So, I’ve been doing a fair amount of research into the right way to promote an upcoming book. Turns out that my strategy of neglecting to write blog posts in favor of focusing solely on the manuscript is recommended by no one. Anywhere. Ever.
As I am likely going to self-publish this second book, it falls squarely on my shoulders to promote and market it as well as to write it. While those things can take place in sequence it is generally considered best to do them all at the same time.
To that end, I will begin sharing more information about my current project. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first draft, which is actually more like the fourth draft as I’ve edited significantly along the way. Once I have some fully developed chapters I’ll post them here for any comments or suggestions.
This second book will be a self-help book for veterans. I hate describing it like that because of all the negative connotations associated with “self-help” books, but if the shoe fits… So, yes, it is a self-help book designed to help service-members and veterans understand, prepare for, and overcome the challenges of coming home from combat.
Where my first book, After Action, was narrowly focused on my personal experiences, this second book will examine the archetypal warrior journey. It will show how our modern warrior pathway mirrors some, but not all, of this universal human experience. It is in the return from combat where we deviate from the archetype and suffer predictably as a result.
But if we can translate the archetypal journey into terms that have meaning in our personal lives we can correct this deviation. We have followed an archetypal pathway into combat and it served us well. Now we need use it to lead us out.
That’s what my current project aims to accomplish. It will explain the forgotten final phase of the warrior’s journey, identify the challenges hidden within this phase, and offer concrete suggestions for how to overcome them.
The Veterans Administration has its problems. But even if all of them were rectified tomorrow it wouldn’t erase the challenges each individual warrior must face. Coming home is not an easy or automatic process. There are very real challenges that must be understood and overcome. And the most important link in successfully navigating these challenges is the individual warrior her/himself.
I think our nation stands to benefit greatly from veterans who are well-adjusted, wizened by experience, and matured by reality. But first they must fully come home. Preparing our warriors–past, present, and future–for the challenges of coming home is the goal of my work.
I welcome any suggestions for how to best accomplish it.