As I continue to grow as a writer, I seek advice from those with more experience. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received so far was from Zelda Lockhart, leader of a weeklong writer’s workshop I attended. She told me, “It is your job as a writer to get your story out to your readers. The writing process is not done until this has happened.” She was vehement that if you had the inspiration to write something, fiction or non-fiction, there was always a reader out there who needed to hear your message. This advice stayed with me as I continued writing and kept me motivated as I figured out the maze of publishing options.
Since publishing Hungry Mother Creek, readers have shared how my novel touched them. Some were entertained by the story; some gained a new perspective on their marriage or relationship with their parents; others realized they needed a community of supportive women in their lives. Getting this feedback reinforced the time and effort it took to publish and made me grateful I hadn’t let my fear and self doubt stop me from sharing my work.
My life has also been influenced by writers. Sarah Addison Allen’s novel Garden Spells, inspired me to begin writing Hungry Mother Creek; Maya Angelou’s memoirs taught me about strength, self confidence and persistence and John Steinbeck’s travelogue, Travels with Charley was the catalyst for my bicycle trip across the United States after college graduation. I’m thankful these writers finished the job and shared their story with me, their reader. My life would have had a different trajectory if these writers had not chosen to publish their work.
I believe the directive I received to “get my story out there” applies to everyone, not just writers. We can all make a positive difference in the world by sharing our unique gifts. It may be a novel, song, or piece of art but could also be the ability to teach a special needs child, to help a client find the perfect house, or to secure a loan for an entrepreneur. Pay more attention to what evokes passion and enthusiasm and less attention to what others expect of you and you will be lead to the “story” you are meant to share.
I encourage everyone to follow the advice I received. When you are inspired to do something new or innovative in your personal life, creative life or your career, overcome your fear and follow through with this inspiration. Your work here is not complete until you share a part of yourself with the world.
I'm participating in a blog hop this month. I will post seven lines from my most recent writing and links to seven other authors who are doing the same.
Maya awoke just a millisecond before her alarm went off at 5:00 am. She slid up in bed and looked out the french doors leading to the second floor porch. Dawn was just a glow in the East. The peepers and frogs were welcoming the solstice with their song while Doodle Bug’s doggie snores provided back up accompaniment from the floor beside Maya’s bed. Maya slid the pillow up behind her and propped up in the large wrought iron bed, letting the impact of the day settle in. Today was the solstice and the longest day of the year. Well officially it was yesterday, but today was Saturday and the day her women’s circle would meet at the Mother Tree to celebrate the solstice. Today also would have been Hazel’s 80th birthday. Maya’s throat tightened and tears pricked at the back of her eyes.
Click on these links to learn about the new work of some wonderful Indie authors!