Disclosure: This post has NO PICTURES. Everyone loves pictures, and every piece of advice about blogging says I should use pictures/visual aids to hold readers’ interest. But this post has none; it’s just pure, honest writing, so if that deters you from reading, my apologies. However, let me begin.
I used every stall tactic I could think of to avoid going home today. I had a short list of errands I needed to tend to when I left the house this morning, and the plan was to get them done quickly so I could dedicate the rest of my day to writing on Terrebonne Parish.
Stall Tactic One: I had to go to the post office. I got the mail from my mailbox and stood at the counter . . . sorting through the envelopes and advertisements instead of taking them home to sort through later.
Stall Tactic Two: I had two items to pick up from the grocery store. I walked down aisles I could have avoided . . . taking the long way around to the bread and milk. I ended up buying two additional items I really didn’t need.
Stall Tactic Three: I went to the library to borrow a book; I needed a new read for an upcoming trip. I walked all over the library, even though I knew I was looking to check out an adult fiction book and could have went straight to that section of the library. Finally, I made my way to the appropriate aisle . . .
And that’s when it happened. Walking up and down the rows and rows of books at the library, that’s when I realized why I was stalling to go home and write: finishing my book and getting it published no longer meant to me what it once did.
Let me explain. When I was young, I often stood in the school or public library and dreamed of the day my best-selling book would be sitting on the shelf. I regularly imagined my name on the binders of books, and when I walked into a Barnes & Noble, I clearly saw a line of people — strung all the way out the door — waiting for me to autograph my next best seller. Of course, back then only the elite got published. Only the truly talented earned a place in libraries and bookstores . . . and in history. Back then, it meant something.
But now . . . now, I didn’t know what it meant, if it meant anything at all. Now, with self publishing and eBooks. Now, when ANYONE can publish a book — typos and all — if you have enough money and time.
But what difference does it make to have your name on a book binder if it doesn’t mean anything . . . if it doesn’t reach the right people, both physically and emotionally?
As I’ve told you before, I’ve been a writer — a true lover of words — for as long as I can remember. But what I always loved about writing, was that words can make people feel things they’ve never felt before. Or feel things they’ve forgotten. Or dream of worlds that may or may not exist. I liked that, through words, I could relate to people, and they could relate to me — that we shared something personal and profound.
So now, as I am sitting writing this blog instead of writing on Terrebonne Parish, I wonder why I’m writing Terrebonne Parish in the first place. I mean, I know “why;” because it started writing itself. Because when I’m sitting with it . . . when I’m in the vortex I once described to you . . . it keeps writing itself, making me smile at what one of the characters say or do. What the character’s say or do, not me.
So, I know “why” it’s being written. But why? As in, what will become of it? With so many bad books (excuse me, but it’s true) mucking up the literary pool, and so many absolutely wonderful books already swimming full force; how will Terrebonne Parish ever find it’s way to the right readers?
I suppose that’s where faith comes in. Whether you are spiritual or not, at some point you find yourself just having to believe that everything will be as it should be. For me, that’s getting my written words to you . . . not necessarily on a bookshelf, not anymore . . . but to you, in whatever form is best.
Of course, I hope to be bigger than the Rowlings and Meyers of today and bigger than the Frosts of yesteryear, but what means something to me — what means the most — is that my words reach the right people, not the most people.
So, I will continue to be self disciplined; I didn’t realize “giving it all up” to work full time on my writing would be so difficult. But I will continue — writing from my heart and making it available to you — if you will continue reading it.
If you will continue being patient with me.
If you will stay with me on this journey.
If, if, if . . .