Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life (or something like that)

This is not a "personal" blog, but for a writer it's impossible to keep the "personal" and the "professional" completely separate. Recently, my life has undergone a transformation that will affect my writing, in almost every way -- forever.

Most of the stories I have written in the past five years involve characters making huge changes in their life after age 50. It's hard to say if I wrote those stories to rehearse and imagine what it would be like to do that, by way of preparation for doing it, or if I was inspired to start anew by the stories I had written. That seems to me a kind of chicken-or-egg question. The fact is there's no answer and it doesn't really matter.

The important point is that I recently left a very long marriage, moved into an apartment and, for the first time in decades, find myself having to manage my own life.

The first week was very emotional. There was lots of sobbing and fretting about my future. By the second week, I set about the task of building a new life for myself, by myself.

I never imagined (until recently) that I would not grow old with my husband. I still have difficulty imagining my days without him in them. He's been my best friend, confidant and muse for decades. It's hard to imagine life without him. Right now, I not only have to imagine it, I have to live it.

I am on my own for the first time in decades. Theoretically, I should have more time for writing, if I will discipline myself to knuckle down and do it instead of getting sidetracked by all the emotional BS that is going on in my head and my heart. I have control of my time and my money for the first time since I was in my twenties. I'm not completely sure what to do with all that time and control. Right now I spend a lot of time freaking out and obsessing over minor tasks that I should be able to do without much thought.

I am trying to be patient with myself and work through this process one step at a time. I have a lot of life management skills to re-learn. I have a lot of healing to do. I have a new future to imagine and to create. I am not sure how that will all play out.

What I am absolutely sure about is that my process of figuring all that out out will be reflected in my fiction.

Stick around, it could be interesting.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. You are a brave woman and I am proud of you for stepping out into this new, shaky, scary territory. Of course it will affect your writing. And who knows how? I hope you can look at that discovery process as a gift. I can't wait to see where it takes you.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. It will be interesting to see what happens next. I'm looking at this as a new adventure.