Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gratitude - Letter "D" - Insecure Writer's Group April post

This post is part of the 2012 A-Z challenge, created by the intrepid Arlee Bird at: http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/.

It is also part of the Insecure Writers Support Group, created by the intrepid Ninja Captain Alex http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/, who is also a co-host of the A-Z Challenge.

Now, how am I going to tie in my gratitude theme for the A-Z challenge with a post for the insecure writer's support group?? Hmmmm....

“D” - Darkness
As a beginning writer, I spent a lot of time in the darkness. The darkness of despair, loneliness, isolation, fear. I quit a successful public relations career in 1999 to write full time. I spent the next 2 1/2 years on my memoir, only to be told by an editor that "you have a book in you, Karen, but it's not on these pages."
I spent the next few years re-writing, and well, the rest is history. The memoir was published in 2009--a huge milestone in my life.

I no longer dread the darkness. I've come to be grateful for the dark times that come as depression for me. It is a signal that something needs to change or something is going to happen. In my writing, the darkness is the time when I am mulling things over and my subconscious is at work. I just need to allow things to gestate.

So, for both the A-Z challenge, and the Insecure Writer's Support Group, today I am grateful for the darkness. It is always always always followed by the Light.



welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the word for both the challenge and The Insecure Writer's Group. Darkness in anyone's life is not a pleasant thing. When you see the light at the end of the tunnel it's a happy moment.

Also thanks for the visit and yes I was suprised to find I had 500 followers.

Tara Tyler said...

the light is so much better than the dark! you can see to write! =)

MOV said...

great post! I never thought about darkness that way, but you are right!

found you on the a to z, will be back to read more of your lovely words. Would love it if you have time to take a peek at my travel theme blog too:



Laurita said...

I tend to embrace the darkness, it's where I'm comfortable. But your post is quite inspiring, and I'm glad you found your way.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! That is an inspiring and powerful way to look at depression. I suffer from bouts of it as well and I feel it will defeat me at times. Maybe I can change my outlook. Thank you for sharing this.

baygirl32 said...

what a powerful post - I really like the last line you wrote "it is always always followed by the light"

Anonymous said...

What a great post. It's true that sometimes we're lost in the darkness, unable to see the end of the tunnel but it IS also true that the light always comes.

Vero said...

When you reach the bottom, there's no other way but up. Kudos for staying on track and never giving up on your dream!

Matthew MacNish said...

Two birds with one stone. Nicely done!

Kathleen Valentine said...

I love darkness, it shuts out distraction and lets my imagination roam.

Libby said...

I had severe bouts of depression when I was younger. Those were scary, dark times and in a way, pretty crippling. Having gone through it and gotten better, I can appreciate what I learned from that time and every day I feel lucky that I made it through. I'm glad to hear you appreciate your dark times as well. It's a part of what makes us the people we are.

Loralie Hall said...

Such a great way to look at darkness. I really like the idea that it indicates change. I'll be keeping that in mind ^_^

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne - 500 - wow, congrats!
Tara, ah yes, so true
MOV, you're welcome and I checked out both your blogs
Laurita, I am more and more comfortable in the dark.

Melissa, my bouts with depression are what taught me what I've written about today.
Babygirl, I like that line as well - thank you
Alessa, thanks
Vero, not always easy, but beats the alternative
Thanks, Matthew
Kathleen, yes, that is very true
Libby, oh, that must have been hard - yes, those times did contribute to what makes us who we are
Loralie, not sure that's true for everyone, but it's certainly true for me

Suze said...

Gestation always happens in darkness, which can be a form of protection.

Clarissa Draper said...

Love these lines: "you have a book in you, Karen, but it's not on these pages."
"today I am grateful for the darkness. It is always always always followed by the Light."

Those are amazing revelations.

Tracy said...

Karen, very insightful and open! Darkness has various meanings in the wrld of writers but I never associated with how a writer might feel taking on the industry.
Thanks for sharing...

KarenG said...

If we didn't have the darkness we wouldn't appreciate the light! I'm glad you now have more light than dark, Karen.

Joanne said...

It's interesting that the darkness has become a useful sign to you, something for you to respect and interpret. To find the positive in it like this seems a very important way of handling it.

nutschell said...

the darkness is a great challenge for all writers. Good thing we have our imagination going for us--we can imagine the brightest light to counteract it.:)
great a-z post!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Way to embrace the darkness with a sense of light. It's true, that down feeling we have, is a time to rest, to mull over what's happening, and be ready for the next climb.

Mama J said...

Great post. It's brilliant that you can be so positive despite your depression. Good on you x

Shannon Lawrence said...

Wonderful! What an inspiration. I know when those dark times come that I will come out the other side and things will improve by leaps and bounds. It beats down the stasis I get myself into.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And it's always darkest just before the dawn.

Anonymous said...

Darkness IS followed by the Light, Karen. You know this. So do I. I have only told a few blogger that last week I had to put my daughter in what used to be called the psychiatric ward at the hospital. It was triggered by loss of actually two troublesome aides, one she was very attached to, and it sent her into a downward spiral. Every day she had agitation fits and tried to choke herself to death. She's much better now with meds and her first outpatient counseling session today. But I have seen the Light. I realize I have to focus on her needs first, above blogging, above writing. I did have all my posts written before she was hospitalized, so I decided to do this and just visit as many blogs as I could. Doesn't really matter how many, but I'm trying to keep up with my closest blogger friends, which includes YOU. You are one that I empathize with most deeply!!!

As ever, Ann

SweetMarie83 said...

Wonderful post! I think most writers have darkness in them, because writing is such a solitary, lonely thing. We tend to be an odd, broody bunch I've found lol. But as long as the light follows the darkness, as you said, the darkness can actually be healthy, as well as inspirational.

Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Pk Hrezo said...

I think we all feel the darkness at times, but just as you say, the light always follows and the sweet only tastes so sweet after tasting the bitter.

DL Hammons said...

What a perfect way to weave two themes together. Very nice! :)

Julie said...

I didn't realize that you were originally told your memoir was not suited for publication! Kudos to you for not giving up and continuing with it, I'm selfishly glad because that meant I had the chance to read it.

Have to say I find myself inspired every time I open up site and see the Steve Jobs quote at the top. I so love that quote and never tire of reading it.

Tracy Makara said...

Hi Karen, this is another powerful post. I loved it. You are so right about the darkness being followed by the light! Sorry I'm so late in getting to you today. The last few days have been hectic here!

Liz Fichera said...

You're the glass-is-half-full, Karen. :) Love that.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Everyone has moments (or years) of darkness to overcome, but I find that most people turn their darkness into love and compassionate service in some way. Karen, I hope you'll drop by my blog tomorrow and see my guest blogger's post. My E post is short, and above it is Amanda Adam's piece about writing memoir. I think you'll like it.


Anonymous said...

Well THIS is interesting. I got your comments on "A" and now on "D," but nothing in between. Very curious.

Karen Walker said...

I'm so sorry I didn't get to respond to each and every one of you who commented today because these were really heart-felt thoughts and feelings that were expressed, but I had to help an 87-year-old friend by being an advocate for her at the retirement home where she lives. It took all day.
Thank you all so much for taking time to visit and share yourselves in this way.