People often ask me why my first book didn’t start out with my vision loss.

That’s a good question.

I started writing  that memoir, Fading Light, several years ago.  It began with my diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa and my decision to continue to teach overseas. The book would encompass the subsequent travel experiences. I worked on it for a few years and even received feedback from a professional author. But I struggled with that first chapter and kept changing things around. Progress was slow and grueling.

Then I met Joe, who wanted to share his love story but who didn’t know quite how to write it. He hired me as a ghostwriter.  I had written all my life but soon discovered that I  didn’t know much about writing  a book.

I joined a critique group and they taught me the rudiments. I don’t think I’m the typical ghostwriter because they probably don’t ask for feedback as they try to write from the mindset of another person. The members said, “I’d never do it.”

Writing a love story from a man’s perspective was daunting. 

But I had agreed to do it and needed to follow through. So I persisted and learned over the next year how to shape a book. When some of the group members got choked up and misty-eyed in the final chapters, I discovered I could write a compelling book.

With renewed confidence, I went back to Fading Light and started it out completely differently.

This time I learned while my critique group might like the  fascinating details of a jungle experience, it alarmed my mentor in my online writing course. She  bluntly said,

“My dear. if you try to publish it with this start, it will be the biggest mistake of your life. In fact, it will kill any potential commercial value your book will ever have.”  

Why? I started with a flashback. And it was the world’s longest chapter!

“No matter how fascinating an experience one has, readers have to care about the character before they are thrown into a flashback,” she added.

I still had so much to learn!

I was not making any kind of living as a writer and needed an accountability partner. Frustrated, I hired a long-distance writing coach to help me set publishing goals.

God gave me a kickstart when I landed a speaking engagement as a keynote speaker at a ladies’ retreat in Ohio by way of my former college classmate. My writing coach encouraged me to prepare a book to sell after my talk. “You really need to capitalize on this opportunity.”

I had only five months to finish a book. The task seemed overwhelming.

“What about if I write something different? I kept a journal when I was learning to use my cane,” I told her. “It’s already written. It shouldn’t take very long.”

“That’s fine,” she said, relieved we finally had a game plan. “Let’s set the first deadline.”

I’m a slow writer and rewrite frequently. After the first couple of months, I could tell that I would never finish in time.

“How about if you shoot for a booklet instead?” my writing coach suggested.

I thought about it. A booklet might be do-able. So, A Step in the Right Direction was born.

As I wrote,  God whispered life lessons into my heart and reminded me of my responses and emotions,  and I started to make real progress. The booklet ballooned into a book again. It would never be done in time for the keynote talk.

Still, I became passionate about my message and my experiences.

One night while lying in bed and unable to sleep, it  struck me that the real message of my  book was how important mobility was to me and how my faith had changed through my struggle.

Choosing to learn how to use a cane to get around was not only something I struggled with but that many other vision-impaired people struggled with too.

God led me to this understanding:  “This is what I want you to focus on. Share how I met your needs.”

And that wasn’t a mere step in the right direction. That was a major attitude and faith change. I had chosen to trust God in this area of my life. It needed a different title.  I kicked around various titles in my head and suddenly the words came to me: Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith.

I knew that if I wanted to impact readers, I had to be transparent–faults and all. 

I persevered. The speaking engagement came and went. I still had much to write. But at least I was on track.

My writing coach not only helped me stick to my chapter deadlines, she line-edited my work for clarity. Then I shared it with my critique group. Finally, passed it on to the  mentor from the writing course I’d since finished, anxious to know if she felt it would be marketable.

I held my breath waiting for her response. She’d been in the market for over thirty years.

What if she said no one would ever buy this one either?

Finally, I heard back. Her email started with, “Amy, I so enjoyed your book! I hope you are going to go through a publisher because this can impact people and a publisher will give you a wider market…”

I didn’t want to wait for a publisher to choose my manuscript and decided to self-publish it.

I sent it to my beta readers and from their input, tightened the script even further.

God has guided me in writing this entire book. It’s been a long journey but with twenty-one 5-star reviews on Amazon, I believe that it’s the book God wanted me to write. He placed all the right types of people in my life so that I learned the craft of writing–and I still have much more to learn.

Writing this book taught me to trust in the practical application of the saying, “God never expects us to do what He hasn’t equipped us to do.”

He always has a plan. We just have to prayerfully ask for His guidance.

I’m not sure why God impressed on me to write Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith first. Perhaps, there is a greater need for it  and it will impact more people right now.

