I've enjoyed reading this month's posts about how colleagues have payed it forward and the kindness they have received in their journeys as writers. I've had similar experiences. The writing fraternity is in general a very giving and supportive group to be a part of.
While helping clean up my college daughter's room this past week, I came across a copy of The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien which came out in 1990. For those who don't know it, this is a collection of short stories based on O'Brien's experience as a soldier in Vietnam. I'd read a couple of the stories in anthologies over the years, but this past week I've been able to really read and enjoy the whole book.
When I thought about this month's theme and about this book it occurred to me how as writers we can choose to share our experiences with others as another way of paying it forward. To tell the truth about important things can be a real service. Some readers may be hearing your truth for the first time and learn from it. Some may share the author's experiences or sentiments and have their feelings and ideas validated.
Not all of us are writing books as important or searing as The Things They Carried, but these other stories we write, humor and fantasy and fun stories, also pay it forward. We share things that made us laugh and helped us escape to fantastical places, and there are many readers out there who need just that as well.
So writers, remember during this holiday season, your stories are gifts to many. Gifts that can stimulate, challenge, strengthen, and validate as well as amuse, relax, and enlighten.
Thanks for sharing your gifts. Happy Holidays!