How I get Strength from Self Knowledge

Knowing who you are makes you stronger.

I love this as a tagline for my Daughter of Ravenswood series. To be honest, most of the story ideas I have come back to this central theme in some way.

Every book marketer will say that you need a tasty tagline to capture both the heart and the attention of potential readers. But does the tagline mean anything?

Mine does. At least it does to me.

Strength from self knowledge

Luggage by Andrew Stawarz/Flickr
Luggage by Andrew Stawarz/Flickr

Some people say the past is another country, that we should leave our baggage behind as we reach for our dreams. I can see the attraction, but I don’t agree. Our pasts have made us who we are. Our ancestors made decisions that reach into the present, in the same way that our choices today reach into the future.

I’ve always loved new challenges. In my career I’ve jumped at difficult roles, and thrived on projects that looked impossible to complete on time and in budget. In fact several of my most satisfying roles were messy projects thrown at me by desperate executive managers.

Life has thrown me a huge challenge in the last few years, with a debilitating illness, and a fairly bleak prognosis.

I could have let it swamp me.

But that’s not who I am. There’s no point in worrying about things that might happen. No point in having regrets, or in chasing dreams that are no longer reachable for me.

I decided to write!

Not only to write, but to self publish. For two reasons:

  1. So that I have complete control of my brand, my writing and my future.
  2. In the future I would like to publish other authors. You will have seen in my last post, Too Many Works in Progress, that I’m planning an initial foray into publishing with a ghostly anthology.

Some might say (several people did say) that wasn’t the most sensible decision for someone with chronic fatigue and pain, and failing hands that will only get worse. But I come from stubborn stock. Irish and Welsh coal miners, tough men and resilient women. I’ve written about how to thrive with chronic fatigue: I don’t give up on my dreams. I just take smaller steps to get there.

Meagan, my heroine in the Daughter of Ravenswood series doesn’t know who she is at the start of Path Unchosen. Initially when she finds out she’s a necromancer, she doesn’t want the power, it frightens her. By the end of the book she’s not only accepted who she is and what she can do, she’s also used her skills with the dead to get outcomes that are important to her.

Megan’s father is important in the story. She aches to know who she really is, she needs to find out where she belongs.

I was lucky. My father was a solid presence in my life, my champion and supporter. The first to congratulate me for any achievement, no matter how small. He died a few years ago and I still miss him dreadfully, but sometimes I still hear him say I’m proud of you Kim.

My doctor is surprised I’ve stayed upbeat, most of the time anyway. I’m not. I know where I’ve come from, I know who I am.

Knowing who you are makes you stronger.


Kim Cleary, Author

Kim Cleary

Kim writes paranormal stories with a intrigue, suspense and a hint of romance. She loves all animals, especially her dogs; and thrives on coffee and chocolate while writing and researching.

8 thoughts on “How I get Strength from Self Knowledge”

  1. C. C. CedrasC. C. Cedras

    Kim, I love this. You truly are representing your ancestors — and yourself — with strength and grace. I look forward to learning more about your publishing goals! Take care.

  2. Ray CrokeRay Croke

    Great article, Kim. Really resonates with me at present as I am writing about an uncle of my mother who was a rebel, an Army Officer and a Police Superintendent in Ireland in the early 20th century.

  3. Dora BramdenDora Bramden

    It’s so hard to accept yourself at times. I’ve found accepting the bits I don’t like makes me happier as well as empowered. Debilitating illness seems to close a lot of doors but I love the way you’ve used it to open some.

  4. Savannah BlaizeSavannah Blaize

    I agree wholeheartedly Kim. Knowing who you are gives you confidence when making important life decisions.
    I applaud you for your resilience and determination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *