What I Learned From Writing My Newest Book

sunriseI have been a book author, speaker and a trainer for twenty-seven years. I have written sixteen books—most of them on motivation and leadership. On May 4, almost three years ago, something happened that changed my life. My wife of thirty-two years died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. On Friday night I was married and on Saturday morning I was a widower. Needless to say it was the most tragic and shocking moment of my life.

As I went through the process of grief, I realized that I had to apply everything I had been teaching and writing about my whole life to myself. The teacher became the student. I read many great books about grief and loss, and many of them comforted and helped me.

Friends and family noticed how well I was healing and that I seemed to be handling my grief so well. Many of them asked me “have you ever thought about writing a book on grief?” I must admit, I hadn’t. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to help others who were suffering. I wanted to give back what had been given to me.

The-Sun-Still-Rises-webThere is the old axiom that says a writer should write about “what they know.” I wanted to share my experiences and the actual tools techniques and approaches that I used to heal. I met with my publisher, Sound Wisdom, and said I wanted to write a book about grief and they were very supportive. The more I thought about it, the more it became an extension about what I was already doing. It ended up becoming a motivation book for people who had experienced the loss of a loved one. I came up with many titles and the one we settled on was The Sun Still Rises: Thriving and Surviving After Grief and Loss. The team at Sound Wisdom did an amazing job on the cover design and overall book production. I am also fortunate to have a publisher that believes in me as a writer, and I am very proud of the final product.

So what did I learn? I think these lessons can be valuable to any writer.

  • Write from the heart. When you tell your story with authenticity it resonates and connects with the reader.
  • Take a risk. A grief book from a motivational speaker? A small risk I guess but life is full of risks.
  • Ask. I asked my publisher about the book project and they said yes. You have to be bold enough to ask! Sometimes people just don’t ask when they should.
  • Life is short. I am not going to wait; I am just going to “go for it.” I have learned not to wait and waste time.

Even though I experienced a tragedy, I was able to turn it into something good that can help others. In the book, the sun is used as tool to provide a light of hope. Yes, the sun still rises, even when you are grieving. And while the reviews have been tremendous, my goal is to help thousands of people heal.


[guestpost]shawn_doyleShawn Doyle is a learning and development professional who has a passion for human potential. He has an avid belief in the concept of lifelong learning. For the past 25 years, Shawn has spent his time developing and implementing training programs on sales, team building, communication, creativity and leadership. This has been in order to help people become more effective in the workplace and in their lives. Some clients include Pfizer ,Zippo, Guidepost, Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Charter Media, IBM, Kraft, The Marines, Microsoft, The Ladders, and The Los Alamos National Defense Laboratory. Shawn Doyle can be contacted at his websites: sldoyle.com or mymotiv8er.com.[/guestpost]


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