When Angie Arndt invited me to share about persevering in times of adversity I double-clutched. Persevere through hardship and danger? Seriously? And write at the same time? Oops – sounds like this blog’s name. Unfortunately, Angie’s invitation could not have been better timed.
I don’t like adversity unless I’m heaping it upon my characters. It’s not something I care to experience myself. I’d rather imagine how someone feels when difficulty strikes than write about it from a personal perspective.
But that is not life. And that is also why we must have adversity and obstacles in our stories. They make our fiction real.
This year I was excited about Thanksgiving break because the college was closed for a week and I didn’t have to teach my writing course. How tasty the anticipation: no interruption of going to-and-from the paying job while working on my next novel.
And then, just after dawn Monday morning, the neighbor’s Belgian Malinois escaped from their compound (yes, it’s a compound) and lit into our elderly Queensland heeler. On our turf. Three against one. Not a pretty scene.
How could I write while our Blue was at the vet’s all day on pain killer and antibiotics, being stapled back together?
How could I write after unprovoked violence broke into my quiet, country lifestyle?
How could I write with such anger surging inside that I felt like a living, walking, talking volcano?
I couldn’t. But it was okay.
My personal writing goal is 2,000 words a day. Sometimes I get in more, sometimes less. But having and reaching that goal fuels me with a sense of accomplishment.
The day Blue was attacked, I logged 70 words. That number is not a typo, and I have two points to make:
1. I wrote.
2. I cut myself some slack.
If I would allow someone else time to grieve, simmer down, and start healing emotionally, why not do the same for myself?
The emotive power of that difficult day will easily be pulled from my memory and inserted into a future scene. But I didn’t have to do it that day. Or even the next.
A few days later I hit 1,800 words and was quickly back on my regular schedule.
Sometimes persevering through adversity means letting go of our need to perform, produce, and press on to our detriment. Sometimes we simply need to let God heal the hidden wounds in our hearts and minds and emotions.
He’s much better at it than we are.
|The Snowbound Bride|
by Davalynn Spencer
Davalynn Spencer writes cowboy romance, a skill she’s honed since marrying a professional rodeo bullfighter and raising another. Her most recent title is “The Snowbound Bride,” one of twelve historical novellas in Barbour’s collection, The 12 Brides of Christmas. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency and makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with her handsome cowboy and their Queensland heeler, Blue. Connect with Davalynn on her website, Facebook page, Goodreads, and Twitter.
"The Snowbound Bride" from The 12 Brides of Christmas
On the run from a heartless uncle, Arabella Taube hides in Nate Horne’s farm wagon just as a harsh winter storm sweeps into Colorado. Despite Ara’s mysterious background, Nate’s mother thinks she is the answer to a prayer and the hope for his future.