From Booze . . . To Blog . . . To Book – How “One Good Life” Came To Be

OGL Book

Sunday night, after everyone else in the house had gone to bed, I sat down and began planning my week. When I glanced at the calendar my heart did a little flip in my chest as it hit me that one week from today, on May 5th, my book “One Good Life” will finally – officially – be “out there.” Out on bookstore shelves, landing on the doorsteps of those who have pre-ordered it, available to download to mobile devices….the whole nine yards!

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know this moment has been a long time coming. I actually signed a publishing deal with Putnam Books in April of 2013 with tentative plans for it to be out in time for Mother’s Day 2014. But for many different reasons, all beyond my control, it was postponed until now. After such a long period of waiting I think part of me began to believe it would never really happen. And yet here I am, facing the fact that this very personal book, for better or worse, is about to be released for the world to read in one short week.

OGL Book

The book that has taken me on a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. I can be on top of the world one minute, and inexplicably plunging into abject self-doubt the next! If I didn’t know better I’d think I’ve become a tortured writer. ;-)

The book that began with a brief outline and soon became a whirlwind trip to New York City where I met with no fewer than 8 different publishers interested in it! Talk about your surreal experiences.

The book that I poured my heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, and a LOT of time into. It’s probably a good thing I had absolutely no concept of what would be required BEFORE I signed on the dotted line, because I guarantee I would have chickened out!

The book that I will never think about writing without also thinking about planning my only daughter’s wedding at the very same time. That was one crazy summer but one I will always remember with a strange fondness due to all the love that was being poured into both projects.

OGL Book

The book that my dear, dear friend Stephanie helped me with and then shortly after it was done fought and lost a short, valiant battle with cancer. I will also never think about the writing of this book without remembering how we laughed and cried while working on it, and how much I miss her.

The book that contains the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life thus far, and yet ultimately conveys a message of hope and redemption. Hope, for anyone who has had the wind knocked out of them but gets back up to fight again, and the possibility of redemption that exists for all of us.

The book that in addition to sharing my harrowing journey is also chock full of tips and advice to make life better! I personally wouldn’t want to read a book ALL about someone’s sad story…even if it does have a “happy ending.” And I wouldn’t expect you to either.

The book that I never expected to write and marvel at how little thought I gave the idea before taking the leap. I often question my sanity about that snap decision, but have learned so much during this amazing process that I will never regret my “temporary insanity.”

OGL Book

The book I thought I was writing for others that turned out to be at least as much for me! I really had no idea I would experience such “growing pains” writing about my struggles with alcohol addiction, depression, chronic illness, etc. But after the pain came additional healing of wounds I didn’t even know were still exposed.

The book that caused each of my children to come to me in tears when they finished reading it. Tears I shared. Tears of happiness, sadness, gratitude, and new understanding. Another reminder to me why I wanted and needed to write this book…for them.

The book that makes me shudder when I think of you reading about the scary places that life has taken me and my family….but also gives me hope that someone, somewhere who reads it will feel they’re not alone in their scary places.

The book that my husband Dave never once questioned me about or tried to edit in any way. His trust in my judgment and in my belief that while this story wasn’t going to paint either of us in a very flattering light, it was a story that needed to be told. He is a rare breed…that tall, blonde, Norwegian I married…and this book helped me rediscover that.

OGL Book

The book that makes my heart skip a beat when I look at it! The gorgeous design, the unique format that beautifully weaves happy and sad together, are a testament to the amazing people “behind the scenes” who helped create this book. Namely, my literary agent Steve Troha and my editor Kerri Kolen. The best in the biz!

The book I hope and pray every single day will get into the hands of people that it can inspire and help. Whether you need advice dealing with a heavy-duty life challenge, or just some simple ideas to make your day a little easier, you will come away with positive and practical ways to live your BEST life.

The book that has given meaning to some of the madness that me and my family went through, and I hope will do the same for others as well.

The book that has also given me a sense of peace and confidence that I know would not have been possible by any other means. Socrates had a point about the “unexamined life.” Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say the unexamined life is not worth living…I do attest that a little examination is a most enlightening and refining experience.

