My body felt lighter on Thursday when I drove away from my tax accountant’s office. One more time I was being challenged to accept and let go … a recurring theme in my life.
I came to acceptance of writing and publishing my memoir as a hobby … not as a business. I’ve had too many years of financial losses. My income from sales has never exceeded my expenses. I let go of my self-imposed pressure to “market the way writers are supposed to market.” Letting go felt liberating.
I didn’t write A Long Awakening to Grace to make money. But I did get caught up in trying to do things “right” … the way writers are “supposed to” publish and market their books.
Everybody is unique. Do not compare yourself with anybody else lest you spoil God’s curriculum. ~Baal Shem Tov
I did write and publish our story to be of help to others. And some readers tell me it did! That’s music to my ears … worth much more than dollars.
And I received some valuable personal gifts making the whole process and every penny I spent worthwhile:
- Writing my memoir gave me a whole new perspective on my life … transformation!
- Publishing it freed me … all my shameful secrets are out in the open and I don’t need to hide anymore.
I also hoped to motivate researchers of myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM), the disease both my children were born with. I was told that they like to hear personal stories of people and families affected. It makes their work more real and personal.
I wanted them to hear our family’s story. DM is far more than a muscle disease. The executive function deficit aspect is far more debilitating.
Because my son’s brain was severely affected, our family experienced nightmares and heart-wrenching circumstances. At the time I published my memoir (August 2017), research into this aspect of DM had only just begun. A few days after publication, I attended the DM conference in San Francisco to make my book available to researchers and families in attendance.
Serendipity has been described as “God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Thursday, upon arriving home from tax preparation, I checked my email. A newsletter in my inbox contained an article about an associate professor at the University of Utah who is doing brain research on myotonic dystrophy. A link to a website for more information yielded her email address.
Back On Purpose
My son is deceased now and my daughter is too old for her study, but I offered to send her a copy of A Long Awakening to Grace if she would like to read about our family’s experience. I told her a cure for this disease … or even a way to ameliorate the effects on the brain … would be a blessing and would save many people a great deal of heartache.
The next day I received the most heart-warming response from her:
It seems like a long time coming that DM research has expanded … We have a long way to go … but I am so encouraged by the … global collaboration ….
I look forward to reading your book. … It is important … to include both the patient and family’s voice and experiences in my broader understanding of DM, as this informs the work that I do in a way that, I believe, is beneficial to patients and families.
Thank you for offering to send a copy to me, but I am a firm believer in supporting others for the wonderful work that you do. I am particularly keen on supporting other women for their meaningful contributions – so I have already purchased your book on Amazon!
Thank you for … telling me a little of your story. I cannot begin to understand your experience, but I imagine that it was full of mixed emotions and ups and downs. Best wishes, Missy
I picked up the little book I use to record my writing progress, marketing efforts, sales figures, and reader’s comments, opened it to a new page and wrote at the top, “A New Direction.” In truth, it isn’t a new direction. It is the direction in which I was headed before I got caught up in trying to do things “right” … the way writers are “supposed to” publish and market their books.
What a relief … to stop comparing myself with other writers.
What a gift to embrace my uniqueness … as a writer and a human being.
What gratification … sharing my story for the benefit of others.
What contentment … to be back on purpose … God’s curriculum for me!
What a joy to find my efforts being valued.
What about you?
What experience do you have with serendipity moments?
In what ways are you called to embraced your uniqueness?
What rewards do you experience when you are “on purpose”?