Frances Yu: Writing as a form of prayer
I have known Frances Yu since she was a little girl. She has always been highly intelligent, but it seemed like it was secret because she never boasted about it. She is also an excellent writer whom I admire. Currently, Frances is a marketing and management consultant, speaker, independent director for two publicly listed companies, and student. She is completing her master’s degree in Theology as a distance education student at the Augustine Institute in Denver.
Over the course of the lockdown, she self-published her book, Finding God in Our Daily Lives. Frances narrates that “over the lockdown, I found myself with some extra time on my hands. I was busy with Zoom meetings for work, but I did not have any social activities. I began to write, specifically, about some of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Before I knew it, I had written quite a number of reflections. Through the years, I would write random reflections. So I decided to compile all of these and turn it into a book. The random reflections were woven together with the general thread of finding God in our everyday lives; finding the sacred in the secular; the holy in the mundane; and blessings even amid the most challenging circumstances.
“Before I knew it, I had a substantial work of about 20,000 words. The next question in my mind was how to publish a book. It is extremely difficult during a lockdown to seek out a publisher, editor, printer and distributor for a book. My sister, Crickette (Tantoco), gave me a tip. She told me to look into self-publishing at Amazon. I researched this and a whole new world opened up to me in terms of self-publishing in a cost-effective and efficient way; plus, having access to an international market of millions of potential readers. I signed up for Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon and uploaded my book.”
So how did writing and publishing a book during the lockdown make Frances feel? “Frederick Buechner, writer and theologian, famously said, ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’
“I believe that I discovered my personal vocation over the lockdown. Writing is my heart’s deep gladness. It is the activity that engages my body, mind, and soul all together. Like prayer, it is a gift from God. Like prayer, it is meditating on and contemplating God. Like prayer, it is a conversation that bears good fruit.
“It took the lockdown for me to discover how to serve the world by exercising a gift. This is the first book in what I hope will be a series. I just finished the draft of my second book, which is entitled Faith in the Workplace. This does not mean, of course, that I will quit my day job. I see writing as a form of ministry that complements my profession. It does not interfere with it because writing can be done anywhere and anytime.”
Finding God in Our Daily Lives is available on Amazon Kindle and Amazon, or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.