OGL Book

The book that has taught me that writing a book is HARD WORK….but some of the BEST WORK I’ve ever done.

And finally……….

The book, that no matter what happens when it finally shows up on the shelves of your favorite bookstore, I will be very grateful and proud to have written.

“One Good Life” is available at Amazon!

OGL Book

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • […] ResourcesPage not foundCelebrate "One Good Life Day" with Orange Cinnamon French Toast! – One Good Thing by JilleeFrom Booze . . . To Blog . . . To Book – How “One Good Life” Came To Be – One Good Thing by Jill… […]

  • HI Jill, I can hardly wait for your book! What an inspiration you are to so many. Congratulations! I love your blog and look forward to having your book in my collection.

  • Jill, congratulations on the publication of your book. I have pre-ordered the e-book format of your book and hope to share it with my sister once I’ve read it. She also brought herself back to a fulfilling life after booze, the heart-wrenching death of the love of her life and has, after two years of sobriety, realized how much she misssed each and every day of that former life. My very best wishes to you, and to my sister Sybil, for continued good fortune and a love-filled life.

  • Hi Jillee!
    Congratulations!! I don’t comment much. I came across your site by chance about a year ago. I now know it was meant to be. I had to let you know you have touched my heart. I cried as I was reading this post. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict and manic/depressive. I have felt so alone at times on my journey. I think it is wonderful for you to share your story. What hope it brings to so many. I always look forward to your daily posts. I have ordered your book and so look forward to reading it. You are an inspiration to us all! I wish you well in all you do one day at a time. : )
    Love to you and God bless, XOXO

  • […] One Good Life – Jill of One Good Thing By Jillie shares her story about her One Good Life, things she’s learned over the years, a very […]

  • I had often thought about writing a book on my life but as one person told me it’s such a depressing life. And it is. But I thank God for each and every day. Cong on your achievement and I know it will be on the best sellers list

  • It takes a great deal of courage to expose ones flaws for all the world to see. I commend your courage for having the fortitude to do so. Good luck to you and your family, now and always.

  • I am sure that this is an amazing book, being about and written by an amazing woman. I appreciate how real you are on your blog – the good, the bad and the truly ugly – with honesty and compassion. We all have our struggles and most of us keep the bad and ugly hidden in the closet, under the stairs in the basement. You are incredibly brave to write this and definitely will help many people when they really need the lifeline you are putting out there with this book. When we are in the depths of the valley it doesn’t seem like we will ever get out! Always nice to know that others have walked that same pathway and come out the other side a stronger, happier person.

  • SO looking forward to reading your book…I am asking for it for Mother’s Day!! I have been following your blog for a long time now and you are a true inspiration!! I hope the book puts you into the Today Show list!! ;)

  • OH, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m sure it’s been more than you bargained for but I know you’re glad you said “yes” without realized the blood, sweat & tears involved. I’m glad you did and can’t wait to read it! You are always so wise!

    As a three time breast cancer survivor, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I’m so glad you have great memories of her and your time with her. I suffer survivors guilt sometimes. However, I feel so much better when I’m able to help others. I promise you, I was not left here on this earth to be idle my time. I try my best to be a super cheerleader for those fighting. I have a cut & paste of info I send friends, friends of friends who are starting their battle. I tell them the ins/out of chemo with tips and resources. I make dinners for people with cancer. I visit people in the hospital. I know I’m a miracle and am here to be an encourager.

    Bless you Jillee!
    Heidi Ferguson
    Gainesville, GA

  • Wow! It’s here – so surreal right! I stumbled on your site a few years ago – don’t always get to read all the emails and sometimes your blog. It’s always an issue of time – sad isn’t it! Both my parents were alcoholics – they had very sad lives. The gene didn’t affect me, but did others in the family – very tragic. So glad you were able to overcome that addiction – it’s not easy! Can’t wait to read your book – in fact, I plan to buy several for Christmas gifts this year! Sending you cyber hugs of congratulations for a job well done. You should be very proud of yourself.

