Friday, March 11, 2016

Writing for my life

We can never know what curve balls life will throw at us. I had a reminder of this early this week, when I had to take my hubby to the emergency room because he was having chest pains. He was admitted for tests, and after a heart catheterization on Wednesday, finally came home. Thankfully, the problem isn't his heart, but unfortunately, he's still in pain and more tests are in store for him.

Of course, when life emergencies happen, everything else falls to the far end of the priority list. Including writing.

Except that when you're a writer in the middle of a story, the characters never leave you. Since November, I've been working on a novel. Actually, I'd finished the first draft, but any writer will tell you that's when the real work begins. Revisions are where the real story shines through.

All along, this story's been leading me down unexpected paths. It's the greatest feeling when a story surprises you, and even better when it happens over and over again.

In the middle of all the worry and stress about my hubs, those characters revealed deep secrets and insights. On an ordinary day, there's a danger of losing those ideas that blossom in your head, and on an extraordinarily stressful day, that danger multiplies exponentially.

So while my hubby was having his heart scoped, I wrote.

Some might think me callous, but it's actually the opposite. Aside from not wanting to lose those new revelations, I desperately needed that escape from reality. Those were three long, intense days. I'd been through this with my husband twice already, and believe me when I tell you, it does not get easier. Writing isn't merely a hobby for me. I've been writing since I was in elementary school, and it's one of the most important means of release I have.

Now that we're home, life isn't back to normal. (If I only knew what "normal" was!)

I'm still squeezing in writing as I find little pockets of time. And after reading over what I'd written from the surgery recovery room, I'm so glad I didn't wait. Because I love my characters so much more now.

And you never know what Fate might have in store.

5 comments:

Savannah Blaize said...

I am glad your husband is back home, and feeling better. So happy for you that you got those words down, and I understand the need for an escape, even for just a few precious minutes. Your characters were there to help your through the trauma.

Maria Zannini said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope they find the cause of his pain soon. Not knowing is the worst part in my opinion.

re: writing while waiting
Of course you had to write. It's not as if you had anything else to do in that waiting room. You might as well do something useful. I agree too, that writing under that kind of emotional stress heightens your senses. I can well imagine your characters came to life after a dose of real life.

Take care of yourself and not just hubby. Sometimes these things can be just as hard on the caretakers as well as the patient.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much, Savannah. It is good to have him back home. And yes, I think my characters knew I was in distress and jumped in with me.

Thank you for the well wishes, Maria. We are anxious to know the cause as well, but I'm sure it will take a few more weeks. I actually was already sick at the start with an upper respiratory infection and eye infection, plus the antibiotics had made me sick to my stomach. Double the fun! Another reason to be grateful for my characters distracting me. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm so glad your hubby is okay. I have trouble writing during times of stress but I try.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks much Susan. We're hoping for answers soon.