Self Help Books

I recently talked with a retired publisher about self-publishing my novel. His response surprised me “You should write a self-help book on massage instead, if you want to make money in the writing world. Self-help books fly off of the shelves.”

I know what he is talking about. I myself have shelves full of them. How about you? I have books on what to eat, how to find my soulmate, how to give massages of various kinds, how to be creative, how to find the right career, how to bring more abundance into my life….. I should just sell the ones I have. In fact, do you want one? Wait – I might want to reread them and get more help! Or maybe you have some that you’d like to trade.

Maybe in these difficult economic times we are all so focused on survival that we aren’t able to think about the deeper issues in our lives, or we’re outwardly focused on protesting the state of the world, but I doubt it. Don’t we still want to find love, health, inner peace and satisfying careers (or at least hobbies) and not just bring home enough money to pay the bills and have some left over for food and shoes for the kids? I know that I do.

Since I’m writing about self-help books, maybe I should mention a few. I’m currently focusing on changing my inner reality, so that I can see the people around me more clearly (read not get angry and frustrated with them) and have the guts to actually publish my novel (having been one of the world’s shyest and most timid souls). Right now I am in the midst of Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. My amazingly wonderful Sister-In-Law, Tammy Stanley, recommended this book, and I am loving the way it helps me look at reality and stop saying the word “should.” It’s almost like being at a workshop, because she gives so many examples of real people dealing with their very difficult real issues. I got it out of the library (I love the library! It keeps my book collection from completely taking over my house!) and I may just have to get my own copy so that I can mark it up. Which is pretty darn rare for me. It also dovetails very well with what I have learned from Landmark Education, but that’s another story.

Another great book that I read recently was Happy For No Reason, by Marci Shimoff. She has some fun exercises in the book. I especially gravitate towards the physical ones, and, being the nerd that I am, I loved the research she cites, plus the way she introduces information from so many different sources (and saves the reader the trouble of searching them out).

What have you read that has changed your approach to life?

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