Barbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Have you ever had to eat your words?
Updated: Apr 10
Back in 2015, when I was finishing work on an introductory textbook titled Nutrition for Everyone, writing… and rewriting… and rewriting again, I said I would NEVER write another textbook. Well, guess what? I wrote another textbook! Looks like I had to “eat my words”!
In fact, it was only two years after saying I would NEVER write another textbook, that I wrote about this experience of realizing I would have to “eat my words.” Now, as I complete the work on this book, I would like to finish the story…
The story of how writing one book led to another...
Now don’t get me wrong… writing Nutrition for Everyone was rewarding, especially holding the published 675-page text in my hands and realizing I had written it. Sort of like birthing a baby – immensely rewarding, but exhausting – in fact, it took much, much longer than 9 months to complete!
I learned SO much writing that book – not only was it was a tremendous review of nutrition basics, I learned so much about the book writing process. But, it was one of the hardest projects I had ever completed. Not something I thought I would tackle again.
Then, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics contacted me… It was a case of one thing leading to another. Life is full of those stories, isn’t it?
One of their authors, Roberta Duyff (author of The Complete Food and Nutrition Guide), had served as a reviewer for Nutrition for Everyone and had suggested my name for a new Academy book project – a textbook about nutrition communication.
Oh my! This invitation came just months after finishing the last textbook when I had said, “NEVER again!” Could I do it? Should I do it?
Taking time to think about what this project entailed, I realized that the long, arduous process of writing Nutrition for Everyone had prepared me for this new project – and this time, the specific subject matter was my passion.
Why never became YES!
Teaching Nutrition Communication at Purdue had made me acutely aware that our field is sorely lacking a comprehensive guide to nutrition communication. This book could be a way to make a long-lasting positive impact on our profession. It was looking like I would have to “eat my words.”
At the same time as the book-writing invitation, I was making plans for this new venture, Nutrition Communicator, LLC. I had to admit it would be a perfect match: writing a book about nutrition communication at the same time I was developing an online presence to write, speak, and coach via conferences, webinars, and social media.
Over the past two years, blog posts have featured “draft” excerpts from the book. Many of the weekly tips posted on social media and tip sheets highlight content covered in the text. Weekly social media posts feature quotes from each chapter. It has been fun to share these “sneak peeks” into the book and hear from so many readers that they can’t wait for it to be published.
How has this experience, writing, and serving as the editor for Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide, been different from my writing experience in which I said: “NEVER again”?
This time, I completed the task while retired from teaching, meaning my time was not burdened by the responsibilities of full-time teaching.
This time, I was coordinating the contributions of 56 additional authors rather than trying to write all of the content on my own.
This time, I was creating something that would not be in competition with a multitude of other texts on the same topic and for the same audience.
This book is one-of-a-kind. This book is so needed and will make such an impact on our profession. It has been my honor and privilege to eat my words and complete this work.
Have you ever had to “eat your words”? I must say, I agree with Winston Churchill…
“In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.” ~ Winston Churchill
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