A Sneak Peak at My New Book!

Last week, I announced that I am finally publishing my first fiction novel on October 7th of this year. Today, I’m going to give you a sneak peak at some of the cover art (created by the exceptionally talented Howard Lyon), followed by some additional information about the book.

A raven illustrated by Howard Lyon.

A raven illustrated by Howard Lyon.

Now, given the expression on this raven’s face, you might be tempted to think that it’s evil or angry. I give you my assurance that he is neither evil nor angry—far from it! He just got a little spooked, that’s all.

Furthermore, this raven is not the main character in my story. The hero of this story is a familiar character from history (you’d probably recognize his name) and yet, in many ways, he’s very unique.

Well, I don’t want to give too much away. Perhaps I’ll post something more next week. Until then, check out this video showing the progression of the cover!

Oh, and after I release my novel, there will be a period of time when I will a digital format of the book for FREE (yup, that’s right). So, if you’d like to know exactly when that is then please sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter by clicking here.


You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged much the past couple of months. I’ve put a lot of things on hold to chase a dream I’ve had for twenty years. Only now I’m done chasing it—it’s on the brink of coming true!

On October 7th, I will publish my first fiction novel. I’ve been working on this book since 2006 and even produced a few piddling manuscripts around 2012. But when my blog went viral in 2013, I turned all of my attention to non-fiction. In the time since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to publish three non-fiction books: Marriage Isn’t For You, Your Life Isn’t For You, and You, Unstuck.

But despite the success I’ve had with non-fiction, I’ve felt an undeniable, inescapable urge to write and publish fiction. In fact, the impression to write fiction has been so overwhelming that I’ve hardly been able to concentrate on anything else. I need to write and publish my novels, particularly this novel…

And so, for the past six months, that’s what I’ve been working on. At first, progress was quite slow; I struggled with the story and wrote several versions of the book, only to throw them away and start over. (Do you realize how maddening it is to write over 40,000 words of a draft, only to throw it away and then start over?!)

But then—after a number of revelatory experiences—several plot pieces came together and the story practically wrote itself. So much so that I’m actually awestruck by what the book has taught me. It’s strange, but I used to think that I was the one writing the book, and now I feel like the book, in a way, has written me. I suppose that’s the true measure of any creative endeavor: in creating art, you shape the work, but the work should also shape you.

So what can I tell you about the book? At this stage, not a whole lot…but I can tell you that my primary sources of inspiration are Nathaniel Hawthorne, C. S. Lewis, Washington Irving, Benjamin Franklin, Lloyd Alexander, J. K. Rowling, and Charles Dickens.

Oh, and one other thing: a few weeks ago, I met with my friend Howard Lyon—an exceptionally talented artist who graciously agreed to do the cover art for my book. In his studio, we talked about the book and its release. He then gave me a gift: the first canvas print of the cover of my book. Below is a picture of me holding the painting. Over the course of the next two months, I will release portions of my book alongside snippets of the cover.

This is a picture of me holding a framed copy of the cover of my book. I know it says that I'm not supposed to open it but I already know what it looks like! Also, that tree behind me can be found on one of my favorite walks. I go on walks for inspiration—you should too! :)

This is a picture of me holding a framed copy of the cover of my book. I know it says that I’m not supposed to open it but I already know what it looks like! Also, that tree behind me can be found on one of my favorite walks. I go on walks for inspiration—you should too! :)

Ah yes! One MORE thing! After its release, there will be a period of time when I will offer the digital format of the book for FREE (yup, that’s right). So, if you’d like to know exactly when that is then please sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter by clicking here.

VIDEO – A Literal Interview with Author Jason F. Wright

A Literal Interview Jason F. Wright

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Jason F. Wright, the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters. In this interview video, he shares some of his experiences and insight into writing.

Before you get intimidated by the length of the video, I want you to know that I divided it into individual chapters. So if you’d rather skip ahead to his advice for aspiring authors, or jump to ahead to a different section, you can click on the link in the video to see that part of the interview (it’s a neat little feature that YouTube has).

After the interview, I drop a few hints about one of my secret projects…

You, Unstuck – My NEW eBook!

