Adversity is the struggle, challenge or obstacle you face that must be overcome; much like the hero in a fiction story. It’s something that sets you apart from others while simultaneously linking you to those who share a similar hardship.
Dealing with and triumphing over your adversity is a part of life and gives you a point of difference. Everyone has a unique way to deal with it.
My adversity is depression. It’s been with me since I was sixteen years old and rears its ugly head from time to time. Over the years, I’ve learned to manage my depression and recognise the warning signs of its impending approach.
I’ve also learned to embrace my depression, discovering it’s not something to be feared, rather a teacher, revealing something new with each bout. Some of the learning I’ve received are:
- That I’ve strayed too far from my life purpose
- That I need to be writing, even if it’s only journaling privately
- That someone is taking advantage of or trying to control me
- The compromising of my core values
- That I have a false belief about a situation I’m in
All of these things have served and helped me to become a better person and writer. They have led me to a new tool, technique, or strategy that moves me forward or gives me a different perspective.
What is your adversity? How has it shaped you as a person? What knowledge has it provided you with you can use in your writing? It might also be watching the struggle of a loved one, knowing there’s little you can do help until they’re open and ready to receive it. That’s useful information to someone else going through the same thing, even if only to make them feel less alone.
These life experiences, whether direct or indirect, colour the way you write and the language you use. They give you insider knowledge that allows you to bring an element of realism to your story and characters.
Adversity helps you and your words become more relatable to your readers. It shows them new ways to help them get through their challenging time or gives them a better understanding of what a loved one might be experiencing.
Yes, I know sharing your adversity can be scary and make you feel vulnerable. I experienced both while writing this post. But if you can find the courage, it’s what will connect the most strongly with your reader.
Writing about your struggles will also be cathartic for you. It’s a chance to look back over your experience and observe without judgement. What’s the message behind your adversity? What’s it trying to tell you that might help others?
Use your challenge to spark an idea for the topic of a book to show others how to beat or manage it.
If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know how adversity has helped shape your writing. Comment below.
Cheers to your writing success!