What kind of reader desperately needs this book?
I touched on this a little bit yesterday when I said I write for my readers, but today we go deeper.
Yesterday I said I want this book to shine the light of hope that there is an end, even if it’s not in sight yet. I said I want to show that it is possible to overcome situations and circumstances that seem overwhelming.
Therefore, the reader who needs this book would be the person lost in depression and anxiety. I strive to accurately represent Reggie’s anxiety and panic attacks. I want to show that it’s okay to struggle with those things. There’s nothing wrong with battling anxiety and depression. But that’s not all there is. Reggie still lives his life without allowing those things to completely overtake him. They are an aspect of him, but they are not him. I want to show that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Reggie has a panic attack right in front of Nevaeh and when he comes out of it, he doesn’t apologize or feel bad. Nevaeh saw him at his worst, and it was okay. Monni’s helped him through panic and anxiety attacks since he was a teenager and he accepts her help. I want to show that it’s okay to struggle with those things. Yes, it’s always something we need to work at, but accept help from others and don’t be ashamed.
It’s for the reader who’s in the middle of the storms of life and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of it ending. Yes, it’s hard, yes, it’s ugly, yes, it hurts. But that’s not all there is. There are other people all around you, right next to you, who are going through storms just like you are. You’re not the only one. We’re all in this together, even if we face different storms. And there is an end, like I said yesterday, even if it’s not in sight yet. There is hope.
It’s for the reader who struggles with self worth; who doesn’t see any value in their life anymore. When Nevaeh is reunited with her parents, she doesn’t understand how they still love her after they find out she’s been a drug runner for the past twelve years. In her eyes, she’s not worthy of being a part of their family anymore. All she can see is her past and the things she’s done. But all her parents see is their daughter back in their arms. The most important part to them is that she’s back. I want my readers to understand that no matter what, they are loved. We’re all human, we all do stupid things and make mistakes, but that has no bearing on how much we’re loved. You are important. You are special. You have worth. You have meaning. You have value. If for no other reason than you are alive and breathing, you are precious.
And lastly, it’s for the reader who doubts they’ll be able to live once the storm is past. When you’re so stuck in the middle of the storm, when it’s been going on for so long, and you wonder what you’ll do when it’s over: you will live. There is a life waiting for you once you’ve overcome. It doesn’t end with the end of the storm. There are more joys and trials and adventures and life waiting for you. There is life after the storm.
(Ooooh boy that was deep. I think I need to go play with legos and color with crayons or something.)
Tomorrow: What’s been your biggest challenge with this WIP? (Hint: all of it)