Purposeful Discomfort

Hi Folks.

I wanted to give you a little background on where the initial idea for this manuscript came from. To be perfectly honest, prior to two years ago, I had no intention of writing this kind of book. In years past I have intermittently entertained the thought of developing material for a fictional novel. In fact I still have every intention of following through with that particular endeavour. However, that retelling is for another time and another post.

Back in September 2017, a friend of mine invited me to attend a writers conference in Gatineau, Quebec. At the time, I was doing some light research into the aforementioned fictional novel, and given the fact I have never before published a manuscript, I thought this would be a good opportunity to at least get some inside information on navigating the writing process. When I arrived at the conference, my initial impression was not an encouraging one. First, it had nothing to do with learning how to write; especially as it pertained to fictional writing. The primary focus of the conference was centred around the utilization of non-fiction book publishing as a business foundation. While this, in and of itself, was not a bad thing, it was not something which initially held any excitement for me.

The real issue turned out to be my then preconceived notions about how this conference was initially advertised. My reaction to the style of marketing used by the conference promoters, brought to the surface latent feelings of distrust; mainly due to my exposure to some unpleasant experiences with previous sales-motivated ventures. What I did find unique about this conference however, was the opportunity being offered to publish a book as an avenue through which to either promote or establish a business. While neither of these incentives were on my professional or personal radar at that particular time in my life, I found myself reluctantly intrigued.

This writing seminar took place over a  weekend, and I have to admit, the two days were quite challenging in coming to terms with whether this was something I should invest my time, energy and resources into. Looking back on that weekend, I have since been able to identify some established mindsets which previously clouded my perspective as it relates to the identification, and proper stewardship of some of my latent gifts and talents; the existence of which I had been questioning for some time. These gifts and talents have been, and still are being developed and nurtured under the crucible of life experiences.

What this experience has brought to the forefront over the past two years, is the recognition of my reticence to self-promotion, or anything that would bring adverse attention to myself. The thing is, there are two possible sides to self-promotion. One, can be defined as being selfish, even conceited. The second, can be appropriated in a healthy manner, in which one demonstrates, or shares something of value of oneself, which can be of benefit for others. A common yet intrinsic thread of self-promotion, is the requirement for one to be public about it. For me that involves extending myself beyond the limits of my defined (perceived or otherwise) comfort zones.

This whole process has been an ongoing lesson for me, in learning what it means to be transparent; even vulnerable. These particular elements of risk (among others), in small ways, are part of a few necessary foundational facets, which I hope will allow for the restoration of hope in those who may have given up on ever expecting to experience that valuable aspect of living life again.

So if I can provide a small measure of encouragement through this book, by sharing some of my own life processes, and the lessons (still being) learned, then undergoing a bit of “social discomfort” in sharing some of the variables of my life to date, is the least I can do.

Thanks for coming along on this journey.