When this blog hit the 10-year mark, I planned on compiling a “best of” – which would be an e-book collecting what I considered my most meaningful creative pieces over that period. It was quite a feat to go through so much content, but I eventually settled on a body of material that I believed would work. The idea was that there would be three distinct areas: poetry (the biggest portion), reflections and prose, and photography.
Over time, as I started seeing this more as book that I would publish professionally (and not just as a PDF on this site), the project evolved into a more trimmed-down publication that wouldn’t include as much photography – although imagery is still an integral part of the book.
The final book contains 36 poems and 16 reflections, coming in at 180 pages.
My hope in publishing this is that the different pieces within the book may inspire others, encourage those going through difficulty, and generally just be of some kind of benefit – however you choose to interpret the material.
What’s in it for you?
If you’re looking for a scientific, research-backed book that’s going to help you improve some aspect of your life – like your focus, communication skills, or mindfulness – you’d best look elsewhere.
If you want to dive deep into a topic, and learn as much as you can in a concise, well-written package…you won’t find that here.
And if you’re up for stories of dashing escapades, intriguing mystery, or thrilling romance, this isn’t for you either.
You see, while thousands of other books exist to teach and entertain readers, this one follows the path of the impractical. It’s filled with poetry and prose – words which may be of little discernible value in today’s fast-paced, information-dense, politically and economically-obsessed world.
From the writer’s perspective, it’s a selfish endeavour: a deeply personal collection of material written through my twenties and thirties. A creative chronicle of my struggles, growth, observations, and journey – from an insecure young man, to the quest for marriage, fatherhood that followed, and adapting to the toils of adult responsibility, after a childhood that didn’t prepare me for such burdens.
So, why would you buy this book?
Well, as humans, we relate to each other through sharing experiences. Sometimes, if we can convey our experiences and ideas well enough – through a story, a poem, or a thoughtful reflection – the one who receives gains far more than just knowledge, or a temporary thrill.
As a reader, you are inspired. Encouraged. The words resonate with you on a deeper level. You feel.
It’s said that what comes from the heart goes to the heart.
The collection of material within this book – as the title suggests – has flowed from my heart. I did not choose to write most of the pieces. I did not choose the words, the metaphors, the ideas. It all just came to me. It flowed through me – onto the page, as if it had a life of its own, and I was merely the instrument needed to bring it into the world of humans.
I don’t claim to be a poet – much less a skillful one. Yet the expressions that came through me manifested as poems which I hope will have a beautiful impact on you, dear reader.
And I don’t call myself a ‘thinker’ either. (In fact, the very term amuses me – as if the ‘thinkers’ are the only ones using their brains, and the rest of us are mere imbeciles.) Yet the thoughts made their way out into prose which, I hope, will cause you, dear reader, to ponder more deeply on situations in your own life – to your own benefit.
In the end, this book won’t be for everyone. But it might just be for you.
The book was first released as an e-book and is available via these stores:
- Amazon Kindle
- Google Play
- Apple Books
- Barnes & Noble (Nook) – available in the U.S. only
Each store has its own preview of the book, but if you’d like a more comprehensive preview, you can get it here.
The print version is available to those in South Africa.
- If you’re a student or staff member at the University of Cape Town, you can borrow it from the UCT Library (call number 828.9681 MANJ).
- For those in Cape Town, you can buy it at Timbuktu Books, The Deen Store, and Sawants.
- For those in Durban, it’s available at Baitul Hikmah.
- For those elsewhere in South Africa, Baitul Hikmah also ships nationally.
If none of the stores are accessible, send an email to me to order directly.
For those outside the country, it may be difficult for me to get it to you (if you care about delivery costs, that is), as I’m not working through a print-on-demand company. But let me know anyway and we can hopefully work out something.
In celebration of the release, here are some visuals which I’ve put together to assist with the promotion. Feel free to download them, share them, and of course, recommend the book to others if you feel my content may resonate with them.
Behind the book: the road to publication
While the book itself covers a period of roughly thirteen years, it’s taken three and a half years in total to put it all together (as of the e-book release date). The series below captures the ups and downs of the process, hoping to give you some insights into the publication journey of a first-time self-published author.
- How it all began
- From blog to book
- Things fall apart
- Publishing decisions
- Making things happen
- Don’t dream it’s over
- Paper rules
My initial plan was that almost every poem would include some background information which helps the reader to understand the context around the words that flowed into that particular piece. I deliberately removed that element of the book because I feel it’s better for people to interpret poetry in their own way, based on their own circumstances. However, from previous pieces I’ve published on this blog – which included the background – I find that some people do appreciate the back stories.
So, I may still release a special edition which includes those notes, with perhaps some of the other material that was cut from the final edition.
If you’re interested in that particular version, please leave a comment below, or email me.
Here’s the proposed cover for that version:
Thank you to those of you who have supported me on this blog over the years, and all of you who will give this book a chance. I hope it’ll resonate with you on some level, inspire you, and benefit you.