I love writing, and want to share my work with the world. But it hasn’t been easy…
As an author, I certainly have gotten lost in the fantasy of working from home as a full-time writer. I’ve envisioned myself with my laptop and a great idea, pounding away at the keys each day with frequent breaks to go hiking or sit on the beach with my children. In my fantasy, my books are best-sellers, and my inbox is flooded with messages from thankful readers wanting more.
But this has not (yet) been my reality. Instead, I find myself waking in the early morning hours to edit a few hundred words, then, after working all day and spending my evenings with my family and doing chores, I may find time to sit in front of my computer to work on another small portion of my books. Usually, I wake up an hour later with a sore neck and stiff back because I fell asleep after only one paragraph. One night I even awoke to an entire page of j’s because I fell asleep with my hands on the keyboard. But when I get to hold a finished product in my hand, I am confident that such tiring hours have been worth it.
One of my greatest challenges as a writer is finding the time to actually write. I’m often tired or overwhelmed with responsibility, and whenever I get a moment of free time I feel guilty that I should be writing instead of relaxing. So why do I do it? I love the emotional energy that flows into my writing. I love the healing that comes with each story I share. And I love the idea that my efforts may one-day help one of my readers facing similar challenges. I look at some of my favorite authors, such as Whitley Strieber and Graham Hancock. Not only can they captivate their readers with an elaborate grasp of the written word, but they enrich the lives of their readers by providing information that is not just entertaining, but also valuable and useful. They connect to their readers in a way that builds a sense of intimacy and trust by sharing a part of themselves.
In my work, I try to share pieces of myself, because I have found that sharing an emotional experience is a great way to connect with my readers. At times it leaves me feeling vulnerable and open to criticism, but I believe that taking such risks demonstrates my commitment to tell a powerful story – for it is through my emotions that I experience life, and it is through my emotions that I share my journey.
One of the hardest things about being a writer is the silence. After pouring my passions into a project and sharing it with the world, I feel rejected at the lack of attention my work sometimes receives. It is hard to expose the rawness of my feelings, and it sometimes takes hours or days of my time to put together a single posting or podcast (and years to write a book). I welcome criticism, as it represents an emotional reaction – a connection with a reader, even if they disagree with what I am saying. But the silence is painful. By no fault of the audience, my mind assumes the worst – that my efforts were poor and my message was lost, and nobody cares what I have to say.
But I accept this fate as a part of my learning process. The silence forces me to constantly reevaluate my methods and my presentation because I believe what I have to say has value, and I want to share that value with anyone willing to listen. To those of you that have taken this journey with me, your interest and support, even if only a quick note of encouragement or a simple LIKE on Facebook, has meant the world. Thank you. Thank you for breaking the silence and reminding me of why I continue to pursue this path. Your support keeps me going when times are tough, and I look forward to sharing more of this journey with each and every one of you.