I’ve Been Working on a Secret Project. Time To Tell You About it

Okay, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog recently. And on social media. And in life in general. Family and friends haven’t heard from me in weeks. Thank you for hanging in with the silence (and to those of you who checked in). I feel like a recluse who has finally stepped outside after years holed up in a little room being passed meals through the back door cat flap. The reason: I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into a new book

A book about 10 special days in September 2013.

A book that’s taken over four years of reflection and two years to write.

A follow up of sorts to Resurrection Year.

A book that dares to suggest that when life as we know it ends new adventures can begin. That when identity is lost we can discover who we really are. That the adversity we despise can release our greatest gifts into the world. A book that’s about the person you can become when life doesn’t go as you planned.

It will release in March 2019. I have so much more to tell you.

But what a challenge it’s been to write.

What’s Taken You So Long?

I’ve mentioned my 7-step process for book writing before. As I followed this highly inefficient process again, I laid my ideas into the structure I’d planned for years and soon realised I was trying to cram too much into too few chapters. Then I realised it was worse than that. I was being pulled between writing two different books: the first, an easy, market-friendly book I already knew the answers to; the second, a risky, vulnerable book that would be a journey of discovery itself. I had to rethink the entire project, rework the chapters and decide which direction I’d pursue. I went for the latter.

I wrote the Author’s Note and Chapter 1, both of which started to flow. Then came Chapter 2. Oh my. I have discovered that each book has it’s own personality. In that second chapter I was trying to find out this book’s nature and what its limits were. It took two months to write. Two months. I’ve never taken that long on a single chapter before but the whole book was at stake. And that’s the chapter where I get to walk on water, making ripples in upturned clouds. It’s now one of my favourites.

Few writer’s get the luxury of working on a book full time for long. There is always other work to do – in this case, a documentary project, conferences to speak at, media events, and another book and DVD project slipped in between. Not to mention other distractions. Very cute distractions.

But the main cause of those two years’ writing has been that I’ve been looking for answers. I had to learn about myself, about identity and what we really can expect when life takes an unexpected turn. A good memoir should include this ingredient of discovery. But boy, it can take some wrestling to find those true, deep insights. Sometimes I’d reach a point in a chapter and realise I had more personal work to do. (Thank goodness for understanding publishers. In the end the first draft was delivered a year after the initial due date.) But I found some answers. Answers that have changed me. I hope they will change you too.

My prayer for these last two years has been to write a book that is true, beautiful and powerful. A book that reorients, recalibrates and changes lives. And here has been another cause for delay. It takes time to discern what the difference is between an insight that’s proven personally helpful from a truth that applies universally.

And it takes time to craft something to be beautiful, not just helpful or correct.

And bringing it all together in a story you hope will wrap people up in a big, cosy blanket of wisdom and wonder also takes time. At least it does for me. (And only you can decide whether I’ve come anywhere near the goal.)

When Do We Find Out More?

I handed in the manuscript a few days ago. The book will be released in March 2019. I’ll release the full title, cover design, sample chapters and more in the months ahead. And subscribers will get first notice on free copies when launch time approaches!

I can’t wait to tell you the bit about walking on the water. And the bit about the castle. And when we get to the cathedral and we look at each wondering what is going on?

I can’t wait for you to read Chapter 2.

There’s so much more to tell you.

Thanks for being part of this.

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  • Can’t wait to read it Sheridan! Your writing is always stunningly beautiful and full of insight

  • Jenny B

    What a tease you are Sheridan! In our instant gratification world, we all want to read it now. March 2019 – what a long time to wait! Looking forward to reading it – just looking at your pictures and the few words there looks very interesting. So glad that you have completed your project – well done. All the best.

    • Thanks Jenny. The publishing cycle is quite long these days and I really didn’t want to wait more months again before announcing the book. Hopefully it’s worth the wait.

  • I love hearing about your writing process. Phew and hooray!

    • Phew indeed. I feel like I need a year off to recover. As for writing process, you know it isn’t anywhere near as productive as yours. But it’s all this hack can manage 🙂

      • You do – you need a year of replenishment too! I’m glad the pub process is long as I hope you can build in some of this time to rest while the ms is being edited, etc, before the energy related to the launch. And hey, isn’t it quality over quantity? I don’t recommend my slapping-onto-the-page approach! 🙂

  • Ian

    How exciting, Sheridan. Fascinating how you’ve described the challenge of writing this book as I’ve experienced similar as I started out writing a non-fiction book loosely centred around “Intimacy”. After writing about 1/3 of it I realised I needed more. I needed to experience more intimacy (with God, with others) in my own life so I could actually write more on the subject.

    Excited to follow you on this journey over the next year.

    Grace and peace,

    • And your putting the book on hold while you go deeper personally will serve your readers better in the end (even if it’s a frustration now). Thanks Ian, and looking forward to your project finding its appointed time!

  • Arul John

    I cannot wait to read your latest book, it seems to reflect my own personal experience! Thank you for sharing this with us Sheridan and do let me know when the book is out so that I can get a copy:)

  • Pat Marsh

    Well done Sheridan! Feel sure this will be another one of your gems!

  • Anne Le Tissier

    A beautiful thought provoking post from a truly gifted writer. Can’t wait to read the book…

  • Mandy Oram

    Looking forward to this, Sheridan. I particularly love books written not only from one’s lived experience but from an experience that has been deeply reflected on. All the best.

    • That bit is so key. You have to find some discoveries that are bigger than your own experience. Experience opens them up, reflection and discussion tease the best ones out. Thanks Mandy.

      • Such good wisdom here for the time it takes to write something which is both personal and reaches beyond ourselves to touch someone else. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Neale Valentine

    Wow sounds like you have definetly been on quite a journey of discovery. Looking forward to reading it when available. I think it will be helpful for many people including myself.

  • Lyn Goddard

    March 2019 is far too long to wait. But, as with all your writings, it will be worth it! Love and blessings x

    • How nice of you, Lyn. I couldn’t wait any longer to share the news 🙂

  • Caroline Vass

    Fantastic news! Your book ‘Resurrection Year’ helped me greatly through my own time of grief. Time has passed for all of us. I have accepted my grief and learnt to be thankful for other elements of life. I look forward to reading your new book and great insights soon!

    • I so hope this book helps you take another few steps forward, Caroline. And a few steps deeper too.

  • You have been a constant encouragement, Jane. Would love for you to help with the launch! Thank you so much.

  • Good to see you coming up for air, Sheridan. Time to enjoy some good walks. 🙂

    • Coming up for air is the right analogy :). And I can’t thank you enough Allen for your help with this book, as with all the others.

  • Ruth Weaver

    Please elaborate on the “very cute distractions.”

  • Melanie

    Very exciting news, Sheridan! Your books have been so helpful and encouraging to me. I have also been reflecting a lot on themes of identity recently, very much looking forward to reading your new book!