For as long as I can remember I’ve been taunted by a voice in my head. Some may call it self doubt or insecurity but I took it as truth. I believed it.
Every time I wrote something, that voice would tell me that it wasn’t good enough. Writing was just my way of escaping or coping with the world around me and nothing else. None of it was good enough to share, no one would understand it or take notice.
Then one night I was in bed and another voice came. A young woman narrating her story. I tossed and turned, trying to ignore her but she didn’t let me, so instead I crawled out of bed, found a stack of notebook paper and wrote it all down. I wrote for hours on that paper, until I couldn’t write anymore. As time went on, the story progressed and I kept writing. I told myself that it was nothing, just another thing I would keep to myself or perhaps, if I liked it enough, I would share it with a few friends. That helped. It made it easier for me to be honest, to be real and uninhibited because I knew in the end no one would read it.
Needless to say, that isn’t what happened. After months of contemplating and trying to ignore that voice that I’d let guide me for so long, I finally decided to share a part of me with the world. And that is where you come in…
When you picked up my book (or clicked on it) and decided to read it you were holding a part of my heart in your hands. Each page you turned exposed a new layer, another secret I’d been hiding. This art of writing is ingrained in me, it’s been a companion, a shoulder to lean on for as long as I can remember and just the thought of sharing that part of myself was terrifying and exhilarating. I remember the first day of Freeing Asia’s release like it was yesterday. Biting my nails as I watched the reviews being posted, praying that it wouldn’t be a failure, that I wouldn’t be a failure. Because to me, this book was an extension of myself. So every nice comment, every compliment was another person telling me that voice in my head had been wrong. My writing was good enough, I was good enough.
So how do I thank you for that? How do you thank someone for helping you find yourself, for convincing you that your thoughts deserve a voice? You can’t. No matter what I say, it will never be enough. What you’ve done for me is invaluable. It’s been life altering. My only way to thank you is to keep writing. To take this gift you’ve given so graciously and do everything in my power to get better, to write better… to be better.
So to my readers, ALL of you, please know that the time and effort you spent reading my book was not in vain. It changed me. And I will forever be grateful.