I once thought that finishing book five would distinguish me as an established author. People would say, “Wow … that’s great.” And they did, don’t get me wrong. When I finished book ten, “WOW, that’s incredible,” came the response.
I just finished book fifteen and I’m telling you the, “WOW – that’s fantastic,” is getting louder and more energetic than ever! Yep . . . book sixteen is around the corner.
Have you often said, “Someday I’m going to write a book?” Or maybe you said, “When I retire I’m going to write my novel.” Others have told me, “I’m jotting down story ideas for when I have time to write.” I’ve even heard comments like, “Every time I read ‘the end’ I know I could write a better story than that.”
Well – folks – here’s what I have to say – “DO IT!” Yep, I smile and actually say, “I’m so happy for you. To have the drive and know what direction you want to go, that’s fabulous. I wish you all the best in writing your book.”
Why do I say that? Because I mean it. When I first decided to write a book I had so many people laugh at me. Really! One of my sisters said, “You really think you’re going to get a book published? Don’t count on it.” Another sister said, “That’s fantastic. If I can do anything to help make your dream come true – let me know.”
Now you see it – don’t you? It was the ‘encouraging’ comment that gave me the drive and determination to write that first book. It was far from perfect – actually that first book still is in a box in the back of my closet. But the point is – I finished a book. I could do it. And if I could do it once – I could do it again … and again … and again!
If people are dreaming and striving to write a book – encourage them to write it and achieve their dream. They will remember you because you were there for them. I would rather be remembered for being the ‘positive influence’ than the ‘negative knee-jerk.’
Years ago I met a young lady in a writer’s group who had survived a horrendous abusive relationship. She wanted to write about it – but lingering fear of who would want to read her book haunted her. She wanted that ‘push’ that ‘encouragement’ that what she had to share was important – interesting – and that someone would care enough to read about it.
We had endless chats about how she would start – then finish this part of her life that nearly killed her. She told me she wasn’t all that educated. She didn’t even have a high school diploma. I told her some of the most educated people never use what they’ve learned. She pointed out she didn’t have a degree in writing. And I told her she had a degree in living, which is more important. Write about how you broke free of this relationship. Show the reader your struggles. Share your feelings and what kept you focused on freedom. Put you heart on the page and the reader will care. The reader will root for you and they will cry for you. At the end they will be happy for you. She moved away from my home town and we lost that connection . . .
Why am I telling you this? Because I was at a book signing years later and there she was – one of the many authors lined up in a row. Her book, three inches thick was a story of courage. She beamed with pride. I couldn’t help breaking down –choke with emotion – and tears streaming down my face while telling her how proud I was of her.
We hugged, I bought her book and she signed it. “You gave me the courage and the inspiration to share my story. I never forgot you – and never will.”
The next time someone says they are going to write a book, tell them, “I hope you do. There is nothing more meaningful, exciting, or satisfying than seeing your name on the cover of a book!”