Every author, published or not-yet-published, goes through spurts of wanting to quit.
I recently had one of those moments. It took a day or two of me thinking about how I’m not sure if I can complete the task ahead, or complete the revisions needed, and get the right words on paper. I don’t have a fancy college degree (um…an associates in general studies) or anything else that makes me super qualified to write. I felt wholly inadequate.
I wallowed and complained a bit to fellow writing friends—because they get it.
And then I recommitted myself to my project. Why? Because what I need to say is important and needed. What I need to say, I will say in a way that no one else can. My words have value to others, but also to myself.
Yes, I happen to be writing to help survivors of sexual abuse, a topic that has been flooding our social media feeds lately, with survivors of sexual harassment or sexual assault posting “me too” to spread awareness. Sadly, it’s a topic that needs more voice because it’s so prevalent—for women, men, teens, and children. Survivors need healing. Survivors need people willing to believe them, support them, stand up for them, and who know how to help them. We all need to stand unified against perpetrators and put out a solid message that it’s not OK and sexual abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
What is your message?
What words do you have that will help others? How will your words spread light in the darkness? What words will you use to give hope to someone in despair? How can your words bring more compassion and empathy?
I can’t tell you how often I’ve read a book—fiction or nonfiction—that has put a piece of my own life in better perspective because of something an author wrote. Or how many times I’ve cried tears onto pages because it felt like someone truly understood some of the hell I’ve lived through. Or how often I learn something about myself because the words in the book reflect back to me a truth I’ve almost missed. Or how deeply I’ve been impacted by words—words that wouldn’t be there if the author had decided to succumb and quit.
Your words have power. They can lift the downtrodden, heal the broken, mend a divide, and soften a hard heart. Your words can bring people, even the world, together with understanding and compassion.
The world needs your words. The world needs your light.
So don’t quit even when it feels too hard to keep writing. Don’t quit even when the inner critic yells the loudest. Don’t quit—because you have words you haven’t spoken yet that the world needs to hear.
Wendy Jessen is the author of more than 500 articles—family-oriented articles on familyshare.com and book reviews. She recently started a website for something she is passionate about–helping victims of sexual abuse find hope and healing. Wendy is the mother of 6 spirited children ranging in age from 5 to 15. In the throes of writing a few books (fiction and nonfiction), she finds ways to procrastinate which usually involves scrolling through social media. Wendy often stays up way past her bedtime reading, loves kid-free date night with her husband, family vacations, and kids’ bedtime, aka, the human version of whack-a-mole.