I’m speaking at two libraries today, and when I walked into the first one I had an idea what I was going to say. I’d brought books to give away, so I knew those kind ladies would go home happy no matter what I said, but I had to ask whether they were all readers or if they were readers who were interested in writing. All were readers. That kind of killed my speech.
I was going to speak about the new indie markets and how to edit, edit, edit, because many new writers don’t do that, and it hurts their sales. I was also going to explain to them how many people they could help with their writing if they used their own experiences to encourage others. But no, none of the ladies at the library had any interest in becoming writers, they simply loved to read and wanted to meet the writer. I changed my speech.
I still told them how they could touch lives with their words, whether written or spoken. If you’ve lived more than fifteen years–maybe even fewer–you’ve had some kind of experience that could help someone else. I do it all the time in my writing. I personalize what I write with snippets of my painful experiences in life to show readers that the worst times in life can be endured. I let them see that they aren’t alone.
Of course, since the ladies to whom I was speaking don’t think they’ll be writing to readers, I told them that they can still touch a LOT of lives. All of us can. I love to touch lives through my writing, but I also love to share hope with anyone going through a life ordeal. Lost a loved one? I’m here to tell you that yes, you’ll endure pain and it’ll change you forever, but you can find a new normal. Injured in a care accident? Yes, the body can heal. If you have continued pain you might have to live with that pain, but I’ve lived with pain for nine years and it’s given me a deeper appreciation for what remains of my health.
We can all offer hope. We don’t want to explain in detail our own ordeals when we see someone who is struggling, because they’re so caught up in their pain they don’t want more added to their load. Just let them know there is hope and they aren’t alone. It’s amazing how much it helps to know someone understands. Be the one who understands. I guess that’s my message for today because it’s what I’m going to speak about at the next library. I’m leaving now, and on the drive I’ll be thinking about how my words might be able to better heal those around me. Want to join me?