This post is probably going to be super awkward, you guys. But bear with me and we’ll try and muddle through it together.
See, once upon a time, back in 2007, I got married. I had a baby a couple of years later, and then — in the course of things — I got divorced and ended up a single parent. Don’t worry; this post isn’t about airing dirty laundry. Divorce happens, and the ex and I are still friends, despite the adversarial horribleness that is the divorce process.
The reason I’m telling you this is to put this post into context. To explain why it’s on my mind. Because 6 October was my wedding anniversary.
Before I went through the whole marriage thing, I’d written maybe 13,000 words of what would eventually become Isla’s Inheritance. I hated it (I’ve blogged before about how it took me a while to realise I was starting the story too early) and set it aside. Then I was distracted by other things. Like a baby and husband. And World of Warcraft.
After I got divorced, I still had the baby — well, toddler — but by then I’d quit WoW. I had all this spare time and an urge to do something creative. I’m a grumpy cow if I’m not creating something. So I picked up the manuscript, gave myself permission to fix the problems with it during the editing process, and soldiered on.
Writing was, and remains, a solace. It distracts me from the occasional crappiness of day-to-day of life. When I feel lonely, it lets me find company in my characters. I can live vicariously through their adventures, their romances, even their heartaches. Maybe especially their heartaches, because those are the most enjoyable and easiest scenes to write! (I’m so mean…)
I’m not recommending divorce as a way to kick your muse into gear or anything. What I am saying is that if you’re feeling blue, or lost, or like you’ve failed at something big, then finding something enjoyable that gives you a focus, a purpose, can be vital. It can help you find your way out of the wilderness and give you a huge sense of accomplishment.
It doesn’t have to be writing a book. It could be a martial art, or learning to sew, or joining a community choir. It could be anything, so long as it’s something positive. But if you make it writing, you could look back years later and realise you’ve drafted five novels, and be a little bit proud of yourself.
It worked for me.
Cassandra Page is a divorced single parent (um, surprise?) and urban fantasy author.