At the start of this month, I realised a life-long ambition in writing my first book. Taylor Made is available now and documents my life over the last thirty years, the ups and downs, and planning the most magnificent parties and events. It has been all consuming. Hard work and rewarding in equal measure. With the help of an amazing team, the past 18 months I have poured my heart and soul into what’s on the pages. As with everything in life, I have seen it as an opportunity to learn and grow. And now, I want to share those learnings with you. Here are the top five things I learnt whilst writing my book.
IT WILL EXCITE AND SCARE YOU IN EQUAL MEASURES
They say everyone has a book in them. Even more so now, I believe that’s true. But particularly if you’re writing a biography, there’s a whole lot of soul searching involved. I wanted to tell my story because I hope it will inspire. I hope somebody fresh out of university (or school) will read it and take a leap of faith into a career they love. Because that’s ultimately what has led me to the amazing life that I have now.
Not to blow my own trumpet. Not that I ever mind doing so. But my life has been extraordinary. When I have gone with my gut and said ‘yes’ to the most impossible of requests it has led me to unbelievable places. All that said, there were times when I pondered what certain people would think. In fact, part of this internal debate made the final cut:
‘She loves herself.’
Clearly, I actually don’t.
‘She actually hates herself.’
Clearly, I don’t either!
‘What a name dropper.’
On the one hand – yes. On the other – impossible to tell my story without mentioning other people. I can’t just call Prince William ‘Bill’ or Gary Barlow or Neville ‘Gaz’. It is essentially an ingredient of the narrative.
I’ve never been one to let the opinions of others sway me. I’m not about to start now. I have my bag of popcorn. I await the reviews.
WHAT YOU LEAVE OUT, IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU PUT IN
When I organise event. I have a rule. Always leave them wanting more. When it comes to any element of the party be it the music, the food, the entertainment – give them just enough to say they’ve had the time of their lives, but not too much that they feel they’ve had their fill. The same rule applied to writing my book.
During the writing process there were so many difficult editorial decisions. So many ‘behind the scenes’ titbits, some downright scandalous moments, that would sure have made very compelling reading. But I’m smart enough to know that what could have catapulted my book to the top of the Sunday Times bestsellers list, could also have destroyed my reputation. I’ve always prided myself in my professional integrity. Among my many talents, my clients hire me for my discretion. And no matter how tempting to reveal the juiciest of gossip, or how lucrative, my reputation is and will always be worth more to me.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE
Looking back gave me the gift of hindsight. How I would do things differently. How I would avoid the f*ck ups. I’ve always lived by the rule that it’s not what you do wrong but how you deal with it that reveals your character. It has served me well. And recounting the ‘mistakes’ along the way, solidified the idea that they were just my opportunity to learn.
They also make great reading.
And they’re part of the reason I now have such a meticulous eye for detail. Certainly, prevention is better than cure. But if something is to go wrong, I know my way out of almost any situation. You could say I’ve been there, bought the t-shirt, got the speeding ticket, and paid off the official.
LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER
Writing a memoir forced me to look at every moment in my history in microscopic detail. And even though there are moments in my life that I wouldn’t say I’m proud of, looking at them in retrospect has given me a new kind of closure. Those moments shaped me. Stretched me. Made me stronger. Examining my third divorce to my husband of many years was particularly difficult. Even though I had come to terms with it privately, this was my public reckoning. A chance to give my side of the story. It was painful. Cathartic. One of the five things I learnt whilst writing my book is certainly that sharing my darkest moments helped me to let them go. I don’t look back in anger.
I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING
I’ve always said that when they bury me, I would like them to write on my gravestone ‘my god she was thin’. And I am, so that still stands. But alongside that my book has allowed me to think of all the wonderful, amazing, unimaginable opportunities that have come my way. And that I said YES to. You could say I now wear even rosier tinted spectacles. There have been downs of course, but contrasted with so, so many ups. And when I think of the journey, and probably the most important of the five things I learnt whilst writing my book, it’s that I have been on it’s been one hell of a ride. All in all, I’m pretty darn proud of my life. So perhaps alongside my dress size on my gravestone another message.
Her life was what she made it.
Taylor Made is available now on Amazon as a hard back or e-book.
Title: Taylor Made: Life of an Entrepreneur, Mother and Celebrity Event Planner
Author: Liz Taylor
Publisher: Wild Wolf Publishing
Released: 1st September 2021
Take a look at the lessons I learned whilst recording my PODCAST