We all know that dirty little 6-letter word…change. Whether it occurs through our own conscious decision or is thrust harshly upon us, change carries with it varying amounts of anticipation and consternation. Often, we have to endure the hard part before we get to the reason we get out of bed every morning.
In the past 2 weeks, my son turned 18 and graduated from high school. It’s truly a celebratory time in our family but also a time of reflection. He’ll be off to the College of William and Mary in the fall leaving his childhood behind him. More importantly, he’s leaving us behind him. It’s everything that I could have ever dreamed for him yet it may take a crane to dislodge that lump in my throat. There it is. Change.
This post isn’t really about him or me (although I could go on). It’s more about using change as an opportunity. The Comic Toolbox equates comedy with pain. The emotional upheaval that comes with change is an opportunity to make your writing deeper, richer, and perhaps funnier. Your characters will come alive with real emotions once you have experienced them for yourself. The results of change may not only shake you out of your box but send you into a different orbit altogether. You may be seated behind your keyboard with a totally different perspective.
Of course, the changes may be more subtle. For me, after the initial sadness (and subsequent bottle(s) of Chardonnay) with sending my eldest off to college, there will be a time of joy and pride for a job well done. The long term difference is the time that used to be spent going to soccer games, band concerts, and perfecting the art of feeding a hungry teenager can now be used elsewhere. So, what would you do if you had more time?
Maybe that time is best used writing your manuscript or blog or a letter to your mother. Maybe it is taking the time to get inspired. Take a walk in nature. Take a few pictures. Take yourself to a museum. Maybe it’s spending some time with those you love and meeting some people you don’t yet know. The one thing that you can control in an uncertain time of change is you. You will change, too. How and how much is up to you.
What changes have occurred in your life that have affected your writing or writing life?
Recommended Reading: Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson