Ironically, I’ve never read one of Stephen King’s novels and I loathe horror movies. Yet, I’ve come to cherish his voice, advice, and accessibility in On Writing. King’s forthright expression is refreshing: “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” Hooray, because enriching the lives of others is my ultimate goal! J As me-focused as writing a memoir seems, it actually isn’t if you approach it with the “right” attitude. I desire to tell the stories of others who have inspired, lead, and mentored me; equally, I aspire to inspire others. I visualize myself with hands open and upward, with my heart likewise. I see this whole adventure as an opportunity to give credit where credit is due, give the glory to God, and set my intention in a soul-pleasing place. This is a deeply spiritual journey not just because of the “Christian-themed” content of the manuscript, but because it is an incredibly scary journey requiring courage to complete. Telling my stories to friends and family is quite different than standing naked (metaphorically speaking (-; ) on the page before an audience of strangers. However, as King says, “Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing to do is shovel $hit from a sitting position.”
Therefore, even on days like today, where I’m at the Leesburg Panera for the fourth time this week, attempting to get some “real writing” done, but mostly only finding myself distracted by the cacophony of women’s voices bombarding me from all directions, I can still feel satisfied with my artistic endeavors because of something my sister, Becci, said to me this morning. She told me that my pursuit of writing has reenergized her to chase down her creative ideas. Awesome! For, I believe, the soul thrives through embracing its imaginative needs. So, as I encouraged Becci to pursue the “invention” we discussed, I was reminded of yet another gem from King and read it to Becci, “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” Exactly! Becci, you are so gifted, so unique, and perfectly positioned to achieve the goals and feel your soul soar the way in which you’ve yearned for years. Everyone, your mind, body, soul needs art for life. Maybe your art is music, perhaps it’s sport; whatever it is, embrace it fully because your life depends on it! I, too, will keep dreaming to feed my soul.
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” -Stephen King