Probably 90 – 95% of the population will never put pen to paper and write a book. All of us however, at some point will read a book. Standing back and contemplating those percentages makes me think that it puts a lot of pressure on those of us who have decided to be authors of something. Authors supply the rest of the world with various-sized-brainstormed-written items to learn from, memorize, laugh at, cry over, review, rejoice and be inspired by. Why do we (the writers) do it? Heaven knows becoming an author is not an easy journey; it can take a long time to get up the nerve and the research to even begin writing page one – word one. Then there is the editing, the publishing, the revisions, the consultants and the sleepless nights of either doing the writing or worrying about the writing.
I wouldn’t change a thing. It was one of the most magnificent experiences of my life. Here’s why…
We Write Because:
- We have something to say that is important to us and it must be said. Each one of us is unique and has a specific life experience that forges how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. This (these) experience(s) can resonate so deeply that we are convinced it must be shared, even if we are an author of a private journal that will never see the light of day or never be read by someone else’s eyes. If we don’t follow through with our inner need and put it to velum, we are incomplete in some way. For an author, it just has to happen.
- Writing seems to be The best way to express our thoughts. There are any number of opportunities to make ourselves “heard”. We can find others that think the way we do about something and perhaps we start discussion groups. We can travel the country and establish seminars for large numbers of individuals who would like to know more about the topic that inspires us. We can create private journals that document the most personal and intimate ideas that give our minds and hearts reflection on any given day or stand on a corner soapbox and shout it out. Many people post comments on the internet every minute of every hour without leaving their homes or removing their bunny slippers. Or, we can write it all in a book – small or large, thick or thin, spine cradled by hand or existing in “the cloud”.
My book was written out of my need to declare and describe how I coped with loss; loss is something we all experience. Loss could be for an inanimate object such as a rare book or beloved sweater from Grandmother, or in the hardest of circumstances we might be coping with the loss of a loved one from disease or death. Loss is loss, it’s just that some losses are more complex than others.
Suicide is a very complex loss, one in which there is no easy journey through for those of us left behind. With the number of suicides per year across the United States and indeed the world rising, and notably escalating within the military for both active and veteran populations, survivors of suicide loss find themselves in a hard place. Despite the social advancements from the 60’s and 70’s, little has changed on how the population and the media view suicide and manage the topic when it is front and center. We survivors don’t usually gain much in the way of sympathy or even empathy. It is just too uncomfortable. After losing my son Drew to suicide in 2011, I unfortunately became an expert on such things. Unwanted expertise, but there you are.
Thus, the completion of my manuscript Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook became my passion for being “heard”. Sharing this writing, not only assisted in making me complete, it has been paramount in my healing as well. I no longer look for or expect empathy, I am purely self-sustaining in feeling good and acceptable with my loss. Like many people, I never grew up thinking I was going to be an author of a book, but yet here I am, after all the days (and nights) of writing, researching, stretching my vocabulary, exposing my innermost feelings and experiences, risking all my hard-won self-esteem, then laying this tome in the hands of people I don’t really know and stating, “wrap it up – we’re going to print”. I am now an author. I am releasing my passion for being well and healthy in the face of adversity and overwhelming tragedy.
By the way – being an author is rewarding and fun!
Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available 09/2015.
CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet firstname.lastname@example.org