My mom gave me this mug a few years ago while I was working on a manuscript called Paint Chips.
At the time, I doubted the novel would ever find a publisher, let alone an audience. Still, I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.
I wrote my story. The one on my heart. I knew very little about novel structure and plot arcs and passive verbs. I wrote out of shear passion.
When it was done, I needed to start work on my second novel.
I felt paralyzed. This time I knew more about how a novel should be written. How I should format everything. I’d gotten a few reviews that stuck in my head. Some were too flattering. Others hurt.
There were months when I’d sit down to write and I’d hear the reviews. What they’d said spiraled into negativity.
For the good ones, I’d think about how one day they would realize what a fraud I am. That I can’t write. That they were just being nice.
As for the less than good reviews, I heard the negative things they’d said. Not that anyone was mean. Not at all. But the “cons” or what they didn’t like about the book spun around and around in my head. I’d write a sentence. Stop. Read it. Agonize over how bad it was. How that reviewer would grill me for how awful I’d done. Beat myself up for even attempting to write.
I just about gave up. Quit the story. Tossed it in the trash.
Then, one day, I pulled my mug out of the cupboard and filled it with coffee.
“Write your own story.”
What went right with Paint Chips was that I allowed the passion to flow. Who cares if somebody didn’t like the story or my writing? I needed to stop caring.
I had a story to write.
So, I wrote my own story. A story that had been bursting from within. Let me tell you, My Mother’s Chamomile is from my heart.
If people don’t like it, okay. If they think I’m a hack writer, all right. I’ll survive.
But it’s the story I had to write. And I did.
I can’t be more pleased that I let it out.
Tell me, do you have a story to tell? What keeps you from doing it? Or, if not a story, do you have a passion that you’d like to let out? I love hearing from you!