I am not a natural storyteller. It took me my whole life to learn the elements of storytelling and to learn to write in a manner that pulls readers into my stories. After that, it took years to get published, because at the same time I was writing my first four novels, I had to learn the industry, such as what was required and who required it. I finally found a publisher who loved my books, and when the first two were released simultaneously, and a third six months later, I thought I stood poised for greatness. I was prepared to do what it would take to make a name for myself, but then, before that could ever happen, the gates of the book business burst open, and a horde of self-publishers surged into the arena. Not only did I have to compete with the established writers, I had to compete with millions of unknowns who were much better at marketing than I could ever hope to be.
Well, fate had other challenges in store for me. Five months after Second Wind Publishing released my third book, my life mate/soul mate/best friend/personal editor died, shattering me and my life beyond all recognition. One of the problems with losing the one person who connects you to the earth is that you no longer know who you are. For more than two years now, I’ve been tormented with the question of my place in the universe. With so many billions of people alive today, what is the point of being me?
I recently realized that the point of being me is simply to be me. I am the only me in the universe as far as I know, unique in a way only I can be. In the past few months, I have learned to trust in my life’s journey. I am trying to believe I am where I am supposed to be, being who I am supposed to be.
I now have five books released — the final novel my life mate helped me edit, and a journal of my grief — and I still have not reached the readership I’d hoped to find. I’ve been feeling as if I were adrift in an ocean of books, and I haven’t been able to find a reason to continue writing fiction. The books that apparently appeal to book buyers seem to have been written to capitalize on a trend — vampires, zombies, eroticism, bondage, symbols, serial killers — and my books are completely different from any of those. With so many millions of people publishing today, what is the point of my being one more unbestselling author?
If you’ve been reading my recent articles, you know how much this question about the meaning of writing has plagued me, and yesterday I found the answer. The point of writing is the same as the point of living — to be me. No one else can write the books I write. No one else sees the world in the same way as I do. Even better, most people who read my books love them. Such an incredible thing — to have written a book that even one person truly loves, and there are many who love my books. Would it be nice to make a living by writing, to be a bestselling author? Yes, of course, but in truth, it’s important for me to just write.
Now all I have to do is learn to trust in my journey as a writer. To believe I am where I am supposed to be. To write what only I can write. To be me.