Thursday, October 24, 2013

When real life interferes

What to do when real life interferes with your writing? Over the years I've always been able to avoid the ditch, side-stepping around it and making two worlds gel together. When my husband was diagnosed with AML Leukemia two worlds began to collide. My characters soon began to drift away, bobbing on a raft that carried them further and further out into a sea I wasn't sure I could rescue them from. Because leukemia is a blood and bone marrow cancer, it is very high maintenance. My calendar became bogged down with visits to the infusion center and medical appointments. A sense of panic began to worm through me. The longer I stayed away from my projects the more apprehensive I became. I began to think that I would soon forget how to 'do it' - how to write a story. I reached out to my dear friend and fellow author GA Hauser. She responded immediately, putting all my anxious thoughts to rest. I had by this time shelved my work for nine weeks. She assured me that she too had gone through cycles such as this. She also assured me that when I was ready my characters would call me back. She was right. She explained to me that my husband needed me and not my characters. She taught me to embrace these lulls and learn how to obtain fulfillment in the things that I COULDN'T control. Now instead of battling my anxiety, I have learned to embrace these dry spells. Everyone and everything has its voice. Some we create and some we don't. I know artists, musicians and song writers battle these stagnant periods. I know now that I will be able to welcome them, that it is a time to reflect and refuel. Once I found comfort in this my characters did call me back and I was back at my desk. When the time is right the voice of your creation and imagination will be heard, but one must be in the right frame of mind or position to listen and hear both worlds when they speak. If real life calls you away then you are not available to hear the fictitious voices. I was there for my husband. My husband's battle ended on August first, after a sixteen month fight. I have now been confronted with another lull. As I allow myself this time to grieve, I'm relieved that my characters know when to step up to the front line and when to step back. Through all of this I haven't forgotten how to 'do it' I thank my readers for also reminding me of this. 

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