If you are anything like me, then you need strong doses of encouragement from time to time. Those moments that remind you that your dream is worth pursuing, that you do have something to say, and that your voice should be heard. Sometimes these encouragements come in the most unexpected of places.
Yesterday I chose to stop for a cup of coffee at The Booksellers at Laurelwood, one of the few large bookstores remaining in Memphis. After a time I began roaming the aisles of Young Adult, Sci-fi, and Fantasy, picking up various titles that caught my eye. This is nothing new. It has become a bit of a habit to visit the places I anticipate my books will call home, but as I browsed titles I found something unexpected nestled between the bindings and blurbs. It was not, as it sometimes is, envy. It was not a criticism of my own stories or words. Of all things to find in other writer’s success, it was hope and inspiration. For that brief moment, the dream was very real. Each copy was the triumph of a single voice, a unique individual with a story to tell. Not my stories, but their own. My stories, I believed in that moment, can only be told by me. I need not be anyone other than me. I need not tell any story but my own. And those stories, like these stories, if wrought with effort and passion have the power to reach people with wisdom, truth, challenges, joy and love.
Those moments, though I’ve tried here, are not easily explained. A great sense of peace, purpose and joy suffused me. In a way that moment declared these words, “Your voice should be heard. You have something to say.” So may all my fear and anxiety flee in the face of that calm declaration, and may I share it as well. What story is it that you long to tell? Tell it! Your voice should be heard. You have something to say! It may not be a story of words. It may be written in hues of blue and green or red. It may wind its way through the air on strings of melody. It may sculpt images in motion. No matter the medium, remember that you have a story to tell and that we need your voice.
What’s your story?
P.S. A companion encouragement found in my planner today. “Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” – Russell H. Conwell