Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. Now, all I have to do is come out of hiding in my insecure world.
I have noticed that despite my intention to work on some of my stories that I have not opened Word on my computer to even look at my stories for quite some time… like at least May. So WHY…??
Ok, I’m human. I’m discouraged. I can’t concentrate. This is the first effort I have made to write anything since last month’s IWSG posting. The good news is that this post made me finally figure out what the problem is and why I’m in such a deep, dark hole. You know what… I’ve been displaced.
Back in May my husband and I moved from a three bedroom, 2,000 sq. ft. home into an 800 sq. ft. apartment as my husband became seriously ill so I’m caregiving. Also, I do a great job of being Humpty Dumpty too, so we just could not keep up the home thus we had to downsize. Mostly, I feel comfortable in the apartment, but what I realized is that we had to give up “MY writing space,” my privacy, and my corner of the world. I had a desk in a corner of our family room that looked out over a gully and Miller Bay. I was surrounded by nature, the osprey nest in the top of the fir tree that looked like a space ship had crashed landed. The bald eagles swooped down to grasp the salmon during spawning season. Even the Easter bunnies charged across the lawn looking for my delectable flowers to munch on.
But now I am facing the living room wall with the TV behind me. Yes, I’m surrounded with pictures of my grandchildren, and fun sayings like “Do what you love and happiness will follow” and “Something wonderful this way comes!” but I feel uprooted, stranded, and lost.
The comfort, joy, and inspiration that I enjoyed evaporated. Determination is inherent in my soul, so now I’m remembering that it is TIME to dig it out especially when my calendar for August 1 reads “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” Hmmm, is that a subtle hint or what!
Today I received a reminder from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with the question, “What am I doing to inspire my inner artist?” Actually at the moment, I feel more like I crashed into a concrete wall after going 100 MPH on my tricycle.
Now, I have no more excuses except to figure out a plan, sit down and glue my butt to the chair and get to work. I need to find inspiration and my way again, in my new home. I CAN do this!
What do you do to inspire your writing? Does your mind automatically flow in interesting directions? Or even how do you take a personal story that deserves to be told to fictionalize it? Where does your guiding light come from?
“Keep changing, because when you’re through changing—you’re through.” Bert-Olaf Svanholm
“An essential aspect of CREATIVITY is not being afraid to fail.” Isaac Newton
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner
In reading the June issue of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s newsletter, Hannah Haney in her article “A Writer’s Voice has Power” poised an interesting question…
JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
I’m laughing… I loved hearing that my writing is improving and growing stronger. Heck, I have edited this article at least four times. But foremost, the most important comment anyone made to me is that I write real. Growing up in my family was like avoiding the Vietnamese landmines. You needed to watch where you stepped. As crazy as home life was for my brother and me, it was not as heart-wrenching as Frank McCourt’s life per his book, Angela’s Ashes, but there were situations that I truly believe should be told.
Invaluable life’s lessons sprout from books and stories whether through fact or fiction. However, we don’t understand tripping over mole-holes or falling face first into the mud until we have walked in another’s shoes experiencing why they slipped up, first hand. Learn from others so that our lives will be better, and we will understand the pain and joy people around us experienced.
If you read memoir or fiction based on fact, WHAT is important to you about what you read? What draws you into the story? Why did you pick up the book in the first place? What hooked you into the story? Are you interested in learning from others’ lives? What bores you to tears… or did I just do that? You see, I am insecure! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments, so I hope you will share them with me. You will help me grow. Thank you for your comments.
Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. Since my life has been torn in so many directions, I realize that I now need to learn to effectively participate in the IWSG group in order to receive the benefits.
I am still involved in caregiving for my sick husband, but if we can discover what specifically is wrong with him, there might be light at the end of my tunnel. The good news is that we are relocated and settled. The “Long Winter’s Nap” that I yearned for is now part of my daily routine. Additionally, I have picked up Jonathan Evison’s book, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving… A novel.” My hope is that it will help me structure and sort through my thoughts and ideas about writing about my experiences of caregiving. Yes, maybe I can actually throw some humor into this horrific situation.
