July 7, 2011

"If writing for others makes you miserable, why bother?"

that's the question Alex J. Cavanaugh asked in the comments of yesterday's post. and he's right. why would someone who worries so much about what people think ever want to share her writing with anyone else?

well, i'm glad Alex asked because, really, i'd forgotten. when i went looking for the answer, i found a post i'd written in the past. i needed the reminder of all the cool things that have happened since i published Eldala. 

~~back in Nov. 2007, when i'd first put out Eldala, i received an unsolicited "less-than-stellar" review in person, and i just sat there and took it even though i didn't want it and i was ready to walk away from writing...

the very next day, one of my dearest friends called me to say that God used the scene with the cardinal to remind her of his love. she also said the scene with the butterflies touched her, and that she'd written down quotes from my book so she could remember them later.

~~ one of my homeschooling friends in Canada told me that her teenage son, who had never finished a book, saw the cover and snuck the book out of her room so he could read it. she also said that she was driving somewhere with him, glanced at him in the backseat, asked what he was doing, and he said he was reading Eldala. and then he ended up finishing the book. wow. it's now his favorite.

~~ a couple of years later, this same young man (who is eagerly awaiting my sequel) asked me to send a signed copy to one of his friends in the states for her birthday. i was surprised and pleased when i received a card from her in the mail, just when i needed a reason to go on.

among other things, she said, "When Jessara accepted her responsibility as Malazia and eventually became queen, I found a new courage and understood that 'the only one that underestimates my importance is me.' Thank you for sharing Teleria with me. Thank you for the courage." i bring this card out when i feel discouraged.

~~ as if those reasons weren't enough to keep going, there's always the fact that my kids love my stories. my eldest son in particular loves to write with me. it's been a joy to work on Black Heart with him this time around. how many moms get to write a novel with their teenage son? i am so blessed.

besides all that, i've met some wonderful people i wouldn't have otherwise met if i hadn't shared Eldala. some of them have become treasured friends. as much as i've had an impact on them, they've had an impact on me.

so even though sharing my writing scares the heck out of me, i know i'll miss some amazing stuff if i hold back and keep the sequel to myself. 


Kristie Cook said...

If you hadn't shared Eldala, I would have missed out on a beautiful story - and more importantly, meeting you!!! I'm selfishly glad you shared. You've received some fantastic feedback. What a joy to know you've made a difference in other people's lives. This is God working for you and within you. You were meant to do this. You're stronger than you think you are. {{{hugs}}}

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now you're talking! And I can relate. I still get comments and emails about my book and how much the person enjoyed it, and I think "Really?" But that is why I wrote the sequel - for those who enjoyed the first one.
Finish that sequel, Michelle!

Julie said...

This is such an inspiring post, Michelle! I can totally relate to the fear of sharing your writing, something I'm trying to overcome. Thanks for the inspiration! And, I'm looking forward to reading Eldala, I had missed it before but it's on my list now. :)

February Grace said...

There you go!

When you get back to that place where you HAVE to write it down because YOU want to see what happens next, then it'll write itself. That's when the story will satisfy you and by extension, the people who loved Eldala will feel a kinship with the sequel, too.

Other writers I probably wouldn't say that to (that eventually it'll just write itself) but you- I have a feeling it just works like that. At least you make it look effortless...

I miss feeling like someone was just feeding the story into my brain by way of my heart and my fingers could barely keep up with typing to get it all down.

I think it's still a possibility for me- but I have to calm the storming sea of real life first- as I suspect do you (moving is STRESSFUL, don't forget to be kind to yourself!).

Remember the song... *grin* "When the storm is raging and thunder rolls, deliver us from the ocean, save our souls. . ."

In fact, I'm going to listen to it now, as I have to get back to my own packing (ick...)