Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Blessings of Meeting Readers

Last night, I drove home down the dark two-lane roads from Edisto Beach under a blanket-covered moon. I was tired, but I was fulfilled. You see, I was coming home from the quaint Edisto Yacht Club having dined and spoken with the Edisto Women's Club. Thank you, Gina, for inviting me and Nakia, a Mount Pleasant sweetgrass basket maker. The Edisto ladies learned about sweetgrass from an authentic source and then I told them about my journey to becoming a writer. I read from The Spirit of Sweetgrass and my upcoming novel, Trouble the Water.

Before we ate supper, the sixty or so ladies held hands in a large circle and one woman read a lovely prayer. In it, among other things she asked God that we not be 'self-seeking'. I remember this because, here I was, speaking about my books and having the Edisto Bookstore selling them after the talk. Wasn't that a bit self-seeking? I find it completely strange, this being a writer and selling things. I understand, of course, that if my books do not sell, a publisher will not ask me to write another book. But the business of books is daunting and uncomfortable to me, quite honestly. If I were to stand before those sixty women last night and try to sell them a book, I would have fallen on my face. And it would have done them absolutely no good.

So this is what I've learned: that prayer about 'do not be self-seeking' is important. I've found that if I do not seek my own gains, but instead, seek to share my journey, share what God has done in my life and let Him have the glory, I can speak much easier. The words flow. Yes, my books must be bought by readers, and I'm grateful that you do buy them. It allows me to continue writing, to continue doing what I feel I've been called me to do. We all have something like that in our lives. Often, we just don't know it yet or it hasn't been revealed to us. But it will come.

I suppose this is all to say that the people I meet when I talk or sign books is what this writing gig is all about. Here I am, sitting behind a computer in my house, alone, writing a novel. It seems solitary and short-reaching. But then, like last night, after I tell my story about hearing the call to write and telling about the near-death experience that brought me there, a woman, Sharon, comes to me afterwords with tears in her eyes and says the very same thing happened to her. She heard the same message. Or another thanks me for writing a book that allowed her to envision Heaven after her mother passed away--to picture her in a better place. It's these things, these non-self-seeking things that make me keep wanting to write. I truly believe that if I follow my heart, someone, somewhere out there will be touched by what I have to say.
This holiday season, try with me to not be self-seeking. It's not easy at all. You and I will be amazed at what blessings come back to us though when we simply do what's right for others.

I pray you have a wonderful, safe holiday season. Feel free to visit me at and keep in touch.

No comments: