Make Lemonade by Writing About Life’s Lemons

Bumps in the road. Who doesn’t have them? And for some
people, they’re more like large boulders.
A few years ago, one such bump appeared in my path. In
2008 I was diagnosed with having Simple Partial Seizures. These kinds of
seizures typically don’t affect motor skills, but they can affect all of your
five senses (hence their other name: sensory seizures.) Mine created an odd
mesh of symptoms, the most disconcerting of which was MASSIVE déjà vu where time
slowed to a crawl and everything around me faded in and out. It was like I had
lived that moment a thousand times before in a different life.
The diagnosis left me feeling pretty low. It meant I had
to be on some pretty serious medication. It also meant the memory loss I had
been experiencing probably wouldn’t come back. And it meant if I had another
seizure I could lose my driver’s license. What is a mother with four kids
supposed to do without a driver’s license?
Needless to say, I was stressed. I went to bed one night
thinking about my recent trip to the neurologist. In my sleep, I had a vivid
dream where there was a girl who had frightening feelings of having already
experienced things before but in another lifetime. It wasn’t like
reincarnation—the same soul come back to earth to live as someone or something
else. Instead, it was like her life just kept repeating itself and she had
moments where these “other-life” memories were intensely strong.

I woke up and knew I was going to write a book. A novel. Fiction! For me, that
was something I never thought I could do. You see, I had been a freelance
writer for twenty years, ever since graduating in journalism from college, but
I had always told myself that fiction was way out of my league.

Writing the book CYCLES was therapy for me. Sure, the
story is fake. Sure, things that happen in the book aren’t real, but in a weird
way it helped me come to terms with my own “bump” and move on. Better yet, I
learned I LOVED writing fiction. Twenty years of being afraid of writing a
novel were gone.
I’m not alone in using fiction writing to work through
hard things. A friend of mine lost her husband at the age of 26 in a flying
accident. Simply tragic. It took her a year, but she finally wrote a short
story about . . . you guessed it: someone losing their spouse and having to get
over their fear of losing someone else. The story is called The Second Storm. It was hard for her
to do, but it made a dent in the grief she was working through,
So, give it a try. Go ahead and make some lemonade with
your writing. It’s certainly better than sucking on a sour lemon!
CYCLES is a top five finalist of the 2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book. The grand finalist will be announced on October 1, 2012.

2 replies added

Leave your comment