Hello fellow Wattpad users, dedicated writers and avid readers. Guess what?
My name is Desirae and I am honoured to be part of yet another Wattpad Block Party. I would like to thank our host, KellyAnneBlount for inviting me to this event. Today I'm here to talk to you about a topic that I haven't seen a lot of people talk about before. How writing about real-life events helps build a community and inspires readers to take a moment and think about what the writer is saying.
Whether these are topics of racism, depression or maybe even abuse, the readers get to immerse themselves into the story and get a different perspective on things. I often say that growth comes from what you surround yourself with and what you go through. Books that talk about the hardest topics are often the ones that prove to be the most educational.
A lot of people fear writing about subjects that have a deeper emotional meaning because there is a certain taboo that surrounds them. Sometimes these topics can be quite triggering for some people so there always has to be a certain level of caution when tackling them. However, the end product can be rewarding.
I'll give you an example to see what exactly I'm talking about.
I have a book called Entangled (to make things clear, this isn't meant as self-promotion). The book tackles topics such as anxiety, bullying and most recefntly I've spoken about depression among other things. What I love about the book is that the main character is the strongest one I've ever created so you can actually get to see the contrast of the character in the beginning compared to the end.
The book not only portrays a strong person trying to deal with her inner emotions and demons, but how she sees the world through her eyes. One thing I wanted to explain as well is that mental illnesses do not discriminate. You can be really mentally strong but if something tragic or triggering happens in your life, it's easy to just break down.
While not everybody with the same issues or depression might see the world like my main character does does, it's how I saw it through her eyes. That was my truth told through the story.
And what I want to point out is that there will be people who will try to bring you down if you speak out about these topics. People who will say that this is not how depression works or try to educate you on things because their truth is the only truth – the right truth – in the world.
But. You have to realize that what you have to say matters just as much as what anybody has to say and that not everybody has to necessarily agree with you. While some may have valid points and are trying to provide constructive criticism, you have the right to listen to them or stick with how your story works – because maybe there's a certain message you'd like to send through your work that wouldn't transfer onto the edited version of your work.
There are many pros to speaking out about these things. You may see more cons – the possible backlash and criticism – but if you really think about it, the pros can be so much better.
You can speak out about the things you're passionate about. You can talk about personal experiences and project that onto your writing because you know what you're talking about. Or if a friend of yours is being mistreated because they're different – it's okay to speak out about that as well. Using your freedom of speech to influence other people positively should always be more important than being afraid of other people's opinions. Especially when what they're doing is bringing other people down.
If you stay true to yourself and find the courage to write about these things, your readers will take something from your work and learn from it. Your feedback can get better and the readers who can relate to the things you write will oftentimes be very grateful.
Do not be afraid to be diverse and stray from all the clichés. Rules in writing are meant to be broken. Except grammar – please watch out for grammar. But think outside of your usual box. Think of all the people who are underrepresented and give them a voice. Do your research. Talk to them. Strive to be different – to be better – from other authors. Do better.
Us writers have a voice a lot of people don't and it's our job to help others relate to our works and give them something that will stay with them for a long. People who didn't understand before can now get to see things from a different side.
But one thing you have to be careful of is misrepresenting someone or a group of people and only working off of stereotypes. You have to be careful not to romanticise or glorify certain things. You're not doing anyone a favour and could cause more harm than good. So please do your research if you're not writing from your own experience.
Now some of you might ask: Why should I write about these topics anyway?
Because if you won't then who will?
What I want you to take from my rant/educational article/inspirational speech is that you are the creator of your story and you can write about anything you want. I just hope you write something that will touch others and have a meaning behind it. Send a positive message into the world.
Whether you do that or not, it's your choice. But if you do decide to do that, know that I'll be very proud.
Now stop wasting time and go write!
Wishing you all the best,
DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY:
yabookprincess will giveaway a follow and a shoutout to 3 lucky winners! My giveaway is open internationally.
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