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.