Author, Author Goals, Inspiration, Journey, Writing

Our Stories Matter

Some thoughts during #NaNoWriMo2022

I’ve thought a lot about messages and how the writer weaves them into a story. Creativity, and the act of weaving a tapestry, are both things that have been on my mind a lot lately. This is especially true, as I work on the next story in my goddess series. My current heroine is Arachne, and while the story does touch on the curse that caused her to be a spider, it is also very much about her embracing her destiny as a creative and, while doing so, finding her happily-ever-after.

A reader experiences fiction viscerally, or at least I find that is my experience. When a character dies, I cry as if my heart is broken, and when a character is happy, I laugh out loud with joy. Experiencing what the characters go through on an emotional level can also have a physical impact on me by making me nervous or causing my heart to flutter. But at the end of the day, their experiences are not mine, nor is the trauma that happens to them. I am thankful for that in some cases, I do read Stephen King after all. But what is the most amazing thing about fiction is it gives us the ability to learn from it without experiencing the same situations as the character. Such is the point of my bantering today… our stories matter.

I had a reader come to me not long ago and we had a chat about books, my favorite subject. She explained that she had read a contemporary romance in which the woman had a second chance at love but was going through some challenges with her ex-husband that she, the reader, could relate to. What she shared with me was that when she herself had to go into the courtroom and face her ex-husband, she was empowered by the lessons she learned through the eyes, ears, and heart of a fictional character. She had already imagined what her reaction would be in a similar situation and found herself ready to face the challenge with a toolbox full of responses for each scenario. She handled herself with her head held high and told me that she was so thankful to the Romance genre for helping her get through that day.

That, my friends, is why we write. If we touch only one person, heal one hurt, or empower one reader to face the challenges they have in their life, then we have done our job. It is the proverbial mic drop for a writer when that happens. And do we need fluffy or humorous escapism as well in this day and age? Yes… yes we do! ALL stories are valid and when we write experiences from our perspective and read the perspectives of others, we can learn more about ourselves than we ever could on our own.

So, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo 2022 I hope you slay those words. If you’re not rising to the challenge of typing 50,000 words in one month, I hope you slay the words. There is no “right way” to approach your craft, and your journey is your own. Please keep that in mind as you navigate your path, and always remember to give yourself grace. I hope you continue to tell your stories, and I want you to know, that I am proud of everyone rising to the challenge of National Novel Writing Month. It isn’t easy to do, but it is definitely a motivator to get words on the page. I am ready for an exciting 2023 in publishing after seeing all the projects that are being worked on. What is your story? Tell us in the comments!

Happy writing everyone and always remember to embrace the journey! XO