How did I come to write my first fiction? This is my fourth book and the first one to divert to an entirely new path, yet with the same objective: To help women and girls lead happier lives, lives of meaning and purpose, while staying totally truth to the unique passions and potential of each woman or girl. I have been teaching the value of understanding one’s uniqueness for 15 years. But how to give the lesson a new simple twist that would captivate and at the same time leave the woman or girl who read the book on fire to be truer to herself?
Well, like all journeys, this one has a beginning. The beginning was another non-fiction book for women that I had titled, You Don’t Have to Be A Princess to Live an Enchanted Life. Seven Gateways to Happier Living. (My trademark is THE ENCHANTED SELF, hence the word Enchanted in the title. You can find out all about THE ENCHANTED SELF concept on my website and blog, http://www.enchantedself.com. For now, let me just say it is a both a way of living that enhances happiness and a way of perceiving yourself that augments your sense of well-being.)
Getting back to THE TRUTH, I’m Ten, I’m Smart and I Know Everything!-this book was to some extent embedded in the princess book. In that book I used discussions with myself as a Positive Psychologist, and a girl of 10 or so, who was me. We talked to each other about how we viewed each of the Seven Gateways of Happiness that we all need to walk through again and again to make progress in life. For example, the first Gateway is centered around self-esteem. My little girl inside of me felt very sure of herself and was actually, as it turned out, much to my surprise, angry at me-the adult, for not having more courage to do the things I claimed to be passionate about. I learned so much writing the rough draft of that book about myself and women in general, as I merged my thoughts with my client’s narratives.
I realized above all else, that we don’t harness the powers that we really have as adults to live empassioned lives that relfect what we really care about. We are in our own ways timid and afraid and bogged down by life’s pressures.
Once You Don’t Have to Be A Princess… didn’t get beyond a rough draft it came to me that the real gem in that book was the voice of the girl. If I could merge her voice with was a lot my voice as a kid, with my client’s girls inside of them and other women’s girl’s inside of them, then I could make a composite ‘girl’ who speaks for all of us.
And that is what happened. I started to write and as I think all fictional authors say, the character starts to direct what will be said and what will happen. And she did. She has a bit of me mixed in, but quickly became her own person. And boy did she tell us like it is!
I thing the ‘girl’ in THE TRUTH is a great character. She is funny and tragic, filled with wisdom and yet yearning for the wisdom and acknowledgement that she needs from grown-ups. She sees a lot and knows what is right. She is smart and proud of it. She has secrets and discovers a wonderful solution for a very painful problem she is dealing with. She is great. I hope you enjoy reading her diary as much as I enjoyed helping her write it. As she said, “Grown-ups say they know so much about live but I know more…” She does and we can learn from her!
What happened to the Princess book? It sits waiting for a kiss of somesort from the prince or a frog to get going again. Meanwhile, I’m satisfied with THE TRUTH, I’m Ten, I’m Smart and I Know Everything!
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Author, THE TRUTH: I’M TEN, I’M SMART AND I KNOW EVERYTHING