Saturday, April 25, 2009

The beginning of My Camino

My name is Sue Kenney and I am a pilgrim. I walked 780 kilometers on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela for the first time in 2001. After being suddenly downsized from my corporate telecom career I decided to go for a long walk to figure out my life purpose. The Camino is a medieval pilgrimage route in Spain. I walked for 29 days and went alone in the winter. I followed yellow arrows on a path that had been walked by millions of pilgrims before me. It was a profound life altering experience.

Through the art of walking, I discovered that my life work is to use my voice to tell stories to inspire others on their life journey. When I returned home I became a storyteller. I went to schools, libraries, church groups, networking groups, businesses and anywhere people would listen to my stories. Many who heard me said I should write a book. I told them I wasn't a writer. As I told more stories, more people said I should write a book. I decided to record a storytelling CD because I thought they wanted to take something home with them after they heard the stories. It's called Stone by Stone and in the first 6 months of its release I sold and gave away 1000 copies. People wrote back to me and said I should write a book. Ahhhh. One morning I woke up and it all became clear to me. I understood that this wasn't all about me. It wasn't a question of whether I could write or not, these stories were given to me as a gift from God. If I didn't share them, then I would be doing a dis-service to the universe and not fulfilling my obligation to living my life purpose. At Word on the Street literary festival I found a publisher. He told me that I must have a minimum of 200 pages. That's 50,000 words. My plan was to have the book out in the summer of 2005. In that case, he told me I needed to have a manuscript to him in 2 months. I assured him that if I wrote 1000 words a day for 2 months I could have the book written. So I did it. If I had known it was impossible, I wouldn't have done it. The book is called Sue Kenney's My Camino and it's a Canadian national best seller.