Change: Not Bad, But Scary – So USE It!

Celebrating the fact that I’ve been writing every day this week!

As I alluded to in this post, a writer can make use of the rigors of daily life as a tool.

Thinking about rigors, I realize most emotion springs from one thing: CHANGE.

Some people don’t like change. They think change is bad. If you’re old, you want life to stay as it was “in the good old days.” If you’re young, you don’t want to leave your mommy and go to school all day. No matter what the scenario, if you like a situation and it changes, the immediate reaction is of repulsion.

Let’s face it; change is damned scary. You’re enjoying your life, comfortable in the status quo, when suddenly a gust of wind (change) knocks you off your moorings and into the unknown.

How dare there be change! Right?

Writers should take advantage of the gust of wind and note their emotional response.

Example: Your marriage of many years threatens to disintegrate. You get news that a close family member has a life threatening medical condition. You make one small mistake and end up totaling your car.

It would be SO EASY to wallow in the emotion of your change. For example: damn it, but I’ve given him two decades of my life! or how will I live without my mom? or I hate walking, and that guy (uninsured, of course) in the other lane is a jerk for hitting me! Instead of marinating in emotion, write down the emotion of your change; the hurt you felt when you learned of the infidelity, the vulnerability of abandonment, the loss of your family member, the rage you feel knowing the insurance won’t cover it and you have no money. Your characters will need to express these things, once you, Author-Person, gets down to the business of weaving the bits of your ideas into a viable story.

It doesn’t have to make sense; it doesn’t even have to be sentences or paragraphs. It doesn’t take long, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. On the off occasion when I don’t have a notebook, I’ll jot down my winds of change in my iPhone notes.

There is only so much time in a day. Make use of it.

Getting in the Mood to Write

I’ve been thinking about Cadence a lot in the last week, although not really working on the book. I have definite plans and want to play with them in my head before I sit down and get to work.

If I’d only known then what I know now. I’m sure it wouldn’t have taken me a little under two years to complete this work.

The truth is, Cadence wasn’t easy to write. It wasn’t fun, because this woman goes through an incredible trauma. In order to get to the emotion I wanted to convey, I had to go into a deep dark place inside myself. Going there was treacherous.

I had to get there to write a reasonably true account. But in the meantime, while I was there, these dark shadows would spill out into my “real” life. I was moody, sad and reflective, and though I tried to keep those things on the page only, it was difficult to divide my feelings.

That’s why the first four chapters of Oaks and Acorns was such a relief. Each time I closed my laptop after working on it, I felt playful and buoyant, not depressed.

I really believe in Finding Cadence, in the story and its message, and I want to see it to its fruition in print someday. So it’s back to the drawing board, back to the salt mine, back to work.

To get back into the darkness of Cadence, I wrote a disturbing story over the weekend about a woman who contemplates jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. It was strange, but such a depressing subject actually felt good.

Wish me luck.