I think it’s so easy as a writer to get insecure. To start off with, we’re creative people in a confining world. We’re usually different in some way (who isn’t?), and many of us have had painful experiences or painful childhood. And there’s a lot of rejections in the world of writing, even after you’re published. Rejections for manuscripts, for blurbs for your books, the edits and re-edits of a manuscript even after acceptance for publication, and then the occasional painful negative reviews that don’t get your work. All part of the work and life of being a writer–but they can wear on us. And since we can put so much of ourselves into our work–I know I do–it’s hard not to have it affect your self-esteem.
I do have the added layer of being an abuse and torture survivor, and being taught to hang on to the negative. I’m trying hard to turn that around and hold on to the positive, but it’s hard for me to do. So when something like this happens–when a writer whose work I love and admire, who speaks out with a strong voice, says she admires me and thinks I’m a hero for what I write and how I reach people? It’s a huge gift, one that I hold close to me. Thank you Jennifer! (beaming)
I love Jennifer Brown’s books (Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, Torn Away). They’ve got strong girl heroes who go through painful experiences and find hope. If you like my books, you will probably like Jennifer’s, and vice versa.
I believe that #YASaves. I know it does; I couldn’t have survived my child- and teenhood without the books I devoured, looking for something to tell me I wasn’t alone, wasn’t crazy, that things would get better–and I know it from the reader letters I get telling me that my books helped readers not kill themselves, talk to someone for the first time about their own pain, get help, stop cutting, feel like they can survive what they have to survive…. Hearing such from other people–readers and writers–is a gift of strength and love that I hold on to when things feel too hard. If you love someone–a friend, a writer, a parent–never hesitate to tell them. Words are powerful, and they can heal.