The Swim Back

I have been writing since as far back as I can remember.  It's always been my go-to medium, even when other avenues were appealing at the time.  I remember my mother agreeing to send me to painting classes when I was very young because I felt, that while I never stopped writing, painting may enhance my creative inner path, and enrich the process. I was right, but only to a certain degree. 

Painting gave me calmness in my head.  And when I realized I was good at it, I held a gallery and showed my work to an appreciative, adorning group of fellow artists.  I was thrilled to say the least.  What transpired from those events was my newly discovered thirst for reactions; standing tall and proud, of my work and delighting in the simple fulfilling notion that having others nod their heads beside me just felt…, enough.

I was hooked.

Yet and still, I was not totally ready to publish my writing. Two years, then ten years, then twenty years, passed. Until finally I chose to show my work.  Maybe I thought it was too much of a private affair to be externally reading.  It isn’t totally clear to me why I had the ability to show a naked self-portrait to a room full of strangers, yet could not show the same group, a seemingly, well-constructed, paragraph.

When my books finally reached the palms of eager readers, I feared the worst.  But the worst did not happen. In fact, a reaction much like that about my paintings was the result. And again, I was hooked.

From poetry to novels and film… to international travel and book expos. Writing has taken me many places, but it was never the plane or the heels that took me there.  It was the seat I took on fear.  I let my fears of writing take me to an uncomfortable, terrifying place.  I let my guard down and exposed much more than flesh.  Now I look back and think to myself, ‘why didn’t I do it sooner?’

I created Limelight publishing for many reasons. One of them is to reach out my hand to writers who are just as terrified as I was. I learned that jumping in the deep end is like facing an untimely death, but swimming to the shoreline is like breathing new air, like being reborn, like painting new pictures that would otherwise never exist because the vocabulary had not been realized or developed.  Experience made me braver with each publication. Not less exposed or fearful, just better able to cope.

And it is this ability that drives me today. I never want my fears or doubts to dictate the direction my life goes and neither should you. Your fears are your fuel. Your dreams are your compass. 

And your courage is your swim back.



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