New Beginnings by Pamela Mytroen

Just like bringing a baby into the world, writing may be a painful process as you conceptualize worlds, characters, and projects into being. Expect the struggle. Plan on packing patience for the process.

Sometimes it is the writing that is the struggle, and other times the writing is affected by life’s surprises and hindrances. They may be severe, as in the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of your health, or they may be merely annoyances such as a sinus cold. Whatever stage you are at in your “labour pains,” whether it is those first twinges or the hand-squeezing, teeth-gritting phase, bite down on these realities and see if they help you endure:

1. Acknowledge the pain, but don’t dwell on it. Try to understand the reasons for its presence, and take care of it first thing every morning. Break down the issue into steps and take one step every day to deal with the problem. Then get busy with your calling. Move on with purpose. Embrace the joy without guilt.

Attachment-1 (1)2. Maximize the down times. In every struggle there are built-in rest periods similar to those sweet moments of relief between labour contractions. Where do you go to reset? The couch? Sometimes a nap is the best refresher. Or is your rest found in the objective perspective of a friend? Some people claim that physical exercise or the intense focus of a work-related project serves to cleanse their mind and prepare them to push through the next leg of the journey. Whatever method you use, it should serve to put the struggle into perspective. Remember that you have another life. Your loss and sorrow do not define you. Rather you are defined by how you react to change, what you gained from it, and how you moved on.

3. Get the big picture. Look back to other struggles or seek out similar difficulties that others have experienced. Keep in mind that the pain intensifies when the finish line is close. You know it’s coming to an end. You cannot see around the bend, but it is possible that there are only a couple more corners or valleys and you will be through the worst of it. Once you emerge you will not be going back to normal. There is a new normal now. You will be stronger, wiser, deeper, and more prepared for the next turn of events.

IMG_18894. When New Life is birthed, use the strength and wisdom you learned from the struggle to enhance your writing and to help others.

If Pam could spend all day in her kitchen baking pies, brownies, and making turkey dinner for friends, she would. But Murray Pura once told her to write first and then bake—advice that she is trying to stick with these days, except, of course, when her grandchildren stop in for milk and cookies.

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1 comment

  1. Tracy Krauss says:

    Sweet picture of you and the new grandbaby!

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