But, this brings me to another issue… my fear, lack of confidence, and my negativity about my capabilities. Yes, I have published a couple of short stories. Despite my working to submit more stories nothing has been accepted. Heck, I don’t even receive rejection letters… nothing! When this happens my mind stays stuck like a record in the wrong groove as I replay my mother’s words about my lack of capabilities. It is amazing the damage family history can play on our psyche!
Consequently, I need to keep learning, growing, and erasing history. I need to actively work at supporting others so that I will receive support in return. I need to step out of my hiding place too. Is there anyone out there that feels as I do?
This is my third year of surviving my A to Z Blogger’s Challenge, but this year was quite multifaceted. I did not think I would survive the Challenge because of my husband’s illness, and our decision to move. Yet, what I discovered is that because of my focus on the subject of caregiving my thoughts came more readily than in years past. Initially, since my husband’s illness broad-sided me, I gushed emotion. My feelings spilled out all over the place.
However, eventually my brain and my heart communicated as I realized that my friends and readers might want to know what I was undergoing, how my husband and I were functioning together, and the results from our experiences. Sooner or later my posts showed the positive side of my husband’s and my actions and not just the sad and frustrating aspects of caregiving. Today’s quote on my calendar shares a good overview of my experience: “Nothing WORTH HAVING comes easy.”
Caregiving for family is NOT easy as besides the duties associated with caregiving, you have the emotions connected with your relationship… for whatever it is worth. Caregiving for someone you don’t know or have a relationship with would not bare the extreme emotional aspect that I experienced with my husband. Even, when I helped care for my mother the dynamics were quite emotional as we had a long line of baggage we had not dealt with in my growing up years.
Since my brief overview of caregiving for the Challenge, I have run into friends who are also caregiving for family. They appreciated my being open about how emotional and challenging caregiving can be for family. These people had assumed that taking on the project of caregiving for their loved ones would be easy. SURPRISE!
So the words of wisdom for your caregiving project is to “Give yourself oxygen first, before you try to care for another person!” Thanks to the many people who supported me in the Challenge as I truly appreciate your support… I NEEDED it! I SURVIVED!
Good morning, all,
It’s the first Wednesday in the month and IWSG Time has come around again.
I thank Alex Cavanaugh for creating the group and my friend, Patricia Garcia, for inviting me to join.
Currently, I’ve been overwhelmed as I have just completed April’s A to Z Blogger’s Challenge. This year is the first time that I disclosed a theme, Caregiving, as I am in the midst of caring for my sick husband. To add to the fun, I’m also literally in the process of moving. I’m a split personality as I’m here, my books are there, and I have no idea of where I’m going to put the rest of my belongings. There is some light at the end of the tunnel as we will complete our move May 14th. Wish me luck at finding anything!
In the process, our cable company turned off our cable as we could not get it through their heads that we needed cable at both residents. Fortunately, I was without the use of my computer after the April Challenge.
Writing for the Challenge helped me process my thinking. I started out by whining or expressing my emotions as I was going nuts. I guess I needed the outlet. Eventually, I realized what I was doing, and worked at providing more information about the caregiving process, as it is not as simplistic as some people might imagine. Being open and real is highly important to me, in my writing. With a husband and wife, part of the caregiving process is dealing with our emotions… what are they and why are they suddenly appearing. There is also the process… running up and down stairs for meds and foods. I also had to deal with my husband’s passing out and taking him to Urgent Care because of the damage he did to his body in his falls.
Now, as my husband becomes healthier, the dynamics change somewhat. I have relief from some of my work as my husband can help care for himself now. It has been four long months and I’m very tired, but relief is in sight.
I still need to analyze my caregiving process more thoroughly so that I can clearly show people what I experienced. But the Challenge was a great start for me as it made me think.
Amazingly, I survived the Challenge. My writing is beginning to take form. My husband survived my caregiving, and like the Little Engine that Could, I’m still chugging up that hill moving boxes to our new home.
This has been quite a process for me to be a caregiver, write, and move all at the same time. I so dearly appreciate all the support I received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!