An Inspired Endeavor

I hesitated to blog about this because it is SO new that the wrapping isn’t fully off the box yet. But I decided to share for two reasons. I am excited about this new endeavor and I feel it serves a large purpose.

A friend recently, while discussing the writing crossroads I find myself sitting in the middle of, suggested that I consider writing a book entitled “The Next Chapter.”

This comes on the heels of yet another rejection from publishers, of my fiction series. Perhaps fiction writing isn’t my forte. Or, perhaps the timing simply isn’t right. Who the heck knows? I certainly don’t.

At any rate, as we talked, I got inspired and excited about writing “The Next Chapter.”

The more I thought about it, the more I discovered a treasure trove of hard-earned insight and wisdom I have to share. And, it just might help someone else in the same situation.

I tossed together a rough draft book cover in Canva late last night, to get the project started. It is not set in stone but is a place to start.

And, based on your feedback about the X across the man on the cover, here’s a rough attempt at putting in a ghostly man image instead. Of course, this is still a Work In Progress.

You see the premise of the book. I’m going to share my opening paragraphs and I welcome your comments and suggestions! This is going to be an incredibly rewarding piece of writing.


“You can never move forward if you are always looking back.”

Did you know that in 2018 there were over eleven million widows in the United States alone? Let that sink in for a minute. Over eleven million women faced with rebuilding a life after the loss of a spouse.

And yet, at that time; when you are one of those eleven million in the throes of the loss and grief, you feel completely and utterly alone. No one could possibly know the degree of pain and emptiness you feel. Surely, no one else has ever had such an irreparably broken heart as yours. But they have.

The average age of a woman, when she loses her spouse, is 59. I was 57.

It is statistically proven that women live longer than men for many different reasons. Mathematics plays a large part. Most often, men marry younger women which adds to the gap in the equation. Generally speaking, women take better care of themselves, eat healthier and are more aware of their overall well-being than men. But, none of that lessens the intensity of grief when your spouse dies.

The widow faces a life of many years, perhaps even decades, without a partner. While there is a small percentage of widows who remarry, statistics show approximately ninety percent do not.  

The purpose of this book is to encourage and empower women in the process of reinventing themselves after such a loss. Many of the same principals could apply to men who have lost a spouse or even divorcees. But, for the purpose of this book, I am focused on women forced to start over ― alone because of death.

There you have it. Please share your thoughts! In the back of the book, I am going to share stories from other women who I know personally and who are also widows. I want as many different aspects of re-inventing oneself as I can gather.

30 thoughts on “An Inspired Endeavor

  1. Wow! What a story! I’m sure your grandmother went through many different phases and stages of widowhood. I would love to hear her story. 🙂 That is awesome that you’ve been with your husband since 16. I wish you many more happy years ahead! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She still isn’t over the loss (truth be told, we all still miss him terribly). But she’s a strong woman and doesn’t let her grief bring her down (too often). She turns 101 this year and is still so much fun to talk to. I could listen to her stories all day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This seems like a passion-fueled piece, so I have no doubt it will be impactful. My grandmother just marked 33 years as a widow. I started dating my husband when I was sixteen, roughly the same age she was when she met my grandfather. I can’t even imagine…

    Wishing you much success in this endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Jan, this is incredible. Your book will fill a need that stretches across the globe. You’ll be reaching those who have lost spouses and those who are preparing for the final goodbye. Like others, I think a ghostly image would be more alluring. All the best to you as you embark on this very important venture! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an exciting idea, Jan, and a much-needed book. if I may add a thought: perhaps a section of the book can consist of three or four short interviews with other women (or men) who have lost their partners with a focus on how they re-structured their lives and found meaning: this way you get a multiplicity of viewpoints and strategies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That moment of sudden loss that robs your body of air and your soul of all nourishment is life changing. The isolation and the anger at being left without a chance to say one last goodbye can break us down and deplete us. Until the road ahead looks to be shrouded in a mist of fear and uncertainty. You have the gift of hard-earned wisdom to share, my friend. I’ll cheer you along on every step of the journey into “The Next Chapter” ❤️️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Annette! That is exactly the kind of feedback I want! Suggestions? Maybe I could make him ghostlike? As I said in my post, this is just a working cover to get me started. 🙂 And thank you for the kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To answer your last question, Tidalscribe, you are never prepared, no matter how much time and preparation you do. That moment is so final and you immediately think of fifteen other things you wanted to say or do. But, that being said, one of the aspects I will address in the book is the differences between having the time of a long illness to get used to the idea versus the swiftness of an accident or in some cases, suicide. Thank you so much for your comment and I may eventually decide to go the self-publishing route with the fiction. I don’t know, but in the meantime, I will pour my heart and soul into “The Next Chapter!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t worry about the rejection, I only tried my first two novels before concentrating on self publishing – it may not be a road to success, but a lot better than nothing happening! Do write this this book; reinventing yourself is the key I think. Perhaps in future demorgaphics men will catch up with women, two of my aunts were younger than their husbands yet died first. But for many of us a long widowhood could be on the cards. My Mum had her 93rd birhday yesterday, she was only 6 months younger than Dad, but he died at 71 with leukemia. My husband has cancer and is carrying on as loud and alive as ever, but it’s early days and the statistical possibility of being a widow has become a probability. I think most women think they are prepared, but are we? I look forward to following your progress with the book.


  8. Wow Jan…this is an amazing idea. This is a direct hit on my own fears of losing my husband. I can’t believe the statics, and the age of women at the loss. I do think you have a lot to offer and can inspire so many women who feel isolated. Although I am a fan of your fiction, too and hope you never stop writing that either. I’m excited for you, what a great project to continue your story!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you SO much, Denise. I don’t want to get everyone thinking about life after their spouse. I only want to help women who are dealing with it and feeling lost. I wish you and your sweet hubby many happy years together! And, no I don’t suppose I’ll stop writing fiction any time soon either. And who knows. I may eventually decide to self-publish this book that I keep pitching. 🙂 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jan, first, I am sorry to hear of another rejection. I’ve heard of stories of best-selling authors who have gone through several dozen before getting an acceptance. I know it’s frustrating.

    But I also know you have a unique perspective from which to write the non-fiction book you are proposing. I’m sure it will help many women moving ahead (my mom was a widow at 52). It terrifies me to think of life without my spouse. We have been together since high school.

    The cover is impactful, with the image a dramatic match for the title. Your opening is also extremely strong. I have no doubt your heart would be in this book. I wish you luck whichever path (fiction or non-fiction) you choose to take. Also, there is nothing that says you can’t do both!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mae! Your words are most encouraging and you are so right… There is nothing that says I can’t write whatever genre I choose. 🙂 Your mom is one of eleven million other widows. I don’t know what she decided to with her life, but I can bet it hasn’t been an easy transition. I look forward to sharing my own experience as well as that of other women I know. I’m glad you like the cover, but it is just a working cover – a place to start. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an uplifting comment! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

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