Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

Greetings from the Retirement Home

From the retirement home

Greetings from the Retirement Home

I’ve done it. I checked into a room at a local retirement center on Sunday night. I’m not feeling that old, especially, but I need to get away for a couple of days to write, edit, and re-write. (The Little Fella is already having a field day with this situation as the “old geezer” comments already flow freely from him as it is.)

Why have I moved into a retirement center at age 48?

For over three months now, I have been working on my new book, Stories from the Roller Coaster, by writing for at least 15 minutes a day five times per week and at least two hours once a week. All of this has taken place outside of the normal Monday-Friday, 8-5 workday in an attempt to create a pathway for others to write the book that matters that they never thought they had time to write.

Part of my plan to write this book includes a two-day writer’s retreat. A friend of mine said he had just the place for m, so last night I brought my computer and a few other bare necessities to a respite apartment a local retirement center. I hope to leave here with a second draft of the book, one that will be ready to invite a few chosen editors to proofread.

The Real Writing Begins from the Retirement Home

I completed the first manuscript yesterday morning before church, but that’s where the hard work begins. I’m not sure I’ll ever write another book where I stay so hands-off of what I’ve already written. I have re-read very little of what I have already written, and I’m more than a little concerned that when I begin to read my own book next week that it will seem like a hodgepodge of gibberish. The hardest part of writing may be getting started, but a case can certainly be made for re-writing, as well.

On Monday and Tuesday, I plan to write, edit, and re-write for 24 of those 48 hours that I’m sequestered away at the retirement center. I’ll be in unfamiliar surroundings with a specific purpose, so the distractions will be minimal…hopefully.

As I wrote in a recent post, my life will be a statement. I will be vulnerable for the sake of those who read my book and follow how I am writing it. The ultimate goals that will make all the hours and all the work worthwhile are these:

  • Some who read the book will take their own steps of faith for the glory of God and the good of their fellow man.
  • Some who read the book will shake off the cares of this world that have ensnared them and determine to live for a higher purpose. And not just determine to do it but to actually begin moving in that direction.

And some who see how I am writing the book in the midst of a busy life will be convinced that their story matters enough to write it. And they will.

And this whole process will be worth it. I just hope I feel that way Wednesday when I take my leave from the retirement home and get back to my busy life.

Update: The two days I spent editing at the retirement center were pivotal to the completion of Stories from the Roller Coaster. I published the book (by the date I had set as a goal, no less)!

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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