Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Than Words

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Writing is a struggle. Just because we love it doesn't mean it's always easy. We know this. There are times, however, that getting back to our writing is more difficult than others.

My friend, Paula Bruno, has been a storyteller all of her life, and has enjoyed spending time with her own words, creating fictional worlds to visit and analyze for years. But lately, she feels as if she's in a bit of a rut (although many of her recent blog posts are extremely inspired and heartfelt, in my opinion). And while I feel it's my duty to tell writers they must continue on their journeys no matter the roadblocks, the truth is, there are times when it is certainly understandable to pull over, and catch your breath.

I offer space in my blog to my fellow writers (that means you!), and Paula sent this to me when I had asked the question in our writing group about what excuses they make when it comes to writing:

I've had a rough two years.  After a year long illness, my husband, Ronnie,  passed on, and now everything he used to do for me, I have to do for myself, such as take the car to get the oil changed, refill the windshield washer fluid under the hood, mow and trim, tend to his pigeon flock etc.  A few months after Ronnie passed to the hereafter,  I hired a young man to do some work which turned into an absolute disaster.  So on top of everything else, I have to figure out how to either fix or learn to live with the remnants of mess he left behind.

Ronnie was paralyzed from the waist down for five months before he died.  If you have never tended to anyone in that predicament, it is hard to imagine what it's like.  I'll put it simply; everything that you do for yourself – everything – must also be done for this other person.  There was much to do for him in addition to everything else – household chores, laundry, meals. Needless to say, his needs came first.

I completely lost my ability to focus on one chore long enough to complete it. I stopped writing fiction.  I stopped posting to my blog. I even quit writing my morning pages which I often refer to as "counting my blessings".

He's been gone a year now and I'm still using all the above as excuses not to get started back writing on my third novel.

I heard myself telling a friend recently that I didn't have time to read much of anything.  Then I backtracked and admitted, "Actually, I have plenty of time to read and write, but I spend a lot of it doing absolutely nothing but staring into space."

Having lost her husband a few years ago, she assured me that this is part of the grief process and that it'll pass.  She recommended that I be kind to myself.

Writing fiction has been my life long passion.  If I'm not writing, I'm not happy.  My favorite quote is one of my own, "I know it's going to be a good day if I start it off writing."  Not many start that way though these days.

So how can I get past all these excuses I'm using not to write?  If you've been in this situation, and worked through it, I'd like to hear how you did it.  --Paula Bruno

I'm sure Paula would appreciate any words of encouragement you may have for her. My sense is, her characters aren't going to let her abandon them for long (and neither will our writer's group, who now see the fictional Kirklands as part of our extended family), but then again, I have not suffered a loss in the same way, so may not be able to offer what she most needs to hear. Feel free to comment below or to email her at pewwriter (at)

Thanks to Paula for sharing!

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Paula A. Bruno is the author of Come Hell or High Water and The Hell About Stallions, available through Amazon. Her blog is called Lookin' Out My Back Door.

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