Change your thoughts, and you change your world.
- Norman Vincent Peale
New York, Portland, Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville, Birmingham, New York, Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York…..
It’s December, and I feel like I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath all 2011; it’s been that sort of year. When I agreed to work on a book for Guideposts a few years ago I knew the writing would take a lot out of me, particularly writing a book as personal and self-revealing as mine. But nobody really explained the promoting-the-book part. The part where I turn into a ping-pong ball.
Still, going on the road to promote The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Changed My Life and How They Can Transform Yours has simply been ... inspirational. That’s the only word for it. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Writing is a very solitary activity and sometimes you become so immersed in the work that you tend to forget that you are even writing for an audience. A kind of solipsism sets in; you start to lose sight of the purpose behind the effort (in this case, to help and inspire people). Then a fair amount of time passes between when you complete the manuscript and when the book actually comes out, and by then your brain has kind of moved on.
So when people came up to me at book signings and personal appearances, saying that the amazing, faith-filled people and their inspiring stories in The Promise of Hope had had such an incredible impact on them, even making them want to change their own lives in some way, well, I was totally blown away. I’d almost overlooked the transformative power of a great inspirational story, even though these were the very stories that had changed the course of my life, stories that had touched me in sometimes miraculous ways and challenged me to push my faith to the limits.
What was so immensely moving, however, and unforgettable, were the folks who said that my own personal story woven into the narrative of the book had had the greatest effect on them, that it had inspired them to take steps they never dreamed they would take and gave them comfort and reassurance when they thought there was no more hope. I had almost left my own story out, for fear that it would shock and upset readers. Fortunately there were angels in my life who convinced me otherwise (you know who you are). If there was any doubt left about that, you people who told me that my story meant more to you than I can know mean more to me than you can know.
So I am back here in New York (after a detour to the Middle East), waiting for Christmas to come, for snow to fall and for this awesome year to wind down quietly. I will need time to really understand everything that I’ve experienced. You all have given me a lot to think about, and certainly to be grateful for. I owe all of you who read the book many, many prayers of thanks.
P.S. My friend Angels on Earth editor Colleen Hughes, who is also in charge of our annual collection of inspiring holiday stories, The Joys of Christmas, asked me to write a piece for this year’s edition. She wanted to know what Christmas was like in that time of my life that the book explores. I was happy to oblige. Click here to read my story about another Christmas in New York, one where I was not feeling so sure of the world.
Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Guideposts Publications. Edward lives in New York City with two blondes—his wife, Julee, and Golden Retriever, Millie, who has been featured in his blog and popular videos. Edward loves cycling, hiking with Millie at his house in the Berkshire Hills and Wolverines that hail from Michigan.
If you need a little boost of inspiration, pick up a copy of Edward's book The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours.