People are telling me I’m an inspiration because I wrote a book.
The truth is, I’m not inspiring. Instead, I was inspired.
Ever since I was a young girl reading Judy Bloom, I’ve always wanted to write a book, and when I met Ed, I knew my first book would be about him. We tend to write about the things we love. I’ve heard author Suzanne Strempek Shea say that: “Write what you love.”
I used to say to Ed I was going to tell our story but that I didn’t know how to end it. Then life taught me what the end would have to be, and I was literally compelled to get the story down on paper. It was a very cathartic process.
In the past month, I’ve shared the book – and in some cases, sections of it – with those who appear in it and with my close friends and family. I wanted their feedback, critiques, suggested changes.
Everyone had great suggestions, and I incorporated them all.
The funniest piece of feedback came from my mother, who said, in all sincerity: “I think people you don’t know might read this.” This was her way of saying, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
My answer: yes, no, maybe.
Here are some snippets from others who have read the book:
“Loved it. Very helpful. I am not a crazy person.”
“Thank you for being willing to write about your challenges and difficult experience. It can help a lot of people.”
And here are some thoughts from another local writer who recently penned a column about her own grief.
She, too, felt compelled. Her thoughts mirror mine completely.
“It makes you feel so vulnerable to publish something so personal, but I have to say, I felt compelled to write it, as it is how I tend to process, and maybe that is true for you, too. Also, I find it comforting to think that maybe my sorrow can have meaning by helping others, so that is part of my healing, I think.”
As I begin to do readings at area book stores and libraries, I will blog about the people I meet, the stories I hear.
I would also love to hear your suggestions for blog topics. What’s on your mind?