I have devoted my life to writing, to using the power of words to report the news, to introduce readers to people and places far beyond our shores, and to explain the lives and passions of some of the most compelling artists and creators of our time. George Lucas. Robert Mondavi. Gerard Depardieu. Tom Cruise. The geniuses behind Pixar’s legendary movies, even the visionaries who created the Visa card and the global credit card revolution. I love the work, and it has brought me immense fulfillment and joy.
In recent years, though, I have found another source of even deeper satisfaction: helping other writers tell their own stories, write their own books, and transform their lives in the process. The act of writing about your life has a palpable power and magic inside of it. When you sit down and collect your thoughts and life experiences, and when you find the right words to draw those thoughts and experiences into a coherent whole, you can tap into the deepest essence of who you are and what you have lived. It is a clarifying and empowering experience, and for many of us it is even liberating. Last year, four of the writers I work with brought out books of their own, and we all saw first-hand the profound and lasting impact it made on their lives. In the days and weeks ahead, I will tell you their stories, so you can see for yourself the magic waiting inside this process.
In the 45 years that I have been writing professionally, almost never have I written about myself or my family. Recently, though, I drew back that curtain and brought out “Zelda, The Queen of Paris,” a little book I wrote about a wild and charming dog we rescued from the streets of India. On the surface, this is a delightful little dog story, but behind it is the closest I will ever come to writing a memoir. Was it a satisfying experience, writing about Zelda and my family? Yes. Very. Check out the reviews on Amazon.com and you’ll begin to understand why.
My message to you is this: If you have ever been tempted to write about your own life, either in a blog or a book, or if you have just been tempted to write about your family, your dog, your cat, or just your crazy Uncle Fred, my advice is, JUST DO IT! Don’t worry about sales or marketing, or about finding an agent or publisher. Do it, first and foremost, for yourself, then for your friends and family. And as you go, stay plugged into this blog. I know you will find inspiration and guidance from the stories of my fellow writers who have examined their lives and put them down on paper. If they can do it, you can too. And you will find enormous pleasure along the way. I promise. And whatever grains of wisdom I have gleaned along the way, I will feel privileged and happy to share.