The last time Mary Jelkovsky sat down with Her Campus Maryland to talk about her journey as a self-love advocate and influencer, her first book “The Gift of Self Love” was written and Jelkovsky was anxiously waiting to announce it to her following.
The influencer, blogger, podcaster and retreat host behind “Mary’s Cup of Tea” described the self-love workbook as a more accessible version of her retreats. The book includes a combination of Jelkovsky’s personal experience, guidance and self-reflection exercises that covers everything from body image to relationships.
“I wanted to create something that was affordable and accessible, and for people like they’re at a retreat with me or we’re just hanging out on the couch, like, having some tea and talking about things like body image and self-worth and mental health and just taking care of yourself,” said Jelkovsky.
Jelkovsky said that although the process of writing her first book was extremely rewarding, it was far from easy.
When she first envisioned herself writing her book, Jelkovsky said that she saw herself sitting in cafes, drinking lattes and having pages of meaningful advice flow easily from her fingertips. But when she first started to write her book, the COVID-19 pandemic halted her vision.
When stay-at-home orders were enacted in March of 2020, Jelkovsky said that she was disappointed that she would not have the glamorous experience she had dreamt of. But in hindsight, she realized that lockdown gave her the best space to reflect on her own self-love journey.
This unexpected change lent itself to inspiration, as Jelkovsky wrote her book. Jelkovsky explained how writing a book forced her to be more vulnerable and helped her reflect on her personal growth.
“As much as it’s geared towards the reader, it’s also a lot about like you, and where you’re at, and that marks these like moments in your life,” Jelkovsky said.
Although Jelkovsky said that writing her book was extremely fulfilling, she was not a stranger to the stress of writer’s block and the emotional toll of the editing process.
Jelkovsky gave herself the goal of two poorly written pages per day when she started writing her book. But she struggled with meeting her own expectations throughout her time writing the book.
When it finally became time to start editing her book, Jelkovsky said she felt very empowered and supported during the editing process.
“There was a solid chapter, if not almost two chapters… that had to be completely torn apart, deleted and rewritten and I’m really really grateful for that because, obviously, you know the book wouldn’t be what it was. But the editing process was so emotional, not because I was hurt by her feedback at all, but because somebody really really believed in me and believed that I could give the reader more,” Jelkovsky said.
Jelkovsky spoke very emotionally about the process of writing and editing her book but the emotion only grew after the book was released. She said that releasing the book and letting the world see it was the most difficult part of the entire process.
“The hardest part was just the vulnerability behind announcing it, you know, and telling people that I wrote a book… It’s hard to talk about your own work, especially like I said, at that point, I’ve been thinking about it for so long for like a year and a half. I felt like I was annoying but I was only annoying myself,” Jelkovsky said.
“The Gift of Self Love” is now stocking book stores nationwide and is available to be ordered online. Jelkovsky has high hopes for the good that it can do for others because writing it did so much good for her.
“The first section is called, ‘I’m not here to fix you because you were never broken to begin with’ and so I really hope that people take away that they’re doing this, they’re on this journey because they want to be, not because they have to be. And they are fully whole and capable and wonderful exactly as they are right now. And if you want to do this and if you want the extra support and you have the parts of yourself that you want to heal like I am so here to help you and to hold you and to guide you through that,” Jelkovsky said.
Click this link to purchase “The Gift of Self Love” by Mary Jelkovsky.