#TheRomanceAcademy: Author Empowerment
For most women, a writing career is about more than just the stories or the money. Tara Taylor Quinn is with us for #TheRomanceAcademy to talk about the empowerment which comes with finding your voice... both on the page and in the world.
Please note that there are triggering issues mentioned in this article.
Empowerment is a huge topic in today’s world. In my world it was something I took for granted from an early age because my parents taught me that I could do whatever I put my mind to and I believed them. I didn’t need women’s lib, or to fight for women’s rights. I had a strong mind and parents who made certain that I knew my rights. AND my responsibilities to myself and others.
When I was really young Helen Reddy came out with her “I Am Woman” song. I remember being in Sunday school as a kid and hearing some adults out in the hall talking with horror about the song because she’d said something about thanking God whereever she is. I remember wondering why they didn’t worry about something important.
That morning prompted me, even as young as I was, to listen to the darn song. And what I heard became my internal theme song: I am Woman. Hear me Roar. I was aware that I had power. I had the power to stick with my plan to become a writer for Harlequin someday. I said, from the time I was 14 it was going to happen. I got a lot of pats on the head. I took them with an inner grin. I am Woman. Hear me Roar.
Life set in and I had my power taken away from me. Horribly, in college, I was abused by a man I was supposed to be able to trust. And later, too, by another situation entirely. I felt powerless, horrible, small, fearful. But I learned something very clearly. I felt powerless because I allowed myself to feel that way. I am only powerless if I GIVE UP my power. People can do things to you. Only you can give away your power to recover. To dream. To try. To succeed.
I am Woman. Hear me Roar. But not only because I heard a song by Helen Reddy. I learned this from the Harlequin books I’d read and the heroines who’d survived horrible things by being…heroic. Not sad and victimized. I knew the kind of choices I wanted to make. And I learned from the myriad of non-fiction books I read, too. I am aware of my power, and I have found a way to hold on to it, because of the written word. I know from the depth of my soul that writing empowers women. I am Woman. Watch me Read.
My love of writing didn’t start out with the stories in my head, or any gift I’d been given. It started out with a love of books. In books I could be in any world I chose. I could read things that made me feel good. I could learn. When I visited those other worlds, discovered the things that made my soul feel free, and learned about anything I was interested to know, I grew my power. My power to discern. To determine how decisions would affect my life. To know who I wanted to be. I learned how others’ choices had effected them. I learned accountability. And I learned ways to go about getting what I wanted and needed.
As a writer, I am more empowered than ever. I believe that the act of writing has been empowering women for centuries. Back when women couldn’t work, and couldn’t even vote, they could write. Through writing some of them could even earn money and in certain ways, money is power. But more important than the financial power writing gave them, writing gave them a way to have their voices heard. They wrote, and they spoke at a time when women weren’t heard. Even if they weren’t paid, even if they were only writing in diaries, they were able to leave legacies for their children, but also for the world that came after them. Their stories lived on, which empowered their thoughts far more than they probably ever knew.
Today, as a writer, I am empowered in the exact same ways. Truths don’t change. Writing allows me to support myself. Even those women who don’t write full time, it allows us a way to be at home with our families, our children, and still earn money. Money gives us freedom. The power to choose sometimes, the power to feed ourselves and our loved ones. To help provide the roof and walls that keeps the family warm and dry. But far more than the money I earn from it, my writing is the avenue through which my message gets out to the world. I am a victim of domestic violence. I suffered things I didn’t need to suffer. I learned from them.
I want to use my life to help other women who might be suffering as I did. Or better, to help them prevent themselves from suffering as I did. By doing so I make lemonade out of my lemons. Good comes from my suffering. I am currently writing what is going to be a 16 book series that revolves around a very unique women’s shelter. I have had readers write to me, thanking me for showing them a way…for giving them hope…even the courage to take action. My books give me an avenue to have my voice heard.
Another much more uplifting message to which I’ve dedicated my life is the message that love is the strongest power in existence. In the end, love will trump them all. Love will win out over evil. Love is the most important thing we have in our lives and it is available to every single human being on earth. Every single one of the 83 books I’ve published to date have this message at their core. I am Woman. Hear me Roar.
I will have weak moments. Some days more than others. But in my worst life moments, I always come back to my power through writing. I have a purpose. I have something to contribute to the world, and a means with which to do it. I have a way to make the money I need to support myself. And while there is so much I do not yet know, I am confident and comfortable with the knowledge that there will be something to read, maybe something you have written, to teach me what I need to learn. I am a Writer. See my Power.
Tara's latest release, The Friendship Pact, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.