This past Saturday I took part in an event that featured several different authors. Above is a picture of me talking to one of them. These events are always fun and enlightening. Talking with other authors, we all discover we share some of the same struggles and can support one another. At this particular event, another great aspect of the benefits of writing was on display – sharing your story. There are not words strong enough to convey my desire to have everyone share their story. It is such a gift in so many ways. We have discussed a few of them in past posts and I will provide a quick reminder here. It helps those that read it know and feel they are not alone. No matter how uniquely crazy your situation feels, I can guarantee there is someone out there going through something very similar if not the same. It also helps share and provide a record of mistakes you may have made and helps others avoid them. If it is too late for that, it may help them see how you made your way out of it. Sharing your story helps to foster a sense of community in whatever group you are writing about. With technology, that community can even be global!
Those benefits, as great as they are, do not come close to completing the list of benefits you can get from sharing your story. Here is what I heard at this event. There was an author who lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly. She was left with 3 children to raise and a host of challenges. One of which was just managing to go on after losing the person she loved most in the world. How do you manage to love your life after a moment like that? She managed to do it and shared how she did it in her book. Another author lost her child. That is devastating to any parent. In addition to having to heal from her own pain, she had to explain what happened to her other children. How can you possibly do both of those? She did and she wrote a book that will help other parents who may tragically find themselves in the same situation. A third author has 3 autistic children. One who also has hearing and vision challenges. While doing her best to raise them, she is often judged harshly by those around her who are ignorant to her struggles. One time even having the police called on her. How does she manage to stay sane and raise her children? What struggles does a parent in that situation go through? She is going to write a book about that.
In this case, writing was a great form of therapy for all of these authors. It helped them heal and by sharing their journey, it will help others do the same. We may be fortunate enough not to have events like these occur in our life. I can promise you we have all faced some struggle. Job loss, relationship loss or a host of other challenges. Sharing our story and our journey with others is both a gift to them and to us. When we share our story with the world, it is the world that benefits. Unless you are some sort of extraterrestrial, which would make a great book, that world includes you! When we share, everyone, including ourselves, wins.
What if you are not a writer? That is fine. Everyone is not a reader. You can share your story through music, painting, sculpting or whatever medium you decide. Today, you can make your own videos to share on a variety of platforms. You could start a blog. You can start your own podcast and talk to people that way. These are all great because people consume in different ways. Some people listen to podcasts. Some of us read blogs. Some of us watch videos. Some of us still read books. Some of us do several or all of these. That is why it is so important to share your story in whatever form makes you comfortable.
Share your story. When you do we all win.