Writing To Live

Last year I completed a novel. MEANT TO BE ME (A Dancer’s Story) was made up of words I had to write. It gave me a second chance, an alternate life, a legend I could live in for the year it took to complete. For a few months after that, I made an effort to sustain its magic by making ineffectual attempts at getting it published. Then I let it slide as real life took over. The realized hopes and dreams of Lily, the young dancer, disappeared behind a fog I could no longer penetrate. The traumatic effects of my daughter’s ruptured marriage – and the birth of a fourth grandchild – made of my year long idyll a fairytale I must put aside in order to live in and cope with the present reality.  The ensuing months have been long, grueling and stressful – albeit with splashes of joy and fulfillment. I have managed to be present and helpful to my beloved family, even as I suffered physical symptoms brought on by stress. A cheerful demeanor has masked a tendency to depression. I have known some small triumphs in my creative life, but my endeavors have been sporadic – with frequent interruptions. Discouragement and exhaustion have accompanied too many days.

In January, I began this blog with hopes that it would serve as this years writing project, but I am wondering whether instant publication makes me too guarded with my words for my own good. Perhaps I discovered – during my year of fiction writing – a freedom that cannot be attained by blogging, or only occasionally. Truth-telling through fiction can bring about life-changing revelations. I believe this regardless of my own backward slide into old ways. The characters in my novel taught me about myself, showing me capabilities I have but fear to own. Helping them to live revived and renewed my former passion for existence. I remembered and honored aspects of myself in various guises, various ages. I placed them in environments that healed and strengthened me, while enlarging my world and sharpening my perspective. There is something about the writing of fiction that provides a safe venue for the liberation of the hidden self.

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One Response to “Writing To Live”

  1. leiflife Says:

    Since writing this blog, I have heard from a friend to whom I had given a bound copy of my novel. She was reading the book and finding it completely compelling. Eight chapters in, she could hardly put it down; it had gripped her from the beginning. Her genuine pleasure in the story that I had been so invested in, renewed my investment and seemed to affirm what I had written in the blog. I was reminded, also, of having shared the novel, chapter by chapter – during the writing – with my two closest friends. Kendall received installments by email and wrote back with such enthusiasm and joy that I was graced with ongoing inspiration. Then there was Lou Ann, who sat across from me as I read, her beautiful and beloved face reflecting the emotions and experiences of the characters. Reading aloud also helped with my editing process. How fortunate I was to be companioned on my writing journey.
    So I am being renewed in my belief in MEANT TO BE ME: A Dancer’s Story. And to further this renewal, I received notice by email this morning of a writer’s conference to take place here on the Gulf Coast the first week in November. It is the very first in this area, and I have already registered. Synchronicity will get me every time.

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