In 2015, Betty Shaffer felt she was receiving a message from God, and that message was to write a book.

Earlier this year, that book became available for purchase. We spoke to Shaffer by phone from her home in Cheyenne to get an understanding of how and why she created the self-help guide “Living the Good Life.”

Why self-help?

Being a busy parent in my lifetime, I found that sometimes if you get a big book, you never ever finish it. Self-help books are really important to you when you’re going through (difficult) situations, so that is why it is short and to the point.

What was your motivation?

I wrote this book at a time that I was alone for the first time in my life. My husband had passed away; my son, busy with his business, was gone; and my grandson and his mother left my house, so I was basically alone for the first time in my life.

I retired at 60, and my husband’s health was really, really bad, and someone asked me what I was going to do, and I said one thing I’d like to do is write a book. When everyone left, I did a lot of soul searching. I felt like God prompted me to say what I did, and I just kind of shared my heart and soul in the book.

What was your writing process?

As I went through my life’s journey, I added some chapters to it, so the first seven chapters came real easy, they just fell into place. But as things happened in my life, I also added chapters eight, nine and 10, the last three chapters, and I just published this at the end of December in 2019.

How is the book organized?

It hits 10 different areas of your life: accepting Jesus Christ as your savior; loving your family; praying and communicating with God; taking care of yourself, giving praise and thanksgiving to God; sharing God’s message with others; loving and being compassionate to others; cultivating your talents, skills and resources; working the soil and the land; and sharing your time with people.

I felt that they were basic rules for an individual as they are coping with their life journey circumstances, whether it be family, business, people they meet, associates, or just our interaction with all different people and all different areas of our lives.

Also, in the book, after each chapter, there is a page of personal reflection. There are four to six questions that each reader would answer as to how it pertains to their life, how their life fits in with the topic of the chapter so they can reflect on what it meant to them.

What was it like seeing your name on the final product?

After I had the first copy, when it was sent to me for approval from the publisher, I sat down and read the book, and as I was reading, I thought, ‘That’s really good!’ It was able to capture me. I can’t believe I wrote that. After reading it, it was an inspiration to myself.

What do you hope people can get out of reading this?

My ultimate goal was I want my book to reach people, and it is my hope that reading the book will help people through their life journey, and maybe even bring some inspiration or give them hope to push on.

I wrote this to help people with their life, to make it more enjoyable and productive, and I don’t want the readers to feel like I am dictating them. I wrote this book humbly to help them, and in the process it helped me, as well.

Niki Kottmann is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s features editor. She can be reached at nkottmann@wyoming or 307-633-3135. Follow her on Twitter at @niki_mariee.

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