How My Start-up Business Re-ignited a Local Writer’s Passion

Stacy Haverstick shares advice on parenting, writing, and self-publishing

This past fall, I had the pleasure of teaching “Blogging and Website Design” through our local community education program. I have been designing websites, both for professional and personal endeavors, the past five years using WordPress and was curious to know if there were others in the community who, like me, wanted to have an online presence to share our passions.

Ten adults signed up with wonderful aspirations, from redesigning a vacation association site to creating an online shop for selling handmade Mexican desserts. One of the joys of teaching is the meaningful connections you get to make with others. This course was no exception!

Stacy Haverstick, a Hartland resident and mother of two children, ages 7 and 9, saw the advertisement for the course and felt inspired to republicize a children’s book she wrote and self-published six years ago: “Counting Colorful Monsters.” 

Inspiration for the book

The story of how the children’s book originated is relatable to all “on-the-go” parents. Stacy was attempting to return home from working the evening shift as a nurse at the University of Michigan hospital. As was typical at the time, she found herself stuck in a gridlock in the parking lot. As she sat there, inspiration struck, and she frantically jotted down the rhyme that would eventually become “Counting Colorful Monsters.”

The impetus for writing the children’s book came from her son’s lack of engagement in current books for his age. As Stacy shares, “Evan wasn’t interested in reading about puppies and, at the time, it seemed like that was all that was available for his age. I believe that parents are responsible for their own kid’s education. Writing this book was a way of taking ownership of his learning.”

The decision to self-publish

When Stacy sat down to dinner with her family and shared her little rhyme, her family was enthusiastic. It was her husband who suggested she publish it. It was 2013 and self-publishing was just starting to take off. Stacy became a part of a revolutionary idea — anyone can be an author if they are self-motivated with a passion they want to share. 

Working with a self-publishing company, she was paired with an illustrator and asked her daughter, who was three at the time, for her opinions on the artwork and suggestions for improvement. Through this process, the book became a collaborative, family process that the Haverstick family can now treasure forever.

Once the book was published, she sold it at craft shows and gave the book away as baby gifts to friends. Then, life got busy and the book was placed back on the shelf for a while.

Pursuing our passions 

Having just finished her Masters in Healthcare Administration and with the ability to create her own site and sell on Amazon, Stacy felt the urge to get her book back out there and inspire others to pursue their passions as well. 

When asked about her advice to those considering self-publication she shares, “Go for it! Just don’t expect to get rich. It should be something you want to do for yourself. Writing this book was on my bucket list.” 

Stacy not only has a passion for inspiring her children but inspiring those she works with as well. As an employee of Michigan Medicine for the past 13 years, she started as a staff nurse, then advanced from Clinical Information Analyst to her current position as Program Manager for the Center for Circulatory Support. Along her journey, she has published articles with her team for the publication Critical Care Nurse

Shop small this season

As you review your holiday shopping list this season, I encourage you to “shop small” and purchase Stacy’s book on Amazon. She will receive a small profit from every book sold. 

Stacy will also be available to meet at Cromaine Library’s “Shop Small Pop-up Market” this Saturday (November 30th) from 10am – 2pm.

“Counting Colorful Monsters” is perfect for early and emerging readers and will delight your little ones! 

Stacy and her family (photo provided by Stacy Haverstick)

By Miranda Keskes
Fifteen-year teacher veteran, professional editor, and published writer

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