Do you have a collection of something you treasure; art, books, old coins, stuffed animals? Most of us do. Our collections say a lot about who we are – our personalities and what we hold dear. I have a collection of books which belonged to my husband‘s parents.
In it are yellowing pages bound in fraying covers and tattered spines. Some are old children’s stories, some are poetry, and one is even a much dated ‘Household Management’ book with instructions on how to set a formal dining table for 12 guests. (I don’t pull that one out very often!).
These treasures are very dear to me because they remind me of the dear people who owned them, and also they link me to authors from long ago who had a vision of telling others what was close to their hearts. These family heirlooms I will not give away or sell, but will someday pass on to my family so they will tell stories of their grandparents to their children too.
Prompted by my daughters, I’ve recently ‘de-hoarded’ much of my home and given away what I thought would be useful to others. In the process, I realized I had collected notes and half-written short stories and poems. I felt compelled to share the literary treasures I had found, and have since turned some of the short stories into blogs or compilation pieces, and collected enough notes to write another e-book!
Do you find yourself hoarding your literary treasures? Is your notebook or laptop full of fascinating gems you haven’t done anything with yet? Share some of those gems with your audience every day. Let them see who you are and what inspires you.
I ‘follow’ several authors whose work I admire, but before I ‘liked’ them on Facebook or subscribed to their newsletter, I researched them online and got to know them as individuals. Once I liked what I saw, I followed them and even bought a book or two. Their online presence sometimes mentioned other authors they were inspired by, and I often bought their books too – all because they shared something that they treasured.
Austin Kleon – an author I follow
Now I do my best to pin or post one of my treasures every day. It’s not always about my work, but rather a gem I’ve discovered from someone else. I’ve collected a piece of their collection, cherished it, and then given it away for others to do the same. Check your notebooks and archived files. Are you hoarding treasure? If you are, start giving it away and see what happens…