When I started my personal one-month project to add more joy to my life six years ago, I didn’t think it would turn into a two-year project…or into a book.
But as the journey to find more joy morphed from a 21-day experiment into 24 months, I had an inkling that my experience might just make for a good book. After spending 21 days each month focusing on topics that brought me joy—like food, nature, music, love and gratitude—I knew my journey to find joy was worth sharing.
I was also pretty sure that if I wrote down every little detail of my struggle with depression and my emergence into joy that if might help someone going through similar difficulties. The book, called Journey to Joy: the transformation of a life…21 days at a time, was then written, edited and edited and edited some more.
The book will be edited two or three more times before it hits shelves this spring. But as that May 1, 2018 release date for my extremely personal and highly revealing Journey to Joy memoir inches nearer, I’ve had only one thought about the book finally being printed.
This phrase has popped up in the dead of night, waking me from a peaceful sleep. It has come to me as I read the most personal passages in my 220-page tell-all book. It has haunted me both day and night.
I thought publishing a book was a pretty good idea five years ago. I began working extremely hard to get every one of my thoughts down on paper. I started journaling like every word was a treasure to be mined. I basically spilled my guts.
‘UH-OH!’ I now say to myself repeatedly as the reality of having my every thought preserved on paper sinks in.
‘UH-OH!’ plays in my subconscious as often as maple bugs scuttle across my path.
‘UH-OH!’ haunts me with equal frequency as Halloween chocolate bars.
‘UH-OH!’ I’m just now realizing has come a little too late, as most ‘Uh-oh’s’ do!
UH-OH, my book is actually going to be published.
You see, I didn’t hold anything back in Journey to Joy. I didn’t delete any parts from my three-week stay in the psychiatric ward. I didn’t go easy on the sadness I felt, or the hopelessness I endured. I didn’t stop to edit out any of the kooky thoughts I thought, the joy I eventually felt or the life-changing epiphanies I had along the way.
I just put it all down there on paper…to be preserved FOREVER.
‘UH-OH!’ I scream to myself.
The only thing that gives me comfort these days is this thought from author C.S. Lewis in his book Surprised by Joy:
““I have been emboldened to write of it because I notice that a man seldom mentions what he had supposed to be his most idiosyncratic sensations without receiving from at least one (often more) of those present the reply, ‘What! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.’”
As the May 1 publishing date for my book inches closer, and as 400 people place orders, I am left with only C.S. Lewis’s down-to-earth words to keep me company.
I can only hope that some of what you read in the pages of Journey to Joy leaves you saying, ‘What! Have you felt that too? I always thought I was the only one.’
And if not, I guess I should have listened to my ‘UH-OHs!’ and stopped the presses.
To pre-order Journey to Joy, email LCfroese@sasktel.net (orders of 10 or more books get a private reading for 10). Read an excerpt from the memoir on Christalee Froese’s Blog 21days2joy.wordpress.com