Here we are, on the very last day of the 28-day author blog challenge…
Since I am a project oriented person, my natural inclination is to quickly move to the next project. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to do that before asking myself a few questions. “How has this exercise in writing changed me? How has my writing served others? Do I have any regrets? What is next?”
Before I answer those questions, I want to thank Laura Orsini for developing this wonderful opportunity for writers. You are an example of a woman in business who gives much. I cannot imagine the work that has gone into this project. I understand your grandmother’s concern that it may not have been financially rewarding. However, just remember when you give much, as you have, you will receive much. Your rewards may be less tangible than financial gain, but they will be of much higher quality and more lasting. When you plant seeds, there will be a harvest. May your harvest be 100 fold.
Now, back to my harvest…
There were days that I felt I might not make it to the end of writing every day for 28 days. Life still went on at my house in the midst of writing. During this timeframe, I had a book signing, a graduation party to prepare for, babysitting to do for my two youngest grandchildren, doctor’s appointments for myself and my granddaughter who lives with us, homework to do for a class I’m taking, plus all the daily routines of cleaning, cooking, laundry, gardening, exercising, and actually getting a little sleep once in a while. (Whew, even my grammar checker tells me that was a run on words.)
The discipline of writing something (anything) each day is the greatest reward I take away from this challenge. Writing is a creative process that takes time to simmer. Some days I thought nothing was simmering in my mind and heart and I felt completely depleted. However, showing up at the computer every morning was exactly the discipline I needed. And, after a quick prayer, I managed to come up with something to say each and every day. If I want to be a writer, I must write – not just when I have a whim to do so but every day. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I realize that not everything I write will be brilliant, but it will be good practice. It takes 21 days to build a habit. I hope I will now have withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have the discipline to write something every day! (I might take a day or two off though.)
How has my writing served others? Those who have followed my blogs have no question about my platform – breaking the stigma of mental illness and bringing hope to families who experience it. That is why I wrote the book, God Placed Her in My Path – Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder. I hope that is what I have accomplished through my blog. However, I am fully aware there is much more work to do.
Writing and speaking about mental illness helps those who know little about it to understand those who experience it. Bringing hope to those who experience mental illness and their families is a little more difficult because people often look for hope in all the wrong places. After 43+ years of coping with mental illness in my family, believe me when I tell you, my hope comes from God alone. Everything and everyone else will eventually fail.
I have only one regret; I was not able to read/comment on the blogs of others in the group as much as I would have liked. It was most encouraging to receive comments on my blog and that is what I checked out first before I wrote each day. A big “thank you” goes to Jo Michaels who was my most frequent encourager. Jo, each time you wrote, “write on” it made me want to keep going, just for you. You are a gem.
What’s next? I am looking forward to participating in the exercise to write a fiction book with other members of the group. This will be a new creative venue for me, since I am a non-fiction writer. In addition, I hope to use some of my blog materials for the new daily reflection book I am writing.
Thanks to all my readers. Keep tuned in.
Lastly, may all my fellow writers have an increase in their passion for writing because of the 28-day author blog challenge.
Dorothy Ruppert, author of “God Placed Her in My Path – Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder.”