David Brühlmann’s dream of getting married and having a family has not yet become a reality. Instead, he has decided to help singles make the most out of their single season. He wrote his first draft of How to Be Single and Happy—A Guide for Christian Singles in Lisa Tener’s Bring Your Book to Life® program in 2020 and spent several months working with an excellent editor, Lynne Heinzmann. Now, along with his book, David is launching his passion project for Christian singles.
Simon: I loved reading your book, Single for a Season: How to Be Single and Happy—A Guide for Christian Singles. What an impactful message! What was your inspiration for writing a book for Christian singles?
David: When I served as a community pastor in my local church, I met many singles in their thirties and forties. I realized that they way too often thought something was wrong with them. Through my learnings, I found keys enabling me to be single and happy. I felt single people needed a new vision to begin to thrive in their single season. The idea of writing a book appeared when I understood that I had a message to share that Christian singles need to hear.
On Vulnerability and Other Challenges
Simon: In the beginning of Single for a Season, you describe common myths or negative perceptions that your readers may have towards the single life. What was your approach to countering these prevalent myths in our culture?
David: To dispel my confusion and gain clarity about my life as a single person, I sought the perspectives of friends I trusted. Their thoughtful advice questioned my beliefs and challenged me to change my thoughts. I also shared my doubts with God and mediated on Bible verses, discovering that the Bible teaches us that nothing is wrong with being single long-term.
Simon: In Single for a Season, you share your own personal struggles with being single. These stories help you connect with your readers. Can you share some tips for authors who aspire to connect with their readers by sharing their personal stories?
David: To connect best with your readers, be first and foremost yourself. I chose to write Single for a Season in a conversational style. People love stories. And like me, you want to share openly your highs and lows, your questions, your struggles, and what you do understand. I chose to tell my readers upfront that I will not try to give them definite answers – which I can’t. Instead, my vulnerability will touch my readers’ hearts.
Organizing Multiple Ideas
Simon: There is so much helpful content in Single for a Season, from helping readers to develop community, to helping them become more confident, to helping them heal wounds from past relationships. How did you decide how to organize all this content?
David: During the Bring Your Book to Life® course, Lisa Tener taught us to create an outline before writing the manuscript. I began with a brainstorming of potential ideas, writing them on Post-its. Later I grouped the ideas and laid them out in a logical order. That’s when I felt what topics I should include and which ones I needed to put aside. I wanted it to be a book full of personal stories, stories of twelve other singles from all around the world, and I blended it with the stories of many men and women we find in the Bible.
Simon: What is your favorite chapter of Single for a Season and why?
David: I’m excited about the chapter “Finding Your Purpose as a Single Person.” When singles discover a new passion for their life, they will find a life of satisfaction and purpose regardless of relationship status. A compelling vision gets you out of survival mode and sets you on the path to fulfillment. I dream of a generation of singles maximizing this extraordinary season of life.
Choosing Which Research to Use
David: In the book, I’m sharing verses that have inspired me in the past. I experienced how the wisdom I found in scripture comforted me when I looked for answers myself in my journey as a single man. I’m sure my readers will find them valuable too. Also, in the research phase before starting to write the manuscript, I realized that many Bible characters were single for a season. I wanted to include passages telling their stories as well in my book.
Simon: In Single for a Season, you share your own personal stories in which letting go of a bad experience with a previous relationship was necessary for you to move forward. What advice would you give to a Christian single who is having trouble letting go of a bad relationship experience from the past?
David: Letting go of a past relationship may be hard. And it is likely something you cannot solve by yourself. I strongly encourage you to seek help. Please don’t do it alone. I’m so grateful for the counselors, both professionals and caring friends, who have walked beside me, taught me much and helped me heal. I would never be where I am at today without them.
Simon: What are some of your writing habits that helped you make consistent progress in writing your book?
