I am adamantly against donating your time and writing to companies that seek to profit from your efforts while not sharing cash with you. However, if you are managing the distribution of your free work and it’s for a good cause (and nobody’s greedily profiting from your free work), then that’s an entirely different scenario.
I received a phone call on Monday from a woman, Robin, in Texas who is the wife of a man on death row. You see, her husband, who she is currently trying to divorce, is going to be put to death for beating and killing his own two-year-old daughter, apparently because the baby wasn’t potty trained. I will spare you the details because, believe me, they are too difficult for even strangers to swallow. I can’t fathom how this woman copes with life on a day-to-day basis with what she and her children have experienced over the past decade, being abused by that monster.
Robin called me after getting my phone number and a copy of my book, The Emergency Divorce Handbook for Women, from my stepmother-in-law. I don’t sell many copies of my divorce book because I give it away for free online. I never wrote the book to turn a profit; only to help other women who are or will be in my shoes in the future. Let’s face it, women who are in abusive relationships often don’t have money to buy a book, even an ebook. Giving away my ebook to abused women is simply my way of giving back to the community that helped me during my difficult divorce. Robin stayed up all night to read my book and then called to tell me it was the best book she’s ever read. She wanted to know how she, too, could share her story with other women.
Robin started writing her story several months ago under the advise of her therapist. She has found her experiences so painful to write about that she has to frequently put it away and start up at a later time, after she recovers from reliving each horrific incident. Despite the fact that it is so hard for her to write her story, she wants to publish her story to help other women who are in abusive relationships. She is not interested in making money from her book. She just knows that, despite the fact that writing her story is almost more than she has the strength to do, she feels she must do it, for other women. I’m hoping to read her finished story by the end of the year.
Have you experienced severe adversity in your life? Have you lived through a period of time that tested your sanity and/or your will to continue living? Do you think that perhaps writing your story for others who will inevitably be in your shoes someday may save someone else from making some of the mistakes you have made? Perhaps you should consider sharing your story with others.
If you or someone you know has written such a book and gives it away for free online to those in need, I’d love to highlight your story here. Please email me at: angela (at) writersweekly.com
If you want to send Robin a message of support, you can post it to the link below and I will print your message and mail it to her. http://www.writersweekly.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2044