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Monday, September 28, 2020

You're A Survivor

There are times in our life when it seems as if we're fallen down a dark cavernous hole and are screaming for help to no avail. But if we reflect on those times, we'll remember with pride that we were able to stop our fall midway, before we hit rock bottom. And even if fate would have it that we tumbled all the way to the bottom and had a hard landing, though battered and bruised, we always managed to gather the strength to get back up and climb out of that dark hole. We women are the ultimate survivors. You dear writer, are a survivor.

As the Queen of Disco Gloria Gaynor sang in her hit song, "I Will Survive," which has become an anthem for women everywhere, "Oh no, not I, I will survive..."

Survivors sing the song of overcomers, and as writers we write the stories of overcomers. We write in spite of and many times because of; broken hearts, tragic losses, stressful jobs, ill health, family problems, financial hardships, childhood or adult trauma, the pressures of trying to balance a home and a career, discrimination, hate and racism. Our stories show the resilient threads we are embroidered with. We refuse to let anything...anyone...or any circumstances immobilize us permanently and stop us from telling our stories.

We will kneel and pray when we are burdened and then we will write. We will weep, sometimes more than a night, as I did for Breonna Taylor, please say her name, but then I/we will write. We will vent about what deeply affects us personally or what is happening in the world, and then we will write. We will leave no stone unturned to write because writing has saved us, figuratively and literally, and it is our hope that by sharing our stories, our articles, our poems, our blog posts, our podcasts and our whole...whole novels, (what an accomplishment of survival) we can save someone else. 

We are survivors. You're a survivor. As writers we know there are certain essential tools we'll need during this writing journey we are on to survive the elements. We need a good compass so we can navigate from where we are as writers now to where we want to go and deserve to be as writers in the future. We need a sharp knife-our pen- so that we can cut through those thick brushes in the wilderness (fear, self-doubt) to tell the stories begging to be told. We need observation, tracking and gathering skills to hunt for our food (the best publications and publishers and literary agents for our work.) And we need to have enough twigs to use as tinder to continually light a flame under our feet so we never lose sight of our dream and what we must do to reach our writing goals. 

We are survivors. Writing is the yin and yang of our lives. It is our vitamin in the morning that gives us energy. It is the moonlit sky at midnight that illuminates our darkest hour. We know, once we get into a writing state of mind, we'll not only survive but thrive as our ideas flow. 

As survivors we have had to reach deep to find joy, to hear the music, to feel less robotic in this world for the last few months. It's been hard to feel the heartbeat in our soul. Still, we refuse to give up. We continue to have hope. We continue to have faith. That dear writer, is survival at its finest. 



Jeanine DeHoney's writing has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and blogs. This blog post was inspired from reflecting on the wonderful women in her life; her grandmothers, mother, aunts, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, and other female family members and friends who were/are survivors. 


  1. Jeanine--There are so many names we need to say. Too many. I look forward to the day when we can remember people for what they've done during their many years on earth, instead of because of the way they were mowed down in their youth.

    This was my favorite line in your post: It's been hard to feel the heartbeat in our soul.

    It has indeed.

  2. So beautifully said, Jeanine. We write because we have survived something, or many things even, and we write to remember the survivors and those who left us too early. Thank you.

  3. Yes, Sioux this is so true. I too look forward to that day of remembering someone's great legacy and not their tragic one.

  4. Thank-you Renee. And yes, we all have survived something that we must write about whether it is great or small.

  5. Amen, amen and amen. So many names. So many stories.

  6. Yes Sue. Too many names and so many stories.


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