David: Every day before my writing session, I would read aloud my book vision, a short, inspiring document we developed in Lisa Tener’s Bring Your Book to Life®. It gave me this certainty that writing and publishing my book would come to pass. Writing a manuscript in 10 weeks is no easy task. I made sure to schedule my writing slots like other meetings in my calendar. And then I treated them like priority Number 1. If someone wanted me to join another meeting during my writing time, I said, “No. I’m not available.” While writing, I had doubts whether I would be able to pull such an ambitious project off. I needed to change my thoughts. I hence posted a sign on my fridge, saying, “I’m an excellent writer.” Last but not least, I had to get rid of my perfectionism: the first draft is ugly. And that’s all right.
Establishing Your Own Imprint
Simon: You self-published Single for a Season creating your own imprint, Swissthrive. Can you talk a bit more about the publishing process, who you worked with, how you found them and how they helped you with publishing and marketing?
David: I approached the publishing process like an entrepreneur. I reached out to writing and publishing experts, asking them to help find the right people. Lisa suggested I reach out to Let’s Write Books – a full-service publishing company specializing in working with independent authors. They designed the book cover, created the interior layout, and took care of the Kindle Direct Publishing. And they gave me the idea to create my own imprint, which will give me more credibility as an author.
A Little Help from Some Friends
Simon: In your acknowledgements, you name several impactful people who helped you along the way to writing Single for a Season. Can you share a bit about how a few of these writing and publishing professionals helped you?
David: Lisa and her Bring Your Book to Life® course helped me believe writing a book was possible–and in record time. She provided the coaching I needed to learn how to write a book. Lynne Heinzmann–my editor–performed editorial magic. She improved the quality of my manuscript and yet managed to keep my voice and tone. She also gave me great feedback about my manuscript’s quality, which gave me the confidence to continue. She suggested a few small and yet effective enhancements to make my book more engaging. Finally, my publisher, Howard VanEs, provided me with valuable book marketing advice.
Marketing A Book
David: In addition to building my author platform, I sent a press release to Christian organizations, including single ministries, churches, magazines, and podcasts.
The Value of Beta Readers
Simon: What is one challenge that you experienced in writing a book for Christians who are single, how did you address the challenge and what did you learn from it?
David: In the church world, singles have grown displeased with stereotypical Christian answers that sound nice, but at the end of the day, do not help much. An increasing number of Christian singles in their thirties and forties feel unseen and unappreciated in churches. It is therefore not surprising that due to the lack of support and understanding, they become increasingly critical. Writing a book for Christians was no easy task. Unlike church-distant singles, Christian singles often consider themselves inferior to married people. I sent early drafts to a few people to find an inviting style that would convey empathy and no judgment. Having beta-testers along the way is vital.
Just Do It!
Simon: Do you have any tips for aspiring book writers out there?
David: Develop a writing habit. Just do it. I used to be a poor writer in school. What is important is to show up and write a few lines. It’s a muscle you have to develop, and it’s normal that it doesn’t feel natural in the beginning. Put yourself in an environment where other people write. Lisa’s class was for me a game-changer. I first thought writing a manuscript in 10 weeks was impossible. And yet, having accountability, coaching, and that momentum the group created helped me achieve it.
Understand Your Audience
Simon: Any tips for writing for Christians in particular?
David: I approached writing a book for Christians as I would do for any other audience. You need to understand their needs, fears, questions, and style. You do this by creating an avatar. I then wrote the book having that very person in mind. When writing for Christians have the courage to challenge the status quo and adopt a fresh view of the powerful and life-transforming message of the Bible. It has the power to inspire 21st century singles. And I’m sure you, too, will find in scripture the nuggets your audience is looking for if you dig long enough.
About David Brühlmann
David Brühlmann offers online meetups, discussion groups, webinars, workshops, and writes inspiring blog articles on Medium, encouraging singles to be happy and perhaps help change the world. He is in the process of creating and building a multi-media, multi-faceted resource website for singles.
David has also been an innovative scientist holding an MSc. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in biology and is known for excellent articles in peer-reviewed journals and entertaining talks at biotechnology conferences. Having understood how to leverage the advantage of singleness, in 2019, David renounced his corporate carrier to dedicate his life to the development of high-quality education for children and young adults in Cambodia. In his free time, David travels the world, enjoys outdoor sports, plays the piano, and empowers others in his local church.