As I mentioned in my guest blog at The Cat’s Write, I hesitated to make writing a career. I discussed how the rejections daunted me, as well as the fact that I didn’t want to write “just because” of my limitations keeping me from pursuing anything else. In truth, I had the hardest time overcoming the latter. My parents raised me to be a hard worker and someone who strived to make a difference, and going into adulthood, I wanted to live up to that. After doing my best in high school, and earning an honors diploma and over a 4.0 GPA, I didn’t want to live the life many expect of a disabled person.
Eventually, I realized my body wasn’t confining me to write; my heart was compelling me to. Still, I questioned the worth of doing it. The world can go on with or without books written by me. In the long history of literature, how could I, a small-town, handicapped girl, add anything original to it? Hasn’t every premise I could conceive already been done before? Wouldn’t I be better off using my limited abilities in a profession that—though more “average”—would benefit everyone?
Then, I remembered a true story.
A young girl had a very bad home life. Her dad, an alcoholic, left her mom, who struggled with mental health issues of her own, to raise three small children by herself. This led the family to a life of complete unrest and uncertainty, with the single mother moving them twice a year and hardly giving them any notice. The kids could barely make friends during their short stays and, on a low income, never had many possessions to pack.
To survive the turmoil, the oldest daughter locked herself in her own world of books. They were her constant companions, her friends. She may not have had another kid’s house to go visit, but her first stop in every new town was the library, where she knew a friend was always waiting for her. Sometimes, she read seven books a night, escaping a reality that could’ve broken her.
That girl became my mom.
Without books, Mom could’ve turned to a variety of vices many others do to escape bitter realities. If the authors whose stories captivated her had doubted their worth, she might’ve allowed her troubled life to define her and become a completely different person. My family may never have existed.
Hence, I found the value in going after a dream some could deem futile. In doing so, I’ve found my escape from my problems and hope to give the same to my readers. I’ll probably never know if one of them has a story like my mom’s, but that doesn’t matter. If my books and characters can contribute to getting someone through a tough day, it’s worth the effort.