Writing Little Belle's book: How it started

It was November 2015 when I first thought about writing a book about Little Belle. In January that year she had lost her last eye because of glaucoma, and the way she coped with being blind, especially after all she had been through, touched my heart deeply. I thought that it would be a nice idea to share with others how Little Belle navigated her world with her other senses. How she, despite all the hardships earlier in her life, and now facing another one, still had this incredible zest for life. How she, together with me and her siblings, enjoyed life fully, embracing each new day with a big smile.

So, in February 2015, I created Little Belle’s FB page and posted daily updates from Little Belle’s perspective. More and more people joined our page, and we received so many beautiful comments, messages, and emails about how much they loved Little Belle and how she inspired them. It was especially the video I made with Little Belle’s inspiring story that went viral, and also the Dodo shared Little Belle’s story. Thousands and thousands of people around the world started to follow Little Belle. When we received lots of questions about more details of Little Belle, of all that she went through in the past, her blindness, her siblings’ stories, and my story, the idea of a book was born.

In December 2015 we started to write. First, in Dutch, thinking we could translate it later. This didn’t feel right. Somehow it felt more beautiful to write it in English from the start. I was able to express Little Belle’s and my thoughts, feelings and emotions much better.

Since I hadn’t any experience with writing a book, and I knew it’s not something I could just do without any help, I searched for writing coaches. After some help from one coach, and later another, making some mistakes I could have avoided – causing me to rewrite a lot – I finally found a writing coach who was exactly what I was looking for and needed. Someone who also lives and writes from the heart. Thank you, Agatha!

For more than a year Little Belle was always beside me when I was writing; in her chair, lying on her soft blanket, often far away in dreamland. There were also moments she was awake, looking at me, listening to the things I said. The moments we had ‘eye’ contact. Yes she always knew exactly when I was looking at her. She lifted her head, her ears alert, and I stroked her coat giving her a kiss on her head. Belle always loved that. And I too.

So, that’s how it started. And now, after more than 5 years (with some breaks in between about which I will write later in other blogs), Little Belle’s book is finally ready to be published!
In the next blogs I will write more about Little Belle’s book, the things that happened while writing, how Belle inspired me to keep writing, our life together, and so much more!