Thursday, January 22, 2015

Unexpected Inspiration

My first book was written following an accident that caused traumatic injuries particularly to my back and neck. I was hospitalized and given a laundry list of restrictions that I could expect to deal with the rest of my life. I may not have been auditioning for a prestigious dance company but it was still life altering as far as I was concerned. Now just days away from the twelve year anniversary of my accident I have overcome many but not all of the pain and injuries caused that day.

I found it therapeutic though at times difficult to describe the frustration I felt, the depression I suffered and most of all the journey towards realization I went on to move past what happened. Even though the story is fictional there are definitely some elements of me woven into the story. That is also the case with Sharing Strength, my current work in progress.

I was watching television one day and saw an advertisement for a show about veterans with PTSD. The show made it seem as though the only people that suffer from the disorder were military. I can agree that they are the largest and most well publicized but there are people like me that have been diagnosed for numerous other reasons. I have written about this before but after a tragic scene I wrote not so long ago I have been working on the recovery of the characters and found something I wasn't expecting, inspiration.

I have spent months being consumed by the sorrow that comes from this disorder and what I have dealt with because of it. I have gone through a few emotional breakdowns crying as I relived my own experiences that have once again been sown into the very fabric of the story. In fact I would dare say that Jasmine and Rachel of Sharing Strength have more of me in them than Akaylia from Never Give Up ever had. 

As hard as these moments have been they were not unexpected. I knew I would feel a roller coaster of emotions as I relived some of the most painful times of my life. I have traveled with these two girls  and it has wrenched my heart and soul in ways I thought I would never have to deal with again but I was resolved to do justice to these women and in turn justice to myself. I wanted to make amends for failing those around me and and apologize to my heart for all the years I had blamed myself. 

Today I was writing a scene that was supposed to be about a man accepting fate and giving in to cancer. He was supposed to decide not to fight after he came out of remission but as often happens the character hijacked the story as I was writing it and showed me something I didn't expect. When I faced problems I retreated and gave up but in the face of sorrow one of the men in the story changed his mind and stood up and decided to fight. He found a passion for life in the wake of tragedy. I cried for just a moment to know that deep inside I could find that kind of courage to give to a man that suffered a moment as painful as anything I had ever gone through. Now I find myself wondering do any other writers find themselves inspired and empowered by their own characters?

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