I’m delighted to welcome author Karen Walker as the special guest blogger today as she stops on her blog tour with the eBook release of her memoir, FOLLOWING THE WHISPHERS.
Here’s a brief synopsis of FOLLOWING THE WHISPHERS: Karen Walker seemed to always have known that the whispers were there – the confidence and courage to heed them, however, were her lifetime journey.
In her poignant memoir, Karen Walker traces the effects of a cold, loveless home environment and an early sexual molestation on her growth, marriage, motherhood, and career. After freeing herself from a desert of a marriage, Walker loses custody of her child and then journeys to discover who she is and to find some sense of wholeness.
That journey takes her from her old life to new friendships, new lovers, and new professions. From New York to Portland, Oregon, and eventually to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Walker seeks someone to love her as she is. She finds that and more--a loving connection with her son. This fifty-year emotional odyssey ultimately leads Walker to a self who can look back over her life with a contentment and satisfaction that allow her to follow the whispers that the future may bring.
Karen is here to discuss ‘Finding Success as a Writer.’
According to Merriam-Webster, success is: 1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose; 2) The attainment of popularity or profit. What does it mean to you?
I had to think hard about this when I decided to leave a 30+ year career in public relations where I had been successful according to this definition, in order to write full-time. That was in 1999. It took until 2009 for the memoir I was working on to get published. And it didn’t happen the way I’d intended. So, was I a failure?
I don’t think so. And here’s why. I write because I feel compelled to share stories about things that happened to me and how I overcame the obstacles life presented. It has been a painful journey, yet I am now 62 years old and have achieved a sense of inner peace and contentment--something I didn’t think possible.
If my goal had been to write, publish traditionally, and make a great deal of money, I would consider myself a failure. But when, after two years, I couldn’t find an agent and chose to self-publish, my goals changed. It became more about how to share my story and help others. Based on that goal, I am successful.
I haven’t obtained fame or profit, but in my own little blogging community, I am becoming known and books are being purchased. When I ask myself what it means to be successful now, I still have to say I’d love to be published traditionally. In society’s terms, that would make me feel successful. But society doesn’t tell us to follow our hearts and feed our souls. Society is all about making the most money and having the most toys. And since that is not who I am, I guess I can say I’m successful.
So please, take the time to ask yourself what you would need to feel successful. Be as realistic as you can about expectations versus reality. And by all means, go for your dreams. Just understand, they don’t always happen the way we want. And sometimes, they happen they way they need to, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time.
Thanks, Mason, for all you do for authors and for hosting me on my blog tour. You’re a success in my opinion. Big time! Karen
Karen, thank you so much for guest blogging and the kind words. If I’m successful, it’s because of wonderful authors like you and great blogging friends who stop by. I think you’ve touched on an important issue here - defining success. It can have so many meanings to each of us. Wishing you much success with your writing.
Now a bit of background on Karen. She has published essays in newspapers and magazines, as well as an anthology series. After a 30+ year career in marketing and public relations, she went back to college to complete a Bachelor's degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2005 from the University of New Mexico's University Studies program with a major emphasis in Creative Writing.
She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Gary, and their dog, Buddy. When she’s not writing, you can find her doing international folk dancing, singing at retirement communities with her trio, Sugartime, hiking, reading, or hanging out with friends. For more on Karen and her writing (and singing), visit her blog author karen walker...following the whispers.
What are your thoughts on being a success? Do you think we sometimes put too much emphasis on being successful without really knowing what we want? Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.`