How does one decide to write a book?
Sep 16, 2018
How does one Decide to Write a Book?
Deciding to write a book is an interesting journey. I have been involved with many things and have had many amazing things occur, but I did not really begin thinking of being an author and writing this down until about 5 years ago, when I was encouraged by a retreat leader to start a blog and become a writer.
My journey to self-publish a book is an interesting story. All my life I have had this awareness of the presence of God, starting at about four years old. I remember walking in the fields where I grew up in the farm land of north-central Ohio, talking with my imaginary friend, Jesus, and His mother. We had many wonderful conversations, full of joy and love. My faith was at a childhood level, but it led to a life-long quest for a closer relationship with this presence in my life that I have called God. Both my parents were very active in the Roman Catholic church, and both were very social justice conscious, being the only Caucasian member of the local chapter of the NAACP, and I was led to the understanding that faith must be combined with action to become real.
As I passed my 80thbirthday, it struck me how lucky I seemed to have been. My life has been filled with amazing synchronicities, but most important, filled with the constant awareness of being loved and cared for, not only by family, but by the ever-present awareness of something beyond all that I could see. I have watched so many others in my work both professionally and in my avocations seemingly hold pain and internal suffering, often at a level they were not even aware of. My profession is an engineer, with 18 patents, and presently as I write this I am chairman of my company, owned by my partner and I.
I not just “had” this sense of presence, but I cultivated it carefully throughout my life. I have had many come to me and ask what I did differently to be able to always have a smile on my face and a generally warm feeling about life. I decided that it was time to write things down, so that perhaps, just -perhaps, others could be guided to follow the same path and find the joy in life I have had, no matter what life throws at one.
The sub-heading to my book tells it all. Jesus said “The Kingdom of God lies within.” (Luke 17:21). Actually, the full quote is “nor will people say ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is, because the kingdom of God lies within” (many translationssay ‘in your midst’). If the ‘Kingdom of God’, or heaven or paradise lies within or in our midst, why is life such a pain?
It turns out, pain in life can be considered a blessing, for it forces to us to look beyond our cultural stance of “I can do it myself”, and admit that we cannot do it ourselves. I was forced to that level as the result of behavior patterns stemming from clinical depression, which led me to the twelve-step program, until I reached the point of total surrender to my higher power, or as I prefer to say, God. Yes, I could still feel the presence of God at all times during the hard times, but only when I surrendered myself to the care of God in all my affairs, including that portion that I had held back which held the depression, was I able to find the total freedom that was promised: I am living in paradise, right here and now.
I knew I had to get the message out to others, for if it could help at least one it is worth the effort. I started a blog some five years ago at the suggestion of a retreat master, and eventually after about two years realized that I had the makings of a book. It took another year to finish the book, which I entitled The 12 steps to Joy and Happiness, and two years of editing, etc. to get it into print, which occurred January 28, 2018!
So suddenly I am an author, much to my surprise. I have been asked “how does one get started writing a book. Well, I wrote the middle section first, detailing the 12 steps, then wrote the front which outlines how total surrender works and why, and then the last section in which I share all the methods I have used throughout the years to enhance my relationship with my God, even (or especially) during the hard times.
My God, you have prodded me and poked me and drawn me throughout the years, and never let me alone to sink beneath the storms of life. Your lifeline of love passed through my wife in her never-ending love for me, kept me from drowning in pain. I am so grateful for the love that never gave up, for the blessings that flowed always, and the paradise that I now see always.