This article originally appeared in the Seattle Writing Careers Examiner website and was written by Jennifer Conner.
I have to write the ending of this article before the beginning this time.
Since a week ago when Darlene Panzera, a local Seattle area author, wrote this article about ‘writing through despair’ great things have happened for her. She just won the Make Your Dreams Come True contest sponsored by Debbie Macomber & Avon Books, with her novella titled: The Bet. Darlene is one of my critique partners, so I know how hard she has worked on this story. We are sooooo happy for her. A lot of life’s crummy things have happened to her the past few years. But, the moral of this story is: Keep your head up and keep your dreams in your grasp. They DO come true.
With that pre-happy ending to her article her it is!:
Have you ever felt like life was slamming you over the head more times than you could handle? Like a series of never-ending waves too big to duck under? How can a writer meet their deadlines or find the strength to write at all during times of extreme duress?
Sometimes you can’t. As much as you would love to plow through and stay on track, sometimes what you really need to do is just rest, take some time off. Forcing yourself to push forward can lead to further stress.
– Try changing genre’s. Sometimes after the death of a loved one, you may not want to write comedy or fluffy romances anymore. That doesn’t mean writing isn’t still in your blood. Maybe what you need to do is switch to women’s fiction, paranormal, or suspense. You may even want to try your hand at non-fiction. Writers who already write non-fiction may want to escape into fiction for a while.
– In time a writer’s inspiration, energy, and enthusiasm will return. Until that happens, a writer under duress may need to cut down on their commitments, and take time to reorganize, re-prioritize, and set new goals.
– What if you are the friend of a writer in an emotional slump? Try to be understanding. Don’t exclude that writer from your critique group because she has stopped producing pages. Be a friend. Even if they can’t write, sometimes just being around other writers talking about writing is a help. Watch your ‘well-meaning’ suggestions. No one else can tell you how long it should take for you to heal. The healing process is different for everyone.
I believe our mental well-being is as important as our physical well-being. When we are sick we need time to heal, whether that sickness is the flu or a broken heart. I urge everyone to be compassionate and understanding to those who are hurting inside and out. I urge you to be an encouraging writer. I believe each and every one of us could use a bit more encouragement in our lives.”
You can read Darlene’s great romances she has out now A Perfect Opportunity and A Look of Love available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books to Go Now.
Writing Through Tragedy and Despair by Darlene Panzera