Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keep writing even when life gets in the way!

When I had first began my writing career, I had to be happy to write or the words refused to flow. You can probably guess where this is going, huh? Life happens and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't be happy every moment of every day. That just isn't possible. People get sick, bills need to be paid, kids have problems. Even natural changes in life sometimes brings an unsettling feeling. If I could only write when I'm feeling happy, I'd have a lot of untold stories. Stories needed to be told and not depend on my mood. Here is what happened to make me realize this and how I changed that habit...

I'm going to call my former boyfriend Mark to protect his identity. I lived in Northern Arizona at the time and had been in a relationship with Mark for several few months. One day he called me. He said, "We're going on an overnight mini-vacation. Pack the kids up and be ready in an hour." He wouldn't tell me where we were going, but the kids and I were ready at the requested time. We drove to Las Vegas and had an amazing time. I had thought at the time that Mark was Mr. Right. As we were leaving the hotel the next day, Mark stopped outside of the casino's chapel. "Marry me!" he said. I was shocked by this and told him that we could marry sometime in the future but not that day. He seemed okay with it so we went home. Mark spent the night with me and got up for work the next day as normal. He woke me long enough to kiss me goodbye.

And I never saw him again.

Mark had been a store manager and would drop off a Starbucks for me on his way to do the bank deposits. He didn't show up that day. I called but didn't get an answer. After several hours of not hearing from him, I called the store. His employee told me something bad happened and I had to contact his parents. I freaked out.  Late in the evening his mom finally let me know that a death happened in the family and Mark would contact me when he felt like it. The death in the family had been a lie. He'd left the state and didn't contact me at all.

I was a college student at the time, ran my own business, was a single mother, and... well... I had a life that I had to live. Depression over took me and it was hard to get up each day to face my responsibilities. So how the hell would I write the romance when my Mr. Right had shattered my heart? Every time the phone rang I hoped it was Mark. It never was which crushed me even more. I wondered what I had done wrong, when he'd be back, if he'd committed a crime or something, if he had a wife/kids somewhere, and why hadn't I been good enough for him?

And NOT writing made things worse because that is such a big part of who I am.

I was 3/4 of the way finished with Confessions when he took off. If you haven't read Confessions yet, it is about Chelsea. She takes off from her hometown and didn't speak to anyone for ten years. It's amazing still how something similar had happened to me at the same time. Anyway, I had to finish Chelsea's story so I decided to sit down at the computer with an idea. I'd take everything I was feeling about that jerk, Mark, and infuse it into a scene that required similar emotions. I went back in the manuscript to a scene that had already been written to enhance the level of emotion involved. A ha! My idea worked and I use that technique now. If I have some deep emotions whether it's happiness, sadness, excitement, or whatever, I find a scene with matching emotion and inject what I'm feeling into the character.

I'm including the scene from Confessions and remember, my feelings mirrored Jordan's in this scene. Hope you like it:

“Stop saying you’re sorry! I’m tired of hearing it. If you hadn’t sold our baby we wouldn’t
be here right now. We’d be home. We’d be happy. We would be a family.” His strong voice flung out as if a bomb had gone off.

“Are you ever going to ever forgive me?” She shrank farther into the chair.

“I have every right to be angry with you, Chelsea. Do you know what I went through when you disappeared?” He took a few steps toward her.

“No,” she said, lowering her voice. “I won’t even pretend I do.”

“I went through hell.” His fist banged into his chest.

“As if I haven’t gone through anything.” The words shot at him like bullets.

“You?” He spat. “What have you gone through? Missing your daughter? You, darling, chose
this! I didn’t.” He stomped over to the window and looked outside.

She kept her legs curled up in the chair, as if it would shield her from the hurt she’d caused
him. It seemed like they had come so far in mending the issues between them, now they were
taking ten steps backward.

“Jordan, please.” She swiped at the tears trickling down her cheeks.

“Please what? Please forgive you? Please accept my daughter is gone? Please forget about
my love for you? You might be able to, but not me!” He turned to her, his eyes blazing with fury.

She shot up from the couch. “Forget? You think I can forget you? Look at this.” She undid the
zipper on her jeans to reveal the tattoo. “Remember this? I can never forget you with this branding
on me! I can’t even look in the damn mirror without remembering!”

“I hope it haunts you like it did me for ten years.” His voice lowered but didn’t lose an ounce
of anger. “I didn’t know what happened to you. I didn’t know if someone abducted you, or if I did
something wrong to make you leave.” His arms crossed over his chest. The anger seemed to be
dissolving a bit with each word. “I lay awake at night wondering where you were and what you
were doing right at that moment. Every damned night, Chelsea.”

“I’m so sor—Oh, never mind.” She turned to go back to her chair but the heat of his hand
on her shoulder stopped her. She covered it with her own. His fingers entwined with hers.

“I know you’re sorry,” he whispered. “I accept your apology.”

She turned toward him. She put her hands on his chest and fingered his wet t-shirt. “Take
this off. You’re going to get sick.”

“I don’t care.” He wiped his tears away. “The only things I care about are you and Elizabeth.”


Want to read more of Chelsea and Jordan's story? http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-ebook/dp/B004GHN4TC/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_2


  1. I know a lot of writers use their writing as an emotional outlet. While, I don't personally do it I see where it makes for powerful writing.


  2. I think we as writers draw from life. And our fiction at times mimick life events. I wrote a romance about a heroine who no longer celebrated holidays at home despite her ten year old wanting to know why they couldn't. This is the premise of my story Christmas in July. Coincidentally my late husband suffered a massive heart attack on a July 4 weekend in 2002. This coming July will be the tenth anniversary of his death. The story is on Amazon and doing well. I think Bob would be tickled pink to see the story get to the best sellers' list. But it is true we as writers need to write despite what life throws at us.
    Marie Roy
    Christmas in July

  3. Love the emotion in your scene. I agree with using our writing as an outlet for emotions. When I lost my Mom, I was alone and scared. She was on life-support and I was waiting on my sister and brother to arrive so we could decide what to do. I remember the pain so vividly and used that to enfuse a scene in my novel, Comanche Haven when the heroine looses her father. Yes, Wendy, emotions can be a powerful tool to utilize in our writing. Thanks for sharing.