This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection! More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!
IWSG Day Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?
I really appreciate this month’s question, it causes me to do some reflection on my writing in the past and some of those things that have been getting in the way of my writing in the present.
When I look back at when I started writing my stories down (because I let them play through my mind for many years before I started to put them on the page) I can easily identify how it was actually in reaction to something that was going on in my life. It was right near the start of High School. We had two sets of cousins visiting us, and I wasn’t really connecting with any of them very well. But my younger sister was. She was having fun learning the Macarena from them, hanging out at the mall, and generally doing all sorts of things that I thought were silly and wasn’t particularly into at the time.
It was the first time I can remember when my sister and I didn’t get along. It wasn’t that we weren’t getting along, really, just that I didn’t feel like I had anything in common with her. Being the only two girls in a family with five children we’d always been “in it together.”
I’d had a built in friend my whole life, and suddenly I felt like I didn’t have anyone. So I turned to the stories. I wrote myself into worlds of my own creation as a method of escape. And it certainly wasn’t the last time in my life that writing helped me through something. Sometimes the stories would take a form of glorified journaling – a little escapism in moments when I was needing to sort things out. Sometimes they would be completely unrelated themes, but a way for me to find a space of calm in chaos.
But life events aren’t always so helpful in my writing. Sometimes they serve to pull me away from my writing. Lately I feel like that’s the state I’ve been in – I’ve let things that are happening in my life serve as excuses to not write. As can be seen if you read through my past year or so of IWSG posts, I keep setting these goals to write, and then setting more of them. Since I finished my novel-draft a few years ago I haven’t been terribly productive with my writing. There are a variety of reasons behind this, that I’m slowly picking apart and making sense of (or at least figuring out how to work with). Hopefully I’m actually making progress and will start seeing more writing again soon… at the very least I plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year, and that generally helps me get some story-work done; even if I don’t end up doing anything with that work, my goal right now is to just get writing again — I don’t care if it’s something that will ever see the light of day. I just need to start getting stories flowing again.