Greetings! This is a very special and emotional post, as it is my final Novel Spaces post after 8 priceless years as a Novelnaut. I have been proud to be part of a special family of writers who bond simply for the love of writing, and who have shared such precious and needed group camaraderie for so long.
Though I will no longer write Marissa Monteilh novels, I will still write. I'm enjoying my work as a ghostwriter, SilentINK, and I'm now able to free up my schedule to take on more clients. I will also explore and pursue other goals and dreams that I've had.
I've loved my journey as an author, though at times, I will admit it has been draining as far as penning titles, producing them (whether via mainstream of self), and then promote and sell in an effort to make a living. The industry has changed, and when I look back, it has truly been much more positive than negative, though the grind has been intense, and while the result brings many blessings i.e. amazing readers and friendships along the way, the business for me has been far from lucrative lately, and I had to come to terms with the fact that it's time to move on after twenty years, and over two dozen titles, so that I'm not just writing for ego.
As my final post, I decided to share a very special letter I wrote called A Farewell Letter to Writing, and it is addressed to Writing, my love, my passion, my gift, my purpose. I included the letter in the back-matter of my final title, L.A Husbands & Wives, and I also shared it during my final literary event last month, the National Book Club Conference, as I read it to those in attendance, which included my family and friends. I got through it, but with a huge lump in my throat. What a special day and special way to wind things down, close the book, and end the story.
So please enjoy my goodbye letter, and know that I am still around, just not trying to make a living as an author.
Thank you Liane Spicer, our fearless Novel Spaces leader, and to all of my fellow Novelnauts, past and present. It has been an honor, and I will miss you, but I will be checking in, reading all of your posts, enjoying from the outside in, enjoying you still.
A FAREWELL LETTER TO WRITING
AS SHE RETIRES
It's funny that back in the day, a beautiful spirit named Mrs. Eckelstein, my 7th grade English teacher, tried to tell me that you loved me. She said after calling me up in front of the entire class, after giving me four A's on a play that I wrote, “You're extremely gifted, Marissa. You should be a writer.”
I was made aware of you way back then, aware of your crush on me, but my head was turned by another. Two actually. One suitor was named Math, and another was named Modeling. I wanted to be a CFO, not a writer. And of course, being a tall and skinny girl who loved fashion and loved to sew, I dreamed of the runway. I ignored the fact that cupid had itswriting arrow aimed my way, and went on with life.
Yet every single job I had, there you were in some way. I wrote speeches, news stories, policies and procedures, magazine articles, and production stories for tabloid shows like Hard Copy. I still continued to ignore you.
But 20 years ago, I sat down to write my life story for my kids, and I felt you. I felt your hug, your kiss, your caress, the comfortability of your passion for me. You nudged me to turn that life story into a fiction novel called May December Souls.And through that experience, I finally found that I had passion for you as well, after discovering that 80k words later, I too, had fallen in love with Writing.
Looking back, since penning that story in 1997, I realized that you have always been there, loving me, trying to get my attention. At times throughout my career of writing two dozen books, I have said that your love for me was unrequited, saying that you didn't love me as much as I had grown to love you.
Well, I was wrong. You never left, you never turned your back, you gave me your all, and what that did was give me energy to do what this business requires: write, interview, speak, promote, travel, form alliances, blog, try new genres, craft, engage in social media, attend conferences, teach, mentor, sign, sell, ship, create, imagine, dream, submit, go sexy, stay strong, accept, stand up for, acquiesce, lug, give away, stay up late, sit, and write even more . . . because you made me feel alive.
You gave me a dream, though I have to say that it's time to downscale this relationship, and see if distance causes survival or not. But in my blood is where you will always be, therefore, “and still I write,” just not as I did. This is not a break-up, but a breakthrough.
Writing - always know that you are the reason I became an award-winning author. And you, through loving me, allowed me to discover my purpose in life, and how great it is to be one of 7.5 billion people in the world who can say that.
I will always love you! And I will always be grateful to our Cupid, Mrs. Eckelstein (R.I.P.), who gave me the light-bulb moment, that never died.
Forever and a day,