I often receive emails from other authors, asking me what my "secret" is. They wonder why so many people know me and they want to know how I do it, so that they may try my style for themselves, too. I also receive this same manner of inquiry from aspiring authors, because they would like to aspire to become like me one day when they do become authors. So, I wanted to address this particular inquiry once and for all, in a formal little writing, explaining the answers to this.
I believe that I intrigue other authors and aspiring authors, because I seem to be apparently different. And this is indeed true, I can explain this difference. The difference here, is that I don't write in order to build something for myself; but I write because I am a writer, because I have a message to speak, because I have a fire in my heart that I must share with others. Yes, I do work hard because I believe in working hard and it's that simple. But I don't work hard in order to one day be on Oprah, or in order to one day be famous. Was it not I myself, who once said, "Do not yearn to be popular; be exquisite. Do not desire to be famous; be loved. Do not take pride in being expected; be palpable, unmistakable."? Because what I said is what I believe in and is how I work and how I live and what I aspire for. I think that this aphorism of mine embodies the big difference between the way that I am a writer and the way that others are writers. I have noticed a type of self-absorption that is evident amongst other personalities of note, who describe themselves with many adjectives. I mean, sure, many of the things that I write are about me, too, but I don't actually use adjectives, have you noticed that? I describe myself through how I feel pain, how I feel joy, how I desire to laugh, how I dream, how I envision the future for this world... visions, dreams, pains and loves... I don't just slap an adjective on my name and then try to embody that. I in fact am sharing the process of living my life, through the things that I write, which are about me. I'm not actually "describing" myself; rather, I am living myself. Now, right here— look here— right here lies the great difference, the great big chasm that sets me apart from the rest— I am not living towards, or through, a description that I wish to attain or to be known for; rather, I am living to feel and to be felt. To be palpable and to be in touch with what is in turn palpable. I want to know people and I want people to know me.
Of course, I do want to earn money through my craft, because, this is a valuable asset in life— to be able to earn a valuable amount of money through the craft of one's own hands. This is a part of the richness of living and it's something I seek for, yes. But I see myself as an artisan, someone humbly working with her own hands, putting together invisible cities for people to live in, and building invisible cities within the souls of people, everywhere! That's how I picture myself. So I have really not been thinking of what I should come across as, what I should look like, how I should "become successful", but rather, I have been thinking about how to form the work in my hands to my best ability to do so. So, as you can see, in my mind's eye, I am an artisan. A sculptor, a mason. A builder. I'm thinking about the cement that's in front of me, the tools that I have to work with, the clay and the bricks. That's where I am in my mind, when I work.
I'd like to leave you with a quote by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, which sounds a lot like the things that I usually say, but is particularly applicable for wrapping up this post with: "It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for - and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool - for love - for your dreams - for the adventure of being alive." And on that note, I hope that I have left you with a lot to think about and I hope that in your time of contemplating on these things, you will find the answer to the question that you so often like to ask me. :)