This morning, the sky is that white bright of cold, and I can see the light of day through the trees on the ridge line. The mountains have flesh, I think; we usually just don’t see it for all their leafy clothes. I think I prefer this bareness.
Today, I’m in a place of deep contentment. I have so very much to do, more than I can probably do today, but I feel peace, enough peace to stare at the spines of the mountains for a bit as a gift to myself.
Yesterday, I finished the manuscript for the God’s Whisper Manifesto*. It will be my first published book, and I am so excited. I feel like I have laid my deepest dream onto the page for you to see, and I hope you will pick her up and coddle her for a bit and then join me in raising her.
Now, I return to my first book – the hard one, the one that it has taken me two years to write. You Will Not Be Forgotten is not put aside. It has just needed to rest for my final sweep through. I will spend my writing time this holiday week shaping him into his finest self – brushing the lint off his pant legs, shaving the edges of his hair line into crispness, making sure his nails are clean. Then, off he will go to agents. I may be stalling a bit in this because it feels a little like sending a young child to boarding school – an image so appropriate for the plantation, where white boys as young as six lived away at the infant school and where black boys were sent away from their homes to work as young as 10. It’s hard for me to let this one go.
These books, they are my creations, and I treasure them. I don’t know if my feelings are akin to those people feel for their children, but I know they are strong, protective, powerful. I don’t want my books to be harmed or maligned.
But when I’m honest, when I get right to it, I know that my protectiveness is also a bit about protecting myself. I fear that no one will find my dream worthy, that someone will read about these enslaved people I love so much and find them boring or unimportant. I fear that people will see I am a hack, not a real writer at all.
These are common fears. I know this. So I put them aside and abide in that place where contentment lives.
Because the truth is, even if no one reads my books, if no one finds joy or hope or challenge in them, I found those things in the writing. And that, dear ones, is gift enough for any lifetime.
I am the ridge, laid bare.
How does the practice of writing make you feel? How do you feel about the writing you produce?
*If you would like a free copy of the God’s Whisper Manifesto, please subscribe to my blog. You’ll get my daily updates, a monthly newsletter (with giveaways and good information about writing and God’s Whisper Farm), AND your free copy of the ebook when it’s released on December 1st. Thank you.