I wrote my first book, Making Friends with Pain: Learning to Live Well with Chronic Illness, close to 15 years ago. I did so because there were no books on the subject at the time written by patients, and I knew there had to be others like me out there.
I wanted to connect with them. I wanted them to know they were not alone. I wanted to show them that they would be OK. To give them hope.
I self-published because at that point, no one wanted to talk about Fibromyalgia. And I mean no one. Talk about bad timing. Today, one could find an entire section of a book store on the subject. And I'm sure you've all seen the commercials.
I never bothered trying to get an agent or publisher. I also never realized what was involved in marketing a book. I didn't have much money, and I already had a full time job. I was not poised to succeed.
This was long before the internet and social media. Things would have been very different today. I got my book listed on Amazon, did some mailings and book signings. I sold a decent amount of copies, but I never made a dime.
I did, however, make a difference, which is what my goal had been all along. I have a box full of letters I received from people all over the country, telling me the book had a positive influence on their life. That is powerful, and incredibly fulfilling.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from one of my best friends from high school. She had come across her copy of my book and read it again with renewed interest. Her sixteen year-old daughter has been diagnosed with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and has really been suffering this summer.
She saw so many similarities between my situation and her daughter's. Reading my book again helped her deal with her own feelings about her daughter's struggle, and equipped her to better help her. She also gave the book to her daughter to read.
The thing I love most about writing is the ability you have to touch someone. Whether it's with a great piece of fiction, or a true life story that speaks to them, the power of words to have an impact on others is a powerful thing.
I don't write to make money. I certainly would not complain if I was able to do so, because writing is my passion, and you if you can make a living following your passion you are a very lucky person. But money is not what motivates me to write.
I write to connect. I write to inspire. I write because I have stories to tell. I write because I have a chance to make a difference. And when that happens, my heart truly sings.
What about you? Why do you write?
What am I writing about these days? Find out here!