While the year 2020 might be described by some as paralyzing, not Anna Ennis.
During a time when she may have easily faced financial ruin, the longtime hair stylist, beauty and health consultant made a choice to embody the title of her new book, “Keep Going!”
Recently released by Lighthouse Global Publishing, the Sonora native, wife and mother of two noted the challenge of 2020 proved to be her greatest inspiration for the first book.
“I definitely had wanted to write a book for over 10 years,” the first-time author said, noting a habit of starting and stopping multiple times on multiple topics in the past decade.
“Then this whole 2020 hit and I had a lot of reflection time,” Ennis continued. “I had been in the beauty and wellness industry for 20 years. I had a salon, it was immediately shut down and I’ve done all different types of things in business and I felt like this was a good time to explore.”
During the early weeks of the pandemic, Ennis shared being approached by friends and colleagues inquiring on her ability to stay positive and keep going as her livelihood seemed to be crashing around her. In April, via the notes section on her iPhone and Google docs, she began outlining her thoughts in between busy mom, wife and business owner duties.
A labor which took three months, as well as receiving input and support from her friend and business partner, Erica Ormsby.
As owners of a publishing and PR company, Ennis shared they had been through the process with multiple authors and clients, yet she herself was new to the path.
“I had never done it myself,” she said of drafting and publishing a book. “Most of my book was transcribed on my phone in my notes section or a Google doc on my phone. At night time I would go through and do my edits and stuff for about an hour, hour and a half each night after my kids went to bed.”
Not using a busy life and new challenge of everyone being under one roof 24/7 as an out, Ennis maintained the unconventional approach and completed her first draft within three months of starting.
“I decided to be the client,” she said of the 2020 endeavor. “For me it was difficult, because I have a very easy time guiding. Just like most people, it’s easy to help other people, but when it comes to helping yourself, it’s more difficult.”
At the outset of penning her inspirational book, Ennis developed an outline of 10 personal stories that were most impactful.
“Ten stories that changed my life,” she said. “Going back and opening that box up, that was a little bit hard.
“It was kind of an emotional time and we were going through COVID at the same time,” she continued, “so I really had to put strong boundaries when I spent that time, kind of reliving those stories.”
Some of the stories, faced in the “box” she speaks of, are shared in “Keep Going!”, while others have been shelved to share at another time in another book.
“In our process of publishing someone there’s 84 steps to actually publish someone and brand them from beginning to end,” the author said. “For me, like step eight I was like, I’m out.”
The repetitive process of the final edit and approximately 15 revisions proved to test the publisher, turned first-time author’s commitment to the task. Yet true to her personality and persistence, she forged forward.
“I think for me the resiliency and just keep persisting into whatever you’re dreaming about,” she noted of her commitment to stay the course and release her once desired love of perfection.
In time her resilience and perseverance would be rewarded in multiple ways. The first being the reaction of her daughters, ages nine and 10, upon the first case of books arriving.
Ennis stated the highlight of getting the delivery and her daughters being able to help her open it and realize mom had written a book. Sharing that during a time when she had gone from a very good income as a stylist to no income, she remained mindful of how she adapted and the eyes of her daughters watching.
“I’ve been that way my whole life, since I was a very little kid,” she said of her perseverance and determination. “I’ve had adversity after adversity; it’s just part of my make-up. When things get really hard, I dig in even harder.”
It’s an attitude and outlook, which Ennis shares through varying chapters of the book, recounting personal stories, as well as thoughts on how to overcome and forge through the unexpected.
“It’s not a strong literary read,” she said of “Keep Going!”. “I wanted it to be like me and you sitting down for coffee and me saying, ‘No, keep going. You got this.’ I’m the biggest believer of people and their dreams and I’m the most passionate about people living their dreams and just keep going.
“I’ve had some really great feedback from people that I would never think would give me feedback,” she added. “For me that’s been the best thing.”
As one who gains more from giving than getting, Ennis has shared the new release with women’s groups, the underprivileged, as well as college students.
“I’m just hoping people will take one little bit from it and be inspired to do something different with their own life,” she said.
“Keep Going!” can currently be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as on her website annaennis.co. An audio version is also available on Audible.