Welcome to today! Let me get straight to business, as a good student of Mary Buckham would do. Last month, my local writing chapter, Romance Writers of America-San Diego, hosted Mary as our guest speaker and her craft and branding workshop was outstanding. I highly recommend you check them out. I’m not one to take pages and pages of notes because I like to listen to all those little one-liners and short stories the speaker usually throws in between the meat of the presentation. Well, I ended up with a couple pages of “Mary-isms”. I loved them! She’s great. My favorite, however, was this:
It’s not about what you do, it’s about why you do what you do. That’s what the readers are connecting with.
She then challenged us to figure out for ourselves why we have to write and proceeded to briefly mention Sherrilyn Kenyon. My heart instantly warmed. Mary asked the room if anyone was familiar with Sherrilyn’s why story. Several hands shot up, mine included. I also got goosebumps. Anyone who knows me understands the deep love I have for SK and I knew exactly what Mary was talking about in that instant. If you’ve read any of SK’s books, but especially if you’ve heard Sherrilyn speak, you know why she writes. She doesn’t have to spell it out. Attend one of her signings, and you will pick up on it. I won’t try to put it into words or speak for my favorite author, but I can tell you Sherrilyn is coming from a place that was once painful and her why, in my mind, is that she wants her readers to know that it will be okay and they are not alone.
Redemption. Family. Forgiveness.
As her devoted reader, I believe that combination is Sherrilyn’s why.
Sometimes when you are posed a question, does your mind become a blur? Do you become either a completely blank slate or are you inundated with thousands of pieces of what could eventually be a clear answer to the question if you could only sort and connect them? That is often me. But when Mary challenged us to figure out our why that day, as easy as a passing breeze, it came to me. It was that I never want anyone to feel ashamed or alone because of things they’ve done or have had done to them in their life. Too many people, with generous and kind and thoughtful souls, suffer the judgment of others before they are given a chance to show their worth.
Worthy. Second Chance. Unashamed.
That combination is my why.
What is yours? I’d genuinely love to know.
A HUGE thank you to Mary Buckham for posing this question to a room of people who most certainly all have a why. And to Dianna Love, co-author of Breaking Into Fiction, which I highly recommend for every writer out there. It’s the craft book I finally understand and I use it with every story I write. And to Sherrilyn Kenyon. For her bravery.
Find more about Mary HERE at her website.
Find more about Dianna Love HERE at her website.
Find more about Sherrilyn HERE at her website.
Find more about me, Carlene, HERE at my website.