The Darkness We Carry is DARK. It is gritty and intense and tells a detailed story of abuse and trauma. You know what else it is? Hopeful. I ultimately wanted to tell the story of two complicated women who were a product of their relationships, both with men and with family, but found a way to overcome the most restrictive of barriers to find freedom. My writing has a common theme of a women finding their voice despite the world saying they are not allowed to have one.
Why is this important?
Books are powerful, and reading changes the world. Look at Orwell's 1984 or The Diary of Anne Frank. They put a personal voice to a larger problem in society, making it harder to ignore. Why is a woman's story of trauma important to read about? There are many reasons, not the least of which is that it is more prevalent than anyone wants to admit. We grew up reading primarily male dominated books-both in authors and protagonists. and it starts to become regular for a girl to feel she is supposed to stay in the shadows. What's more, I'm hoping this will pave the way for the even lesser represented, softer side of men.
If we write the messier side of life, and give a personal description of what the struggle is, it takes away the idea that our own suffering is insurmountable. It makes us feel less alone and
like our difficulties are somehow universal.
I love to see on twitter the various profiles- the harley riding middle aged man with a mustache writing romance novels, or the early twenty something blonde beauty writing sci-fi erotica, or the aging woman who finally has the strength to memoire her sexual assault in her teens. Others write cozy feel good stories that do not feel the need to be shocking, they just want to make the reader feel happy. They have all found their voice, and some against the stereotypes of the world around them. This group of indie authors are unrestrained and fearless, and I find them inspiring.
Margaret Atwood said "A word after a word after a word is power." How unbelievably true this is. If more men can write about grief and fear, what a different world this would be. Parts of my fictional tale are very true. It is in the details of those not so pretty parts of life that you find truth and a path to your own strength. At least that's what my favorite books do.
So in my opinion, what the world needs now is for every author to speak their truth. Push the boundaries, write the memoire, be unafraid of the story that lives inside you. Tell us your turbulent past. Your words just might open up someone else's world.