Suzanne Grenager outrageous post image

© Shannon George Photography

Thank you, dear reader, for showing up at my new Monday morning health practice. Granted, it’s not as calorie-burning or heart-strengthening as jogging—blogging. But if I let it, this start-of-the-week writing ritual will connect me with myself, and with you, at the level of heart. These words I write can strengthen that beautiful blood-red muscle at the core of both of our beings.

And it is the core of ourselves, our deepest values, greatest fears, and most precious desires, that interests me above all else. Who are we? Why the hell are we here? And what are we going to do to make a difference? Stimulating us to return to our hearts—and guts—in order to listen to and live from that wise, powerful body-being of ours, is why I for one am here!

In order to get clearer on such essential matters, I started writing a few years ago in a different way than I ever had. It was a lot like this writing—raw and direct, though I did it by hand in big black sketchbooks without lines, as a meditative morning ritual. But it wasn’t as easy as I make it sound. In fact, it was downright terrifying, from the start right up until recently, when I stopped so I could begin turning the words I’d already written into a book. Why was I so scared?

I was scared because I suddenly found myself writing in such a real, radically self-revealing voice that I sounded outrageous, even to me. I was scared because I’d long been trained and felt destined to write for public consumption, and I feared that my new unfamiliar writing voice was not one I could peddle out in the world, let alone to a literary agent or publishing house. (And for the record, I sent out great query letters to a bunch of agents and got little positive response.)

My writing seemed way too personal to dare share. That was partly from fear of showing my true face to, say, my mother. But a bigger fear was that hardly anyone but my mother would want to read the intimate intricacies of this one woman’s inner and outer life. My ego was pretty bummed that the writing I was doing was unlikely ever to garner a New York Times’ book review. And my heart was sad that no one might benefit from the wisdom I felt growing in me.

We know memoirs can be exceptionally self-revealing. At the suggestion of a writer friend, I’d given memoir a shot. But it didn’t make sense for me. I had no memoir cred. I wasn’t famous. I hadn’t been abused. And though I’d been sort of a hippie and had lived in India, I never even did drugs (unless you count smoking). Anyway, I quickly discovered that I wasn’t interested in writing in memoir mode about what was over and done with, or what I already knew to be true. I was interested in what was newly true for me and of me, at my best and worst, right now.

Rather than delving into and making sense of my past, I found myself delving into my stream-of-consciousness psyche, making sense of those all-important questions I posed above. I was writing my heart out and spilling my guts in real time. After years of trying to write to the mold of a “how-to” book on the one hand, or a proper memoir on the other, I was finally writing in a way that was supremely my own—while nearly everyone I know in the know told me it would never sell. We’ll see. Because to my considerable credit (if I may say so), I pressed on…and on, until right about now, when I’m deep in the throes of publishing a book in that outrageous voice of mine and am pretty excited about it. More to come soon about the bizarre challenges of trying to publish my weird book in my own weird way. And I had thought writing was the hard part.

About the Author: Suzanne Grenager

A seasoned writer and mentor with a gift for helping people see and be their most authentic, empowered Self.

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