See the first half of this post.
Here’s an example from my life: Initially, I decided to write a novel very closely based on what I endured that night at the Goldfield Hotel. I never considered presenting it as nonfiction. I hold my privacy dear, so it wasn’t an option.
For a year, I wrote in circles. I blamed it on writers’ block. And even though I couldn’t get beyond chapter 2, I kept rewriting. Changing names. Locations. Descriptions. I couldn’t understand why—when I knew the story so thoroughly—I couldn’t easily compose a fictionalized account.
During this frustrating period, though, the seed planted in my heart to convey my experiences honestly. A friend suggested I give up on the novel and share my actual story. I replied, “No!” Then another dragged me to a memoir writing class (she said she really needed to take it, but couldn’t get the courage to do it on her own). Up until the last two class dates, I told myself, “I will write about anything in this course, except for Goldfield.”
Why did I battle the notion of composing a nonfictional account? Because I was frightened of:
- baring my inner thoughts and my transformational spiritual experience to everyone who read “A Reluctant Spirit.” There were aspects I’d have to share that no one—not even Ken or my family—knew; and
- being judged harshly (especially the thought of losing friends and family that damned me to hell or thought I was stupid and irrational).
So back to that memoir class. For the last assignment, I caved to my nagging intuition and wrote a sanitized scene (eliminating the most amazing aspect of the experience) that occurred in the Goldfield Hotel. To my horror, the instructor made us read our stories aloud. When my turn came, the group bent forward over the long conference table toward me listening intently. Upon finishing, the teacher said, “You must write a book about this.”
And so I did. Writing candidly turned out to be cathartic as it not only helped me process the trauma of being sick for so long, but it also showed me how so many events in my life had prepared me for that one night.
As my authorial journey progressed, but before my book was finished, I started receiving invitations to talk about spirituality and the paranormal. I spoke to a large writers’ group. A radio show invited me for an interview and then a follow-up discussion. And, with each step forward, my fears eased and confidence increased.
My two major reasons for not writing my true story became moot. Yes, people told me I was escorting others to hell, but this wasn’t the devastating instance I expected. Why? Because my heart and spirit are at peace. Plus, reader feedback has shown me that my authenticity touched them. When they write me that they’re going to give their relationship with the Most Divine another shot, I see the picture as much greater than me or my memoir.
That’s when I realized that many people could be upset with me and it wouldn’t matter. My book was there when someone needed it. And that’s due to God. Because without those barriers to my ego-driven plan and the constant nudges from the divine, I wouldn’t have listened. I would’ve stagnated.
Thank God, I finally gave in. I’d rather be a tool of the Great I Am than move down a path where I didn’t touch anyone.