Happy Election Day! Today, Americans all over will have the opportunity to make their voices heard and shape the the future of our nation. It is an exciting and tumultuous time, as most anyone would tell you. I have heard more arguments, from both sides, in the last few months than I could have possibly imagined. Words having been flying around me with almost admirable rapidity, like machine gun fire, and I found myself sitting quietly in the midst of this, wishing I could write as quickly as my friends could debate and coming to the realization that all voices had something to contribute and teach. It struck me at that moment that our voice, and all those around us, are a tremendous gift and whether we agree with them or not, there is something we may learn from them.
This fact seems more applicable than ever as more feedback begins to roll in from my second book. Most has been positive (thankfully!) but not all of it. This isn't something I take personally (most of the time!) but an opportunity for me to learn from the voices around me, to take something positive from them, regardless of being positive or negative, and to move onward and upward with my writing. All the voices, all the responses, offered a chance to really communicate with my readers and see where they stand and what works for them. I can then move forward and use that, in compliation with who I am as a writer, to create a better story and weave a better tale.
It is this appreciation for all voices that shapes my writing, and my life, and helps me to learn, to grow, and ideally to become more confident in myself and my work. It is an acceptance of our differences that teaches us far more than acceptance of our similarities.