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.

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

  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!

  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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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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