Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicFrequently, people will tell me that they want to write a book about their experience with chronic illness and pain. When they ask me for advice, I give them a response that’s probably not what they’re expecting. Instead of talking about the market for books, the world of e-publishing, or even the craft of writing, I ask a simple question, “Why do you want to write about your illness/pain?” The reason for this response is easy: Writing a book is not. Easy, that is. It takes a lot of dedication, time, energy, and more than a wish to tell others your story. If that’s all you want to do, you can journal, blog, even Tweet about how you’re your doing on a particular day. There is nothing wrong with this, by the way. In fact, journaling, etc., is a very good way of helping you understand your life with health challenges and, possibly, can inform others, especially your medical team. I ask “Why?” because I want to know if someone who already lives a daily and nightly battle with health challenges is willing and eager to take on another, very significant, challenge. And, I ask “Why?” because, although there are many, many “personal story” books on the market, the best writing on illness and pain extends beyond self and informs, encourages, and inspires others. Writing about pain and illness, at its best, helps others live with their daily struggles. Although personal experiences are important to establishing credibility and context, it’s not so much about “me” as it is about “them.” Yes, it is very, very hard work. But, it is also a wonderful blessing, a grace-filled ministry. If you are one who wishes to write a book about your experience and help others, to be of service, be encouraged. Be diligent about your research and thought. Be true to your heart. Be prayerful each day and night. And be ready for an adventure, a journey, a labor of love. Joy and peace, Maureen

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