  • Wow – it’s finally here! Feels so surreal doesn’t it. I stumbled on your site a few years ago. I read your emails when I can – sometimes your blogs – it’s always an issue of time – sad isn’t it! Both my parents were alcoholics – me it did not affect – so happy and glad you were able to rise above that addiction. It’s not easy. I look forward to getting your book and plan to purchase several for Christmas gifts this year!

  • Wow! I am at a loss for words. I have been loving all your tips, ideas, ect. I just stumbled across your site and you have ” captured” me ever since. Congrats and I will be looking for your book….Big hugs to you and yours, and good luck on the book!!!!

  • Congratulations on your most recent accomplishment, Jillee! I’ve been reading and learning from your column for a while. Thanks for all you share with us!

  • Hey Jill! My heart is so full of happiness for you. I have a notebook called “one good thing…” that I keep chocked full of tips I have gathered from you over the years. (I keep it bound with my secret weapon….my cookbook) For some reason I had no idea you were writing a book, and i couldn’t be more excited today to find out!! If I could only meet you to give you the biggest of hugs….my world would be complete. Your post is so raw with emotion, anxiety, but pure happiness…..i hope the releasing of the book gives you more freedom to fly and inspire more people. We do truly thank you.

  • Wow…..this post is one of your best!
    I absolutely love how you explain THE BOOK.
    I will be at the book store on the 5th!
    And if the book is not up-front-and- center with new arrivals I will move all of them there myself.
    Congratulations on One Good Life

  • So excited for you! Yours was one of the blogs I started reading years ago that inspired me to be brave and begin sharing my own stories. I have had a very similar journey with addiction and chronic illness. Sharing with others how I find joy in life’s simple pleasures today has made a big impact on my self-confidence.

    As you inspire us, it has a ripple effect further than you may imagine. Thank you for bringing us the gift of your honest and courageous spirit. I look forward to reading your book!

  • How very brave of you. Having been in some very dark places I know how healing it is to talk about your life experiences. Congrats…looking forward to reading your book. Best Wishes.

  • Congrats!!! Wow I can’t wait to read your book!! I’ve been following your tips daily fur quite sometime, but to be more than honest, I haven’t been reading your blog. For no other reason than “time” has not allowed. Today for some reason this caught my eye, (more than likely it was the word “booze”. I’m 52 and my parents both passed away from alcohol induced Cirrhosis disease at age 53 and 62. I have two brothers that passed away from the exact same death at 47 and 58. I have been blessed not to have that addiction and often wonder why? I was introduced to hard alcohol since I was a little girl. It’s crazy to think about sometimes.
    Anyway, I won’t go on and on, but wanted to let you k ow looking forward to reading your new book!


    • Oh my goodness…I am so sorry for your terrible loss to such a terrible disease! That is definitely crazy and so, so sad. Thank you for sharing with me.

  • Jill, I commend you for you bravery in putting yourself out there by writing what sounds like will be a very real and honest account of your life’s experiences. I have not read it yet, but I’m sure after I read your book I will respect you even more despite knowing where your “scary places” are because we all have them, do we not? Some of us have scarier ones, but I think it’s a great thing you’re doing by sacrificing your comfort zone in the effort to help others, even if it’s just to let them know they are not alone. Thanks for all your tips and tricks and I will continue to look forward to your emails and to reading your book.

    • If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, yes, we DO all experience our own “scary places.” It’s easy to feel alone there and I would like nothing more than if this book will help people to know that they are not!
      Thank you for the kind words Angela! I am so appreciative!

  • Congratulations Jill! I look forward to reading your book. I have been reading your Blogs now for year and love all the information that you share with us. It will be nice to have it all in one place now. This is just your beginning, you have so much more to give to the world! Thank you for all that you’ve done so far!

  • Congratulations, Jill! I have followed your daily blog for almost two years, and I look forward every day to a new dose of “One Good Thing.”

    No one deserves this more! I look forward to reading your story.

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