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Writing has both intrigued and thrilled me for most of my life. Occasionally, I pull out a handwritten story, still preserved in the same orange folder in which it was presented for a fifth-grade homework assignment. The plot was a bit dark and tragic for a ten-year-old mind and I wonder what events in my rather conventional life inspired such a narrative.
Just as captivating to my young mind was writing poetry with strict rhymes and consistent meter. The rules were not so much a stumbling block to my creativity, but more of a challenge to compose something meaningful no matter what constraints were in my way. Perhaps I’m a paint-within-the-lines kind of person, but that makes it all the more shocking when I do break the rules.
Eleventh-grade journalism class opened my eyes to an even greater constriction what was referred to as “economy of style.” The teacher had us write a couple of paragraphs, then asked us to remove five words. Upon completion, he demanded four more words to be removed, then three, and so on. I do recall objecting at first, but eventually it became a challenge I wanted to conquer. This one in-class assignment was perhaps one of the greatest influences on my writing style.
The one thing which kept me from pursuing writing in college was a greater fondness for music. Learning the trumpet and piano sparked an interest in music theory and composition. Interestingly enough, the same rules which structured my writing, influenced my music as well.
Unfortunately, neither of these two passions opened doors for me professionally. My writing skills did, however, give me an edge on many occasions, and I’ve been privileged to play with a local symphony for nearly twenty years.
Decades later, when I first set out on the journey of what I call my “growth and transformation,” my writing played a critical role in nearly every aspect of my development. There was no question that shame, which once controlled much of my thinking and outlook, would be the focus and subject of my first book. But it still took another two years and coaxing from my therapist before beginning work on, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based Thinking.”
The book covers many aspects of shame. But the goal was not to inform you about it, but rather to inspire and motivate you to expand your perspective and examine its impact on you. Most importantly, the devastation it often inflicts upon us, can be overcome and healed.
It was completed and self-published in 2016 as a paperback. However, I soon discovered that finishing it was only half the battle, and just because you wrote a book, that doesn’t mean they will come and buy it.
I have been very grateful and humbled by the comments over the years for simply completing it. I also know that without the help, encouragement, and support from many people, this book would have never existed.
A few years later, I revisited it and found some parts that should be improved. It was time to update it and write a second edition. This time, it’s in an E-book format and is now currently available on my website. In short, this is a guiltless promotion, and I am making it easy for you get it by clicking here: Shame on Me – Healing a life of Shame-Based Thinking | Mysite (shamedoctor.com).
Notice the word “guiltless” rather than the typical “shameless.” Even now, I am distinguishing the difference between shame and guilt. If you’re unsure of what that difference is, it may be another reason to purchase the book.
Of the many people who helped me, there are two in particular I’d like to mention. I had the great fortune of meeting Susan Rooks, the “Grammar Goddess” on LinkedIn, and over the years, we’ve developed a great friendship. Having her edit the book was one of the easiest choices I made.
I would also like to thank Liv Styles of the IT Generalist.com.au (www.theitgeneralist.com.au) for her amazing patience in helping me prepare the E-book and have my website ready to handle for what I’m anticipating to be an onslaught of sales. Liv always made herself available and guided me on important decisions.
What writing holds in my future is yet to be discovered. The changes it made are undeniable and its impact has been nothing short of amazing. It is not about becoming a bestseller or winning prominent awards, what is most important is encouraging and motivating my readers to continually challenge and rethink their own perspectives.
The world around us has shown a propensity toward narrowmindedness, segregation, and judgement. Many believe their points of view are flawless and demand those with different perspectives change theirs.
My simple request is that the first place you look is in the mirror. What are your intentions? Are you willing to offer others the same leeway and latitude you give yourself? For every time you expect someone else to change, are you willing or open to change something about you?
Getting along in this world will take concerted effort from everyone. There are no exceptions; there are only obstructions. It is my life’s work and honest belief that if the world can change the way it perceives shame, that will be a huge step in making this planet a better place for the future.
Thank you all for your support and I look forward to your comments.