Sunday, May 29, 2011

Writing Through Pain, Worry, and Distractions

Those who love to write will find a way to do so most of the time. I’m not sure if it defines the difference between a professional writer or a hobbyist; I’m not even sure a true definition exists, but I do know that the only way to submit completed polished work is to write through difficult times as well as the good. We’ve all had them, those weeks where we can barely get out of bed from fever, pain, worry, or grief. There’s no doubt that sometimes you really do have to step away from the keyboard and process whatever emotional or physical upheaval is happening in your life; but what I’m talking about are the common frustrations, surprises, and worries that force you away from writing for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. This is what May has been about for me.

Now, none of the crappy stuff has been earth-shattering, and for that I count my blessings, believe me. Real life, however, has taken its toll on the number of hours I’ve been able to spend at the keyboard this month. Worsening neck and shoulder pain resulted in two rounds of x-rays, two trips to the doctor, and the first of several trips to the physiotherapist. Of course, this allowed for more reading time—I never go anywhere without something to read.

My daughter’s car accident in mid-May involved taking her to two difference ICBC locations and to the university for class, albeit just once. Thank heaven for buses and others who got her to the doctor and helped her buy a new vehicle. What could have been a nightmare turned into a dodge-the-bullet situation, and for that I again count my blessings. But for a few days there, there was plenty of worry when we didn’t know if there’d be physical repercussions to the crash. Happily, my daughter is fine, and now driving a larger, safer, vehicle.

Anyone who follows my tweets has heard about our kitchen renovation challenges that started on May 2nd. I’m about to start my fifth week without a kitchen sink, but at least I have cupboards and new lighting now. So far, I’ve had seven contractors and delivery people traipsing through my house and into my office where the circuit breaker box is located. It’s been challenging to write when my ceiling is apart and cables are hanging just a few feet from my head, and while someone’s using a power saw in the family room upstairs.

The thing is life is full of these challenges. I could fill pages about all the worries and distractions when my kids were young and our house filled with pets. But you know, I’ve kept writing through it all. From an outsider’s perspective, I suppose this could seem ambitious or obsessive, but the truth is, when something goes wrong, writing is what keeps me sane, calm, and grounded. It’s not only my day job, but my therapy . . . always has been, always will be.

And on a promotional note, I’ll be at the Bloody Words Conference from June 2 to June 5th, which is very exciting. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back. Also AllRomance e-books is offering a 50% rebate on any book, including mine, this Memorial Day weekend. Please check them out at

THE OPPOSITE OF DARK,, book trailer

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