I met with my writing group last night. It’s been a year that I’ve known these people, and though I only see them once a week, I trust them. I trust them, because I let them read what I write. I let them see my mistakes and imperfections which are things I try to hide from almost everyone in my life; even myself.
Well last night, an important and difficult question was brought to the table. One of the writers stated she met someone, a fellow author. This woman had published a book about genital mutilation. It was a personal account of the horrors she faced. This woman (Soraya Mire, www.sorayamire.org), really burned a thought into my colleague’s mind. You see, she began to feel that the words she was writing seemed trite compared this woman’s tragedy and ability to rise from it. She told us that she didn’t feel she could write her fantasy fiction without appearing like a fool, like she didn’t care about other people's personal journeys. She told us, she didn’t see her words as powerful, and that they weren’t placing an impact on the world.
Were her words worthy to be written down?
YES. A thousand times yes.
As she relayed the story, tears came to my eyes. I have gone through some horrific things in my life, none that I’m currently interested in getting into at this time, but horrific none the less. If it weren’t for those amazing escapist stories, I don’t know where I’d be. At times I’ve felt as though I’d been thrown into a deep well so dark that light couldn’t breach it. I could feel the physical manifestation of my memories crawl along my spine and bore their way into my mind. Not allowing me to forget what I’d felt, saw, smelled, or tasted. There was no reprieve.
There is no greater torture than the one our minds can create for ourselves. I needed those books. I needed those stories. I needed to hear the sound of someone else’s voice in my mind. If any one of those authors had given up, had thought there words weren’t important enough, I don’t know if I’d have made it. At the moments I felt my guilt, mentally self inflicted punishment, and feelings of worthlessness drowning me as though the well had filled with water and was choking me just within an inch of my life, I had another chapter to read. I had another story to finish. Someone else’s story became the floatation device keeping my head above the water.
Please don’t ever think your words are worthless. Even if they only mean something to one person, then they’ve done something for someone. Keep writing. You never know who you might keep afloat.