Monday, January 23, 2017

Epiphany



Sometimes in books a character will have an epiphany and solve a case. And once in a while we have epiphanies in real life. Such was the situation this week.

My post will be a bit more personal than usual because I’m hoping that figuring things out might touch someone else the way it touched me. I’ve seriously been considering giving up my writing. Life just hasn’t been kind over the past couple of years.

I lost my husband to what he used to refer to as, “The Widow Maker.” In other words, he had a sudden and unexpected heart attack, and that was it. (I miss him more than I can express, and more than I want to talk about.) Among other things, I had some health problems, made a major move from Arizona to Washington, and more recently, book sales have dropped with a thud.

I’ve spent a lifetime picking myself up and moving on when things didn’t go well or as planned. I haven’t been able to do that this time – until now.

Sometimes answers come to us when we least expect it and in ways we wouldn’t dream of. I read the email of someone who’s having a rough time because of life, people and writing, and it caused an epiphany. Here’s the realization that came to me and pretty much changes everything.

Writing has been an uphill battle. In fact, without going into details, my whole life has been an uphill battle. I can’t explain it, but this person’s email brought that up from the depths of my heart and mind.

I’d hoped my writing would supplement my income. Didn’t happen, or maybe I should say, barely happened. Then I remembered something very important. I started writing because it’s something I love to do. From now on I do it because I enjoy it. If the books don’t sell, oh well… What more can one ask for than to be doing something that makes them happy?

And this goes for the rest of my life, too. The heck with it. No more worrying about every little thing. I can’t possibly please everyone, and I can’t accommodate every request that comes my way.

It’s too clich√© to say that when life hands me lemons, I make lemonade. Nope. It’s not that easy. However, when life hands me chocolate, I fully intend to eat every bite and savor the flavor. It’s comfort food, and besides, I don’t like lemons or lemonade anyway.

It’s time for a downhill slide. Easy peasy. Struggling is pass√©. It’s time to yell, “Wheeeee” as I take the easy way down from the top of that hill. Sliding is so much easier than climbing.

I have faith and that’s what counts. Faith in what? Faith in God, in myself, in my talent, and in those I care about.

Here’s to a new life and a new beginning, for all of us who need them.

Now I’m going back to work on “Black Butterfly,” my latest work in progress. I’m ready to write, and I hope the story is ready for me.

Until next time, take a ride down that hill and enjoy every moment of it.

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw's website
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11 comments:

  1. Great post, Marja!
    I think the expression "You can't see the forest for the trees" applies here. Many, maybe most, of us start writing because we love it and we have something to say but, of course, we have our eye on being published. After all, we want people to read our books.
    But that can be where the problems start. Although we're thrilled to see our books in print, we realize we need to promote them or no one will know they exist. We start to pay too much attention to sales - or the lack of them - and our focus becomes distorted. We forget why we started to write in the first place.

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    1. Good reply, Pat! There are so many things involved in writing that sometimes we lose sight of what it's really all about. And, yes, it's a lot of work. Sometimes it's downright overwhelming. Thank you so much for commenting!

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    2. Those words (of wisdom) about not stressing about the side of writing that we have little control over is wonderful. I'm going to do a cut & paste and hang it over my desk. It sounds like we're on the same wave length; I just needed to hear it. For instance, I've been fretting because I've gotten a couple of emails from readers regarding my new (Jan. 1) novel. A word was misspelled, even though I went over the book 3 times and the publisher promised to make the changes. I found myself writing long explanations to the reader, apologizing, explaining how hard I tried to get it perfect, etc. Then I fretted for a whole day that the publisher wouldn't make the corrections when I pointed them out to him. And now I've read your post and I'm thinking I'll let it go. It's a good story; if there are inverted quote marks on a page it's not going to change the story. I'm practicing to let go. Thanks very much for opening my eyes. Sharon Love Cook, author of the Granite Cove Mysteries

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  2. Good for you, Marja. You're an inspiration to everyone who has ever struggled to achieved his or her goal. When life gives you chocolate, you enjoy every piece. Continue doing what you love, and the rest will come--sales, recognition, all the good things in life.

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    1. Bring on the chocolate, Dorothy. : ) The good thing is that now I can just enjoy writing, no matter what direction things take. I hope others read this and decide which is more important; writing or sales. Thank you so much for commenting!

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  3. I can commiserate with your dilemma, Marja. When I was offline last year for two months due to a dying laptop, I couldn't believe when I came back online how my sales had flatlined. And it's quite a struggle to get back to writing as usual but I'm trying. I have too many ideas to just let them float away into the stratosphere.

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    1. I hope you keep writing, Pat, and that life hands you plenty of inspiration. Enjoy the moment. Thank you so much for commenting!

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  4. I like your attitude, write for the love of writing and don't worry about anything else. Why not enjoy life? I've thought about not writing anymore, but then what would I do about all these voices carrying on conversations in my head? LOL!

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    1. I know just how you feel, Evelyn. We might think about setting writing aside, but it's impossible to do. Keep listening to those voices. : ) Thank you so much for commenting!

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  5. Hi Marja, I'm happy that you've reached a decision that makes you feel content and fulfilled. It can take a long time to get to that point, but when you reach it you feel so much lighter. It's not only true with writing, but in so many other areas of life, too. Sometimes the best thing is to let it go. Best wishes with your future writing!

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    1. Thank you, Amy. Sometimes when we think we've let things go, it turns out we haven't. That realization changed everything. Thank you for commenting!

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