In his new book, "The Story of My Story," Dekota Gregory tells the story of how he met his wife, which includes the tragic death of his best friend while he was a junior at Oklahoma State. Gregory hopes that sharing his story will inspire and encourage others to share their own and expresses that even if you feel as though you have nothing valuable to say, your story could mean the world to someone else.
If someone asked you to briefly describe your book, what would you say?
“Well, it is a memoir, about how I met my wife, basically. But what happened is when I was a junior at OSU, my best friend died so, you know, tough times and obviously getting through that. But that’s ultimately what kind of let me to meet her (his wife). We were mutual friends, we had never actually met each other, there was a time when he (his best friend) brought her up, and i mention in the book him talking about her and he’d just being like ‘eh, you’d just mess it up right now.’ So after he died she reached out to me and we clicked and you know, here we are married for three years now.”
What was your favorite part of writing this book?
“Seeing my name on the cover of a book was kind of a surreal moment that I never thought would actually happen for real.”
How long was the writing and preparation process?
“I was a sportswriter, and I actually went to OSU for that, and so it was difficult to find a job and so that first year while I was trying to find a full-time job I just had some extra time on my hand with freelancing and stuff, so my wife was like ‘hey God gave you this time for a reason’, and that was kind of the reason I started the blog so I put off writing this book because of the time so finally I was like ‘hey I’ve got this extra time and I want to use it wisely’ and so I spent, I don’t remember how many months of actually writing and then probably another three or four months before I actually heard back from someone saying ‘Hey we’re interested!’ and you’re like ‘Oh awesome!’ and then they’d leave me hanging again for two weeks or a month again and you’d send a contract and they’d finally sign it and then it’s just a slow process of editing and everything and you’re kind of in the dark sometimes. So overall, writing it was a couple of months, and then I mean it was probably two and a half to three years total from start to finish to finally get it out.”
What kind of hardships did you deal with along the way?
“A lot of it was patience. I’m used to, while I was writing, being in the newspaper industry and writing something and it was immediately online and we were immediately pushing it out there.I worked on a big feature in college that took the whole football season, but that was probably the longest I had ever worked on one thing. I was so used to things being immediate, so working on something for that long and then finishing it and going through editing. The toughest part was for me was just being patient. Sometimes I would kind of get down on myself and just think ‘Oh man, it’s never going to happen,’ or ‘Well maybe things are going wrong,’ or, you know, you just second guess yourself. I was also used to when writing stuff, you might look over it once, your editor looks it over, you copy edit it and it goes out, but with this, when you are editing something that much you overthink everything you write. Once you’re reading that many pages and that many words, shoot I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book over.”
What or who was your main source of inspiration while you were writing?
“I’m a Christian, so I’m pretty about my faith and that was just something I felt called to do. But a lot of it too was just, for some reason, i mentioned the line that started my blog and it’s in the book too, it’s ‘I’ve shared a thousand stories, but never my own,’ and I’ve told all these stories and been inspired by all these athletes or even if it was a news story, I covered I would hear these things that these people had overcome. And then it clicked inside me that I have my own story, so just to be able to share my own story and hope it helps someone else.
What is something that you hope people take away from reading what you’ve published?
“Obviously I want people to kind of get hope and be inspired by my story but the main theme, for some reason, the one thing that stuck to me and something I’ve pushed for my story is to encourage other people to share their story, like I even added a spot in my blog for people to email me their stories and kind of give them a platform.”