My First Book Is Complete…Where Do I Go From Here?

My First Book

I published my first book over a year ago. Writing it was a bigger challenge than I anticipated. Now one goal can be removed from my “Bucket List.” I wanted to accomplish writing a book at least once. I underestimated the work involved. Had I realized the work of writing a book, I may not have attempted it. When I started blogging several years ago, I discovered a new passion. My early days of blogging gave me a love for writing. I thought I had become a somewhat decent writer. When I accepted the challenge of authoring a book, I realized my earlier writing was mediocre. Blogging is one thing; writing a book is a whole different animal.

While writing my book, I studied and researched proper sentence structure, mechanics, and word usage. I am not talking about the things we learned in English class.  How many folks have actually heard of “sticky sentences” or “glue words”? I cannot even clearly explain the terms, but I now understand how to spot both. If you do an internet search of either term, you will get a better explanation than I can provide.

Writing a Book is Work!

Learning about editing and concise writing is like learning a new language. Writing a book empties you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Unless you write a book, you can’t relate to what I am saying. The months spent preparing and editing the manuscript for my book were exhausting. I poured so much time into writing, my wife Janet was feeling like the book writer’s widow. Thankfully, I have a wonderful wife who loves me and supports my writing endeavors.

Why be a Writer?

I am not sure what caused me to want to blog. I suppose it came from wanting to help others.The late Leo Rosten, who was an American humorist and scriptwriter said it best. He said, ” A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.” I love to teach, encourage, and mentor others. My mother was one of the absolute best Bible teachers I have ever seen. I know, you are saying right now I am bias in that opinion. But, if you talked to anyone who had heard my mother teach a Sunday School class, they would tell you the same. My mother was a natural teacher, motivator, and one who loved to encourage others. I wish to think a few drops of her gift seeped into me.

After writing blog articles for years, I knew I wanted to write a book. I kept saying that one day I would do just that, but kept procrastinating. Then I realized unless I just did it that day would never come. Writing a book is like planning to have kids. If you wait until you are ready to have kids, you never will. I have discovered writing a book is the same way. I don’t think a person is truly ready to write their first book. You become ready somewhere during the process. You may not feel ready to be a parent, but when the Mrs. is five months into pregnancy, you get ready for parenting real quick. Putting off your dreams and aspirations until you feel ready often means you’ll never take that step. Sometimes, you have to jump.

A Short Book in an Ocean of Great Books

My small book is like a drop of water in an ocean of books. Throughout past decades, there have been millions of books written. The books in libraries and bookstores represent only a small fraction of those written. There are thousands of self-published books such as mine that never grace the shelves of a bookstore or library. I am not vain enough to believe my book will ever sell thousands of copies. My motivation in writing a book was never to make money. My motivation has always been to help someone. If my book encourages one reader, the efforts in writing it were not in vain. For me, writing a book is about a legacy. When I leave this world, I know I will leave behind a piece of myself. If my book has any ability to encourage someone, it will continue to do that after I’m gone. When you think of leaving a legacy, it is not what you leave to a person that counts. What matters is what you leave in them. A great legacy continues to bless others long after a person dies.

Purchase My Book

My book Leaving a Legacy: Ten Life Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Sooner is available at http://a.co/8wcDK0E.  My book is a quick easy read. In it I share ten of my most valuable life lessons and what I learned through them.  In the book I talk about struggling with self esteem, debt, seeking God’s direction, and many other common life struggles. If you read it, I hope it is a blessing to you. I don’t know how long it will be before I write another book. But, I know I will continue to blog and strive to encourage others. When the time to author book number two arrives, I’ll be ready. Until then, I’ll just keep pressing toward the mark.

Thanks for reading, (And if you purchased my book, thank you!)

Until next time,

Mark

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