Hello there! I suppose you might be wondering what I mean by Beyond Me. To put it simply, it is the title for my first book, one I hope to publish within 6 months. The hard work of revising and editing is near completion. And now I find myself with the daunting task of not just being a vanity publisher.

Sure, publishing a book would be remarkable even if it only garners my mom and the guy three blocks down for an audience. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to sit down day after day, going about the important business of writing as much as the creative juices allow.

But I don’t want my book to be a boutique book or a bourgeois book. There’s nothing elite about my story. As I read other memoirs once I finished the second draft of my book (The Glass Castle, Angela’s Ashes, The Diary of a Young Girl, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Eat Pray Love, The Liar’s Club, The Year of Magical Thinking) to get an idea on formatting, structure and content, I realized the normal expectation of a memoir.

Memoirs are for those raised by alcoholic ragamuffins or those who find themselves unwittingly in their final years behind a cupboard or have a dead husband and sick daughter in the span of a month. The stories most often follow someone from one state to the next. Some even span across several countries. They don’t often appear to be about a boy who lived in one state his whole life, about a boy whose parents have issues unrelated to drunkenness, or about a boy whose closest dance with death was an edible snowball surrounded in dirt.

But as I read each memoir and compared their stories to mine, I found my story had just as much richness as theirs. Though I set out to have a non-linear narrative, a lot of common themes rung true as the book unfolded.

The erosion of childhood wonder.

The gradual realization of how little one can control about the unfolding of events or circumstances.

The brokenness wrought by manipulation.

A perfect love casting out fear.

A forgiveness vanquishing all animosity.

As I wrote of myself (the good, the bad, the happy and the sad), I saw a beautiful picture of who I am. Of the lover, dreamer, runner, reader, writer, laugher, smiler, listener and comforter I’ve slowly become by what I can only attribute as the grace of God.

I tell my story that others may be encouraged, comforted and uplifted, that they might laugh and cry and smile as they see extraordinary and ordinary occurrences alike unfold.

When I began seeking ‘blurbs,’ Arianna responded by giving me the all-clear to share excerpts of my memoir here at Thrive Global. Soon, I hope to share a few sections to provide an idea of what the book holds. As apprehensive as I am about spoilers, I will likely draw from the very beginning of the book.

If you have any encouragement or advice to offer, please share! My email is [email protected].

If you know any publishers who might be interested in such a book, I encourage you to leave a comment or send an email.

If you like the idea and want others to know about it, feel free to share this post or simply spread the word verbally.

I hope the excerpts will inspire and motivate others, that the message of hope, love and happiness would resonate.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Robert Rittenhouse