LIMA — Brian Williams will be signing copies of his book “Safe Thus Far: My Testimony” from 11 .am. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Gifts of Joy Parable Christian Store, 2423 Allentown Road.
If asked a year ago, Brian Williams would have said he had no plans to write a book, but that changed. “I started a blog,” he said. “People started to relate more to it than I thought they would. I had people sharing and commenting that I had never even met.”
It was then that Williams thought about putting those pieces of his experience that he blogged about into a book.
“I thought if I put my story together,” he said, “people would understand. They would feel not so alone, and that we don’t always have to go down the road everyone says we should go down.”
Williams, who graduated from Bath High School in 2008, started writing his book, “Safe Thus Far: My Testimony,” in May. He self-published it on June 29 through Createspace, Amazon’s self-publishing branch for print books.
“I think people were surprised because I started writing it not that long ago,” said Williams. “But all that had built up for 26 years and it just flowed out.”
Williams said that he wrote every day, and often found himself stopping what he was doing to get more words on the page. “I’d come home from work and write,” he said. “The book was weighing pretty heavy on my heart. I’d be at the gym working out, and I’d feel like I needed to write. So, I’d go on the treadmill and write notes. It just poured out pretty much every day.”
Although he was initially hesitant about the publishing process, Williams said he found it surprisingly easy to self-publish. “I thought the hardest part would be publishing,” he admitted. “The first one that popped up in my Google search was the Amazon publisher, Createspace.”
A brand strategist at NOW Marketing Group in Lima, Williams also said that his co-workers were supportive and helpful in the publishing process.
“I finished the book on June 17,” he said. “I had a couple co-workers proof it for me and that took about a week. Our graphic designer did the cover. The process was very easy. I wasn’t working here a year ago, and I believe part of the reason God brought me here was because I would need all the people in my profession to help me and believe in me. I had a lot of support from my teammates.”
While the writing and publishing weren’t hard for Williams, he did find one thing challenging. “The hardest part in some chapters was being honest,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t write my story if I was not completely honest and real.”
He went on to add, “There was the struggle of being transparent about my insecurities and doubts. It’s hard to admit the blame we place on God when things don’t go our way. People might look at me and think I have it so easy, but that’s not the case. Everyone struggles and blames. I hope my story will show that people are not alone in that. At the end of the day, we have a choice to look to God in those struggles.”
While Williams wrote the book to share his story and help others, he said that writing the book actually helped him, too.
“I know for a while, we all get to the point where we ask, ‘Does God really have a plan for my life?’” he said. “I don’t think I realized he did until I got to the end of the book. I think I had to write it all down to see that. I had to look back and see how God had brought me through. I could see that clearly when I finished the book. It made me see God had a plan this whole time. It’s why I called the book ‘Safe Thus Far,’ because it’s true.”
Although he learned a lot and enjoyed the writing process, Williams said he has no plans to write any more books in the immediate future.
“Maybe in 10 years I’ll write another book,” he said, “but I don’t have any plans to do it now. It took 26 years to write this one. There was one specific moment when I started the blog. I was struggling with dating and finding the right girl. I just poured it all out, and that’s when I got a response, when I let my guard down. Until I have more experiences that I can pour out that people respond to, that’s when I’ll write another book.”
Rosanne Bowman is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas with her at [email protected]