Spring Thaw from a Writer’s Perspective
Spring has come early to Muskoka. White water run-off roars over the rocks at the falls near our home and shocks of fresh green life are visible shooting up through the dark wet soil in most south-facing gardens.
As I walked home today, I noticed patches of ice still clinging desperately to the underside of rocks and crevices, reluctant to give up their store of winter moisture to the hungry earth. This made me think about my writing. Like the spring thaw that moves gracefully forward transforming the white landscape to a carpet of green mottled with the many colours of the first flowers, my writing can flow easily and beautifully. Then it runs into one of those pieces of ice, something I resist revealing and giving up to the world.
As writers, we`re told repeatedly to write what we know. That sounds easy. Unfortunately, we often hit those places in our history where we went through pain or discomfort and stubble about attempting to find a way to express the experience without incurring additional damage to our spirits or to those we love.
This morning our Writing Group met for our monthly session of reading, positive critiquing and encouragement. I read a fictionalized tale based on a real experience related to my late husband. Last night as I attempted to write the ending, I froze. I felt uncomfortable revealing this incident to my spouse. He`s the joy of my life and I would never want to cause him discomfort. There are no secrets between us; we`ve agreed there is nothing we can`t talk about. Joy, love, companionship and the support of a man I love and cherish fill my life. I believe our relationship was pre-destined, as was the one with my late husband. The story concerned my past, not my present, and I wrote it because it`s part of my history and a story I feel other widows and widowers may relate to.
After reading, my fellow writers offered me positive feedback. They liked the story very much; it was sensitive and many could relate to some part of it. I sensed the frozen bits melting away; I knew how to finish it. As I walked home, this post began forming in my mind and I rushed to the computer to get it down before it drifted away. My muse was suddenly free again.
I believe, as a writer, I must be honest with my readers. They are discerning and will know when I`m holding back. I`m not saying I won`t get stuck again but I think next time I`ll trust myself more and with some Irish luck experience a quicker thaw.
Hope this encourages my fellow wordsmiths, artists and others stuck somewhere in your life`s journey.
© Wendie Donabie 2012
P.S. To all the Irish out there and those who wish they were…