I was recently asked, “What prompted you to turn your story of prolonged singleness into a book?” I thought this was a good question, as many of us experience lengthy periods of singleness or “late” marriage (relative to Christian early marriage) but not many of us write books about it.
The answer is that I sort of fell into writing the book. I knew that singleness was something I wanted to write about, but I had no idea if anyone would want to read about it. I understand this is a common feeling among creatives: we want to express our passion but don’t know if anyone else will share it with us.
However, as I plugged away at the book over a period of about 3 years, I began to notice that others were showing interest. People in my life would ask, “So how’s the book coming along?” and I would tell them. Invariably, when I would describe an issue I was writing about, people would engage with the issue and ask questions. If the person was single, they would eagerly tell me of their experience of singleness.
I realised that I was not the only one who was passionate about the singleness conversation, especially relating to church life and faith. As the book neared its final stages, I accepted that there was indeed an audience for my book, albeit a niche one (the majority of church attendees are marrieds and families).
So I progressed to the next frightening book stage: editing. I could speak for an hour about what it was like to have my manuscript edited and the learnings I gained from that experience. Suffice it to say, I was blessed with an honest editor and gracious beta-readers who helped me get my book from where it was to where it needed to be. I will forever be grateful.
There were more book stages that followed, including cover design, printing, self-promotion and pursuing endorsements. But that’s for another blog. I want to finish by describing my choice to self-publish, because it was in part informed by my original inspiration to write the book in the first place.
I decided to self-publish partly because I’m a first-time author – and let’s face it, what publisher would be interested in a no-name, unrepresented writer? But I also chose the self-publishing route because it enables me to reach a niche audience of Christian singles and to get my message to them in a quick timeframe.
Self-publishing gives you a lot of creative control. It also means you have to do all the work yourself. However, this was work I was willing to undertake for the sake of my readers. Those Christian singles who feel as I once did – overlooked, excluded, forlorn – need the message of Surviving Singledom: the message that they are not alone in their suffering.
The world of self-publishing has thus far allowed me to promote my book to the very people who need it. I am learning how to navigate this new territory of selling myself and my message which, after all, is God’s message to His Church.
It is a message of hope and belonging, of growing in faith, and of pursuing Christ no matter our circumstances. I am thrilled to have this finished product, this self-published story of suffering and survival, to share with you.