At times I wonder what the sole purpose and meaning of writing my book and what am I trying to accomplish in writing these blogs. I have racked by brain at times, stared at my computer screen, or looked off into the distance as some of my veteran friends call the 50 yard stare.
So how do I bring my personal experience to fruition, to light, so that others can understand what war really is? I’m not referring to make believe, bang bang action movies or video games, that in my opinion have created a desensitization, a make believe world where people can experience without the real horrors, heartbreaks, smells and sounds in the war environment. The game characters can come back to life and actors in the movies are actually still alive.
So yesterday I was at a family birthday party sitting next to our nephews soulmate who happens to be a real author, whose books have hit #1 in New Releases. She asked me how my book publishing was going, and I replied that it’s definitely a lot more complicated than I ever thought it would be. I originally thought I would write my experiences on paper so others could see and feel the emotions I experienced being and working in a war zone. She proceeded to tell me how she enjoyed my blogs of my upcoming book and that she was probably not my target audience.
What? I had to sit back and think about what she just said,” target audience?” Until just now, I had not really given that much thought. I even had to google what a blog was when my publisher asked me to start writing blogs about my book. At best I was merely a “story teller” writing about my experiences, not really thinking of myself as a bona fide author comparing myself to her, who writes books and travels around the United States giving lectures and interviews. Who is my target audience? I know I have a story to tell, and I thought in some way I would be able to write it all down and throw in some personal conversations with friends, family, military, students of all ages and the general public. Basically everyone.
She continued to explain that she really loved my blogs and that my blogs had pulled her into a world that she would have never thought much about. With deep passion she went on to explain the emotions and feelings she got from reading them. My Blogs HUMANIZED the War for her.
WOW … She had my head spinning.
On my way home I was explaining the conversion to my wife, and it dawned on me. I never once thought my writings would have such an emotional impact on anyone. To truly look in her eyes and see the genuine sincerity left me at a loss for words. I believed at best my blogs would be an extension of my book so people could better understand the War zone from my perspective, when in actuality, what she said I am creating is “The Humanization of War!”
She lit a fire in me. Sharing my stories of the Afghanistan people, adults and children caught in the cross fire, I now feel I have a mission to tell my stories that took me from the naivety and unawareness of what I experienced when I walked through that door into the world of the War Zone. My hope is through my book and future blogs I will be able to bring to light what have I seen, smelled and even tasted in a War Zone. For some it may be a walk down memory lane, but to others as my friend told me, brought her into a world she never experienced and how I emotionally created “the Humanization of War.”
Thank you, Candice, for opening up and sharing your thoughts and personal emotions with me.