Looking Back Looking Ahead – as a writer.
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Mary Vorse.
Profiting from the words of Mary Vorse – I have worked hard to draft, redraft and polish my text.
I have written just seven books and sixty articles. But writing them has brought me great joy. So, let me steal a few minutes to look back and ahead.
As a senior management professional, a professor and a corporate trainer, I was commended for my communication skills. Their feedback inspired me to take to writing when I hung up my boots, so to speak. I walked, bare feet, to the chair and sat down to write; and have been doing that since.
To me, God comes first; my family is next. Writing on an Infinite God was outside my scope. So, I wrote my first book on the next: My Family – The Next Best Thing That Happened To Me. Some readers said that they shed tears when they read the book. The feedback was good, but to me it was an amateur attempt. I felt as incomplete as a room without a roof.
Like a tree that tidies up its foliage after a storm, I gathered my thoughts for the next: Relationship Management – The Master’s Way. The emphasis was on corporate relationships. One reader studied the book four times. Overall, the response to the book was good, but I was not satisfied.
The third book – Through The Eye Of A Needle, Transforming Relationships – was an improvement. It took a 360-degree view of relationships – with God, spouse, children, parents, peers, friends and others. Some readers liked the suggestions I made. Some others were uncomfortable with the changes they had to make, which they resented.
The fourth attempt was good; I thought so. In Life Lessons – A Christian Sharing, I put together a series of articles, more in the form of lessons. The results were not as encouraging as I expected. Some readers found the lessons difficult to accept and adopt.
I was not discouraged. The next – The Heart Has Its Reasons, Looking Back Looking Ahead – appeared soon after. Like the fourth, it was a collection of articles, written by an ageing author, looking at things differently. This time the response was warm. Readers could relate to the writer. One commented: ‘I highly recommend this book. I’m going to order some for my family and friends as gifts; worth time and money’.
The sixth book – The Golden Rule for Empowering Professional Relationships – is on the Golden Rule: Unto others as you would unto yourself. JESUS is the central character in the plot where a group of earnest senior managers hope to find a role model for their professional lives. When they find Jesus, they have answers to questions they raised. One reader referred to it as a: ‘scholarly and absorbing analysis’. Another vouched that it was for ‘business leaders of all levels’.
I was happy with the improvement, but could not rest content. As a parent for 44 years, a counselor for families and a speaker at Parent-Forums, I had gained some insights into parenting. In The Child Is Father Of The Man, Tips And Techniques For Wise Parenting I shared those thoughts with my readers. It seemed like a culmination of my efforts, when a reviewer commented: ‘This is a book to keep and refer back to throughout your child’s life’.
You notice that I write on spirituality or relationships. The drive is to get people to read and reflect. That urge prompted me to offer free soft copies to those who would pause and ponder.
During this time I wrote sixty articles for professional and religious magazines and American Sites. The response to these was far better than expected, with publications commissioning to write for them.
Now, for what lies ahead. A project is taking shape in my mind on leadership. I am aware that there are many popular books on the subject. However, I believe there is scope for another, when it concerns a peerless leader with a style the world has yet to know. Hopefully this book will nudge readers to follow a different style of leadership.
Writing is fraught with dangers. No wonder John Steinbeck made a scathing but rather true comment: “ The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business”. I accept that it is tough, very tough. But the words of Gloria Steinem echo my thoughts: “ Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else”.
Without the mercy of God, and the support my family I would not have got this far.