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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Susan Sands: All the Things We Haven't Tried

I'm scheduled to speak at a women's service league meeting next month in the town where I've lived for the past twenty or so years. There will be around fifty women attending and they've invited me to sign books afterward. Public speaking for me is exactly like the old adage comparing it second only to the fear of death--or being covered in spiders, while walking through a pit of snakes, then being burned alive. I added the spiders and snakes for dramatic effect. But you get it. Not my thing.

Since publishing my first novel last June, I've been called upon and invited to do that thing which I so fear--and shockingly enough, it hasn't killed me yet. I've sat on panels at book festivals and spoken to countless book clubs. Not dead yet. I can even admit to enjoying much of it.

Now, I'm going to address a fairly large group and do my best to inspire. They will be mostly middle aged women like me. They all have high school aged sons, for sure, because this group is a service league that focuses efforts of mothers and sons working together to help those who need it in our community. How do you inspire? I've been thinking about this a lot. 

I was told they want to know about writing. But maybe it's not so much the writing as how I started writing. How I decided to take the first step in doing rather than just thinking of doing. I really doubt fifty women want to write. Women take care of others. We do for others first most often before allowing time to listen our inner voices that are often only whispers while everything around us roars for our attention. The whispers can be faint for many years, and as the children get older and demands on our time grow less, the whispers become louder and more insistent. The heart wants what it wants. The craving for creative release, ideas for for new pursuits, and things that we've longed to try somehow emerge if we allow them. We must allow them. But instead of waiting until everyone is full grown and the timing is perfectly perfect to begin a painting class, yoga, studying photography, cooking classes, or whatever it is you've always wanted to try--do it now. Please. Figure out a way to carve an hour or two a week and try something new, something you've dreamed about. Something only for yourself. Even if it's an online class or Pinterest.

I charge everyone, not only women, to find joy in something of your own, something that feeds you beyond obligation. I write. I started when I turned forty. I also began painting classes, and cooking even more madly (which my family appreciated). I found my voice in writing and it changed me for the better. I view the world differently, in the best possible ways.

I know this post is clunky in its wording, but it is earnest in sentiment.

Best,

Susan Sands
Author of Again, Alabama and
Love, Alabama (April 2016
Twitter: @SusanNoelSands
Blog:  Sweet Home Alpharetta at: http://susansands.com

4 comments:

dstoutholcomb said...

It's not clunky--it's from the heart!

Denise

susan sands said...

Thanks, Denise! So glad you felt it!!

Chris Mckenzie said...

Hitting your 40's is the biggest eye opener.

Chris Mckenzie said...

Hitting your 40's is the biggest eye opener.