People say I should write about my autistic children, and I have to some extent in my best of year book, Seasons of the Soul. However, there are stories I keep in my heart about them, especially my youngest high-functioning, verbal son.
I could write a book about the days and nights my husband and I sat on pins and needles not knowing what his behavior would be like. Praise God! He is better and now lives in a group home. We see him twice a week. All is well but I cannot tell you how difficult it is for a mother with a special-needs child to let them go. To tell you the truth, just writing about it here is heartbreaking.
So, when others tell you to write about certain topics, don’t do it if it is not in your heart. I knew if I shared our story (which could help others) opened up our family to the public, and the publicity could hurt my disabled son.
Recently, I heard about an author who wrote teen novels but her heart was not in her work. She now is entering a new genre – one she is comfortable with in pursuing.
Many years ago I heard this man on the radio. He would advise listeners on business and recommended to callers to not choose a profession based on the money you could earn but, instead, go with your passion. If your love is writing, then write or whatever else interests you. Of course, there are times you need that paycheck but do not forgo your passion.
Author Stephen King was a teacher and pursued his writing in his downtime. He started with short stories before his novels were published, and he became a household word. Nothing comes overnight.
I laugh when I think about my first book. I was so excited and thought everyone in my community would line up around the block for my book signing. I had a good turnout, but it never matched my expectations.
You have to work for what you get. No one is going to give you anything. I just wish some young people would realize that. Anything done well takes time.
Coming from a journalism background, I had to learn the technique of writing fiction. Think about it. A journalist reports what happens. He does not include emotional reactions, such as her heart raced as she climbed the dark-narrow stairs. A reporter only reports what he sees and hears.
So learning how to write fiction was like going from night and day – two totally different arts. But my education has not stopped, I continue to hone my craft each day. You need to persevere.
But you also need to be realistic. If you are writing poetry, the odds of becoming a poet laureate are not good. However, what you can become is a poet who reaches someone’s soul or uplifts them. My one sister-in-law writes and makes her own birthday cards. Each line of poetry rhymes, but what is amazing is how she captures that relative’s personality. We look forward to these cards and they warm our hearts. Remember not all value is monetary. Sometimes it inspires others, provides comfort and helps ease their pains. This is what my books, Seasons of the Soul, and Lockets and Lanterns, have done, according to people who purchased my books.
In closing, remember to write what is in your heart. Nothing is quite as satisfying as to pursue your passion whether on a part-time basis or a full-time effort. God bless.