The Emotionally Healthy Leader was my most challenging writing project to date. It required 6 ½ years of journaling, pondering, and prayer, and 1½ years of intensive writing itself. By the time it was over, I wondered if I would ever write again. (My first draft of over two hundred pages, for example, ended up mostly in the trash. So I reread two of my favorite books about the art and vocation of writing– Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing and The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard. Their insights offered me, once again, both perspective and vision. They put words on the complexity of the writing experience for me. My top learnings: Why do I write? I write to become clear (Merton, 10). I find that it (writing) helps me pray because, when I pause at my work, I find the mirror inside me is surprisingly clean and deep and serene. Read more.