Tag Archives: Brace for Impact

A Physician's Inspiring Addiction Recovery Journey Fuels New Guidebook

How do we heal from diseases, traumas, accidents, and painful childhood experiences? Many memoirs and autobiographies provide us clues and inspiration. Professional guidebooks often engage us with personal accounts that help us see ourselves and gaze into a more healthy and satisfying future we desire.

From the Edge of the Cliff: Understanding the Two Phases of Recovery And Becoming the Person You’re Meant To Be by Dawn V. Obrecht, M.D., beautifully combines both the professional guidance and intimate feel of the person who has been there…and come out the other side. I had the privilege of assisting Doc Dawn with this new book and I’m excited to witness its launching. This is a comprehensice guide for anyone at any stage of the addiction recovery spectrum: those suffering through active addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs and desperate to claim recovery; those struggling through the fragile initial months or years of Phase I Recovery; and those who have sustained recovery but who yearn for something more in a life beyond alcohol and drugs: a Phase II Recovery. It’s also a vital resource for loved ones of addicts, and it’s an especially valuable aid for healthcare professionals who too often fail to understand the lives and needs of millions of women and men that come to them as a last resort.

Doc Dawn is an addiction specialist. She thoroughly knows the terrain. Some 30 years ago she was so desperate to escape her life of booze and drugs that she devised a plan to drive off a cliff in the Colorado mountains – with her two young children with her. Instead, she turned to recovery. The many stages she has succssfully navigated offer tools and encouragement for those seeking to find their way.

The book is built around 60 practical, to-the-point lessons for alcoholics and addicts. If your own life is clouded by addiction, or you know someone who has battled this pervasive disease, From the Edge of the Cliff may serve as one of the most important and valuable allies they will find. You can learn more about Doc and the book at her website: www.docdawn.com

– Kevin Quirk, co-author of the inspirational book Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life.      

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Sully Sullenberger's Movie Could Inspire Us to Write Our Own Dramatic Life Stories

As the co-author of the inspirational book Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life, I also write blogs for our book’s website. Here’s one I just posted last night when I heard the news about Sully Sullenberger attracting a movie deal for his story in executing that improbable landing with the Miracle on tthe Hudson:


Ever since that awe-inspiring event on January 15, 2009, Sully has had much to teach us – about being prepared for challenging moments, about putting our skills and our wisdom to the best possible use, about staying calm in a crisis, about being humble and crediting others. The movie about his life story and his actions that day certainly can teach us even more about all of that. It also has the potential to illustrate what to do when a dramatic life experience changes our life in a signficant way. I learned a great deal about that from the passengers of the Miracle on the Hudson flgiht in my work on the book Brace for Impact. Their profound life changes continue to extend out in ripples of gratitude, appreciation, meaning, and hope all around them.

Few of us have lived through moments quite so dramatic as Sully bringing that crippled jet down on the Hudson River, although I must admit that in teaching my life-writing classes for ten years I have heard some stories that rank right up there! But most of us have lived through something that indelibly changed us: a brush with death, a moment when everything came together just right, an unlikely and unexpected feat at a critcal moment.. When we write about those experiences with openness and heart, and we search for and share the meaning of how those moments changed us, we have the opportunity to teach and inspire so many other people today – especially younger people.

So don’t be bashful. Tell us what you did when a little bit of Sully Sullenberger was coming through you, and show us how it changed you.  We’ll bring our own popcorn.

– Kevin Quirk, Life Is a Book

If You're Writing a Book about Your Life Story, Here's Encouraging News: Self-publishing Has Surged Ahead of Traditional Publishing

It used to be, not all that long ago, that if you self-published a book about your life story, or anything else, you were labeled for being a part of the fringe minority of “vanity publishing.” You were scorned: the little guy, dwarfed by the giants of traditional or commercial publishing. But oh how things have changed.

A few months ago R.R. Bowker released a report that revealed that in 2009 self-published books (and other “non-traditional” titles) outnumbered traditional books by about 3-to-1 http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publishing-and-marketing/article/42826-self-published-titles-topped-764-000-in-2009-as-traditional-output-dipped.html. That means that regular people writing and publishing their own books their own way have come to rule the publishing inustry. Along with the trends toward e-books, this news is part of a real revolution in the world of books – and it’s good news for anyone who wants to write and publish their memoir or autobiography alone or with help from a ghostwriter or personal historian like me. As I tell my life-writing students and clients often, there has never been a better time to publish our own books. With new technology, costs are much more affordable than the days of having to warehouse 1,000 of your books in your garage. And now, we’re winning the numbers game too! Publishing a book, far from an exercise in ego, is an empowering act that can help reach people and make a difference in their lives. That’s why more people are doing it every day.

There will always be a place for those commercial or traditional publishers. My own last book, “Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life,” was published by HCI Books (Health Communications, Inc.), publisher of many of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  I liked wading in those waters again, and I likely will do it again.

But I am equally at home in my role of helping people write their life story as personal historian, ghostwriter, editor, or publishing coach. I love watching the excitement of someone bringing their book into the world. And now, I enjoy it even more in knowing that in the hierarchy of book publishing, we have become the “giants!”

Kevin Quirk, Founder of Life Is a Book, which is dedicated to assisting men and women of all ages in preserving their life stories, and author of the new book “Your Life Is a Book – And It’s Time to Write It: An A-to-Z Guide to Help Anyone Write Their Life Story”