Detours. Roadblocks. Hurdles. Challenges. Life.
Whatever term you use, everyone has to deal with things that come up. A lot of times when they do, you have to slog through and continue to move in what you hope is a forward direction. But it can be hard.
I experienced — and am still experiencing — this over the last few months. My brother passed away in another state and I was appointed the personal representative to his estate. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve had to undertake, for many personal, emotional and logistical reasons. I am getting through it, though.
This occurred during one of my more busy times of the year story-wise, too. I had seven stories to write in 11 days for one client, then drive several hundred miles to help a photographer get shots about the people I wrote about and turn around and drive back home.
I also wrote two other stories for a second client and one for a third. Followed by making sure I sent them all invoices and updated my records, etc. So my stress level went through the roof and I ended up in the emergency room one time with an anxiety attack.
I listen to a weekly podcast called “The Writing Coach,” hosted by Rebecca L. Weber, a freelance journalist and writing coach in South Africa. Just as I was going through all this, her podcast subject was “Writing Through Grief.” My notes from that podcast included:
When you come back to work, you may feel your writing is not up to your standards, you may be cognitively impaired due to the loss, physically exhausted or consumed with thoughts and feelings over how long the grieving process can be or how difficult and challenging it can be. Allow yourself time to rest and heal and process what’s happened.
I can identify with much of that. For me, it was surprisingly hard to write through my grief and exasperations that came with my brother having lived in a different state. I’ve always been able to express myself through writing, yet I didn’t feel it would ease my grief and lower my anxiety in this case. That’s why I haven’t posted here in a couple of months.
With the help of friends, family and others, I have a better handle on things now, the financial aspects of his estate are mostly under control for now and this seems a good time to write again. I recently finished another story and am looking forward to getting back to a more normal schedule in the months ahead.
Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth and I know it’s time for me and my writing to sprout new growth as well. With time and perseverance, I will overcome this obstacle, this challenge and hopefully come out of it a better person. Ready to again face all that life has in store with renewed confidence and enjoyment in telling good stories.