The Doors of Life

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

One of my favorite sayings is, If you don’t ask you’ll never know the answer. I’ve never been one to shy away from life. I sort of take the bull by the horns and hang on for the ride. I’ve always figured if you want something ask for it, what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you’ll get turned down and, if that happens then whatever it was that you were asking for was probably not meant to be.

Sometimes I get to pondering about life, where I’ve been and where I want to go. I may be knocking on old ages door, but I’m not in the grave yet, I have dreams, a brain, a tiny amount of memory capacity left, and enough energy to get through most days without a nap. Not to mention my imagination still runs wild, almost as wide open as it did in my teenage years, too bad the body can’t keep up with the mind.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us to ask him and we will find answers. That the right doors of life will open to us if we seek His perfect will. I am almost eight years into my full time writing career. The door of wealth has not opened for me, but I must admit I’ve never asked God to make me wealthy, just for enough. Doors have opened for me though and revealed a path worth much more than dollars and cents:

1. The door of devotion: Even though I have been advised to juice up my writing I have kept my words, and the thoughts of my characters clean.

2. The door of accomplishment: No, none of my books have hit the New York Times Bestsellers list, and they probably never will. However, I am satisfied with my work as long as I keep getting heart-felt reviews from all those who follow my writing. To touch some ones heart with my stories is all the fame I could ever hope to achieve. (Okay, a few extra dollars wouldn’t be too bad either.)

3. The door of friendship: I could never in a hundred pages list all the people who have touched my life these past few years. The ones I have met at book signings while attending festivals, libraries, schools, retirement centers, book clubs, and simply meeting individuals on the street who stop me to comment on my work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my stories and telling the world about them. I especially want to thank all those who have gone to and posted reviews, I am humbled by your kind words.

4. The door of patience: It takes much patience to write a novel. You have to sometimes wait for the characters to speak to you, I don’t call this writers block, it’s simply God telling me to slow down and listen for a while. It takes even more patience while working with an editor to polish up the grammar, punctuation, and plot holes. The hours spent agonizing over publishing companies, and sending out queries are grueling. Yes, one must knock on the door of patience if one wants to survive the practice of putting words to paper.

5. The door of commitment: You’ll never know how many times I have been tempted to throw up my hands and pitch my stories into the woodstove. Why am I doing this? I’m just wasting my time, who is even reading this stuff anyway? Then I get an email, a phone call or note from someone telling me how my novel changed their life, or that one of my books was the best story they ever read. Wow! That’s why I keep doing what I do.

6. The door of creativity: Why do I love to write? Here are a few reasons. Writing brings an inner release to me. My thoughts and feelings come out and I can go anywhere I want to with my stories, the Blue Ridge Mountains, off to the Coast of Jekyll Island, a dip in New River, or to the manger the night Jesus was born. I might even take a stroll through Central Park or a bike ride around Cades Cove, or I might get thrown into a dark, lonesome coal mine. Another reason I like to write is I can invent any character I want to and make them any way I want them to be, loveable, rich, mean, poor, tall, bald, robust, or meek and humble. I have to write because it’s the only way I can shut up these voices in my head.

Many doors will open to us, and many will close. Some will open easily, others will get jammed and we’ll have to tug and pull to get to life’s answers. It’s been a hard winter for me. As my last blog stated I’ve been shut up in an office doing tasks that had to be done, but all the while the creative part of my brain was being smothered. Now the office door has opened and I have been set free.

I can’t wait to start attending street festivals and book signing. But more importantly I can’t wait to finish writing my next novel and share it with you. I’m still deciding on the title. In the mean time I have a couple of events coming up. I’ll be at the Elkin Public Library Monday evening March 23, at 7pm to talk about my latest novel, The River Keeper. Then I’ll be at the Yadkin Senior Center in Jonesville, NC on Monday April 27 at 11am. For other upcoming events check out the Book Signing page on my website at: www.SarahMartinByrd.comIMG_0840

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