By the time you read this I am hoping my book “I’m A Parent! Now What?” is available to purchase on Amazon. For years my father has encouraged me to put my columns in book form, and until recently it was too expensive to do it.
This first book in what I am calling my “Now What” series is a compilation of 52 columns I have written over the years on parenting. I thought this would be an easy project; let’s face it, it’s just putting what has already been written into book form. It should be simple, right? Wrong!
I thought I would share with you a few things I have learned along this little journey:
Nothing Is As Easy As You Think: When tackling something new there are always going to be problems you never anticipated. Anticipate that you haven’t anticipated everything. Doing this makes it easier when you fall into one of those pitfalls, and will help you to start climbing out faster instead of sitting at the bottom of the pit swearing under your breath. It’s impossible to avoid making any mistakes; the goal is having the ability to overcome them as quickly as possible. Expectations is where it all starts!
Seek Advice: I wasn’t smart enough to ask around for other “indie authors.” (That’s the term used for people how self publish their books.) However, God loves all of us, even the foolish, so He had me run into a gentleman by the name of Eddie Williams who was about to self publish his book. Between us we had made plenty of mistakes and we have been able to keep each other from falling into more pit falls than we would have alone! Learn from others experiences; you will have few frustrations.
Seek Correction: I was NOT looking forward to this stage of publishing: Editing. This is where everyone else gets to read what I have written and tell me where all the mistakes are. What I learned was how to take a different perspective. Instead of making it all about me, I adjusted my thinking and focused on my concern that my message wouldn’t be clear to the reader. By doing that, I began to welcome the correction. I have also been forewarned that some of my future readers will email me about comma splices, misspelled words, etc. which is why there are usually five versions of any book.
It’s Not About Me: When I was first encouraged by my father to put my columns into book form I blew it off because I didn’t want to look arrogant. He kept encouraging, and I kept thinking about it. I finally realized that my reason for putting off the idea wasn’t arrogance, but fear. “What if no one bought it?” As soon as I brought the real reason to the surface it was easy to conquer. If putting this in book form helps just one person, it was well worth it. It’s not about me; it’s about what I can do to help others.
The Parable Of The Talents: God expects us to recognize and utilize our abilities to the greatest extent we possibly can. Contemplating this project it hit me: A newspaper column has the lifespan of a few days, but a book gets passed on and on and on- even if it’s only at the thrift store! I finally came to the conclusion: Why not take what a lot people have told me helped them and offer it to others as well? So, I did.
All of us have something to offer the people around us. It is our responsibility to recognize and capitalize on those talents for our families, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and our communities.
Think about ways you can increase the use of the talents, gifts and abilities God has given you. Don’t seek other’s advice on IF you should do it, but HOW you should go about it! The world is waiting.