I started my blog 4 years ago. My wife was the wise one to suggest it. I guess she realized that the way that I best process my thoughts is through writing. Her perception was spot on and I’ve been writing ever since, becoming more and more consistent, reaching more people, and doing my best to make a difference, albeit to a small percentage of the population.
Over the last few weeks, as I’ve struggled to make sense of the emotions that I felt at the anniversary of my mom and dad’s death, I had a few people tell me that it was eerie that I was able to verbalize things that they had been feeling inside themselves. Both had experienced loss. Both still feel the loss. Somehow, the words that came out on the page resonated with them in a way that they hadn’t experienced frequently.
My wife has told me numerous times over the past few years, as I’ve navigated the waters of grief and loss, that all of my experiences would go into a book. I would be lying if I said that her insight and wisdom didn’t play a role in my attraction to her. She has insights into my soul. I guess that’s why she studied to be a counselor.
I have friends who have written books. Some successful, others not so much. Writing anything is like wearing your heart on your sleeve. I remember the days of writing music and playing in local coffeehouses (get that image of Phoebe and “Smelly Cat” out of your heads). There were moments where I felt completely naked as I stood up there revealing an inner part of myself to friends and strangers alike. Writing reveals a hidden part of our souls that often requires digging to find. The difference in writing is that the only person who did the digging was the author himself (or herself).
I’ve been thinking about writing a book, probably about my experience of losing both parents by the time I turned 40. It’s what’s been on my heart and mind over the last 2 years as I’ve been on the journey. Grief is a natural part of life, so I would imagine that my thoughts would resonate with those who have and will experience grief themselves. This blog and my former blog have been somewhat of a springboard in airing out those emotions.
It won’t be a New York Times Bestseller. It might not even sell 1000 copies. I made a CD once. The boxes of unsold copies continue to litter our garage. But the question becomes, why do writers write? If writers write to pay the bills (which inevitably will happen for those who pursue writing as a career), the writing can easily degrade to the lowest level. While I’ve had my fair share of writing for others (i.e., seminary papers), I still put a part of myself in each of those papers. Writers need to write out of who they are, and if they’re honest, that will happen naturally.
So maybe one day, you’ll read a book that I’ve written. Maybe you won’t. Either way, I need to be okay with that. I write in an effort to keep myself healthy and with the desire that the things which grief, emotion, and life have evoked might make an impact on those around me….no matter how small or great they may be.