Monday, January 17, 2011

Writing Through Adversity

A few days ago, when I looked at my calendar and realized my posting date at Novel Spaces was fast approaching, for the first time in two years I thought about contacting my fellow blog partners and asking for a reprieve.

You see, my family suffered a horrible loss this week, and with the funeral, an unexpected sixteen hours of traveling, and just the overwhelming sadness of having to say goodbye to someone who died way too soon, I just didn't feel up to writing a blog post. But I made a commitment to the Novel Spaces community, and did not want to let anyone down.

As writers, we have to find ways to write, even during difficult times. I experienced this very thing several years ago when I lost my grandfather just two days before Christmas. Even though he had suffered with cancer for years, his death was still hard. And, unfortunately, I happened to be on an extremely tight deadline at the time. I remember having to leave the post-funeral dinner because I had to write.

I have no doubts that my editor would have pushed back my deadline if I'd asked her, just as my fellow Novel Spaces bloggers would have excused me from posting today if I'd explained my situation. But, as a writer, you sometimes have to write through some very dark, trying times. This just happens to be one of mine.

How have you handled working through adversity? This question isn't just for writers, but for everyone. We've all been through unexpected bumps in the road that we've had to fight our way through. Do you try to just push everything out of your mind? Do you use work as an escape? Please share.


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sorry to hear about your family's loss. Much of the time I find work a distraction or escape from depression but at times I can't fight through. As I've gotten older I've started cutting myself a bit more slack.

Liane Spicer said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, Farrah. Sending you lots of hugs and sympathy.

I wrote my first novel during one of those dark, trying times. The work kept me sane and gave me something other than grief to focus on. It was the most productive writing time I've experienced to date.

Carol Mitchell said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. My experience seems to have mirrored yours somewhat, a sudden loss and the 16 hour flights. I hope that writing brought some comfort to you as it did to me (although technology rebelled and I never made my post).

Shauna Roberts said...

I find writing a good distraction from bad events, although I'm sometimes too restless to sit down or too scatterbrained to focus.

I've had enough of these events occur that I try routinely (though I often fail) to work ahead of my deadlines so that I can still meet them if a disaster occurs and prevents me from working for a few days.

Again, I'm sorry about your cousin. What a tragedy.