Two of my literary heroes died last year. Beverly Cleary and Bell Hooks. While they may seem like world's apart to many, for me they represented chapters in my life where I needed to grow and their voices were like a call to action.
As they represent literary and cultural light keepers for me, and for perhaps many, most of us know that this journey is an ardorous one at times in which it can be tempting to either look for the exit or the shorter path. But how is the vessel of the writer developed that can deliver the story in the truest form that it has been entrusted? How is the path formed that can help someone else find the way?
While there are many opportunities to "get in the door" or try to "take a meeting", one has to ask am I in this for the long run, even if my audience is not found in my lifetime. Its something I believe most writers have grappled with.
For me its a matter of soul survival. I do not just write. I am always writing. I write because I am a writer and I breathe the worlds and stories within that have been entrusted to me.
While a creative person or writer, like myself, may go through several gestation periods in developing and pushing through the doubt and maybe even horrible rejection experiences, this holds true: We return not to the starting line, but the point at which the inner whisper begins to be that guiding light that propels us forward toward the universal ingredients for success: Timing and Preparation.
In the meantime, we can only hope that we pay it forward each day and without knowing can become one of those light keepers on the creative path for another child with the curiosity and boldness to question the world around them, or to be the voice for another young adult woman wondering how she might make it in a feminist world that still sees only her color.