Love, Stepfamilies, Stress, Writing

How Writing a Book is Like Building a Stepfamily

Hi … welcome back to the blog! I know it’s been a while since I have published and you may notice that the look of this little piece of real estate on the web … and the name have been changed. I have decided to call it  call it “Second Chance Love.” This is widen up the audience to anyone that has dared to love (and commit) again after a heartbreak, whether divorce, bereavement or any other heart-wrenching event that makes love hard. Please let me know how you like the changes in the comment section below!

I Have Written a Book

So, dun-dun-duh! I have finally finished my book! It is called Second Marriage: An Insider’s Guide to Hope, Healing & Love. nd is available on Amazon right now, in both paperback and Kindle versions. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to pick up a copy!

This is my first book and it’s been quite the journey. It took me approximately eight months of concentrated effort to write this book and have it edited, plus about 3-4 months where I worked on it periodically, before that.

So — just about a year of my life! Nothing much, ha ha!  To tell the honest truth, I had no idea it would take this long! And this book reminds me of having a stepfamily. “How? You may ask. Well, I am so glad you asked! Here are three ways that writing a book is like being in a stepfamily.

1. A Stepfamily Takes Time

Writing a book reminds me of being in a stepfamily because it is ver-r-ry long process to get things right! You may not have written a book but compare it to another challenge that took a long time. Maybe it was finishing your degree or diploma. Perhaps it was working for a promotion at work. Long-term goals require endurance and grit. They feel like they will never end and they often take everything from us.

Building a stepfamily is much the same way. It takes much longer than you expect in the beginning! There are many things that time when you are trying to get your blended family in order and these don’t come together all at once.  You cannot expect everything to come together but rather, you have to have your eye on the end game.

When my husband and I first got married, I had read the statistic from Ron Deal’s book, Smart Stepfamilies: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family. In his book, Deal explains that, on average, stepfamilies take about 5-7 years to work their issues and come to a sense of “normal.” When I read that statistic, I wanted to throw the book out the window! Seven years? The boys would be grown-up by that time! How did that help?

As it turns out, however, he was right. It did actually take about seven years to reach that level of comfort with each other. In the meantime, we kept trying, loving and holding on. If you are feeling like it will never get better and that your situation is impossible, remember that, like a book, a stepfamily is not made in a day. There are no insta-families but in the end, it will be worth it, when you have endured.

A stepfamily can be lonely.

2. A Stepfamily can be Lonely

This book took eight months of full-time effort. During that time, writing was my top priority but that meant that I was pretty much alone a lot of the time. And isn’t it the same as any other long-term goal? I noticed in university there were always less students at the end of a sememster than there were at the beginning. People drop out along the way. Sticking with something can make you feel alone.

When you are in a stepfamily, it can feel  pretty lonely, at times, too.  At first, many kids are not comfortable with another man or woman in their life. It can truly feel that if they like this new person in their new life, they are being disloyal to their Mom or Dad. So for a while, everyone can tend to keep their distance, until the trust builds. Stepmom and dads can be lonely. The kids can be lonely, because they miss their “old family.” Creating a stepfamily can be a very lonely experience.

3. A Stepfamily is Worth It

After a year of heart-wrenching effort, my book was finally done! It felt like the day of completion would never come but when it did, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. When you work hard for something, there is a great deal of satisfaction in seeing it through to the end. Easy things are just not as satisfying. Think back to when you got your degree, or your diploma, or your first client. Whatever you had been working for long-term.

Stepfamilies are not easy, either. I don’t have to tell you that, if you have ever been in one. If you were thinking Brady Bunch, sorry, but that ain’t happening!

This Ain’t No Brady Bunch!

But like the book, or the degree, or the promotion, stepfamilies are worth it. When you and your family endure through the hard times, you will know that your love is strong. When you are willing to work through the complications and show the patience to not give up, the love will be a picture for your stepchildren of endurance.

First a little disclaimer.  Not all relationships end up “happily ever after.” If your partner is cheating or high all the time, you aren’t that likely to be able to have a happy ending. And sometimes the “other party — a.k.a. “the ex” makes things so hard for you that you lose far more than you could imagine, as in the cases of parental alienation.

I do maintain, though, that stepfamilies are still worth it. They are worth it because they are a case of true love. To keep loving, in spite of the complication, is one of the greatest loves around.  When I was researching for my book, I talked to several couples. All of them said that things got better and encouraged readers to “stick with it.”

Biggest Challenge of Your Life

So, if you are struggling with stepfamily issues today, or maybe marriage problems in general, please be encouraged that this is a challenge. It may be the biggest challenge of your life but … you have endured other challenges before. You are stronger than you realize and you are creating something bigger than yourself: a family. Take care and please let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Thanks so much for reading. If you would like to order the book, Second Marriage: An Insider’s Guide to Hope, Healing, and Love, you can do so here: Amazon.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Well congratulations on that book. It’s a huge accomplishment and yes, a year out of one’s life is a big deal.

    1. sharilees

      Bill, thanks so much! It was quite a journey and quite addictive, too! I want to have my next one by Christmas, for sure. Thanks for dropping by!

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