A big wind is a' blowin', in case you haven't heard, and by the end of this Labor Day weekend, there will be lives changed. As a Floridian, I can testify that hurricanes do that: pummel everything in their paths to unrecognizable conditions. Make a stew of it all: one part sewer pipe; one part feather-exploding bed pillow; three parts mud.
I've had my own personal hurricane going on inside me. My foot surgery, 13 weeks now, is a category four. And I can't escape to a shelter. After a hurricane, you think about running out to pick up a gallon of milk, and you have to think about flooded streets and downed power lines. With my category four foot, I have to think about how far I'll have to walk; how I can elevate my foot; how much will it hurt.
A creative hurricane has also hit me this week. The manuscript I'm working on is still not ready for other eyes: so far to go, so much to discover beneath the muck. I even wondered for a couple of days, when my foot was throbbing and my book was reading like a fifth grade essay, if I was doing what I really wanted to do. Was I living the way I wanted to live? Was I being the person I wanted to be? Was I writing about what I wanted to write about?
So I took to my notebook: my hurricane shelter. And I asked myself what it was I really wanted say in my story.
Here's what came out:
I want to write about how hard it is. How hard it is to even figure out how hard it is. How hard it is to get it right. How hard you have to try.
And then, beneath the floodwaters, I discovered: I was living my story. I was asking the same questions my character was asking.
Can that be a sign I'm on the right path?
Or just a cat-four hurricane ripping through my life?
Have you had a creative hurricane? What insights resulted? How did it change your writing?