Then waited outside the nursery.
She came out breathless. "I want to write a book."
"About?" I asked smiling.
I remember the bits and pieces of her life that she has told me a few years ago. "It is a worthy story," I breathe - too terrified to say the wrong thing. I don't want to do anything to snuff out the moment of inspiration. I don't want to appear too eager and frighten her, I don't want to appear too passive so she might think that it isn't important. I need to say the right thing.
That's when I realize how terrified of my new passion. I want everyone to write a book. I am passionate about that now. So passionate, I don't know if I can contain it. I am afraid I might become too evangelical about this new cause and force everyone to write - and I know how offensive it is to encounter someone who is forcefully, over-enthusiastic about something to the point where they begin to bully others.
But having written my latest book, This Mortal Coil, I have an entirely new perspective on writing a book. I want to persuade everyone to write. Something happened with this book.
The other books I've written were because there was a request from someone,there was a niche that I felt only I could fill. I wrote to be a service to others, to share something that I had learned - a self help kind of book. I know that self-help books are disparaged, but like a very prestigious and wonderful friend told me once, all books that are successful need to have an element of self-help in them otherwise they remain quite uninteresting and useless to the wider audience. So I wanted to be a self-help author.
But my last book wasn't written primarily to help anyone, it was written mainly for myself. It was a positional book, written in defense of my beliefs about a current issue. It was written as a journal to help me process my life and talk through the presenting circumstances. I needed to connect the dots of a very difficult experience.
I did it. It took two years. And I remain surprised at how important the entire process of writing a book was for me. I will admit it. I did it for my own mental health.
It worked. Every time I have completed another step in the publishing of it - I feel this huge sense of relief. I actually feel a burden being lifted from my shoulders. I look at it with a sense of accomplishment. And the fact that it isn't a big seller doesn't rob me of any of the pleasure of just having done completed it. I do have a sense of responsibility of getting it into the right hands... but after that. I am onto the next book - the one I don't need to write - but the one I want to write.
So all of this leaves me this new insight that writing a book - publishing it on line and eventually in print, and then having a select audience read it and interact with it can actually be an avenue to mental freedom.
Now I want to share this passion. I want everyone to write a book. I want to help them, encourage them, release them and even help them publish it.
Can you imagine? Freedom is just a book away.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. - Maya Angelou