I’D RATHER BE FUNNY THAN DEAD

July 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm 2 comments

WARNING LONG EMOTIONAL AND SLIGHTLY DEPRESSING POST AHEAD:

Erica Orloff blog is amazing one. She’s post every day and it’s always something that leaves me with food for thought. Today, it made me think about how grateful I am to be writing again.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a very scary thing to have the stories in your head disappear. In September it’ll be four years since I started writing. A lot has happened since then, but this year has been different. And I have to say I just had an overload. All of sudden I was published. Then I had two books coming out. I still had edits. I also had to promote. *Let’s not forget I’m a mother who goes to school and work* Juggling, juggling, juggling. Then my cousin’s six week old baby died. Her baby’s funeral was the same day my book released. None of it seemed to matter. What was the point of writing happy books when things like this happens?

I can now say honestly, without shame, that I lost my love for writing. It didn’t have a purpose for me anymore. I didn’t enjoy it. Writing became a chore right up there with washing dishes. I avoid washing dishes. I buy plastic forks and spoons and paperplates just so I don’t have to wash dishes. I treated writing the same way and because of that the stories in my head faded. The drive to hunt them down and write them went away. To me that’s what makes the real difference in who finishes a novel and who doesn’t. It’s not that you have a better hold on your story’s plot. Or that you have a character that won’t shut up. It’s the drive, the passion to get it all down. It’s the same drive and passion that makes you keep submitting despite the no’s. The same one that makes you learn your craft and hone it. The same one that makes you revise until your novel sparkles.

So, what made me get that spunk back?

I started to miss the hell out of my happy place. Writing is my happy place. Yeah, I have others, but there is something about creating something outside yourself and seeing it all come together. You sit up taller. You speak with authority. You probably even have a damn sparkle in your eyes. Really, I was tired seeing nothing but the dark side of life. I needed to find the light again.

Plus, not to sound vain, I started to get feedback on my book. It made people laugh. It made them cry. It made someone’s crappy day a little bit better. But let’s cirlce back to “I made someone laugh” for a moment. I don’t know about you, but the sound of laughter is the most beautiful thing for me. It’s such a damn happy sound. I don’t know about you, but the sound of someone crying is the most heartbreaking thing to listen to. Yes, it may be what they need, but your eyes start to prickle and you know if you don’t leave the room soon you’ll be sobbing with them.

And then I had my near death experience. All those somber faces surrounded me. The ones with actual fear in them scared me more. Then I realized if I’m going to die today I’m going to do it laughing. Hand to God I started a one woman comedy show in that hospital. It could have been the morphine, but I felt better.

And the moral of the story is?

Laughter, that right there is how I found my purpose to write again. If only for one moment I can make someone laugh then I’ve done my job as a writer. I can’t do that if I’m not writing. I may not be saving the world one laugh at a time, but dammit it’s enough to get my ass in a chair every day.

What gives you purpose?

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Entry filed under: musings, purpose, Why I write.

MAKING LEMONADE FROM LEMONS FINDING LA NORA

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tabitha C. Maine  |  July 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Your blog is profound. It’s a beautiful thing the way you can understand such things, that’s what makes you a great writer. By golly, your life has purpose. There is something about your writing-essence that draws me to your blog…something in how you can see things and interpret them transcends clearly in your writing. I love laughing too…it’s rejuvenating like exercising, only more fun and you don’t get all stinky and sweaty. I guess if you laugh hard enough and long enough, you might start to sweat. -But that would be creepy and people would start to stare. But I agree, a good hearty laugh heals a lot of emotional ailments.

  • 2. Melissa Blue  |  July 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I guess if you laugh hard enough and long enough, you might start to sweat.

    Kind of like when the characters in Who Framed Roger Rabit Dies? I never want to laugh that hard. But yeah laughing does have such a healing effect. (affect?)

    I’m glad you find something here on my blog. There are just so many you never know if what you are rambling about will intrigue someone long enough to stay.

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