Hi everyone! Today I have a special post as part of the Writers Persevere event that authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are running for the next few days to celebrate their newest book, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma. This book looks at the difficult experiences embedded in our character’s backstory which will shape their motivation and behavior afterward.
To help them celebrate this release, many of us are posting stories about some of the obstacles we’ve overcome as writers. As we all know, this isn’t an easy path. Writing is hard and as writers we tend to struggle with doubt. Sometimes too, we don’t always get the support we need to follow our passion, or we have added challenges that make writing more difficult. Because people are sharing their stories this week about how they worked through these challenges to keep writing, I wanted to post about it too.
Emotional Wound Thesaurus Blog Tour: A Little Personal
Today, I’m part of the Emotional Wound Thesaurus blog tour and I’ve agreed to post about what I struggle with most as a writer. We’re going to go into a little tour of what my life’s been like since I took up writing and the struggles I’ve faced and overcome.
Where shall I begin? As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t remember a time when stories haven’t been a part of my life. Writing just came natural. Returning home from a year-and-a-half of college, I tried to determine what to do with what I thought of as my failed life. No money and not being able to drive at the time left me with little options. I’d recently seen the movie Stand by Me and felt it spoke to me. I bought every craft book I could find and started writing.
I got my start writing fanfiction as far as publishing and even managed to get my story published in a local contest. About this time, I met my ex. At first, he seemed supportive of my career and then he attacked my writing. Somehow, I’d married someone who didn’t understand me and proceeded to be abusive throughout the marriage. Little by little, I was dying inside then Sept. 11th dawned. He brushed off everything that was happening by saying, “It doesn’t matter, I still have to work.” I could finally see his coldness for what it was and a spark grew in me. Secretly, I started to write again. By that February, he’d fallen for someone else and suggested it would be romantic if I slit my wrists.
For the first time ever, I stood up to him and said, “You aren’t worth it.” I told him to get out. I can’t describe how good that felt, to do so. Of course, there came the stalking and battles in court. Finally, my kids and I were free to no longer walk on eggshells. I bought a dog for protection for me and the kids. Sadly, he died of old age earlier this year.
About 2009, I had a breakdown. PTSD they called it. Later, I’d learn I had bipolar. It explained a lot to me. My family on my dad’s side had it. It was the darkest time of my life, pulling through that, learning to live again, and to forgive myself.
Some days are easier than others. Writing helps keep me focused. My ex had threatened to lock me away many times during my marriage. I spent three days in a psychiatric ward during my discovery of the bipolar, afraid I’d lose my kids, my house, my life. Those three days changed my life for the better. I began writing again and I’ve now finished eleven books.
Sometimes I wish I could change things in my past but as I age, I realize: I wouldn’t be who I am. I never knew how strong I was or how much I could handle on my own. I’ve raised two amazing children who dream of a future for themselves after seeing how I pursue writing professionally. They know you never give up, never stop fighting, and that small spark can ignite a flame to succeed.
Do you have a story to share, or some advice for others? You can join Becca and Angela at Writers Helping Writers from October 25-27th, where we are celebrating writers and their stories of perseverance. Stop in, and tell them about a challenge or struggle you faced, or if you like, write a post on your own blog and share it using the hashtag #writerspersevere. Let’s fill social media with your strength and let other writers know that it’s okay to question and have doubts but we shouldn’t let that stop us.