Monday, February 24, 2014

How Do You Deal With Adversity?

We’re all there. At one point or another, we’ve all dealt with something that has put life on pause and sent us spiraling on a wild ride. Whether it’s death, sickness, rejection, a move, or other life changes, we all go through it.

But do people really move past hardship? Or does it just become a part of who we are?

I know for me, I won’t ever get over seeing my two-week-old baby die in front of my eyes. It’s nothing I can ever erase. I still live the experience over and over again sometimes in my mind. I know that I won’t ever get over watching my little son battle cancer. It’s indescribable. This past year, my 2 year old fell twenty feet. The panic is something that is etched forever in my soul. And a couple months ago, when I found out I had an infected growth in my head that would have killed me if it hadn’t been discovered---I won’t ever forget the pain and sickness that came with that period of my life.

Sounds dramatic, right? But we’re ALL facing these things. Whether it’s through friends or family, or personally. I think of Jeff and his wife, Roland and his latest surgery, Michael and the accident he had this year—and the list goes on. There is so much strength and perseverance shown by amazing individuals.

But how do people really deal with hardship? Are you someone who reacts well in a crisis and doesn’t have a breakdown until later? Or do you breakdown during a crisis and are fine later? Does time ever heal all wounds?

For me, I don’t think so. I think that every trial we survive and overcome becomes a part of who we are. It’s ingrained in our make-up. It changes who we are. Whether it cripples us or strengthens us.

So I don’t think we ever really “get over” adversity, I just think we learn to adapt. We become stronger. We learn to accept whatever we’ve faced and how to turn it into good. Even when the memories can be debilitating at times. We face fears head on… because we have to.

Isn’t that why we as writers, keep pushing? Sometimes there isn’t anything more crippling than a rejection, but we either keep trying or quit. Just like we choose to face a problem, or let it eat us alive.

Hardship is a big reason why I write. I started writing to release all the emotions that were built up inside of me. And ironically enough, what once was an escape is now my hardship. (LOL! I didn’t know that when I first put pen to paper that it would become such an emotional journey)

But I also believe in miracles.

All of my trials have turned out for the better. My baby revived after 60 seconds of CPR. My boy is now cancer free. My 2 year old walked away without a broken bone. And I will be more than fine health-wise. So I choose to believe that if we keep pushing, that we will see the light. That we will have that moment when we can look back and see why everything happened the way it needed to happen.

Red. Head. Out.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Random Writing Thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon...

I’m not entirely sure what this blog post will be about. It’s just a Saturday afternoon where I’m sick with the flu snuggled on the couch and I feel like writing.


I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing journey and where I’m at.  And I’m at that part in life where everything is aligning itself. It’s an interesting thing to watch. I love being able to look back and see *why* things happened and where I am and how I’ve gotten here.


I’ve decided that writing is 90% mental. It really is. Sure, you need to learn the craft and perfect it—and there are sooooo many elements to writing a great book—but once you have the craft part down, I think the actual creating part (creating something that can move someone… or completely immerse someone… ) you have to have your head in the right place.


I’ve struggled with some health issues as of late, but things are completely resolved now and I feel better than I have in a decade! I can’t believe this is what “normal” people feel like. It’s such a relief to know that I’m alive and here and well and I will be from now on.  I’ve also resolved some relationship issues that I spoke about in a past post. And that feels amazing.


So for the first time in forever, my head is clear. And I’m writing better than I have… ever. Things are finally clicking. I struggled all last summer with a project that just wasn’t flowing. But since the New Year, it’s like all the stars have aligned and there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that you’re creating something that feels right on every level.


In the past, I’ve struggled with putting emotion into my stories. I’m not sure why… I think there was a block there—or maybe I just had some growing to do. I’ve always known that my weakness was being plot driven, and not letting the character drive the story forward. So I think that when one embraces their weakness, and focuses on making that a strength, that’s when they really soar.


There are so many things about this writing gig that makes it feel like a race. Being ahead of the trend. Getting your ideas out before someone comes up with something similar and beats you to it. Etc. And yes, this does exist to a point, but at the same time, your work isn’t going to be where it needs to be if you’re focusing on this. So the 90% mental part comes from not only having your head clear, but from emotionally being in the right place. Blocking out everything else and focusing solely on the work.


And I think I’m finally there. I’ve finally reached the point where I’m not concerned about what other people are writing and how it might affect my journey.  I’m only concerned about improving my weaknesses and creating the best possible work that I’m capable of.

I can see why it takes years to truly create something beautiful. Because it’s not just about the craft. It’s about what’s going on inside of us. And when we ourselves are balanced, it’s going to show on the page. At least that’s how it’s been for me.


Red. Head. Out. :)

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