“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that were limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out.
“But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to where your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
— Stephen King, ‘The Body’
Yesterday, I finally finished reading my book, marking stuff to consider as I finish my next novel. I started reading it back in February but had to stop. I just couldn’t read it without getting embarrassed and being overly critical, poisoned by the bad reviews I’d been bombarded with.
Over the next few months, however—I continued to get bad reviews, but with them also came overwhelming support from people who actually “got” my novel. So, waiting till the last minute and feeling brave, with a TON of prayer, I read my book.
I cried twice while reading it. As I closed the cover at the end, I was so happy I wrote it. It’s so personal and sacred to me. There are secrets in this story that kept me prisoner for years, but this book gave me a place to put them, so I could begin to heal and let go. They’re the most important things, and were the hardest things for me to say. And maybe I made revelations that in some ways cost me dearly, only to have some “people look at [me] in a funny way,” but to have others reach out, putting hands on my shoulders, letting me know I’m not as alone as I thought, and to have created something out of scars that I feel proud of, that has set me free in so many ways and given me hope and direction… that’s priceless, man. That’s worth it.
I’m telling you—writing is magic.