My Dear Readers…
Hello, and welcome to “Katie’s View.” You’ll be interested to know that today’s blog post is actually part of a writing contest. It’s hosted by “Positive Writer," and the theme is, “You Are Enough.” Here’s the link, in case you want to check it out: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-enough
“You Are Enough.” Hmm… I needed to give this topic a bit of thought. As most of you know, I am a 57-year-old woman, and in some ways, I’ve never felt more “enough” than I do right now, especially in regard to my writing. Why, at this time of life, do I feel that way? Have I always felt I was “enough”? Maybe most importantly, are you “enough”?
First, I’d like to say that I believe we all have it in us to be “enough” - you, her, and him, too. However, we don’t always believe it to be true of ourselves. There seem to be stages in our lives that no matter where we are, or what we’re doing, we poke holes in our self-worth, both as writers, and even more fundamentally, as human beings. We allow people’s opinions or critiques of us to measure our value. We begin to believe that nothing interesting has ever happened to us, we have nothing of consequence to contribute, and that nobody will ever be compelled to read anything we have to write.
When we are young and beautiful, we wish we were older, wiser, and more advanced. When we are older, we long for those youthful days we wished away. Every phase of life brings its own challenges. The good news is that each phase brings joy, too. No matter where we are in our personal journeys, we can be “enough.” Speaking from a writer’s perspective, those of us who write may be the best (or dare I say only) resource to relay certain pieces of life’s journey to the rest of the world. Really!
While I believe that we can be “enough” at all ages and stages, I don’t believe I saw my own full potential until I was in my late 40’s. Yes, I’d been (mostly) happily married for many years, and had successfully raised two great kids to adulthood. But during all of those years, I probably never elevated myself to an “enough” status. Somehow as I stepped back and watched the kids marry, leave home, and live on their own, I realized many pieces of my own life had come full circle… and it felt good - "enough" even.
Our home had become an empty nest, so I decided to do something for me. I signed up for a non-credit Creative Writing course at a local technical college. To say I felt a little nervous on my first day of school would be a gross understatement. However, I faced that fear, said a prayer, and marched myself through the hallways and into the classroom.
As the weeks and months ticked by, I took on each new assignment. I had more to say than I’d ever dreamed possible. I’d kept a journal during junior high and high school, and have always had a good memory, but who’d have ever thought those old thoughts and notebooks could contribute to my starting a career in writing? Certainly not me.
I scribbled and typed. I signed up for the class again and again. As I wrote out snippets of my life story, it was becoming more than mere exercise; I was actually writing a book. I hadn’t set out to do it, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. The process required me to reminisce my life’s happiest moments, and wipe away tears of the most sad. It took me a couple of years, but by the time I’d tossed my last tissue, my book had a beginning, a middle, and an end. I felt so grateful. God had been so good, so faithful.
Finally, at the age of 51, I self-published my first book: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference.” The benefits of writing and publishing it have been too numerous to count, but they begin with a new-found confidence, and unexplainable deep peace. When asked, I now speak publicly about my experiences. Beyond any and all expectations, the book has reached readers throughout the
and many countries worldwide. United States
I would never have been able to write this book without living through all of what life had to offer. The story wouldn’t have been complete when I was 25, 30, or even 40! I needed to be able to look back through accumulated knowledge, as well as develop a certain maturity. My story needed to come full circle.
While youth is wonderful, and some young people find their writing stride early on, others of us need time to see what might come next. Sometimes stories need to be lived out to completion before they can be written. All I know for sure is that once mine was written, I’d never felt more “enough.”
That’s me… now how about you? What’s holding you back from writing the story that’s inside of you? Are you ready to tell it? If not, are you ready to take a step? Maybe you could sign up for a class that would help you try. If you’re scared, please don’t let fear hold you back. Take the chance. Say what needs saying. Write what needs writing. You may be the only one who’ll ever be able to share what the world, or even one person, needs to hear. Think about it. When the time is right, you’ll be ready, and (more than) “enough”.
Have great days!
Katie Kolberg Memmel is the author of three books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference”; “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff”; and “From This Day Forward…” For information about Katie, her family, and her writing, visit www.katiekolbergmemmel.com