A wise old author once said, "Only by giving yourself permission to write poorly will you write anything at all."
Oh, wait a minute, that was me. Haha. It's on page 11 of You've Got a Book in You. I do hope to get old someday (better than the alternative), and I am an author. Wise? Some readers say so, but time—and more readers!—will have the most to say about that.
I just noticed that sentence is the most-highlighted one by readers of the Kindle version. This struck me, because it really is my most important message, and in a way it's the whole book in one nugget. If we let fly on the page without caring beforehand about the results, we free ourselves to discover things we didn't know were in us. Wonderful, good, magical stuff.
Readers have gotten in touch to say how much the book means to them, and a few of them have even attached pictures. This one is from Cordia Pearson, an accomplished writer and businesswoman:
As she said in her message, "Anointed, highlighted, starred, and most of all, used." I love it. Thank you, Cordia!
I hope You've Got a Book in You will be a significant part of my legacy as an author and person. That makes me happy. And it makes me want to do more.
I'm thinking about these things—what one leaves behind—because an elderly family member died recently. Here is a picture of Alice T. Doyle, who passed at age 91:
As the picture suggests, Alice was one of the first flight attendants in American aviation. Her legacy is more than that, however; in spite of being supremely crabby at times, she was a good friend to many people, and she dedicated much of her later life to taking care of my uncle and aunt (her sister) during their final years. She also did her part to support the bourbon industry, as well as keep alive the vocabulary used by Naval personnel during WWII.
She's not a blood relative, but to me she was an honorary member of the family.
The lesson? Since we can take nothing with us, might as well leave behind as much as possible. Whatever we can give, we give.
As for writers? More gifts lie within you. Do like I do, and give yourself permission to write poorly. But do write! And see what happens. Pour it out now, and devil take the hindmost!
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