One of the most satisfying experiences of my life has been to assist others in leaving a legacy of their lives to their families and friends.
To date, I've helped personally about a dozen friends not only to think about writing their life story and firing them up to get started, but to aid them all the way through the process to the excitement of holding their finished book in their hands.
They've told me that it's something like birthing a baby from conception to delivery—and it does take struggle and sometimes pain, overcoming obstacles, intense work and prayer, and always patience. But difficulties are forgotten when you finally see your “baby!” It is worth it all!
Most of those happy campers who wrote their life story are not writers in any professional sense. They simply write in a home-style way what they want to say to their families as a historical record and heritage keepsake. They finance their own production and printing. There is no thought about making money selling their book because it turns out that they generously give away most of the copies as their Christian witness. It's not a heavy financial burden since their press run for a first printing is often only about a hundred copies. If the demand is greater, reprints take only a few weeks.
I published a book THIS IS YOUR LIFE! WRITE IT! to walk you through the entire process of writing your story from idea to where and how to publish it or even simply duplicate copies.
I'm offering to any of my blog viewers in the U.S. a FREE copy of my $10 paperback of 115 pages just for the cost of postage ($4.00) only from now until October 15. Don't miss this offer even if you are just thinking about it. Contact me email@example.com. and send me your mailing address and postage.Or...do you know a friend who should be thinking about writing their story?
Pictured here is the most recent book I had the joy of helping to its birth. And it's loaded with family photos! The author is my childhood friend, Sue. Both of us are great-grandmothers, and this was her first book released on her 90th birthday. You can do it too! To inspire you to write your story, I'll quote from her introduction:
“Today as I looked out of my bedroom window, I saw a small lacy Japanese Maple leaf clinging tenaciously to a thin branch moving in the breeze. It is late winter. The deciduous trees have long shed their leaves. I saw small bulges in the branches indicating where new growth is waiting to sprout to take their place. Much like a relay runner it is waiting to pass the little “baton” on to another. But this little weathered leaf was the only one to remain on the tree outside my window. I kept watching it swing back and forth, still clinging to its life from the limb. Very soon, it too will slip away as did other leaves. It's just not time yet.
“As I watched it swing in the breeze, tears started rolling down my cheek. “Hang on there, little leaf,” I kept telling it. “Please don't give up yet.” Once strong, deep red, and beautiful, it was now showing its age and beginning to get smaller. It reminded me of old age—this “late winter” stage of life that I was now experiencing. Old age is like that. Once we were strong, physically attractive, and vibrant, exciting! But gradually the sap in our energy starts giving out, and we begin losing the strength and energy that once was ours.
“As I looked out the window I saw that other “leaves” had long departed, much like other dear friends and loved ones whom I have known. Gradually, one by one, they slipped away, giving way to the next generation to take their place. Now they were gone. New life began for them.
“This morning I too saw myself much like that single leaf, still attached to the living branch, and tenaciously hanging on. I love life! I love living! I long for that vibrancy and energy of what I once did and felt. It hurts to grow old. It's hard to keep clinging, but I'm still hanging on the branch. Maybe, however, it is the Branch that is holding on to me. “It” is my Source of Life. Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ is my Branch. He alone is my “All sufficient strength”--my El Shaddai. Only He will know the right time to bid me, “Come Home, little leaf.” Only then will I fly away! Until then I will cling to the promise He has made: “My grace is sufficient for Thee; My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
“But look! Those little tiny nubs of promise are already forming on those winter branches. Soon there will be new life coming in the springtime of resurrection. God promises hope and life everlasting to all who claim Him as Savior and Lord. The best is yet to come!”
Coincidentally, my next door neighbor Doug, a budding novelist and poet in his retirement, penned a vivid, sensory poem recently that goes right along with Sue's theme. I share it below:
A Single Leaf Falling
Watching for wildlife
on my forested ridge,
I espied instead
the falling of a single leaf.
The unhurried dropping
of one oxygenating remnant
caught my attention,
as though a yellow-brown
raptor were plummeting.
Looking downward and around,
summer's leafy green
canopy still sheltered the foothill --
with only a hint of autumnal
changes peeking out from tree to tree.
Strange that just one contribution
to September's offering plate
would evoke a sense
of pending transition
from Pentecost to Advent.
On this, I'd now meditate.
Pausing, I realized
that one hint of camo-color
harbingered so much more.
Did I hear bells tolling a new season?
Did I feel the wind stirring
something stronger than a breeze?
Did I taste the tang of a crisp morning?
Did I smell the drier air inhaled with ease?
sent echoes of happy resonances
bouncing off my soul as I sat here head askance,
noting a few chords of nature
(that each moment await our watchful ear).
I love the literary reproduction adventure of inspiring my friends to release their own writing gift. It is my joy to showcase their writing to bless others.