It's an exciting day when your book is finally released, and you read about it in the New York Times. Sure, the review could be bad, but if you are on a roll and things are really going your way, then it will be a good one!
I asked psychologist Joe Nowinski what it was like when his new book, Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss was featured in the New York Times. Joe said, "Having our book review appear in both the online and print editions of the New York Times is a landmark experience for me." He went on to say that becoming a blogger for the Huffington Post—a result of publishing Saying Goodbye—is also a "dream come true."
Joe co-wrote Saying Goodbye with another psychologist (and colleague of mine at Harvard Medical School), Barbara Okun. He says, "There is no doubt that Barbara Okun and I poured our hearts and soulds into Saying Goodbye, but this kind of response is incredibly rewarding for our efforts."
When I mentor physician-writers, I always encourage them to write about things that are really meaningful to them. After all, hopefully you'll be interviewed extensively on the topic, and it's always best if you really are passionate about it. Joe and Barbara wrote about what they coined "new grief." The kind of grief that ensues when people with terminal diagnoses have months or even years to live, because medical science is getting better and better.
Joe told me, "The need to come up with a new paradigm for understanding how grief has changed has immense and direct application to my clinical work." Interestingly, he has found that the principles in new grief are helpful in other situations such as divorce.
A book review in the New York Times is a wonderful announcement to the world about a subject that you feel passionately about. A rare and wonderful accomplishment and a day to savor forever!