You may have noticed I got sidetracked from my writing. This past year has been difficult.
My father moved from California and in with us when he retired. We had visions of him spending time with his grandkids while my husband and I had more time to ourselves. He was an active and outgoing man who played golf every week. He enjoyed fishing and camping and was extremely outdoorsy. Determined to instill a love of sports in his granddaughters, he took them to sporting events at the local high school and bought a large basketball hoop for our driveway. He bought them golf clubs and took them to the driving range and putting green at the golf course.
Then, a few months after moving in with us, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer. As in everything in life, he put a smile on his face and attempted to fight the disease with a positive attitude. A cruel and ironic twist resulted in him besting the cancer, while succumbing to the chemotherapy. His scans during chemo came back clean and cancer-free. In the end, it was not the cancer that killed him, but a toxic reaction to one of the chemo drugs.
A massive amount of my energy this past year has gone into either caring for him or grieving his loss. Though I feel robbed of my father in my life, and I still grieve and will never be the same, I am attempting to return to my writing. Before this, I had finished the rough draft of my first novel and was in the process of making revisions before submitting to agents. I did numerous book and product reviews, did some freelance journalism, and blogged regularly. I always had a journal or my laptop within reach to jot down ideas for story lines and the wheels of future writing projects were constantly in motion.
I’m not really sure you can call it writers block. It was more a sense of emptiness, a lack of the mental and emotional energy required to write. I was simply drained and left without the inspiration and drive to write that has always been a part of me.
Recent inspiration has come, however, in the unexpected form of a friend’s recent success with her writing. It was as if, in my joy for her, I turned to listen once again to that familiar siren’s song calling me back to the thing I love. It’s faint, but it’s there, and growing stronger.
I opened up my novel and began reading through it, fresh with new ideas for rewrites. I’m blogging again, and I have a stack of books piled up on my desk, already finished and awaiting the reviews that I intend to write. I jotted down some notes for a couple of future story ideas. I’ve begun to attempt, ever so cautiously, to put down into words some of what I’m feeling about the loss of my father. Perhaps writing will help serve as a healing tool through all of this. I feel as if I’m slowly returning to myself once again.