Thursday, July 24, 2014

Inspiration and Grief

I recently read a post by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher, wherein he explains that making a writing dream come true is hard. Really hard. I believe it. I also believe what followed that revelation: it's worth it.
I have had many hiatuses in my work over the years, for various reasons that all seemed petty and inconsequential after the fact. In truth, I was balking at the mountain before me and cooling my heels in the low-lands. It's hard for me to reconcile my deep love and longing for the written word and my loathsome hesitance before uncertainty and strife. Yet, the dichotomy exists, and it is ever my dream's bane.
Butcher went on to say that though 99% of writers kill their own dream, the truth of the matter is that they killed their dream. They did, and no one else. "Only you can kill your dream," he passionately advocated. The only side of that coin is only they can give it life.
I am the lone warrior who will heft my dream upon my back up this mountain, and no one else. Regardless of what life has to offer for resistance or aid, only I can give up; only I can quit.
All that said, there is a weight in my heart that has made it especially difficult for me to persevere. My sister passed away this past March. Officially, she left us on March 19th, though she was really gone on the 14th and we were all just floundering in her wake, futilely wishing she could come back to us.
I don't know where inspiration comes from, though there are times I glimpse it. I have a feeling, however, that it springs from the same well as grief. When I was deepest in my grief, when I was wracked with the unimaginable struggle of a continued existence without my life-long best friend, no words came. When for months I tried in every way possible to honor her and recognize her in my life and the world around me, I had no will to create.
I didn't realize this had happened until I thought about how long it had been since I'd written anything. Months, since before she'd passed away. I am not going to try and explain what her unquestioning loyalty and support of my work meant to me, or her unconditional love in spite of my many faults. Needless to say, I have never suffered such a loss in my lifetime, and I did not take it well. To this day, there are times that I struggle to breathe… and to write.
Little by little, I've been rediscovering inspiration, as my grief dulls to an ache and the occasional pang that strikes me down.
I started a new project, one that I think she would love. I named the main character Becca, though she has little in common with my sister, Becky. I've included some elements to the story that she would have appreciated, and it's soothing in a way to start something without knowing or caring where it's going.
I started to dream again. I had a vivid and epic dream about an astrologer in a prison tower. I've started outlining a story based on him entitled "The Man in the Tower."
As this post indicates, I've begun to look at my webpages, the windows to my fans. I want to do what I've always promised, create pages for each of my projects that I would love to visit if I read that author.
I finished and edit of "Seeking Destiny", which I re-titled "A Turning of Fate", the latter of which reached Quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. I finally landed on an appropriate title "A Darklord's Legacy", and I am working on a synopsis and final edit.
It has been a very hard winter for me, and a slow and painful recovery not aided by a lancing betrayal from one I loved just weeks after Becky's death.
But, I have not given up. My dream is worth every modicum of stubborn effort I have in me. I have so many beautiful and complex stories to share with the world, and I can't wait to tell them.
Thank you for staying with me through this arduous journey. Stay tuned; I think you'll like what you see.

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