I never meant to become a writer. I love to read and I had gotten interested in issues related to sex, men, and women (issues close to my heart, mind, and soul, not to mention other parts of my body). My latest book, Essentially Male: 12 Rules for Becoming Your Own Man, will be published later this year. If you’d like to get the first chapter now, drop me a note to Jed@MenAlive.com and put “12 Rules book” in the subject line.
My writing career began when I joined a men’s group. We read a book by Herb Goldberg called the Hazards of Being Male when it came out in 1976. Goldberg said, “The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine ‘privilege’ and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose, he is destroying himself—emotionally, psychologically, and physically.”
I wanted to read more books like these, but most everything I was seeing in the stores was written by and for women. Guys in my men’s group suggested I write the kind of book I wanted to read. I protested. “I’m not a writer. I don’t know anything about writing. I’m a therapist.” But I discovered a workshop by Marc Allen, a published writer, and founder of New World Publishing. There were only a few of us who attended, but that day changed my life.
Marc began by saying that there were two things he liked about being an author. First, he said, “While we’re sitting here on a Saturday talking about writing, there are people out in the world right now who are buying a book I’ve written.” I liked the idea of working and then having a product that keeps on working, even I’m doing something else. Second, he said, “When you get published the publisher pays you a thing they call ‘royalties.’ It’s a good feeling to be treated like royalty.” I was hooked with that. Me, royalty? Little ol’ Jed Diamond, a Jewish boy from New York?
Then he showed us how a book gets created. He pulled a few books off his shelf. They were beautiful, each one works of art. I couldn’t imagine creating anything like that. But then he pulled out a one-page outline. He told us, “This is how my first book started, just an outline of a talk I was giving.” I had done something like that but never thought of it as the first step to a book. He described another 5 or 6 steps from the one-page outline for a talk to a mini-class with notes, and finally to a book.
For the first time, I could actually see how to get from step one to the next step. I didn’t really believe I could produce a book, but a year later I had written my first book, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, which was published in 1983. 36 years and 16 books later, I still like the feeling of knowing that as I sit here writing this, there are people out in the world buying one of my books. And I still feel like royalty.
My current book, Essentially Male: 12 Rules for Becoming Your Own Man, was inspired by my wife, Carlin. After I finished my last book, My Distant Dad: Healing the Family Father Wound, I told Carlin. “I think this may be my last book. I’ve written 15 and that seems a good number to end on. I want to do more mentoring, teaching, and training.” Her response surprised me. “There’s one more book you really have to write,” she told me. “You’ve dedicated your professional life to helping men. Today, there’s so much confusion about what men are really like beneath the armoring they are forced to wear to meet the demands of a dysfunctional society. Men and women need to know what’s good about men.”
Carlin and I have been married for nearly 40 years. She’s very wise and I believe this book addresses her concerns. I’d love to send you a copy of the first chapter and get your feedback before the book comes out. If you’re interested, drop me a note to Jed@MenAlive.com and put “12 Rules book” in the subject line.
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