In his debut non-fiction book, author Justin Time (whose name seems to be a pseudonym playing off the material) offers a very personal self-help guide.
The author’s stated aim is to help others learn through his missteps and trials. Through poetry and brief essays, Time relates many of his own challenges, including his learning disorder, his divorce, losing a beloved mentor and teacher, and contemplating suicide. “At one point in my life,” he begins, “I viewed my very own life to be worthless…In my mind, the world would have been better off without me.”
The author’s prose offers many well-worn self-help theories: the importance of gratitude, the power of positive thinking and perseverance and so on. It’s the most successful where Time shares clever adages interspersed in his stories and observations. For example, to illustrate the benefit of sharing similar life experiences with others, he quotes an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, then go together.”
Unfortunately, the entries tend to ramble and often employ awkwardly worded and confusing run-on sentences: “In my life I have found that there are some people who crave for someone in their life or circle of friends to be successful in life in order to lift them up or make them feel a part of the experience of bettering one’s self…”
The poems are so personal that they read like cathartic journal entries and they often offer forced rhyme schemes that tend to trivialize the subjects. For example, in “The End,” a poem about impending suicide, the speaker says: “Thank you, family, and my friends so true,/ I lived a glorious life now, so don’t feel blue.”
The author is clearly sincere in his wish to help others, and readers will be greatly moved by his willingness to share his wisdom. However, editing and revision is required before his important messages can fully hit home.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.