Updated 4:05 PM.
I’ve been exploring my thoughts on the priorities of my writings, the reasons why I write, and the purpose they serve. So I’ve been thinking. What will my first published work be?
How about a hit novel that attempts to make me famous and rich? Seriously, I want to write a novel one day but that’s not the reason. Or maybe a book of essays or short stories. There’s also what bloggers have been doing. Many look through their previous work, take the most interesting posts, and compile them into a book. That last idea isn’t for me just yet. I obviously haven’t published much here. So there are many avenues an aspiring author like myself can take.
But when it comes to writing reasons, there is one specific reason we might write. Oh, there are many reasons why we do, but there is one reason I am considering.
I had a conversation with a fellow writer a while back. He’s a novelist. Many writers I know are novelists. When I told him what I was working on, he suggested I save it for later after I’ve made a name for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to write novels, I really do. My imagination knows no bounds.
But this other writing reason. I can’t get it out of my head. So what is it, you ask?
People often have a story of their own to tell that can be healing for them to talk about. Somehow it needs to be heard. We need to be understood. I have such a story. And it is a portentous one. The event occurred when I was 10 years old. It tore my family apart. It broke my mother and I watched her crumble. Can you imagine being at that age, seeing your own mother like that? I felt like an outsider looking in, not realizing how it was affecting me personally. But it did. And it has had this deep, life lasting effect on me personally on so many levels. The only problem with publishing my story now is that it doesn’t just involve me. As of this writing, I still have two remaining siblings from my family of origin. How would it affect them if I went public with this? Perhaps I ought to consider a pen name. Probably. Most definitely. I say with great certainty, yes.
It isn’t that I’ve just now decided to do this. Sixteen years ago I began the work off and on and it’s been emotionally draining. I can’t do this for hours at a time each day, so it’s either this project alone or something else more invigorating. Yes, I do still have other projects I’ve started. I’ll continue that work simply to give me energy and joy when I need breaks from the one I’m doing now. But for this one, it’s taken 16 years to do the research and get the facts straight if that’s even possible after all these years. Even now, I’m not sure I’ve got it right. I’ll just have to leave questions where there are no answers. Now that I think about it, this isn’t a story about facts per se, it’s a story of experience and perception. And that, my friends, is solely my own. It’s my voice and only my voice, no one else’s.
The purpose? It would be healing for me, no doubt. Overcoming gives us strength. But what good are our experiences if we can’t make positive use of them for some constructive purpose? Is there anyone out there who can benefit from my story? I don’t know yet, but I have to try. After the work is done, and the manuscript critiqued, I’ll know the value before it’s even published. If at that point it’s not published… oh heck. The manuscript may lay around for a while and I’ll move on to something else. But there still might be a day. And that day may come. But if I don’t at least try, then this thing that happened, this event… it would have all been for nothing.
Look for the title, “1970”. It may not have my name on it.