“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Voltaire
Besides asking for qualifications, editors and publishers ask, “Who is your audience?” I figured out my readership when I figured out what I needed to write about.
I’m writing for friends like me who struggle to do what we want when those we love want something different. It’s okay to choose what we want. It’s okay to have our own lives. When I wrote this paragraph, I thought, I wish someone had written that for me.
Actually, someone did. My then 13-year-old daughter wrote it down and gave it to me for my 40th birthday. She decorated a gift box with puff paint and filled it with trinkets, glitter, and a purple piece of construction paper that she had written on and folded to fit inside. It said, “Life.”
I kept her gift all these years because I’ve longed for what was in it.
I’m writing for those of us who need permission. Many of us have been told the way to be valuable is to do what others want us to do. I want us to recognize that doing what others want is very different from serving others.
When we get hold of our purpose and do what God intends (not what others intend), we’ll realize our true value. Until then, I’m concerned that feeling stuck in someone else’s expectations and judgment when we don’t live up to those expectations underlies our depression, anxiety, obesity, sickness, sleeping disorders, mental illness, addictions, and even suicide.
I’m writing for those of us who’ve already overdone it and, on top of exhaustion, we feel frustrated, confused, and guilty about why our good deeds aren’t fulfilling us like they do others. I believe it’s because we’re not living our own lives.
Are you doing too much of what others want and not enough of what you want? If so, I’d like for us to support each other in getting our own lives – the ones God has in mind for us.
In This Together,
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Your words are an inspiration to me. I made up my mind, not too long ago, to follow my heart, not my head, as I had been doing for years. I am a people pleaser and decided that is okay, but I needed to learn to say NO and put my feelings first in many instances. I still struggle with it at times, but I vow to stick with my heart plan. I am sure I am receiving guidance from above.
I love your heart plan, Annette. My manuscript is about some of that. I\’ve stayed in my head because it seemed too painful to feel, but realized (maybe about the same time you had your awakening) that it\’s also joyous. I\’m missing a lot by trying to be logical and self-protecting. I think we\’re twin people pleasers. 🙂 Here\’s to being the oldest child.
I love having you as a friend and a reader!
I really like this post. It took me quite a few years to realize that I did not have to dance to someone else\’s tune but rather could learn my own song. For 2016 my \”Word\” is INTENTIONAL. This post speaks to the concept of living ones life with intention, being intentional about what we choose to take on, with whom we choose to associate, and how we take care of ourselves though practicing a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for writing for me Kim!
I love writing for you, Niki. <3
I appreciate your word. I thought it sounded familiar and that's because it was John's word in 2014. It's a good one and it does fit this post. Maybe I should change my word to intentional? Just kidding.
Again, I want you to know how much I loved hearing what you had to share at WIN yesterday and the emotion with which you shared it. I felt right along with you and it feels good to feel.
Like your granddaughter, I was an aspiring (well, she's actually an accomplished one) ballerina in middle and high schools and taught ballet to younger students. I took advanced classes as an adult, but didn't have the confidence to go on. Instead of feeling regret, I'm inspired by stories like yours. It's too late for me to pursue ballet as a profession, but not too late to pursue other passions. We teach each other so much.
So . . . good. This is a great post for all of us, but i really like the perspective for writers. Great job! And I love your new site. Very much your new focus. Awesome!
Andy, any ideas who inspired all of this? I know you\’ll give credit to God and he did a lot! But if you hadn\’t spoken up (you were very clear 🙂 ), I\’m not sure when I would have heard him and listened.
There\’s no way to thank you enough. No way! <3 I love your encouraging spirit. I'm doing all I can to fix it up around here, but one of these days I'm going to decide my site is worth spending money on. For now, I'm enjoying showing up here.
From Facebook ~
Sharon Treacy Carroll, Adelee Russell and Angie Mojica like this.
Sharon Treacy Carroll Excellent words Kim!!
Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · January 22 at 11:47pm
S. Kim Henson Thanks, Sharon Treacy Carroll. You looked good on stage. smile emoticon
Like · Reply · 1 · Just now · Edited
From Facebook ~
Wendy Cassera, Melanie Brumfield Sawyer, Adelee Russell and 2 others like this.
Barbara Hilgeman Thank you Kim Henson.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 22 at 7:31am
Kim Henson Thank YOU, Barbara Hilgeman. heart emoticon
Like · Reply · January 22 at 2:50pm
From Facebook (shared on Florida Christian Writers Conference) ~
It\’s not always clear, but it is imperative that we figure it out. Thanks Kim Henson . #amwriting #FCWC2016 http://www.floridacwc.net/fcwcblog/120
Jean Dalton, Erika Rizkallah, Paula Mowery and 4 others like this.
Janice Bordeaux And… Who are my friends writing for today? And, with God\’s help you know!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 25 at 12:02pm
Erika Rizkallah Great post Kim Henson! It was informative in all the right ways:)
Unlike · Reply · 1 · January 25 at 9:07pm
Kim Henson Thanks so much, Erika Rizkallah.
Like · Reply · January 25 at 9:58pm