“We get what we give, so let’s paint this world bright
Fight for each dream, celebrate each life.”
~Eden Abraham, “Watercolors”
I thought I’d give Shari a break from posting this week, since she just finished her final round of edits on my story and can barely even look at a computer screen right now without her eyes getting bleary and her thoughts immediately dancing over to my world instead of hers. Who can blame her, though, after four months of writing and six months of revising? It might have taken five different drafts, but you guys, it was worth it, because I’m so excited with the story Shari and I told together. I tried my best to help her along the way, to whisper in her ear and get inside her head. Sometimes I even flat-out defied the things she thought I was going to do. That’s really fun, isn’t it? Showing your writer-friend who’s in charge?
So many things about my book have changed over the past several months, but its heart still beats the same way. Its song still hums with the same notes, the same melodies, the same lyrics. One of the most important things I’ve learned as a songwriter is that you have to take it one word at a time. The beauty of music is in its authenticity, in the organic way it blooms, and that is true for writing, too. I think there are a lot of similarities between music and writing, in fact, and I’m happy about that, because it’s allowed Shari to truly delve into my soul while working on this book. She was able to understand what music means to me, because it’s what her own passion stirs in her. She was able to understand the chords of my heart, because hers resonate the same way. She was able to understand my persistence, because that same determination flows through her veins.
My songwriting, though? Let’s just say it was a good thing I was there to lend a hand. :)
I hope y’all will get to read my story one day. I hope you’ll get to experience Nashville, TN and Portsmouth, NH. I hope you’ll love the people in my life as much as I do, because they are good people. Wonderful people. The kind of people I could – and, often, do – write a song about. But most of all, I hope you’ll be able to take something away from the lessons I’ve learned. I hope you’ll see that life isn’t about how many times we fall, but how many times we pick ourselves back up. It’s about letting yourself lean on people and offering them a pillar of support in return. It’s about learning to trust, and believe, and take that scariest leap of faith. I think that’s what us creative types do all the time. We put ourselves out there. We put our hearts out there. It’s hard, and it’s emotional, and it’s nerve-wracking. But for me, and for Shari too, it’s necessary. Because there’s something else I’ve learned: a wish is nothing if you don’t take the steps to make it come true.
Soon it’ll be time for my story to start inching into the world. To make its way to agents, all the while still holding court in Shari’s heart. She seems kind of crazy to me for voluntarily querying two novels simultaneously, but then I think about my songs and know I would do the same thing. I would take every chance I get, make and create every opportunity, and I’m pretty proud of my writer-friend for doing that. She says she’s proud of me, too, and I’m glad. We make a good team.
Happy Sunday, everyone, and remember: we all have a journey to embark on and a story to sing. Make yours uniquely you. Color it vibrantly.