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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why I Write


I've written two books. Neither one of them has made much money. I've always said that if my words touch one person than I can consider myself successful. But that's harder to live by than you might think. Our society is set up for us to measure success by financial rewards or fame. 

I made a connection with the woman who owns the house where I had my retreat last week and during the course of our conversation, we discovered we were both writers. She asked if she could read my books and I agreed to send her two print copies. This morning when I woke up and checked emails, I found this:

"I just finished reading your book--Following the Whispers.  You were so courageous to write your story and share it with the world. I read it in two days--kind of unheard of for me--but I couldn't stop reading it, and I'm trying to think what the difference was between reading your book and other memoirs/novels/or even non-fiction, which I always put down, and sometimes even carelessly lose track of.  I think the difference is that I met you briefly, and everything you said about yourself in the book, made me look at you differently--in a deeper more meaningful way.  It's so interesting to get to know you this way--through your writing.

Your story is very moving.  So very deeply expressed.  Artfully expressed, and so healing to read. We have all lived such richly conflicted lives--rich in story, but the conflicted part is not so easy to live through--especially having your son taken away from you!  I think we're here on earth to find the grace and wisdom in the messy entanglements of life, and when I put your book down, I felt your grace and your wisdom wash over me.  All your complex difficulties were mine, too.

I feel like I have made a new friend!

Thank you so much for sending me your books.  I just started reading The Wishing Steps...I love that the main character listens to Source!"

I don't have words to express how this makes me feel. Maybe I should put this up in big letters where I can see it every time I doubt whether I should keep writing. Yet I don't want to write because of some external validation I might receive. I guess the bottom line is, I write because I can't NOT write. Writing helps me make sense of my world. And I guess as I share that struggle with others through my words, one or two others might make sense out of theirs as well.

Blessings
Karen

16 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome! Yes, you should print that out and put it where you will see it every single day. That is why we write.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Alex, thanks for "getting it!"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - can totally see this - and how wonderful .. the most important thing is relationships with our readers ... and you make the point here that early on we need to engage with as many of our readers as possible - and thus then they'll engage with us when they read our books ...

Essential point to make to newly published authors and bloggers for that matter ... cheers Hilary

Karen Walker said...

Yes, Hilary. So true. Without readers where would writers be?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

How wonderful! It's that connection, that ability to touch one other human being, that makes all the difference. That is why we write.

Arlee Bird said...

Of course it would be nice to make a few bucks from your efforts, but a letter like that or a nice review are feel good moments that money can't buy. Keep on writing and influencing lives.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Stephanie Faris said...

Those encouraging words make ALL the difference. It's easy to forget why we do this!

Karen Walker said...

Diane, yes, I needed the reminder that touching one person is all that matters
Lee, I hope to, thanks, dear friend
Stephanie, yup yup yup

Nicola said...

That is so lovely to hear, Karen. The Wishing Steps is an amazing story! It touched my heart too. Keep writing and enjoying life. Many blessings!

Karen Walker said...

Thank you, dear Nic.

Murees Dupé said...

This is exactly why I write. To have someone respond to such a personal book is amazing. That should validate your writing, whenever you doubt yourself. Congratulations on this review, Karen. That is gold right there. I wish you well and hope you keep on writing and inspiring us.

Karen Walker said...

Hi Murees. Thanks for this. I seem to need this kind of reminder even more than usual right now as I move more deeply into my next project.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love reading this insight from the mind of a talented writer :) Wishing you a great weekend :)

Karen Walker said...

Thanks so much, Keith.

Bish Denham said...

What a lovely thing for your friend to say! I hope she puts up a review for you.

Sure, I'd like to make a little more money from my books, but that's not what motivates me. It's about getting words down on paper.

Crystal Collier said...

And that's what it's all about. =) We have to take our successes as they come, whether small or great. It really is about touching hearts. Of course, from all I hear, the more books you have out there, the more discoverability, so there's that...