Blog Post No. 166
By Dr Jim Byrne
30th March 2018
Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog:
THE NEW WRITING PROJECT: A TRILOGY ON COUPLES THERAPY AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2018
In this blog post, I want to introduce you to my writing project – which involves three new books on couples therapy.
Writing is in my blood. I have been writing since I was 19 years old, when I used to have to construct routine notices for military noticeboards! (Who would have guessed it?!) But it took 11 years before I published my first two books. Then another 39 years to figure out how not only to write meaningful and engaging material – (which I could edit adequately; and which I could publish and promote) – before I could claim to be a relatively successful author/editor/publisher.
But all of that is just too conscious, and agent-centred. Perhaps it should not be seen in those terms. Indeed, my current situation supports that view. This is it:
Somewhere in the past 48+ hours, I began to write a three volume series on couples therapy, based on my twenty years of experience of helping many couples to improve their marriages, or marriage-like relationships. But there I go again, expressing the viewpoint of ‘the agent’. In practice, it might be more accurate to write that “a three volume series on couples therapy began to write me; or began to write itself, through me!”
The project begins
Anyway, whether I, or my Muse, are responsible, the writing work has begun. Not that you could call what I have done so far “writing a book”. Why? Because there is such a huge amount of material to be organized into three volumes.
The main reason for the three volumes is the sheer mass of helpful insights, techniques, models, experiences and processes that I want to share with fellow counsellors, therapists, counselling students, and self-help enthusiasts.
But if I have learned one thing in the process of trying to write books that sell, it is this: Readers want to read a digestible chunk of material which is clear, relatively simple (in so far as that is achievable), and not too broad in scope. And my main motivation in writing, from the beginning, has been to serve the reader; to make their journey enjoyable, and as effortless as possible.
When I briefly reviewed the material on couples therapy that I have on hand, I found it was like being a gardener who has only three window boxes (the three ‘volumes’), but into those three containers s/he has to place the most important parts of a huge lawn, some colourful flower beds, a rockery, and a huge shrubbery.
How to narrow down the material to fit the boxes?
I had no idea! So, I slept on that problem, overnight, and the next day (yesterday) I had evolved a viable division. (Again, the ‘agent’! Perhaps I should write: “’It’ had evolved itself into a more manageable shape, which has an internal consistency!”)
Over the weeks ahead, I will publish bits and pieces of Volume 1, so that interested individuals can get a sense of what is ‘coming down the (turn)pike’.
The challenge of writing
Writing in general is a hugely challenging proposition. I enjoy it enormously. And it can be rewarding when the books begin to sell as well as our recent book is doing. Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching for the Whole Person is the first major breakthrough we have had in our publishing activities so far. In the month of March to date, it has brought in about 40% of my gross income.
But please remember, it took me 50 years to get to this point, and the world will never be able to pay me enough for all the hours of ‘apprenticeship’ that I have spent on my loving care of the written word! (Individuals who want to get help with their own writing projects can always tap into my writing experience, here: Authorship Coaching.***)
And if you have an interest in couples therapy, for yourself, your clients, or whatever, I hope my new project will prove interesting to you.
PS: I also offer Couples Therapy and Marriage Guidance.***
That’s all for today!
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling
01422 843 629