When I started attending Al‑Anon, I didn’t concern myself with where our literature came from. I was just grateful that members gave me a packet of it at my first meeting and that it provided the same kind, gentle help that members did, even when I couldn’t get to a meeting. In time, though, I asked. My Sponsor said, “It comes from all of us.” The term “fellowship of equals” resonated in my mind as I realized that Conference Approved Literature (CAL) relies on each of us to simply share our experiences, just as we do at meetings. A year from now, members’ experiences will again be shared in Al‑Anon’s next daily reader! Therefore, this seems a good time to describe the process that ensures this new book will reflect our program in principle and practice.
Like all CAL, the book began when a member sent a suggestion to the volunteer Literature Committee for discussion. When the Committee agreed to recommend “a new daily reader that would reflect the diversity of the Al‑Anon fellowship,” the discussion came to the World Service Conference. After thorough consideration, the Conference approved the concept and delegated development of the book to World Service Office Staff and the Literature Committee.
The Committee created a writing guideline to assist members worldwide to write for this book, and sharings started coming in—over two thousand in all. A freelance writer/editor who is an Al‑Anon member read all the sharings and selected those to include in the first draft. The Committee then evaluated and commented on 50 sharings each month for eight months. Once the writer/editor further polished the sharings and placed them in January-through-December order, the Committee reviewed a near-final draft.
At this point, the book has been approved by the Literature Committee, the Director of Programs, the Policy Review Task Force, and the Executive Director. The Titling Committee has agreed on a name for the book, and an index has been completed. A Little Time for Myself—A Collection of Al‑Anon Personal Experiences is currently undergoing design and translation into French and Spanish, which are scheduled to be completed in time for printing and introduction at the Al‑Anon International Convention June 29–July 2, 2023, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Everyone who has worked on this book is very excited to share it with you.
By Tom C., Associate Director—Literature
The Forum, June 2022
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.