Good Afternoon, Friends, and welcome! Today Author Nancy Ann Healy has written a guest post you will want to read! She has encouraging words that will enlighten you!
Storytelling is Life.
Both are a journey you create.
First, I want to thank Lynn for inviting me to share some pieces of myself and my journey. Over the years, I’ve had countless questions about writing and making a living as an author. I’m always cautious about how I respond. People ask about everything from specific stories and characters I’ve written to how they should publish their first book. There are questions about getting reviews, marketing, maneuvering social media, and dealing with negative feedback. The methods I use to write, market, engage with readers, and handle criticism are always evolving. To me, it is all part of my journey. I’d like to offer something different. Why tell a story at all?
I often think people spend too much time analyzing the creative process and forget that we are all creators. Life is an unfolding story. We try to plan parts of our journey. The first few chapters of life are written for us more than by us. We learn from others how we should navigate our world. As we grow, we dream and set goals. What profession would we like to hold? Where do we want to attend school? Are we eager to go to college? Do we want to have children? Where would we like to build a home? Each of these questions could be the heading of a new chapter in the book of our life. With every choice we make, we’re writing our story. I believe the same holds true for writing fiction.
Every story is about human emotion and reaction. I’ve found people often concentrate on what should happen in a story and how it should unfold instead of who the characters are and why the characters feel and act the way they do. An intricate, fast-paced plot holds little meaning for me as a writer or a reader if I care nothing about the experience of the people living it. The only piece of advice I will offer a writer about how to write is to remember that the most important part of any story is emotion. Laughter, lust, avarice, fear, grief, love—these are all parts of the human condition. People laugh at inopportune moments. People cry from laughter. People quell grief with lust and quell lust with laughter. Emotion applies no matter the genre you choose. Romance can happen within a horror story. Palpable grief can take center stage in comedy. Never think about characters as characters. That makes them objects. Characters are people. Start from there, and you can be sure your story will resonate with others.
Why do I continue to publish in a world that is littered with criticism and unkindness? I believe stories have power. They make us think and feel. We learn about ourselves and others from the books we read, movies and shows we watch, and music we listen to. It matters that people see themselves, their relationships, and experiences represented in art. It’s also imperative that we travel with people who are different. Stories allow us to see both our differences and our similarities. We’ve all suffered heartbreak, infatuation, love, uncertainty, judgment, and insecurity. A white, heterosexual woman may not have dinner with a Muslim man or a black lesbian weekly—or ever. She will probably find emotional resonance with their stories—fiction or memoir. At its core, storytelling helps us understand ourselves, others, and the world. From the first pictures written in caves, people sought to share their experiences with others. At its best, both a creator and consumer emerge from a story with greater empathy. And that’s why I publish what I write. Every book I release carries a part of me—hours of frustration, laughter, tears, questioning, and exploring that I can share with others. It’s always my hope that one person finds something that validates their experience or causes them to want to learn more about another’s.
No matter how you tell your story, not everyone will enjoy listening to it. Some people will judge it and you. Their critical comments might fault your structure or the merits of the experience you share. That’s no different from walking through life. You matter. And the story you want to tell matters. Whether you share your story with friends at the dinner table, a small group on social media, or release it to the world, someone needs to hear it as much as you need to tell it. More now than ever, the world needs greater empathy. It needs diverse stories. Representation matters. Not of what we are and how we look or love—of who we are and how where we live, look, love, worship, and work affects how we feel and relate to others. I’ve published over fifty novellas and novels. Writing allows me to live in worlds foreign to me, to dig deep inside people who are different, and discover our common humanity. I don’t write to prove anything to others or to compete. I write to explore and discover, and I publish to connect.
I leave you with this final thought. Life, like stories, is a journey. YOU create it. Your story will always matter because it’s part of you. Thank you for letting me share pieces of mine.
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your encouraging words. It was a pleasure having you. Readers, feel free to share this post with your followers. Also, check out Nancy’s links for more information about her.
Until Next Time,
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