People tell me I should write about my autistic children, and I have done that to some extent in my best of year book, Seasons of the Soul. But there are other stories about them, especially my youngest high-functioning, verbal son, which I cannot share.
At one time, I thought I could write about our experiences of sitting on pins and needles not knowing what the youngest's behavior would be like. But my heart would not allow me to do this. It also exposes our family, and my youngest to the public eye which I do not feel comfortable about right now. He is doing better and lives in a group home. All is well. Praise God! So, when others tell you to write about certain topics, don’t do it if it is not in your heart.
Recently, I heard about an author who wrote teen novels but her heart was not in her work. She now is entering a new genre - one she is comfortable in pursuing.
Many years ago I heard this man on the radio. He would advise listeners on business and recommended to callers to not choose a profession based on the money but, instead, go with your passion. For example, if your love is writing, then write what interests you not someone else. Of course, there are times you need a paycheck and have to supplement your income but do not forgo your passion.
Author Stephen King was a teacher and pursued his writing in his downtime. He started with short stories before his novels were published, his work turned into movies and his name became a household word. Remember nothing comes overnight.
I laugh when I think about my first book. I was so excited and thought everyone in my community would line up around the block for my book signing. I did have a good turnout, but it was not what I expected.
You need to work for what you get because no one gives you anything. There are local billboards which say, "Earn It," and that is so right. Anything done well takes time.
Coming from a journalism background, I had to learn the technique of writing fiction. Think about it. A journalist writes what he sees and hears. He does not add emotion, but in fiction your story cannot survive unless it does. Heart racing, she climbed the dark-narrow stairs.
Learning this technique is like going from night to day. I have made great progress, but my education has not stopped. You must persevere to get anywhere.
But you also need to be realistic. If you are writing poetry, the odds of becoming a poet laureate are not good. However, what you can become is a poet who reaches peoples' souls. My one sister-in-law makes her own digital cards. Each card includes poetry which rhymes, but what is amazing is how she captures that relative’s personality. We look forward to these cards. They warm our hearts. Remember not all value is monetary. Sometimes what we do provides comfort and eases others' pains. This is what my books, Seasons of the Soul, and Lockets and Lanterns, have done, according to people who purchased them.
In closing, remember to write from your heart. Nothing is as satisfying as to pursue your passion whether it is a full-time or part-time effort. God bless.