Below you’ll find previous updates to the Solaced book project, which came together over the course of eight months.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE:
At the moment I have no word limit, although a range of somewhere over 500 words would be great (depending on how much detail you feel like going into). Some have written as little as 400 and some as much as 3000. Since this will be a collection of true, first-person narratives, it would be beautiful to have a little context/ background of each person’s situation so the reader gets a decent window into your life – but the story should also be “light” enough that each story can be read in about 15 minutes or less.
I dislike giving strict word limits though, since many people get hung up about the rules and then they procrastinate for months. Please don’t do this, otherwise the book publishing process will be delayed even further. Just start writing today and word-vomit anything that comes to your mind.
SOME QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU RECOVER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK (choose *some* questions to answer, not necessarily all of them)
- Discuss how you first became interested in corsets aesthetically or otherwise – how were you introduced to corsets, and who introduced you?
- Was there was a specific injury or experience in your past that drew you to using corsets therapeutically (if applicable), and how has it helped? Did you talk to your doctor about it, and did they approve of its use?
- What it was like when you put a corset on for the first time? Was it a good experience or a bad one? Was it unremarkable and your need for them grew over time – or was it a revelation from the first moment?
- How did these positive changes spill over into other areas your life? Were you more productive? Did you have better confidence? Did anything about your relationships improve, or did you get rid of toxic relationships?
- If you’ve been wearing corsets for years, how have they affected you over time (if applicable)? Do you still wear and enjoy corsets today? Are you still using them therapeutically, or just for fun?
- Has anyone else in your life begun to recognize how corsets have been helpful to you? Do you know anyone else who started wearing them as well?
- If the corset has positively affected you in many different ways, you can write about ALL the different ways it has helped. If you prefer to focus only on one aspect in detail, this is fine too!
I’m organizer, researcher, editor and funding for this project. I’ve already invested considerable time in this project, having read over 1600 stories from people from all different walks of life over the past 5 years, and spending hundreds of hours reading and sifting through these and contacting them about participating in the project (unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of people seem to check their emails!)
I’m the middle person between the contributors, the publisher and the copyright lawyer and I ensure that rights and identities are protected. I proof-read and copy-edit and polish your story, sometimes ask for further detail (clearing up ambiguous statements), and send it back to you for approval so you can see that it’s still in your voice before it’s published.
I am also funding the financial demands of this project. The average self-published book has been estimated to be between $4000-$5000 USD, and this only includes researching, seeking out editing assistants for the last stage of the copy-editing and proof-reading (any assisting copy editors will not know your identity; they will only be scanning the final manuscript for errors prior to publishing). This cost doesn’t include hiring law professionals regarding compilation copyright and medical disclaimers, and rewarding the contributors for sharing their experiences.
As this book comes together, stories will be grouped into general chapters covering wide themes such as physiological pain control, body dysmorphia/ body relationship and self-esteem, deep pressure therapy for mental/emotional issues, life-saving incidences, etc. – and I will be writing in depth about how the corset functions as a tool in these different scenarios, as chapter introductions preceding the individual true stories.
Those who contribute stories, and their stories end up getting published in the book, will be given a monetary payment as token of thanks for your contribution, plus a gift certificate to my shop, and of course you’ll receive a free digital copy of the book before it’s officially released.
Why not write the whole book myself?
It has been suggested that I should simply take the point-form notes from others and write the book completely on my own, instead of collecting first-person experiences told by others. While writing a book on my own is not daunting (I’m writing two other books concurrently on my own at the moment), if I were to simply interview a person for a few minutes and then write about a personal part of their lives, the result may be a dry scientific report — the person’s life and experience may be diluted to merely physiological cause-and-effect. How can this possibly touch the hearts of thousands of readers? Additionally, even though I have previous experience in scientific research and I try to the best of my abilities to remain objective in my studies, I am not infallible and I don’t want to risk possible embellishments or false analysis due to biased interpretations.
Each person has such a different writing style, which is reflective of their past knowledge, experiences and emotions. Having each story written in first-person will add an interesting heterogeneity to the compilation, and a reader may well find that stepping into the writer’s life, reading their experiences in the contributor’s own words helps them understand the gravity of the scenario and how much a corset may have impacted their lives – and it creates a deeper heart connection with each writer. Of course, for those worried that they’re not strong writers or English is not their first language, I am always here to consult with you and offer help.
Lastly, a compilation is a safer and more legal way of sharing the amazing testimonials from people all over the world. Although many hundreds of people use corsets therapeutically today, I am not a doctor and I can’t make sweeping medical claims. However, people are allowed to share their anecdotes in their own words. Make no mistake, this book will not be a how-to on using corsets for medical purposes. It’s to share what real people have experienced, and my goal is to encourage more open communication between corset makers (especially those trained in orthopedic technology), corset wearers, and their doctors.
Deadline and legal stuff:
I would ideally like to start wrapping up this project in March, so if possible, please submit your first draft by March 7th (it by no means has to be polished, but having written at least 500 words is confirmation that you are serious about being part of the project.)
If you need more time, please send me an email and let me know. Likewise, if you have to back out of the project, please email me.
In accordance with the law, everyone contributing their stories will also be asked to sign a release form, which gives me permission to publish your story in a book that will be available internationally. Signing this form will tell me:
- your experience is truthful to the best of your memory and beliefs
- you give permission for your contribution to be officially published in the book
- you trust me (Lucy) to edit any part of your that needs editing (for instance, changing names or locations for privacy purposes, clearing up any ambiguous phrasing, or formatting paragraphs to fit into the book better – but my edits can be approved by you (the writer) before it’s finalized anyway – I’m not going to change your whole story into something completely different)
- whether you would like to go by your real name, or an alias you choose if you want to remain anonymous – although if you are a corsetiere or public figure and you are comfortable sharing your own name, you can sign off with your name and business of choosing as a free advertising opportunity.
There will also be a clause about photographs, and you are more than welcome to share one or some pictures for the book if you’re comfortable (and if you have full permission from the photographer), but photos are absolutely not a requirement.
Thank you again for your interest, and I can’t wait to hear from you! <3