People will read Mobility Maters: Stepping Out in Faith for lots of different reasons. Some will read it for inspiration. Some will read it because they can relate to the vision issues. Others will read it to see how vision loss impacts their own family. Yet others will read it to learn more about how one person copes with vision loss. People with mobility issues might be drawn to it for similar reasons.  Friends and family might want to know about how I live my life. Finally, some just might like a good story they can’t put down with humor and emotion.

Only God knows what eternal impact it will have.

***

You have just read, Why I Wrote Mobility Matters, by Amy L. Bovaird. December 2014. If you would like to read more of Amy’s writing, you can find her recently published memoir Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith 

 

 

Why I wrote Mobility Matters
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17 thoughts on “Why I wrote Mobility Matters

  • December 2, 2014 at 4:16 am
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    So very inspirational! One day I’d like to have an opertunity to write a book myself although I don’t have anything quite so inspiring to write about.

  • December 2, 2014 at 6:09 am
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    Beautiful and inspirational story – would like to read your book! I am also working on writing a difficult story about a past experience that was nearly fatal – I had hoped to accomplish that last month, but had too many distractions and other obligations.

  • December 2, 2014 at 6:55 am
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    …and some might read your inspired book Amy as they have come to know your through the blogging world and fell in love with your honesty and humour! 😉 <3

  • December 2, 2014 at 9:26 am
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    Great story! You’re truly an inspiration.

  • December 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm
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    I love hearing about your journey and struggles as a writer. It’s very inspiring and I can somewhat relate (tho I am not a published author yet!). Being a creative person I understand the starting and stopping of a project.

  • December 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm
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    Wow, a blog for the visually impaired. You inspire me not to take my vision for granted. Thank you. #ultrablog.

  • December 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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    I appreciate learning this background to the story of writing your book – thank you for sharing!

  • December 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm
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    Very inspirational! May your words reach those who need it the most.

    BTW, I nominated you for the Liebster Awared, but please don’t feel obligated. And I think I broke one of the rules…it’s for new bloggers, and I think you are far ahead of the game there…but I love your blog!

  • December 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm
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    I have been enjoying many of your blog posts, and I enjoyed the “how I got there”. A lot of hard, hard work is the answer. Thank you for letting me know the path you took to get to where you are in your writing. This may be helpful to me in my particular journey, so again, I thank you.

  • December 3, 2014 at 3:33 am
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    Dear K Lee,
    Thank you. I hope you do read my book one day! It’s got a lot of humor and adventure in it but in the process, I actually overcome some obstacles. =) Oh my goodness! I hope you can write out what happened with the near-fatal accident soon. Are you writing an article, a series of articles or a book? Writing can bring to surface many things you didn’t initially realize, and it most always begins a healing process. Good luck and prayers for that piece.
    Amy

  • December 3, 2014 at 3:35 am
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    Thank you so much, Elly. And thank you also for mentioning me in your blog post yesterday! What an honor!
    I would LOVE to have you read my story and find your take on my mobility training. =)
    Amy

  • December 3, 2014 at 3:36 am
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    Thank you so much for your kind words, Mary!

  • December 3, 2014 at 3:39 am
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    Hi Ashley,
    So good to meet readers who can empathize and try to relate.
    You’re a blessing to me! Your post sounds good. I’ll have to check it out!
    Amy

  • December 3, 2014 at 3:59 am
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    You’re welcome, Laurel! I’m enjoying your positive postings on gratitude.

  • December 5, 2014 at 3:27 am
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    Alana,

    You’re so welcome! Best of luck on your writing journey with your Nanorimo piece. Looking forward to hearing about your progress!

    Amy

  • December 7, 2014 at 1:13 am
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    Amy,

    You have determination, persistence, and faith You are willing to take risks, learn from your mistakes, and very open to critiques from others. It seems like you also have a sense of good judgment regarding the use or non-use of critiquer’s comments and suggestions. I enjoy your writings and journey.

    Dave

  • December 7, 2014 at 2:36 am
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    Thank you, Dave!
    You’re the best! You always gave me a sense of hope that I would improve. And you liked my humorous scenes! I miss you terribly. But I hope that you are adjusting to the warmer weather and enjoying your time with family. I cam imagine you cooking over a barbecue grill, uh, maybe something with octopus…! Like Octopus tacos! ;D Thinking of and praying for you and Marianne!
    Amy xx

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