“God, keep me in reality!”
My former Twelve-step sponsor used to pray these words every day. She knew her mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being depended upon staying “denial-free.” Also married to a recovering sex addict at the time, I embraced her wisdom and chanted the same mantra in hopes I, too, would retain my fraying sanity.
Of course, self-preservation secretly served as another motivating force. I sought to spare myself from unforeseen, humiliating reality checks. You know the kind, you sputter some ridiculously amateurish wisdom and see surrounding people raise their eyebrows while thinking, “loser!”
Yes, I learned a few things during those recovery years. For example, regular, calculated efforts to shake myself free from imagined worlds I created to ease my pain was definitely expedient.
Fast-forward sixteen years and Mary’s “God keep me in reality” prayer steers me away from an amateur publishing blunder. Tumultuous publishing questions finally ended with insightful wisdom gleaned from experts in the industry.
My recent research reveals that writing a memoir/self-help book for others trying to overcome similar struggles I faced would not be wise. Yesterday, I found two online articles that helped me sort out the issue as to what kind of book I should write. Here is an excerpt from Jane Friedman’s wise counsel:
“Do not attempt to write a self-help book that’s a thinly disguised memoir. (And do not attempt a hybrid of the genres.)”
Being a big fan of masquerade masks, the photo (smaku) and article title induced a seizure-like response. The article seemed written just for me. “JoDee, here is your answer,” screamed from the page.
Other experts in the publishing field warn against such a project as well. I found the following article on The Big Bad Book Blog, “Self-help and Memoir: Do’s and Don’ts to Save Your Book,”
So once again, reality rescues me from another Don Quixote quest.
As I drifted off to sleep last night snuggled in a warm blanket of truth, this scripture floated through my mind:
When I finally surrender, He faithfully reveals reality.