After nearly two months of complete radio silence, I am happy to announce my triumphant return—and I come bearing gifts!!

First of all, why the silence? Well, my wife and I had to work through a couple of heavy things and it took up a lot of our time and energy. (Don’t worry, we are fine—no marital drama. Just outside pressures.)

Also, I’ve been working on three top secret projects. These projects are so top secret that only a handful of people know about them! It would take too long for me to tell you about them here and now, but you’ll find out more about them by the end of this month (and trust me, you don’t want to miss this!)

But here’s the BIG news: my new ebook is out!! Huzzah! Let us bask in the glorious cover of my new ebook:

My former boss, Jeevan, did the illustration. Isn't it awesomeness?!

My former boss, Jeevan, did the illustration. Isn’t it awesomeness?!

A little background: This was originally intended to go into my first book, Your Life Isn’t For You, but there wasn’t enough room for it (I was contracted for a specific amount of words.) So, I published an extremely watered-down version of this idea and published it as The Most Damning Belief of All Time.

The article did so well that my publisher approached me and asked about experimenting with a short ebook. After one year (and many, many rewrites), the ebook has been published!

Here is the publisher’s summary:

All of us feel trapped, stuck, or unable to move forward in life at some point. What is it that’s holding us back? According to Seth Adam Smith, it’s who, not what. Ultimately, the greatest obstacle to achieving your full potential is you.

But you are also the solution to your greatest problem.

This book combats a destructive mind-set that we all sometimes fall into: I can’t change. I am the victim of my circumstances, and I am confined by my personal limitations. This philosophy, though intangible, destroys more dreams and limits more lives than any actual, physical obstacle. To show us how to overcome this philosophy of fear, Smith draws on literature, history, and his personal experiences with chronic depression, as well as on encounters with remarkable “ordinary” people who’ve embraced a different philosophy: the belief that we possess the power to lift ourselves out of the abyss and into the light.

Smith inspires us to see that no matter how dire our circumstances may be, there is always a positive step you can take, however small it might be. He doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties or offer promises of overnight success. But he does promise that if you continue to see yourself as a victim you’ll remain frozen and fearful. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react.

But I don’t want to give any more of it away. Click on this link and buy a copy for yourself! I dare ya. :)

Beauty for Ashes

Angela Johnson's sculpture of the woman with an issue of blood.

Angela Johnson’s sculpture of the woman with an issue of blood.

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus read from the scriptures, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:22)

In the book of Isaiah, a similar scripture finishes with: “…to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:3)

I believe in these scriptures with all of my heart.

In 2006, my chronic depression, which I had struggled with for years, had finally broken me. I had tried everything to fix my problems, but whatever I touched seemed to wither and rot. Darkness overwhelmed me like a tidal wave, destroying all of my hopes and dreams, and seemingly suffocating me in the process. Unable to see my way forward, I decided to end my life.

Miraculously, however, my family rescued me from my suicide attempt. But I still wasn’t grateful to be alive. Instead, I looked over my life and saw only the devastation caused by my depression. It seemed that all of my hopes for life had turned to cold, colorless ash.

In the hospital, I had a hard time seeing how things could get better—how I could be whole again. Not only was I still struggling with what felt like impenetrable depression, but I had also attempted to take my life. My whole neighborhood had seen the ambulance, my family had to pay for an expensive visit to the ER, and everyone I knew would look at me differently.

What I saw in myself was a broken mess; a life of complete failure.

But the love of my family was stronger than I could’ve imagined; it was like a light in my darkness, which pointed me toward a greater light—God.

A painting of the woman with an issue of blood by Howard Lyon.

The woman with an issue of blood by Howard Lyon.

In absolute humility, I took the broken pieces of my life to Him, and asked for His help. In many ways, I felt akin to the woman with “an issue of blood” mentioned in the New Testament. She had visited countless doctors and spent “all her living,” but just couldn’t be healed (Luke 8:43). In faith and desperation, she followed the Savior through a crowd, “touched the border of his garment,” and was made whole through her faith. (Luke 8:48)

I want to pause here and say something about faith. Faith asks us to do everything we can do, and then ask God to do what we cannot. Before the Savior raised Lazarus from the dead, He waited for everyone to do what they could do. Martha came to Jesus and told Him that Lazarus had died (John 11:21), He had the family lead Him to the grave (John 11:34), He asked the family to remove the stone which covered the grave (John 11:29), and then He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43). Even after the miracle, Jesus asked those around help Lazarus by removing his bandages (John 11:44).

