Sunday, September 10, 2017

My final Novel Spaces post - A Farewell Letter to Writing

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.

Much love!




Dear Writing,

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,



Linda Thorne said...

I really enjoyed your farewell letter although it's sounds like you'll still be writing, but from a different angle. Sometimes we need to go where the money is and it's not always in writing (except for that small percent). I thought I wanted to do it full time and had the best opportunity when I was laid off from a 9-year job. After a few months of unemployment, I'm back to a full-time day job because chances are, writing for me, will never pay the bills. I'll never give it up, but I doubt I'll be putting out book after book. Good luck on your new opportunities.

Liane Spicer said...

Marissa, it's hard to conceive of Novel Spaces without you! You have been here from Day 1, and here we are in our ninth year. Who thought we would last this long?

The blog, and I personally, am going to miss you terribly. It has been an unalloyed pleasure working alongside you for all these years. You have been a wonderful co-Novelnaut, and one of the most appreciative and gracious people I have had the pleasure to encounter in my life. I wish you all the best as you start another chapter, meet another bend in this road.

As long as the blog exists you have a home here.

Coincidence: I also wrote my first novel in 1997. Took me a while to put it out there, but, yes. :)

Lynn Emery said...

All the best and blessings to you on future journeys on the road of life! I don't doubt your creative energy will burn right in all you do.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lovely post. Touching letter. Good luck with all you do in the future!

Maggie King said...

Marissa, thanks for sharing your bittersweet letter. I wish you much success going forward. I'm happy that you're continuing to write.

Carol Mitchell said...

Marissa, You will be missed. Please keep us posted on whatever you do going forward. Somehow I suspect your true love will reel you in once more.
Best wishes, Carol

Mollie Blake said...

Marissa, I'm a newbie here and am sorry not to get to know you more. Your story and letter are very moving. Thanks for sharing them. I wish you all the very best as you move on to the next phase in your life, without really leaving the world of writing which you clearly hold dear.
Mollie x

Mollie Blake said...

Hi Marissa. I feel I'm still a newbie here and it's a shame I won't get to know you better. Your story and letter are quite moving and beautifully written. I wish you all the best in your future. It's good to know that you won't be breaking you love affair with writing totally.
Mollie xx

Amy Reade said...

Marissa, your beautiful voice will be missed as a regular part of Novel Spaces, but I hope you'll come back for a cameo now and then to keep us up to date with your writing projects. I wish you all the best as you continue your unique and individual journey, and I know that your dreams will keep you both grounded and flying high.

Marissa Monteilh said...

Linda, I agree with your every word. You summed it up, sis! The love of it, the money, mixing the two. Thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to continuing to read your posts!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Liane, you've been positive and committed, gracious and warm, since day one. Thanks for the opportunity!! It has been a pleasure for me as well. And we're 1997 first book sisters I see. We'll stay in touch. Looking forward to it. All the best, always and in all ways!!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Lynn, thanks for the sweet words. You'll always be my sister-in-pen. Much love!!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Charles, thank for the well wishes. I've enjoyed our connection. All the best to you in all of your endeavors!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Maggie, thank you! Bittersweet is the perfect word! Your kind words mean so much!! Take care.

Marissa Monteilh said...

Carol, lol, maybe - that true love is a strong one, it just might. Thanks for your comments and camaraderie. Blessings and love!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Mollie, welcome newbie, lol! It means so much that you took the time to wish me well. I appreciate it and wish you all the best! Write on, sis!!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Amy, thanks for the beautiful words. I'm sure I will stop by again for an update. Grounded and flying high sound good to me. The best of everything to you as well.