A couple of years ago, Susie Garlick of Phoenix started a blog called DiddleDots.com to share her expertise and experience organizing her household and raising her three children. Not that she was an expert at it right off the bat. Garlick says, “I ran a classroom of 20 some students and I did it pretty well. By the time I had the three children, I had no idea which end was up; that’s how it all started. I realized I could bring some of my teaching stuff into my home.”
As a first-grade teacher she knew she had to have her classroom organized far in advance of the students showing up on the first day in order to get to the more important work of teaching skills and concepts. She realized her house needed to be as efficient and well-prepared for the raising of children. She just self-published her book DiddleDots: Tips to Ease the Craziness of Parenting. The book contains 100 “dots” divided into four sections: Organization, Expectations, Feelings and Values. Each dot is a piece of advice.
In Expectations, one entry is “Mt. St. Laundry” about managing the never-ending process of washing clothes. In Feelings, the entry “What’s going on?” explains why simply asking a child what they are feeling is better than saying “I can tell you are angry today.” In Values “The Happy List” explains how Garlick made sure her classroom contained objects that made her happy to raise her spirits. She made sure her home did too.
She questioned her qualifications to write her blog and book because she doesn’t consider herself anything more “than a mom in the middle of the process of sharing her ideas. If I waited 20 years to write the book I would forget what it was like.” Maybe her children Ryan (12), Macy (9) and Mackenzie (6) will contribute to the sequel.
During the four months she had her blog, she found it was an insatiable beast that needed constant attention, much like a young child. Because she had three kids and was working on a master’s degree in counseling, there was no time. She shelved the idea and mulled it over for a year and then decided she needed closure on the DiddleDots idea and began writing the book for print.
She published the book with editing by Ami King, a friend who recently earned a Ph.D. in literature. She had always wanted to publish a book but assumed it would be a children’s picture book. Rather than go the eBook route she likes the small format of the book and assumes it will be easier for parents to bookmark a page or flip to different “Dots” in a printed paper than on an eReader.
Now that the book is out in print she will have to take on the marketing and promotion tasks a self-published author must do to get the book placed in stores. For now the book is on Amazon.com and sells for $12. She has sold 250 books so far, dedicating December’s profits to children’s charities.
Read more about DiddleDots.
Story and photos by Dan Friedman. Copyright 2011, Raising Arizona Kids, Inc.