Mum passed away early last year and I had such a hard time being able to concentrate and keep writing. I had to accept that grief and pain was now a part of my life. Being a writer I researched other’s experiences and what was best to do. Basically, accept the excruciating pain is real and be kind to yourself. Exercise and keep going with the things you love. I went to plant nurseries and spent time with my supportive friends. I did allow myself time away from writing during the first mind-numbing stage but then a desire to move forward and let grief be there rose to the surface.
I had a story that I’d been working on for a while and guess what? The heroine was returning home to where she lived until she was only six years old when her mother passed. I’m fifty-six, a full half-century older but I felt like a six-year-old, wanting my mother. So I used what I was feeling to help me write this woman’s experience as she discovers her mother’s unchanged room. I also began looking at the story as a whole and realized I’d been tinkering with a much deeper experience, which I now had personal knowledge of, so I decided to write a synopsis to see how the emotional growth of this character could go.
I had in my grief a lethargy that was so difficult to get past. I wanted to feel energized and in my past experience professional development gave that to me. I wanted to understand synopsis writing better so I bought a book on the subject by my rtgblog predecessor, and friend, Michelle Somers and I joined her online course through the Romance Writers of Australia. That opened the place in me where enthusiasm lies. I was motivated to explore the story I was creating and adding to it.
Lastly, I took an emotional hit on this first Christmas without mum. I wrote a blog about setting goals which helped but who really got me going again this year was Anne Gracie. A dear author and writing teacher, Anne put out a call on the RWAus Facebook group to say she was doing Dorothea Brande’s method of getting going with writing and did anyone want to join her. I signed on and started writing for fifteen minutes each morning on waking. Only a quick trip to the loo is allowed. You’re supposed to be in a half sleepy state. This is to connect your writing arm to the subconscious mind where creativity resides. Also, you make an appointment with yourself to write at a certain time later in the day. It has been great and I’m feeling like my old self again when writing.
Of course, I still miss Mum so much. Some days are very hard but writing is back and I feel like life is okay.