Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG ~ Losing Yourself

Is it truly June already?

Looks like it, so it's time for my next Insecure Writer Support Group post. But before I begin, let me send out a huge Thank You to this month's co-host: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! You all rock! In the literary sense, of course. 😉

Those who've followed Writer's Alley for a long time know that I'm not one to talk about my personal life, my emotions, or anything related. On occasion, I might have shared a success or funny story from my family, which can be pretty crazy with four kids. I say this in hopes that you can understand the need I feel to bare my soul to you here. Most of you have become wonderful cyber friends. I cherish you. 

It's been three months since my brother-in-law (age 49) passed away, six weeks since we lost our beloved 14-yr-old pooch, five weeks since my middle grade publisher announced they were closing and leaving my award-winning book homeless and the second book unpubbed, and one month since my father-in-law died.

After the first two losses I mentioned above, I kept writing, editing book two of Motley Education. Life happens, even to writers, and we have to keep forging ahead, using those experiences to enhance our work. 

*I'm kind of a stickler with my self-imposed life principals, not all that willing to bend or find exceptions. Some call that being stubborn. To-may-to . . . To-mah-to.* 

However, through all that's happened, I think life is trying to teach me a new lesson, force me to grow, to make me realize that even the foundation of these principals can be penetrated by changes and challenges in life - made to evolve into something more, something even stronger. Despite finding this wisdom, I feel lost, like I'm losing myself. And I've never been good at facing my own emotions.

So what has been my solution? = To avoid writing. I know to write my next novel I must dig deep and use my emotions. Those are just too bruised, right now, and I've decided - that's okay. A hard lesson for me to swallow because no matter how I look at it, it feels like a failure.

But I did just write this post. And I'm going to start today to work on a short, spooky middle grade story for a group author anthology. Please, please, please send me whatever positivity you can muster up because I need to start defrosting and get back to writing. With my kids, other ailing parents, and our family business, I have plenty to keep me busy and  I could simply give up writing. But I have too much left to write, too many writing goals left to accomplish, and too many kids and young adults to help with the stories I want to share. So that is not an option.

      *For those of you who are or have been where I am, I'll leave you with this: 


             "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela


OTHER PARTICIPANTS
As for this month's optional IWSG question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Ooh, this is a good one! My answer would be fantasy and romance. Why? Because I love to dream up the unlikely or the impossible and I'm a hopeless romantic. 

What about you?

27 comments:

  1. I can definitely relate to the feeling of being lost after losing loved ones and having lots of life changes like you're going through now. My heart goes out to you. Be patient with yourself and write you can and want to. You may need time to heal your heart before you feel ready to plod on with like you used to. It's good though that you're being stubborn and continuing to write. I'm finally getting back into my own writing.

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  2. Oh, my goodness! *hugs* You and your family have been through the wringer!

    It's okay to take a break when you need, but I'm glad you're writing again, even just a little for this beautiful post. Not every kind of book has to pull as deep from the author. It sounds like your choice is a good one to begin with. <3

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  3. You needed a break and that's all right. Now that you're ready to write again, let it help you deal with your emotions.

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    1. That's it. I must let go to these emotions and let them meld into my writing without fearing to face them. It might be a slow process, but I plan to keep moving forward.

      Thank you, Alex.

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  4. Oh, Sheri, you've been hit with so much all at once. I hope you can feel the warm cyber hugs from all of us. My suggestion is actually what you're already planning to do - dive into a smaller writing project that's less emotional and more fun. You'll find your balance and direction - don't put a timetable on it. Just keep moving forward, no matter how small the steps. You're tackling a lot right now. Don't let writing be another demand on your time; let it be your reprieve from real life.

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    1. ". . . let it be a reprieve from real life." These are writer words to live by. There is so much wisdom in your comment. Thank you, Nicki. I think releasing myself from a timetable is a good idea. I tend to pressure myself into stupidity. And I have been feeling all the warmth our cyber writing community has sent my way. I am truly blessed.

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  5. It's ok to not be writing. It seems like you know what's best for you right now. Working on a different project sounds like a good idea.

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  6. Oh my, Sheri, you've been through a lot. Prayers for your heart to heal and life to get back to normal soon. I've been through a spell of not writing due to my new librarian job this past year. But boy did I read all the books. Now, I'm ready to tackle this mystery I'm writing. Let's do this!!

