I have some exciting news: I’m writing a book about working with polyamorous clients in therapy! I haven’t talked about it much, but now that I’m finally coming down the home stretch, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the process of writing, and what I’ve learned over the past two years I’ve spent working on my manuscript.
Here’s what I’ve learned from the process of writing a book:
- Your audience may evolve as you write. I began writing it because I wanted to address what I see as a pressing need: the fact that it’s very difficult for people in non-monogamous relationships to find therapists who are prepared to work with them. I want my book to primarily serve therapists who are interested in learning more about working with polyamorous clients. Still, the more I work on it, the more I hope that it can also be a resource for polyamorous people who don’t have access to polyam-friendly therapy, or who don’t have access to therapy at all. I feel that I am writing in the midst of a cultural shift, as polyamory becomes a much more visible part of our culture. It will be very interesting to see how things shift in the coming years, as more people decide to explore polyamory and more therapists find themselves working with polyamorous clients.
- There’s no better way to clarify what you think than by writing several hundred pages about it. The process of writing has forced me, over and over again, to clarify my points, rethink my assumptions, and add depth to my thoughts. I want to make sure I’m offering my best work, and that process has involved a lot of reflection, self-critique, and many rewrites. What I’ve found is that the process of deepening my writing works like a spiral, which mirrors the type of personal growth experience we all deal with when working with a challenging impasse, or trying to change ingrained habits; we revisit the same territory, deepening our understanding each time.
- You can always go deeper, and there’s a fair amount of controversy. Polyamory is a huge topic. At a certain point, I realized that the more I wrote, the more the topic expanded, and increased in complexity. It’s exciting to realize that there’s such fertile ground for future exploration; this topic is very deserving of deeper discussion. I have a lot of teaching and speaking engagements in the upcoming months; I hope if you come see me, you will share your thoughts. I’m very much enjoying being in a deep dialogue on this topic!