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Monday, February 5, 2018

Writing is my Therapy by Paty Jager

Writing is hard. I hear that a lot from people who don't write and people who have published several books.

I don't find writing hard. Writing has always been my outlet for inner struggles, entertainment, and finding my way. Since learning how to read, words have opened doors to me through books I've read and stories I've written. It's true when they say every story or book that has been written has a piece of the writer in it. You can't write and not put your ideas and struggles into the story.

That is why writing is therapy for me. Whether I'm writing a funny character who makes me laugh or a dark subject that many wouldn't touch, it all has a way of healing and making me see things in a new light.

There were some years, when I was first married, we had a baby, and my husband would be gone for days at a time truck driving that I thought I'd go crazy. I read a lot, but I also fantasized all kinds of horrible things that had happened to him if he didn't call when he said he'd call. I did the same thing when my parents would call and say they were coming to visit. If they were late, I had them crashing the car or being hit by a train. All unfounded worries.

But the day I picked up a notebook and started writing fictional stories, those thoughts and fantasies ceased.

Writing my fictional stories gives my over active imagination an outlet and I can live a less stress filled life. My imagination, even when I am not physically able to write due to company, traveling, or illness, still conjures up characters and story ideas. I make enough time to jot down those thoughts to have when I am looking for another story or character.  

Writing the story, as I said earlier, comes easy for me. It's the revisions, editing, publishing, and marketing that cause me grief.

But I'll put up with all of those to be able to write and let the demons that used to haunt me go free.

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”



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8 comments:

Deb Noone said...

So true, Paty - it is amazing how freeing writing is. For me, who doesn't sleep well, being up half the night worrying about what needs to be done at work or what is going on in personal life...imagining my characters and their stories helps calm the insomnia. And, as you said, channels whatever is happening or not happening (i.e., the worries in our imagination) in my life. And I, too, find the writing a lot easier than all the edits, etc. that follow. That is the hard part. Enjoyed your thoughts in this blog - they definitely resonated with me :-)

Diana McCollum said...

Good post, Paty! Hm-m-m, I write paranormal, what does that say about my inter demons? Enjoy the beach!!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Deb, I'm glad I'm not the only one who imagines the worst when not channeling those fears. Thanks for stopping in!

Hi Diana! That you must get them out! LOL Thanks!

Maggie Lynch said...

It's as if you are reading my mind, Paty. I too imagine all kinds of nightmare scenarios from relationship things to external challenges. When our son was in Iraq I was afraid he would come up with PTSD and that fear became the male protagonist in Expendable. In the same book, I channeled an incident from my past when a sister asked if I would like to be the mother to her baby because she was pregnant out of wedlock. All the potential problems for that were also channeled in that same book.

In some ways by making them even worse than the real things, it makes dealing with the challenges of the real events somehow easier. Definitely therapy!

Also like you, I find the reader easy and I WANT to do it. The challenge is not letting all the other things around the writing business and marketing take away all my time, leaving me with my fears and frustrations and no outlet.

Barbara Strickland said...

I have mistakenly said writing is hard but meant as you do, the bits that come with it. The actual writing is incredible, an escape, a joy even to someone like me unsure of their ability and a long way from where I would love to be.
Great post

Paty Jager said...

Maggie, I agree it's making the time to make writing a priority. but having it make me a happier person, I do it nearly every day to stay that way. Thanks for commenting!

Hi Barbara! That's it! The escape. The joy of doing things you wouldn't in real life and yet unleashing the horrible things that haunt you. Thank you for stopping in!

Judith Ashley said...

Yes, it is the bits and pieces that come After the story that are the hardest for me. I love the actual writing of the first and second drafts - maybe even the 3rd as I see how I can make my story better but the whole publishing and promotion and marketing part? I'm working on that.

Paty Jager said...

Judith, We are all working on the publishing, promotion, and marketing. It's the most tedious and hardest to know what to do next. Thanks for stopping in!