My goal on this blog has always been to write authentically about my life and experiences. I have not shied away from the real stuff because my deepest wish is that my words inspire others to continue to fight another day, despite how hard life is. I’ve written about fear and doubt and that awful insatiable darkness that wants to take us under, even when it was hard to bare my soul with such vulnerability. For me, writers have a responsibility to illuminate the human experience. And to do so, one has to write the truth.
I’ve been through a lot of difficulties in my personal life since the day I wrote my first post until now. During and after my divorce, there have been some dark moments. I’ve chronicled many of them on the pages of this blog. I have also shared the beautiful parts of my life and it has given me great joy to do so. Writers write to be understood, to share our stories, to express our deepest thoughts and desires. We cannot explain exactly why it matters so much to us, except to say it keeps us alive, present, connected to our souls. It keeps us from succumbing to the darkness.
Writing this blog and having so many of you read it, has been a great privilege. For every comment you’ve sent back to me, thank you. For all of you who read without comment, I know you’re there. Thank you.
So, here’s the truth. Last week I came to the gut-wrenching decision that it was time to look for a ‘day’ job. Through dedication, grit, faith and a few tears, I’ve written eight books in five years. The four years since RIVERSONG became a bestseller have been the best of my life professionally. Being able to commit to writing full-time allowed great growth in my craft, which gives me a satisfaction second only to raising my girls to be thoughtful and compassionate people. In addition to the joy the writing itself has given me, I have met many wonderful writers and readers along the way. For this I am grateful. However, as a single mother, I cannot take care of my children if I continue writing full time. The last few years have brought much change to the book industry and I am unsure how to move forward in a way that will support my family. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to make a living as a writer, even when books sell well, as mine have. This is the reality of the book business and one that I must accept.
Despite how hard it was to reconcile that I have to return to a ‘real’ job, I know that for everything there is a season. For now, my priority must be taking care of the two little girls that God entrusted me with. But I need you to know this – I will not give up. I will carve out time to write every day. I will continue to better my craft. I will never cave to the darkness. Perhaps it will be longer between books, but I promise more will come. Blog posts may be infrequent, but they will come.
Why do I tell you all this, rather than pretending that I’m still making a living as a writer? No one has to know the truth behind our public ‘social media’ personas. I know this. But I don’t roll that way. I believe in telling the truth, always. Lies never helped another human being feel inspired or less alone or less disenchanted. Pretending something is other than it is creates more anxiety and envy and self-doubt in others. And that is not my purpose. That is the opposite of my purpose. So here is the truth. I have to start over. Again. I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m disoriented.
But I know this for sure. We must never give up on our dreams or pursuing paths that are our destinies, even when the facts don’t always support that choice. I was born to be a writer. It is my gift and purpose. Has it been easy? No. Is it hard right now? Very much so. But no one ever achieved anything great without struggle and hard work. We all know this to be true. So, rest assured, I will fight another day. I will keep fighting for as long as it takes. I hope you will too.