"You should write a book," recommends my wife. She anticipates an interest in the reading public to read about the experiences and ideas of a criminal defense lawyer (myself) who does his best to apply mindfulness to my life and work.
A great civil trial lawyer who I know from the Trial Lawyers College echoes my wife’s recommendation, and says he will read my book (assuring me of at least two readers). This unassuming-seeming man constantly persuades juries to his side through the strength of his realness without any flashiness, deep caring for his clients, and uncompromising preparation and battle planning, and spirit. He writes screenplays for fun, none of them sold yet, possibly because he does not have the time to market than write them.
How would I find time to write a book? Some of the great writers of literature pour their hearts and souls over hundreds of hours and sometimes over years to write just one, well-edited and tightly-written book that has a huge impact for decades and sometimes centuries to come. Plenty of non-fiction books obviously are pieced together from the author’s prior speeches and writings, often with little to no quality editing. Then, we have the books running in between the foregoing approaches to writing books. Watch out what lurks behind enticing book covers.
We are overrun with so many books that all the more gem books will be missed in the process of finding needles in the haystack and gold in the mud. The same could be said of so many things in life.Even such a gem as the children’s The Monster Who Ate My Peas was not on the shelves of one of the area’s best children’s bookstores. When I asked the owner the reason, she said that she does not restock books that do not sell at least one copy in a year.
In this day of self-published books that can be advertised and sold online all over the place, perhaps John Kennedy Toole’s suicide would not have been influenced — or happened at all — for his inability to get his masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces published. A Confederacy of Dunces is about Ignatius Reilly, a brilliant but obnoxious hero — with a dimwitted but caring and overly-tolerant mother — who sucks jelly out of donuts and returns them to the box for others to eat, takes a filing job only to throw out papers to be filed, takes a hot dog stand job only to eat up the profits, and takes a library job only to spend an entire day gluing just one pocket for return cards into one book. He proclaims that he was born in the wrong century, and that medieval times would have suited him better. Confederacy’s author Toole became so tormented that he killed himself, apparently because he could not find a publisher for the book, with his mother finally finding a publisher, and with the book earning a Pulitzer prize.
Self publishing online and in books has removed publishers and periodicals as the gatekeepers of what the mass population gets instant access to read. Those publishers nevertheless still wield much influence on what people read, because their choices typically are the only population from which booksellers and periodical sellers choose what they sell. Whether published through established publishing houses, smaller publishing organizations or self-publishing, books run from drek to having their moments to good to extraordinary.
If I write a book, I likely will reach a wider audience for my ideas than I already reach. My blog already provides me plenty of ideas for the book, which likely will focus on exhilarating and stormy points in my life, finding and following taijiquan and mindfulness practice out of necessity, living my personal and professional life through engagement and while striving for non-duality/non-attachment, focusing on defending clients and living life to the hilt, and finding calmness in the eye of the storm.
None of us live in a vacuum nor long enough to only credit ourselves for our accomplishments, so my book will also talk about some of the great people from who I have learned, and who have encouraged me on the path of life. These include my wife and son, Jun Yasuda, Steve Rench, Trudy Morse, SunWolf, and my taijiquan teachers Ellen and Len Kennedy, Julian Chu, David Walls-Kaufman, Ben Lo (for brief in-person periods) and Chang Man Ch’ing (who passed away before I ever heard of him). I have also been greatly influenced by Ram Dass, Wayne Dyer, Ihaleakala Hew Len, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, and Allan Watts.
If you have any other ideas for my first book, please send them my way.