Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Writer: Making Course Corrections

Dear Writer,

It's been some time since we've talked. I've been away and doing things to continue my own writing life. Sometimes, real world events pierce what is admittedly a bubble that separates the creative writing life from all the rest.

I've had that happen lately. You see, one of my cousins died recently. It was mostly unexpected and she was only 55 years old. I wasn't especially close with my cousin, but the loss struck me hard and affected me deeply. It made me think about all of life and about death in a way that nothing else can. These kinds of happenings are a part of living. How one views fundamental things like death can shape what they do next.

For me, as  writer, I feel like writing about death. I feel like reading about it. I want to understand it more--even if that means coming to terms with its mysteries and accepting that it is a natural part of living. When these kinds of events shake up the normal course of life, all that each of us can really do is  try to make course corrections. We cannot change what has happened. Words may fail us when we try to relate these deep feelings we're having. The sadness and the mourning of the loss weigh us down.

But, as writers, we can direct these feelings and these flows into something. Writers can express something of how something like death has impacted us even while we seek to keep going with our own lives.

Some events are so disruptive that we're left spinning and wheeling around in confusion and pain and there is no solace to be found even in the pen or typing on the keyboard. We have to take the time  that we need to grieve and then, with hope and luck, we can start writing again (and start living again too).

Dear Writer, I hope you are well. I hope that you are keeping to the course and making the needed corrections so you can keep on writing. What we do is an important thing. Remember that. I know I am trying to. Take care.

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