Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Balancing Writing With Life - or - Why I haven't written a post in 4 months
Just in case anyone out there wondered why I haven't written anything since April 1st, it is because my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Double-Hit Lymphoma, which threw us into a new reality -- one where writing took a backseat. Actually writing blew out the window as we raced through 6 rounds of in-hospital chemos, and clung by its fingertips to the rear bumper hoping we'd hit a stop light soon. And we did. For the last couple of weeks, we have been preparing for Fran's bone marrow transplant, which he'll have at the end of the month. Honestly, I still feel like I'm inside a centrifuge where the force of cancer in our lives is pressing me against the walls of sanity, but that is another blog entirely.
HOWEVER - I thought I'd try to scrape the shredded remnants of my writing life off the undercarriage, and see if I could find a better safer place for it to sit among my bulging baggage. Basically, I need to find a better balance between Writing and Life. Throwing writing out the window was my way of staying afloat when I thought I was sinking. And I'm lucky I can do that. Millions of writers depend on the sale of their words to buy groceries and pay medical bills. My husband's teacher's salary does that. But, I'm a writer. And when I stopped writing, part of me stopped functioning.
So-- here is my new game plan. I will write at least one blog a week. Even if it is to tell you how I'm doing. I will attempt to keep it nonfiction focused so that you learn something as well. I will start to do some Natalie-Goldberg-style-free-writing, ten minutes a day, to work the kinks out of my brain. Don't know about Natalie Goldberg? Well, then you are about to learn something. She is a wonderful author and teacher who wrote Writing Down the Bones, and Thunder and Lightning, as well as other books on the writing life.
I've been rereading her books while sitting at Roswell. What I love about her is that she is truly a nonfiction writer who uses all the soul and art of fiction and poetry to make her true stories come alive. Many fiction writers read her, but I think nonfiction writers can learn even more from her candor and guts.
If you would like to help me in this effort, you can bug me if I miss a week, offer suggestions for posts you'd like to see, ask me questions about nonfiction, writing, life, and share my posts with others.
And-- if you have gone through a bone marrow transplant or know someone with double-hit lymphoma and have uplifting news, I would love to hear from you.