Certainly, Jesus had the power to do all of those things himself. He knew that Lazarus was dead, He knew where to go, He could’ve easily removed the gravestone, and He could’ve removed the bandages Himself as well—but He asked others to do what they could, and then He did what they could not.

In a similar way, we are asked to exercise our own faith by doing things that are within our power. For example, if we are suffering, we must seek help from friends and family, visit doctors or counselors, and prayerfully utilize all of our available options. As we do these things in faith, we are asking God to perform a miracle.

I have seen, through experiences too numerous and too sacred to share, God take the ashes of my life and miraculously turn them into something beautiful. I have marveled at His power to touch something broken, and not only make it whole, but better than it ever was before.

In a way that is almost unbelievable to me, I have seen God take my experiences with depression and turn them into something beautiful.

Truth be told, I never intended my blog to become what it is today. It started out as a way for me to learn about blogging and promote the videos I had been making. I’ve always wanted to write fiction, not personal stories from my own life. But on a few occasions, I’ve felt a strong “spiritual nudge” to write or talk about my experiences with depression and suicide. Introverted as I am, I’m always very hesitant to share my thoughts and feelings on such a sensitive subject—so whenever I do so, it is because I’m following those spiritual nudges.

A few months ago, my brother Sean and I were interviewed for a video on suicide prevention. I don’t like being in front of the camera unless it’s something fun or funny—and talking about depression and suicide are neither of those things, so this was a very hard thing for me to agree to.

"Lost and Found" by Greg Olsen

“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen

The video shares the story of my suicide attempt, and tells how my brother’s love and support helped bring me back. The response to this video has been remarkable and overwhelming. Both my Facebook fanpage and my personal page have been filled with positive, uplifting comments and heartfelt messages. I have received text messages and phone calls from people telling me that the video is helping them (or someone they know) feel hopeful about the future.

I honestly can’t take credit for that video. I shared my story, yes. But the story is really about how my brother rescued me from the darkness of depression and helped me to move forward. And when I say ‘brother,’ I don’t just mean my brother Sean.

This video is a testament to me of how our elder brother, the Savior, can turn the ashes of our lives into something truly beautiful.

I hope that it helps you move forward with faith in your own life.

I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Quinn Orr for inviting me to take part in this video, and for working so hard to provide resources to those who are still struggling. I also want to thank Al Fox Carraway for her friendship during the whole process. My self doubt might’ve gotten the better of me had it not been for her encouragement.

And, as always, I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support of my wife, whose friendship lights the way through my ongoing battles with depression.

Depression—A Battle Too Big to Fight Alone

A few months ago, my brother and I were asked to take part in a Mormon Message about suicide prevention. I hope that it is helpful to you. If someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please continue to place your arm of love around them. Believe me, a seemingly small and simple act of love can change someone’s entire life.

From the video description: There is no easy solution for helping someone who has thoughts about ending their life. But there are some things we can do to reach out to them.

The most common sources of pain for someone having suicidal thoughts are feeling disconnected from other people, feeling like they’re a burden to others or that people would be better off without them. Coupled with the hopeless thoughts that things aren’t going to change, suicidal thoughts become risky.

For some, like Seth Adam Smith, the right words spoken by another can change a life. Seth’s depression caused him to attempt suicide. He was miraculously saved, and when he awoke, his older brother’s words changed everything. “You know, Seth,” his older brother said, “I almost lost my little brother. … I don’t think I’m going to go anywhere for a while.”

While it may seem too simple, sometimes words of comfort, support, and love can be life-changing for someone who doesn’t feel needed.

Sometimes those suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts don’t even need words. They just need someone to sit with them. They need someone to be there for them. They need to feel loved and valued.

