Life is a series of transitions, a journey marked by both joys and challenges. As writers, these transitions become integral to our creative process, infusing our work with personal experiences, emotions, and growth. I know that as I have gone through certain things in life, it has altered some of my stories, adding to them, or changing the theme. As I thought back on this concept, it reminded me that writing is not just a craft, but a companion through the storms and sunsets of life. It has helped me cope with certain things, and even to remember past events that have shaped me over time.
The Impact of Major Life Events:
Major life events, such as marriage, parenthood, loss, or career changes, can reshape our perspectives and priorities. They can also derail a perfectly good writing routine, causing me to shift my focus to where it’s needed rather than where I intended it to be. Going through things brings a level of authenticity to my writing that perhaps I struggled with before because now I know how it feels to sit beside someone’s sick bed or to hold my first grand baby. While going through them, the last thing on my mind, or any author’s mind, is how to use these events in the future, but once the dust settles and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, the mind starts churning out ideas.
A Creative Outlet in Times of Turmoil:
It also acts as a great avenue to deal with whatever it is we’re going through. We can work through our pain, our struggles and doubts, by creating a character who is going through the same thing and watching how they deal with it. We find answers in plot twists and solace in the quirky side character. And we create new outcomes.
Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places:
Life transitions often lead to new settings, people, and experiences. As I’ve gone through things, those events have opened doors to unique story ideas, characters, or settings that I wouldn't have encountered otherwise. It’s made me ask hard questions, even crazy questions, as I follow the rabbit trail of creating stories for the people in our crisis to help us through these times of turmoil.
Balancing Writing and Life Responsibilities:
When sitting at the bedside of a sick loved one, the last thing on an author’s mind is typing away at a story, but sometimes, that’s the mental break we need to strengthen ourselves for when they need us in action. It helps settle our minds so we can be a support to whoever needs us at that moment. But we can’t be so obsessed with our writing that we don’t take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. We have to know when to put pen and paper down and simply hold a hand and stare into the hurting eyes of someone struggling with a crisis. Don’t squander a moment, and make the best use of every second.
The Power of Self-Reflection:
As we sit there, contemplating what’s happening to us or someone we love, we draw on life lessons and themes that will help us be stronger writers. We see with different eyes and work through our problems through the safety of the page to see what we could have done differently or that what we did was exactly what needed to happen. That translates into stronger stories.
Reconnecting with Your Writing Voice:
There is a book, Shadows Regained, that I call my cursed book because every time I sat down to work on that story, Teri would take a turn for the worse with her cancer and the book would get shoved to the side again. It took me two years to write that book, even though I wrote others during that time. I lost what I needed with that book until we were coming out the other side of her cancer. Working through it, I had to rediscover my voice to tell that story. I had to find the theme and put the chaos out of my mind. It wasn’t easy, either.
Embracing Change and Transformation:
You can ask the girls. I hate change. However, life transitions can be powerful catalysts for personal growth. They’ve caused me to see things in a different life or to even change my stubborn mind about things. They’ve definitely helped me see what was more important in life. While change quite often hurts as we’re going through it, the best way to deal with it and grow, not only as a person, but as a writer as well, is to embrace it and see it through without too much kicking. It’s going to happen either way.
Conclusion: Writing as a Companion Through Life's Seasons
Writing is more than words on a page; it's a companion on life's journey. Major life events and transitions are the raw materials from which we craft stories and explore our own narratives. By sharing my experiences, I connect with readers on a deeply human level, reminding them that they are not alone in their struggles and triumphs. Writing becomes a faithful friend, accompanying me through the ever-changing seasons of life, allowing me to find beauty and meaning in every transition, and inspiring others to do the same.