By Jordyn Willis
It took Colton Sayers, a senior occupational therapy major at The University of Findlay, a year to write and publish “Journey: A Testimony in the Search for Meaning in the Life God has Created for Us,” a book about the trials and tribulations of his own life in hopes of sending the message to readers of their own self-worth and strength.
“My book describes some deep trials that I have experienced in my life and how I was able to overcome them by my faith, family and friends,” said Sayers. “Some of these trials include watching my dad endure his battle with ALS for seven years, the sudden death of a friend and how I was able to overcome my depression and high anxiety my junior year at UF.”
Sayers said that people have always told him and his mother that they should write a book after what they faced with Sayers’ father. So, although it did not happen directly after his father passed away, the possibility of writing a book was always in the back of his mind.
Sayers went through a time of high anxiety and depression during his junior year at UF. That’s when he decided that he wanted to help others by telling his own story.
“One day I was sitting at my desk and I literally said to myself, I think I am finally going to write a book. Soon thereafter I began to write and never stopped. Writing has always been therapeutic to me, and being able to write down many of my trials and take time to process them helped me emotionally,” said Sayers.
During the writing process, Sayers only told his mother and three close friends that he was doing it. They helped him come up with ideas to pull from his experiences and also helped with editing. Sayers said that his favorite part about writing the book was how much it helped him.
“When I go through a trial, sometimes I want to get over it as quick as I can, so I am not able to feel the pain it has caused me. What I found was this is not a healthy way to deal with that pain. So, reliving certain experiences in my mind, processing them in healthy ways, and being able to let all of my emotions I have built up over them on paper was probably my favorite part about writing,” said Sayers.
Sayers’ overall purpose for writing the book was to give readers a look into the trials he faced and how they can use his insights to overcome their own trials. His intended audience was young adults, but Sayers said he has had people of all ages read it and say that it has helped them in some way.
“What I have gained from this experience was to listen to myself. I often tell people helpful words of advice, but usually do not take my own,” said Sayers. “By writing this book I have gained confidence in myself. I am also no longer afraid to let others know of what I have been through and have learned it is okay to show emotion.”
As far as writing therapeutically, Sayers says he plans to keep writing as a way to express himself.
“I hope readers take away that they can conquer anything. Whether the trial is big or small, if you trust and believe in yourself you will be able to get through life and any obstacle that comes your way,” said Sayers.
Sayer went through lulu.com and their self-publishing process to publish the book.
“Journey: A Testimony in the Search for Meaning in the Life God has Created for Us” can be found on lulu.com. Sayers says that he has started sending it out to other publishing companies in hopes they will pick it up.