
About two years. I thought I had finished a first draft in November 2019, but then shortly after completing it, both parents got sick and died, the pandemic hit, my father-in-law passed away, and I couldn’t end the book without including all these life events, so I went back in and added two more chapters. In September of 2022, I found a self-publishing company and submitted my manuscript.
What made you want to write Done Being Single?
I had more to say and reveal about my life, and more advice and wisdom to share. I think writing a book was the natural next progression for me.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Done Being Single?
The biggest challenge was opening myself up and being vulnerable. Memoir writing is scary. The scariest moment in the early stages was giving my husband the first draft to read. I held my breath because so many of the anecdotes I share (past boyfriends, relationships, etc.) were the first he had heard about them! The second scariest moment is right now: having a book coming out and not knowing how it will be received. ARRGHH!
What was your research process for Done Being Single?
My research included reading tons of personal growth and dating and relationship content. My husband and I also have a podcast called “Done Being Single,” with 100+ episodes. Our guests have included world-renown thought leaders and experts in the personal growth and relationship space, so I mined that for pearls of wisdom.
How did you plan the structure of Done Being Single?
I use the first couple chapters to explain what a late bloomer is, then the story continues in chronological order from when I was a kid to present day. As I tell my story, I add in my advice/observations/opinions to illustrate my points, or I use quotes from experts to back me up. I didn’t work from an outline, I just wrote spontaneously, and let the thoughts flow. I think writing nonfiction was a better fit for me than writing fiction (which I tried and hated). I have so much material and experiences to draw from, I didn’t have to make anything up.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Done Being Single need?
I had a total of four editors—two in the early stages, two after I began working with my publisher. Thankfully, it didn’t need a lot of work. The hardest part was working with the editors to write the end-of-chapter takeaways—tools, tips, strategies, action plans—to give the reader. It was like writing a whole other book at the end of each chapter!
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Do it for you first, commit to the process, then be disciplined about both.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I’m feeling there’s another book in me, probably with more singles stories, life lessons, and dating advice.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I’m very proud of my accomplishment, proud of finishing what I set out to do, and the effort I put in. I still suffer a bit from needing external validation since I’m a first-time author, but something tells me I did a good job. Fingers crossed!
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
For more information, visit trevabrandonscharf.com and follow Treva on Twitter and Instagram @trevabme.
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.