Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Am Thankful

I haven't been feeling so well the last few days. I've lost a great majority of my writing time. I've been feeling guilty over silly things. I've been staying up too late to then feel like a good caretaker for my daughter the following morning. I feel like a selfish SOB who doesn't spend enough quality time with my daughter when I would give anything--or so I say--to spend time with my other two children who I am virtually estranged from.

I want to be a better father, husband, writer, person. I want to be healthier--hence a significant diet change as of a couple days ago. All these things I want. I measure myself against such high ideals that I know I'll never attain them. If I could only relax...and be thankful for a few blessings in my life.

I do have them. I've been blessed to be able to stay at home and take care of my daughter.

I've been blessed with many good friends--especially in the past year. Friends have never come easy for me. I fit the standard loner mold. But I've been blessed to have married well the second time around to one who has shown me much of friendship. I am thankful today for the friend who invited me and my daughter to go play with her children at a small indoor park. It was nice to get out of the house, to talk with a friend, and to let my daughter play with her friends.

I am also thankful that I have a home, a family, money, food, clothing. So many are less fortunate and do not have the luxuries I do. I have been blessed with much and am thankful and acknowledge the source wherefrom all blessings flow.

As a writer I tend to feel it is my personal duty to suffer and to despair. But I wonder, does it really have to be that way? If I can create a character who chooses victory over hell's fury, then why can't I choose the same for myself?


David R. Matteri said...

Everyone feels crummy from time to time, but I don't think pain and suffering is something every writer has to endure. Otherwise it would be a terribly depressing business.

So yes, be thankful you have your health, a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and have people who love you. Let your writing express both the good times and the bad. As The Cars song says, "let the good times roll..."


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with David, that writers don't HAVE TO experience such pain and suffering. But, I think if we look at most peoples' lives, we will find a great deal of pain hidden. The more I know about people, the more I know that's true. Yet somehow, life goes on (ob-la-di, ob-la-da . . . to quote the Beatles).

Anonymous said...

While wallowing really serves no purpose, I think being able to honestly go into the pain in our lives makes us more able to create "real" characters. Who wants to read about someone who has never struggled?? Bow to your pain, give respect to your dark side and use it for your book, not to torture yourself.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk speaks often about the trap we fall into when we suffer about our suffering. It's funny really when you can look at it like this. I'm anxious about getting anxious?? I'm making myself sad about being sad?? Where's the purpose of that??

Keep coming back to thankful, keep perspective and use your pain. Grist for the mill! Give it to your characters!!