It has been said that to write a meaningful story, one should write about what one knows...
Okay then, I positively know that path, because I wrote an auto-biography that included inside knowledge that many can't even imagine! The creation of my first book 'A Vision Beyond Abuse' was indeed something I knew quite intimately (a memoir regarding my dysfunctional relationship with spouse)!
I've enjoyed writing short stories and keeping a personal journal most of my life, but never considered taking it to the next level, because I did not think I had what it took; a story to tell. My misconception suddenly changed in the fall of 2009, because my younger sibling passed away unexpectedly. The loss of my brother left me devastated with grief and a void within. What was left was a fractured heart and a mixture of good and not so good memories swirling about within. I sat down and began to write about all of the funny ways he could make me laugh, those times he frustrated me to no end, the number of times I played groupie at one of his plays or a music concert, and lastly, his love, dedication, and hard works ensuring that the needs of his family were met.
In the course of writing about him and our family life, a strange thing happened! It was as if my brother's death had acted as a catalyst creating change. During the midst of comparing a few of our similar disappointments in life the story took an abrupt turn off the main path, leading me onto a different path, a changed path. It was as if my story was taking on a life of it's own!
This was the birth of my journey into the world of serious writing about something I knew on a very personal level, but had attempted to ignore for decades. I suppose God felt it was time to face me enemy. This new path I was on required digging deep into the recesses of my mind for clarity, and slowly the first of many memories began to bubble upwards. The more I recalled, the more I wrote. I was on a roll. In order to tell a meaningful story, I knew I needed to face the dark shadows lurking within.
Every day this unseen force steered me to the computer, more chapters, and more buried skeletons rising to the surface along with long-buried emotions bubbling forth. I was literally re-living all of those moments of my broken past once again! I sensed I had again been thrust onto the battlefield and the experience filled me with nearly unbearable pain and grief. I wrote about my anger, my doubts, my fear, whatever it was that was keeping me frozen in place. It was during those darkest moments of remembering, the most poignant portions of my story were created even though my vision blurred from the flowing tears.
Upon completion, a sigh of relief came with a finished manuscript and a sense of cathartic healing, a new sense of freedom. I had accomplished something truly important! I re-read the story and wondered, now what! It was soon after, strangely, a friend I hadn't heard from in a while announced that she had written and published a book employing a Christian publishing company. Her book was about to be released. Buying her book was next on my agenda and when it arrived I absorbed it at one sitting! When finished it dawned on me that my story was just as worthy as hers, but my doubt of failure held me back from submitting the manuscript to a publisher.
Several weeks passed with a few attempts at contacting the publisher, but backing down at the last moment. And then a mysterious occurence happened. I was listening intently to a powerful message at worship service about getting involved in God's purpose. The pastor challenged everyone to ask the following question and wait to see how God answersed;
"Jesus, what are you doing here and how can I be a part of it?"
I was stunned, because his sermon struck me like a lightening bolt that was meant especially for me! Here I was, sitting on a powerful message about a subject no one really wanted to talk about. My story could really reach out to others with encouragement and hope! The time for doubt was over. I knew what I needed to do. To be continued...
Keep on smiling,
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.