When you read, what resonates with you? I mean, what really speaks to your heart, challenges your thinking, deepens your convictions, or moves you? What makes you say, “I wish I wrote that?” These are things that you can write about since they reside deep within your soul and will connect with others.
Last week when I was browsing in a Barnes & Noble store I stumbled across a book that seized my attention. The book cover gripped me first. The cover featured a wood-plank bridge that led to a sandy beach and an ocean-front in Key West. I could almost feel the moist, balmy sea air and the gentle salt spray. Then, page one refused to let me go.
After reading the first page I bought the book, Walking on Water, the fifth in The Walk series by Richard Paul Evans. Over the next few days I also bought the first and second books in the series, The Walk and Miles to Go. (www.richardpaulevans.com)
Why did this book grip me so tight in the opening paragraphs? It resonated with me by unknowingly speaking to me about my life!
Let me explain by sharing with you a few opening paragraphs:
When I was eight years old, three days after my mother’s funeral, my father found me curled up on the floor of my bedroom closet.
“What are you doing in there?” he asked.
I sat up, wiping the tears from my face. “Nothing.”
“Are you okay?”
My father, who was never comfortable with outward displays of emotion had no idea what to do with a crying boy. “All right then,” he finally said, rubbing his chin. “Let me know if you need something.”
“Why did she have to die?”
My father looked at me pensively, then took a deep breath. “I don’t know. We all die sometime. It’s just the way it is.”
“Is she in heaven?”
Now, notice how closely my life parallels the narrative above. I was eleven when my mother died of cancer. When my father informed his six young children of this news one Sunday afternoon, my six-year old brother, Bob, curled up and laid under his bed until dark. The rest of us sought my father’s comfort and that of my aunt and uncle who had accompanied him.
My father wasn’t comfortable with crying girls, much less crying boys. He had three of each that dreadful afternoon. When we asked him why Mom had to die his response was identical to the father’s response in the book, “It’s just the way it is,” he said. And the six of us too all wondered if we would see her again in heaven.
This opening scene so resonated with me that I had to see where the author would take me. And I feel compelled to write about my experience of losing a parent early in life so I can help others who have suffered through a similar situation. I can do this in both fiction and non-fiction forms.
What unique experiences have you had that will resonate with readers? How can your life touch others? What have you learned that you can teach, encourage or inspire someone else?
Use your gift of writing to tell the world how you made it through and how they can too! Remember, what resonates with you will speak to other hearts too.
You can learn more about this five-book series at: www.richardpaulevans.com.