Elder M. Russell Ballard counsels us not to judge, but to reach out. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to heal people, … but we can have an impact in guiding people to some of the resources out there.” He reminds us that we can be one of those resources. “There is nothing more powerful than the arm of love that can be put around those who are struggling.”

Awesome/Terrifying News!

Webinar Facebook

So, I’m an introvert.

And if you know me really well, then you’ll know that I prefer gardening over socializing, and writing over speaking.

On top of that, I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

With that in mind, my publisher—Berrett-Koehler Publishers—is hosting an “Ask Me Anything” webinar on Tuesday, October 7th at 6:30 pm PST / 9:30 pm EST.

I’m already sweating bullets…

It’s a free event and I’ve heard a rumor that you might win a free copy of my book if you register HERE >> http://bit.ly/sasamabk

I’m absolutely, totally terrified to do this (honestly, you’d think I were going skydiving or something!) but it should be tons of fun (in hindsight) and I’d love to finally “meet” all of you!

Again, it’s totally FREE and you can register right here >> http://bit.ly/sasamabk

I hope to see you there!

Ask Me Anything?

Ask Me Anything?

My Book Is Officially Published!!!

Your Life Isn't For You in Russia

Holding an advanced copy of my book on Red Square in Moscow (click on the image to order the book)!

Wow! Today is the day that my book, Your Life Isn’t For You, is officially published. It’s a wonderful, absolutely terrifying feeling!!

Here’s the description of my book from the publisher:

In this book, Seth Adam Smith expands on the philosophy behind his extraordinarily popular blog post “Marriage Isn’t for You”—which received over 30 million hits and has been translated into over twenty languages—and shares how living for others can enrich every aspect of your life, just as it has his. With a mix of humor, candor, and compassion, he reveals how, years before his marriage, his self-obsession led to a downward spiral of addiction and depression, culminating in a suicide attempt at the age of twenty. Reflecting on the love and support he experienced in the aftermath, as well as on the lessons he learned from a difficult missionary stint in Russia, his time as a youth leader in the Arizona desert, his marriage, and even a story his father read to him as a child, he shares his deep conviction that the only way you can find your life is to give it away to others.

Your Life Isn't For You

Click on the cover to order your own copy! :D

And here are some great reviews from some really awesome people:

“A brilliantly written and insightful book. Seth’s vulnerability and honesty are irresistible—pulling you in and opening your heart to the possibility of a life without walls.” —Michael J. Merchant, President, ANASAZI Foundation

“Seth’s amazing book illustrates a powerful and proven path to happiness and gently reminds us how easily we forget this profound truth: focusing on others brings the deepest joy.” —Lindsay Hadley, founder and CEO, Hadley Impact Consulting

“Seth Adam Smith has figured out some of life’s greatest lessons through remarkable life experiences and by listening to the great teachers that were placed in his path.” —Sterling C. Tanner, President and Executive Director, Forever Young Foundation

Order a copy today and let me know what you think!

The Utah Book Tour Begins!

Seth Interview FOX 13 Utah

This is a picture of me saying things about things. :)

Well, I’m currently on tour in Utah promoting Marriage Isn’t For You. I’m officially on my first book tour! Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s real because I’ve been dreaming about this for so long.

On Sunday, I was interviewed by Kelly Chapman on Fox 13 News. After that, Deseret News National Edition aired an interview they had with me on Friday (but don’t worry, I wore the same shirt).

Throughout the week, I’m scheduled to appear on a number of news programs. (Kim has even agreed to join me for one of them!) And on Friday and Saturday we will sign books at four Deseret Book stores. If you want, you can stop by and say ‘Hi.’ I’d love to get some selfies with you!

Friday, May 23, 2014 – Deseret Book in Salt Lake City @ 12:30-1:30pm

Saturday, May 24, 2014 – Deseret Book in Bountiful @ 11:00-12:30pm

Saturday, May 24, 2014 – Deseret Book in Midvale (Fort Union Blvd) @ 1:30-3:00pm

Saturday, May 24, 2014 – Deseret Book in Orem (University Pkwy) @ 4:00 – 5:30pm

Watch my interview with Deseret News below!