The Three Most Important Lessons I Learned From Writing a Book

Note: The Book Launch for Mom’s A Stewardess was held last July 9, 2008. Part of the program was a Message from the Author. I had meant to write out my message in full, but due to time constraints, I ended up just scribbling my main points and just speaking spontaneously from there. With this blog entry, I hope to document more completely, what I had intended to say:

Good afternoon everyone. First of all, I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to come to this book launch. I also would like to thank Claretian Publications for publishing the book, for organizing the launch, and to Monsignor Dan Sta. Maria, parish priest of Christ the King for doing the invocation and to Fr. Dan Mahan, for that nice introduction.

We have a captive audience here of individuals who are attending this Stewardship Training organized by Claretian Publications. We likewise have my family members, relatives, and friends who are here to share my joy on this happy occasion.

As Fr. Dan said, by profession, I am a credit person. In terms of activities, though, it is really writing which I enjoy and I will always find ways to write even as I go about my daily duties and responsibilities.

Photo with Bob Laurio, Fr. Dan Mahan, Monsignor Dan Sta. Maria, Angel, Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD, Fr. Bong Dilag, CMF
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This book is about stewardship as a way of life. With stewardship, we recognize that nothing we have is ever really ours. It also talks about the four characteristics of a steward. A steward’s life is marked by gratitude, responsibility, generosity, and giving back to the Lord with increase.

This book is also a year late and 19 years early. You may find that statement pretty strange and confusing but let me explain. Since some years back, I had always told myself that I should be able to write a book by the time I’m 40. It did not happen. Today, I am 41.

When I attended the Spirituality of Stewardship Retreat in Tagaytay in August 2007, Fr. Dan had told me after some sharing that we had during the retreat that I should write down my thoughts. I told him that I did write down my thoughts and that maybe, I will write a book when I’m 60. To that, Fr. Dan replied: “You don’t need to wait until you are 60!” So now I have a book at 41, 19 years early.

I believe that any experience in life teaches us valuable lessons. Writing a book is no different. There were several lessons that I picked up throughout the book writing process but let me single out the three most important ones. And they all begin with the two words DO NOT:

1. Do not underestimate the power of encouragement: Fr. Dan’s words during my 2007 retreat really started the ball rolling in terms of conceptualizing the whole book.

Another person who encouraged me to write (or should I say, coerced me to write) was my mother. Every time we would go on a trip when I was younger, she would force me to bring a notebook and write down and describe everything that we saw or did. I did not like it at that time but after several years, I suddenly discovered that I had already started to enjoy writing. I was no longer doing it because my mom told me so but because I wanted to.

2. Do not underestimate the power of the written word: The written word can enlighten, influence, educate. It also has the power to make things come true and set things in motion. When I took a break from corporate life in 2006, I actually wrote in my other blog that “I wanted to live until 100 so that I could eventually publish a book.” After that, I promptly forgot what I had written but since I probably believed it when I had written it down, the part of publishing a book, finally came true.

It is my hope that through this book, I will get more people to think like stewards and stewardesses. I read Fr. Dan’s book, More Than Silver or Gold and it has changed my own view and understanding of stewardship for the better.

And the last and most important lesson:

3. Do not underestimate the power of God: This book is a clear example of how God can work things out for you if it is according to His will. I have always wanted to write a book but never had any concrete plans of actually accomplishing it. In my 41 years of life, there are things that I planned which did not happen and there are things that happened, which I did not plan. But as I look back and as you will read in the book, you and I can only plan so much. And when things don’t go the way we want them to, we should realize that there is a better way or a lesson to be learned somewhere.

I like to travel. In this book, I liken life to a journey and we know that when we ride a plane, the steward or the stewardess will be on hand to make our trip more comfortable. That is what I mean by being a steward and stewardess. We must be of service to others. We must make their lives more comfortable.

We take many trips through life. Some trips may be as short as a few steps. Other travels may take a lifetime. But the road to Our Father’s house can be just less than three liters of unleaded gasoline away…Read the book, and find out how today.

Thank you very much.

3 Responses to “The Three Most Important Lessons I Learned From Writing a Book”

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  2. Sandra Dianna says:

    Your information is very good and inspires me even more. My question is this. How do you find a publisher? I have been writing a book for the last two years and just recently started a second one. I know I should have finished the first, but I am unable to do so because I am still gathering information to make the story real. Anyway, this book I am working on write now is writing itself. I can’t stop typing, it is just pouring out of my brain and when I am not typing, I am thinking about what I want to write next. Can you give me any guidance or help?

  3. Angel says:

    Hi Sandra Dianna. Thank you for your comment. On your question on how to find a publisher, it would be good to finish your book and send the manuscript to publishers whom you think publish books along the lines of the story or book that you have written and just take the chance! In my case, Claretian is a publisher of religious and spiritual books so they agreed to publish the book. It also helped that they hadn’t published a book yet in the area of family life. Good luck to you with your writing! God bless.

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