Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Insecure Writers Want to Know: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?


            Yes. And yes. Frankly, I don’t see how major life events can not affect someone—especially writers. As many of you know from last month, my mother passed away in late August. And I was part of the hospice team caring for her. Mom came to my home to live out her life. But before that, she was sick for a long time. All this has affected my writing greatly.
http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com


            Have you ever tried to concentrate and write when you’re preoccupied with something else? For me, it’s next to impossible. My brain keeps circling back to my primary concern. In this case, my mother. I felt I would be lost without her. [And I am!]

            However, my writing has helped me through this dark period in my life. When my mother was living with me, to keep myself sane—in between caring for her, a 24 hour a day job—I tried to remember the gift of her life in my family and my extended family. Photos from her life journey, when she was well, helped prompt me to write a moving eulogy. [At least the people who attended the funeral told me it was moving.]

I crafted Chicken Soup essays about the advice Mom passed down to her children, to me. I made a memory book of her life for my siblings and the great grandchildren who won’t know her. Mom was the first reader of my short stories. Now I bother my busy husband and children to be first readers. Don’t tell anyone, but they’re not as pleasant about reading my work as my mother was.

You see, my mother was more than a first reader. She was my sounding board, my mentor. She’d sit there quietly for hours as I brainstormed nonsense and stared into my computer. I always knew what I needed for story, but I couldn’t figure out how to make this particular story work—at least in the beginning. And that’s where Mom came in. She’d offer her good judgment, the concrete, typical situations and events that would normally happen in any situation. This would shake my brain loose from the common truth to dive into the realm of exciting adventure or tense danger that lives in my stories.

            Mom’s gone now, although I still seek her advice in my writing. She lives on in my heart and mind. Occasionally, I hear her words spill out of my children’s mouths. I smile. If only Mom would channel some of her wisdom about my memoir to either my children or me. Here’s hoping!

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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  


32 comments:

  1. Again, I'm sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. Life events definitely effect writing. Writers use emotion in their writing, and it changes based on our moods. If you're sad, most likely, your writing will reflect it. Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I truly appreciate it. Life events affect people differently. But I feel sad events affect writers deeply.

      It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Michelle. Thanks for your comment. All best to you!

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  2. Hi Victoria Marie - you really worked through things and have these amazing moments to remember and the positives - they always supercede any negatives. In blogging I've kept myself sane ... take care - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. I believe the positives do supersede any negatives in life. We as a people need to remember that to remain sane. I love your blog, by the way!

      It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks for your comment. Enjoy your weekend!

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  3. Sorry you lost such a force in your life - and your first reader. Remember the gifts she gave you and use them in life and in your writing.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. This is well-said. I need to focus on what you say here. Seriously, it means a lot.

      Thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

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  4. My sympathies ... I hope it is some comfort to feel your writing gift blossom and honor her.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I will always hear my mother's voice in my heart and in my mind.

      I hope all is well with you. Thanks for your comment at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

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  5. Thank you for this. I get distracted when I have family concerns too.

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    1. It's so difficult not to be distracted by family concerns, isn't it, Dawn?

      Thanks so much for your note at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. I sense that your mum will continue working the magic in your life as she made such an impression on you. I'm sure that your kids will learn to appreciate the same wisdom through you.

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    1. Thank you, Roland. I truly appreciate that. I believe the magic of my mother will stick with our family here on earth.

      Thanks so much for your comment at Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir!

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss. Great post :-) Happy IWSG day!

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Course Correction

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Ronel! I'm so glad you visited. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Happy IWSG day to you, too.

      Thanks so much for your comment. Please stop by Adventures in Writing again. All best to you!

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  8. Can totally relate to all you are saying about how hard it is to write when you are going through loss, being a busy caregiver, etc. That is and was me all the time. Glad you were so close to your mom. I am just starting my journey as my mom's caregiver.

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    1. It is tough, Natalie. And it hurts to see your mom go through so much and still wear a smile on her face. My mother never lost her smile. And she always answered "fine" whenever someone asked how she was. I love her beyond measure.

      Thanks for your kind words on Adventures in Writing. You and your mother are in my prayers.

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  9. What a beautiful post, Victoria. I hope I have the same grace when it comes time for me to be a caregiver.

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    1. Somehow I believe you will be, Raimey. You are so generous with your time and talent now, sharing your knowledge with your fellow writers. Only I hope it is a long, long time before you need to be a caregiver for your parents.

      Thanks so much for your kind note at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

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    2. It's easy with someone so sweet. Thanks again for all you do.

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  10. I agree with Raimey, what a beautiful post. I still miss my mother too. It affects our lives forever. I was only 17 and not writing like I do now, but I think had I had that opportunity it would have been important like your mother was to you. God Bloss and Hugs Happy IWSG Day.

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    1. Yes, it certainly does affect our lives, Juneta! I am truly sorry for your loss as well.

      Thank you so much for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your weekend!

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  11. I'm sorry for you loss and glad you keep her close. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I will always keep my mother close both in my heart and in my mind. Thanks for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing, Anna. Enjoy your weekend!

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  12. Such sweet words. It's incredible how much one person can affect your life, eh? Everyone needs a cheerleader. I'm so happy you had one in your mother.

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    1. My mother understood the timid heart of a writer. She was the best and bringing me back from despair.

      Thanks for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing, Crystal. Enjoy your weekend!

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  13. How very sad. Like losing your Muse, as well as your Mother. She sounds like a beautiful person. As you say, she will live on in your heart, your children, and your writing.

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! I'm so glad you visited us.

      Thank you, Dolorah. I am losing both Muse and Mother. I appreciate your kind words. Please visit Adventures in Writing again!

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  14. I had no idea your mother was so important to you in regards to your writing process, Victoria. What a double loss. I’m so sorry! It will be impossible to replace her and the reactions to your writing from other first readers will be very different, but I guess this is a necessary change. Whenever your memoir is finished, I have a good idea to whom it will be dedicated. :-)

    I hope your brain can clear up soon, so you get to focus on your memoir again. Like you, I’m distracted very easily, especially when important changes and events are happening around me.

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  15. Thank you for your kind words, Liesbet. They mean a lot. And thank you for your understanding in this matter. As soon as I get my act together, you will be the first person I come running to...okay, maybe the word is emailing. Truly appreciate your patience.

    Thanks so much for your kind note at Adventures in Writing. All best to you!

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  17. Thanks! And thanks for your note on Adventures in Writing. Have a great day.

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