Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Message

Writing is hard work, so why do I do it? There’s really only one answer to that—because I can’t not write. Oh, yes, there have been times when I couldn’t focus, couldn’t hold an idea together to create anything more than a few lines, or maybe a few pages. But the desire—no, the need—remained. But why?

I’ve asked myself that a lot over the last few years, and I’ve finally accepted that it’s because I have a message.  That’s how I started this blog, asking “What’s my message?” because I truly didn’t know. To be honest, I’m still not sure I can put it into words. I can only say for sure that I think all writers have a message, a purpose for the words they are putting on paper (or screen), and, published or not, sometimes the process of discovering that message is the real gift.

When I published my first two books, I didn’t understand that I had a message. I loved romance, I loved history, and so the idea of writing a happily-ever-after historical romance appealed in the deepest, most basic sense. Only when I’d lost what I perceived as my own happily-ever-after did I begin to search for the message.

I lost faith for a while. How could I write about love and romance when I had been betrayed, when it seemed that I had no love and definitely no romance in my life? What good was writing about characters that lived happily ever after when happiness didn’t last—and certainly not forever. It felt like a lie, and a part of me regretted ever perpetuating the myth.

But I couldn’t quite let it go, either. I had believed in it once; I wanted to believe again. And so I kept trying, even when it didn’t work. And I kept studying—religion, spirituality, metaphysics—working hard to deepen my relationship with my Higher Power (God, the Creator, the Universe, whatever word or words you choose). That’s what brought me here and to the discovery that my message is about love.

In A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson gives us two choices: either we approach everything from love or we approach it from fear. I spent too many years coming from fear, and what did it get me?  More fear.  So if I follow that line of thinking, then if I spend my time coming from love, it should bring more love into my life, right? And since the fear touched on all aspects of my life, then shouldn’t love come in many forms, as well?

I can’t see a down side to this line of thinking, so I’m going with it. No, I’m running with it. Taking it into my heart and soul and finding ways to share it with you. Thus, Emerson Kirby was born, the main character in The Scent of Forgiveness. She’s going through that same learning process that I did, and she’s kicking and screaming all the way, just like me. But she’s smarter than I was; she’s not going to fight needlessly when the truth is staring her in the face.

And maybe that’s why I write. Why I tackle the hard work of A.I.S. (ass in seat, to quote Everybody Loves Raymond) day after day. To help the next poor soul, like Emerson and me, get the message of love a little bit quicker and a little less painfully. One by one, we can change the world. For the better.

And now I’m sure of it! That’s why I write.



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