This morning, as the toddler and I walked home from dropping the kids off at school, my neighbor called out to me. I stopped to talk for a while. This is the neighbor who has read all of my books and loved them. He also knows I’m taking something of a hiatus due to way too many things on my plate.
Instead of using the same old platitudes, I admitted that sometimes my fingers itched to write, but I still didn’t have the time it took to dedicate to a world, characters, books. He smiled and said. I just want you to know I love your writing. I can’t wait to read the next one. Don’t wait too long. He said some other nice things but you get the idea.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the hiatus, the feeling of being alienated from the world of writing or the knowledge that I made errors in a few of my publishing decisions, but honestly, I’ve seriously questioned if I have what it takes to be a writer. Maybe five books was all I had in me. Maybe it was a hobby after all and I’m not worthy of the title writer.
I am not complaining. My life is so full of blessings right now that I was going crazy and past exhausted trying to keep up. I know the books I’ve published lately could have been better if I’d just had a little more time to write and edit. Family suffered. Writing suffered. Something had to give and it was about to be my sanity and my health. So the decision to pull back was a good one. Kids will age. Husbands will finish college. I will still be a writer.
But it’s still hard. It still leaves one full of doubts. Proverbs 16:24 says pleasant words bring healing to the bones.
It also brings healing to the heart.
As I walked the rest of the way home, my step was lighter. I still had a non-napping toddler to deal with. This is the still the day my husband will be at work/school until late. I still had house and yard work waiting for me, meals to prepare, homework to check, children to tend, etc. But I was smiling a little more than I had been. My passion for writing isn’t gone. It’s been temporarily redirected into silly songs and stories that amuse small children, and despite the frequent saying, I am still a writer even if I’m not currently neck deep in editing, writing or promoting.
Don’t underestimate the power of your words to encourage someone else. If you’re a fan of someone’s writing, tell them. It doesn’t have to be well constructed praise, or a long in-depth review. Just a few words letting them know someone is reading and enjoying their work. I don’t know a single writer who wouldn’t prize the effort.
You never know. You could make someone’s day.