What did I learn in writing this book?

Belonging Everywhere & NowhereAt the young age of ten, I read the old classic, Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott, and knew I wanted to be a writer.  I wrote many “great” works of fiction growing up which were easy for me to do with my vivid imagination. Several of those stories came to life through the artwork of a young classmate or as I told them with great enthusiasm to my peers. Some day, I would write like Louisa Mae Alcott.

About two years ago when I began the daunting job of putting down in writing what I do so automatically as a marriage and family therapist in my office.  All of a sudden I began to doubt my skills as an author as this was hard, lonely work. I began to doubt I could accomplish this project. It was so much easier to write the stories of growing up in Central America or my fictional stories of adventures in the rain forest. This writing assignment I had given myself was different and much more difficult. It was hard to putt down on paper what I do and think in the very “free floating” environment such as counseling.

In the end, what did I learn in the process of writing my book?

  1. That if I am willing to dedicate myself to the lonely task of pulling myself away from all of the many distractions in my life and actually sit down and write, I could do it.  Once, I stopped listening to all of the reasons why I did not have the time, was not the right person to write this book, did not have the proper credentials, and all of the negative self talk, I could do it. I learned that I could realize my dream of being an author.
  2. As I evaluated and documented what I did in my counseling office with my clients, I was able to understand that there was an order, a reason and resources to this process of counseling.
  3. I was able to find many therapists who do good work with Third Culture Kids and was able to benefit from their knowledge.
  4. I read many books, surfed the Internet for hours, talked to other therapists, read the journals and literature for counselors, and talked to many graduate counseling students and Third Culture Kids.  I learned so much from others that helped me. In the end, I learned the most while writing to teach others.
  5. I learned that it takes many people in the background, yet they are critical as they are the ones who either make you sound like you do not know what you are writing about, or they make you a best selling author. The supporting team of the author i.e. editors, artists, illustrators, must work well together in order to produce a final product.
  6. I now have an even greater admiration for Louise Mae Alcott.



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