Wednesday Word: Undaunted
I'm sure some of you have noticed by now that I've changed up the look of the blog - and those of you who follow me elsewhere will have noticed that the new look is universal (even on Patreon!) But the new look came with a whole new tagline too - one that I think better reflects the direction of my writing these days.
For just over four years now, my tagline has been "Real Characters. Honest Love. Brandi Kennedy Books." I loved it, my readers believed it, and I felt that it was truly representative of my work. Those words have so perfectly meshed with all of my fictional characters - women who doubt themselves, who struggle with issues from the past, who live with uncertainty about their futures. Men who have issues of their own, who have weaknesses, who also have unbelievable strengths. Real Characters - people you believed when you read them because you knew real people just like them. Honest Love - the kind that breaks your heart sometimes, the kind that makes you laugh and cry, the kind that makes you wish and long and yearn ... and hope.
And I'm still writing great fiction. I'm still working on Still Fighting For Freedom - even as I fight in some ways to regain and rebuild my own freedom - AND I'm working on a separate, serial novel that's essentially being written live on Patreon, one chapter at a time.
But I'm writing more than books now - writing more than fiction. I'm writing monthly podcasts, exploring core values and what they mean, how they impact me personally, and how I see them changing and impacting the rest of the world in general. I'm writing these blogs too - I'm currently posting here every third day, sharing stories from my past and my present, sharing my hopes and plans for my future, and enjoying the connections that this blog has blessed me with.
Over the last six months, the focus has shifted - my writing time has moved so much more into the non-fiction blogging realm, and my focus on the importance of mental health and wellness has only deepened. Lately, I've been looking back through my old blog posts, reorganizing them, reformatting them, adding updates to some of them - where needed. And as I've gone along, I've seen a running theme, seen the bits and pieces of broken path that led me here.
I've written about fearlessness and how essential it is - I've written about my journey as a writer, and I've shared so much of my journey as a mother, as a woman. I've written about becoming a warrior, and embracing what it means to spend my days fighting the demons of depression and PTSD.
I haven't shared everything - even with all that I've talked through, there's so much I don't share here - but I hope I'm sharing enough. I hope that what I'm doing touches someone. I hope that this place ... this blog, this little almost-invisible corner of the internet ... will become something of a safe haven to others like me, others who need to know they aren't alone. I hope that this place touches someone, teaches something.
That it means something.
Because ultimately, whether I'm writing empowering fictional women finding themselves and falling in love, or writing the true stories of the life lessons that make me a product of the past I've survived ... I just want to be the kind of undaunted, courageous woman of integrity that I wanted so desperately in my life when I was growing up. I want to be an example to my children that dreams are worth chasing, a guide for teens and young adults who need to know that they don't have to become what they know, a reminder to other women like me that the past does not dictate the future.
I want to be a lesson in compassion for those who haven't experienced trauma, who don't know that level of hardship, who have a caring heart but simply cannot fathom the depth of understanding required to bridge the gap between sympathy and empathy.
I want, despite my challenges, despite my failures, despite my fears and apprehensions ... to be undaunted. To embrace the very definition of that simple word, to personify it in a way that spreads and grows into a community of women (and men?) who lift and encourage each other to rise above their trials.
So I'm still writing. I'm still reaching out - I'm still desperately trying to grow this little light of mine into a flame that will burn a path through a dark world, a path my daughters can walk confidently down ... a path that wasn't there for me.
I'm still writing, I'm still dreaming. I'm still trying to create and rebuild and repair. "Love Stories & Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman."
Undaunted. Not intimidated OR discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment.
It's the very definition of the woman I strive to be, the image I strive to project, and the life I want to teach my daughters by example. Yes, I am broken - and yes, I am discouraged. Yes, I live with difficulty, and danger ... and disappointment. There are things in my life I share with NO ONE, confessions I have never made, not even to those closest to me.
There are words I can never un-hear, feelings I can never un-feel. People I can never un-meet. Issues I will probably never "get over," and struggles I may never heal from. Still, I can choose to keep going, keep trying - keep looking toward the hope of a future I can't yet see.
And so can you.
If you liked this post or you think you know someone who will, I encourage you to share it. Invite others to come here, to comment. If your life is impacted in any way by this message, if you're on a similar journey, or if you're already undaunted but want to leave advice for others on their way, please feel free to leave a comment below. You can, as always, access more exclusive content (or just show some love) by signing up to support me on Patreon. It would literally mean the world to me, and would change my life in simple ways even I don't know how to truly express.
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