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  7. What tremendous losses all in a row. Of course your writing might take a break. I hope some good things happen for your family soon.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer. Me, too. I think some healing has begun. I just need the courage to embrace both the pain and the healing, letting both bleed into my writing.

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  8. You have been through so much it's no wonder your creative well is dry. While my story isn't as bad as yours, I do know what you're going through. I lost my mother, then my mother-in-law 6 months later, and her sister (my other MIL) a year after that. Like you, I pushed myself to accomplish what I could (like settling my mother's estate). I didn't take time to grieve. After the aunt's death, Hospice reached out to us. A counselor really helped. The most important thing she said was to give yourself permission to grieve and take as much time as you need. Eventually, the desire to write returned. It will with you, too. Hugs.

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  9. So many losses, so close together, is so hard on our hearts. When we were slammed with dementia X2 & a loss it sucked my writing soul dry for a long while. It took (is still taking) time for me to heal enough to write, still struggling to put fiction down on paper, but flash fiction is helping there too. Take care of yourself and your family. Treaure those memories and give yourself time. Sending hugs

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    1. Thank you. I'm so sadden to hear all you've gone through, too. I have to believe that our gift of writing must have as much of a purpose for us personally as it does for our readers. It's personal, human-living growth on paper. And when our emotions are all over the place and/or bruised it can be hard to construct thoughts to write. But with pain comes healing and growth, so I know this will make me a better writer. (Holy crap, I sounded like a dang greeting card. Sorry!)

      Thinking of you and please take care . . .

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    2. Greeting card or not, it's so true. :) Life adds to us and therefore to our work as well!
      Thanks and thinking of you as well. Sending all the hugs!

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  10. I've always thought writing was the answer. Consider writing out your thoughts and keep going until you have nothing else to say. I used to do this in high school. It was a combo of venting and trying to sort out the truth of things.

    It may help. If not, let yourself rest. Change is hard. Learning from it harder.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  11. That's a lot of losses thrown at you in a short amount of time. Some things in life just throw a wrench in our writing and we have to set it on the back burner and deal with life.

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  12. I can relate. A lot changed when I lost my mother almost 8 years ago. We weren't really close - there was a lot of baggage - but it has affected me ever since. Just hope and pray you can use all of that emotion to write.

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  13. It's been rough for you Sheri, and I feel your tightening chest from where I'm sitting. The pieces will fall into place, perhaps not how you want them to, but they will. Life has a way of steering us in all different directions and you will find the right path for you. You are emotionally spent right now, but those feelings can make superb writing when the time come.
    Also, you've written an emotional post right here. Take Care.

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  14. I'm sorry things have been so rough. I wish I had words of wisdom. I'm not a person who can write through emotional pain either. It will come back. Take the time and heal a little.

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    1. You know, this did help. Knowing that I'm not the only one that has a hard time writing when life has mangled my emotions makes me feel less alone. Thank you. <3

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  15. With that much going on, I don't see how you couldn't need a break. Things like that need time to be digested and emotionally sorted before letting them stream back into our writing. When the words start flowing again, they will be that much more amazing.

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  16. Just breathe. Do only what you feel good about doing and ride it out. It will get better but may take awhile, and is letting go of the pressure to do you might find you want to do. Loss is hard. Those holes can never be plugged, but the good memories can give you some reprieves and filling them others with those still present that you love.

    God Bless and I am sorry for your loss. Focus can sometimes be everything or allowing the focus to be a feel good rather than I think I should or something that makes feels difficult.

    All the best. Happy IWSG!

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  17. My heart goes out to all of you, and I am sending as many good vibes your way as I can. Hang in there!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. And currently, I am hanging. I'm hoping to start climbing up that tree again soon.

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  18. I feel live is tough ...
    hope, everything goes well with your and yours.

    Have a wonderful day

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  19. I'm sorry life is sucking for you right now. That's a lot of loss in such a short time. I have a hard time writing when I'm grieving and often find movies not requiring much thought the best therapy. *hugs*

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    1. Thanks, Marcy. That is good advice. I've been doing a lot of movie or series binging on Netflix. Up until last weekend, I was having a super hard time to even read someone else's work aka an actual book. And I love reading. But I started reading a little bit last weekend. I have to write a middle grade story that I've already promised to an anthology, so I need to find the gusto to do at least that before July. As far as the rest of my career issues, I think time will help me sort those out as my family slowly heals and starts moving forward again.

      Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate it.

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