In training for sparring and self-defense, we learn techniques and redundancies to avoid being hit.
In living real life—the work, the play, the relationships, the expectations—emotional hits can’t be avoided.
I had big plans on many fronts for this year. I’m an ambitious and enthusiastic person, and it seemed many things were falling into place. Prospects were rich. Opportunities were within reach. Time was available, energy was high, and all things seemed possible.
Then came the spring, and the incredible swift decline and death of my best friend and my son’s godmother. Then came all the stirred-up loss from the death of my late husband two years before. (It was our second Memorial Weekend spent at a personal memorial service in two years.) Then came the grieving of others, the struggles of my son, the changes in business relationships, the moving away of all my other family members, a score of other crises… The year thus far has been a pattern of long periods that drive me to exhaustion, then a short period of recovery followed by a build-up to the next challenge.
Writing fiction requires a state of empathy. The writer must be open to exploring and understanding emotions. Over the last year, my own emotions have been so strong and erratic that attempts to write often ended in melancholy that had nothing to do with the project and everything to do with life events and their consequences–and the future those events and consequences had set before me. Writing was not at all enjoyable. It became uncomfortable.
Bit by bit, it’s been turning around. Bit by bit, writing has lost its discomfort. Bit by bit, it has become a blessing again.
But it has left me with a huge pile of unfinished projects. Thank goodness the publishing schedule is mine to decide. Certainly I’ve lost over half a year of writing production. But I’ve gained experience, was able to be present for family and friends, and learned a great deal about who I truly am and who I want to be.
Today, I’m closing in on the end of revisions for Sand of Bone. I’ll be jumping into NaNoWriMo in a few days to complete something entirely different. There is again joy in the creative process, and happy anticipation over the projects on the horizon.
In life, we take the hits. We fall down. We bruise and bleed and mourn. But we also get up. We heal and we deal, and we take our scars along when we create new possibilities and memories. Writing is no different.
I’m ready to jump back in to the process of creation.