Fueling the Writer

I don’t know what to do. Life, as it does, managed to throw a wrench in my plans again. My entire, albeit, short writing career, I vowed not to fall into the stereotypical idea of what drives a writer. We all know the widely held theories of writer’s fueling off anger, angst, Absynthe, and depression. What makes a writer great? Loss, despair?

Thomas Wolfe posed great discussions of his novel, You Can’t Go Home Again. Many writer’s struggle in a conflict of early life and later learn you can’t go home again. F. Scott Fitzgerald, as with many other authors, leave a legacy of alcoholism shadowing their genius. Tennesse Williams, a playwright prodigy, said he could only write of what he knew. Reading A Street Car Named Desire was almost a mirror reflection into his struggle with family.

How many writers and artists fall by the wayside of the stereotype? If there was one thing I was ever able to claim it was that I never fit neatly into the category of pained writers. Now, surrounded by loss, grief, and sometimes guilt, I find that my writing suffers. My words and thoughts were never propelled by anger, angst, despair, or alcohol, yet readers who have read my writings might be inclined to think otherwise. My words are dark, sometimes lost in sorrow, but always seeking out the light. They are in no way a reflection of my life.

Now, sitting in the dark at 3am, suffering from a raging fever, weighed down by a million my words are not a reflection of lifestressors, I find that my writing is not any better. If the loss of a parent brought me anything more than just a hole in my life and silence in my home, I had hoped it would make me a better writer. How’s that for selfish? Fortunately for me, I don’t struggle with conflicts of my childhood, parents, family, alcoholism, loss, or depression. I know we only live to someday die. And that the in between is where the stories are. Life hasn’t thrown a wrench in my plans to ruin my life. . . it’s only allowed me to pause and evaluate what I have. I have stories. Sometimes a wrench in your plans is the best plan.

I still don’t know what to do. Well, that’s a start.

Tania L Ramos, BSN RN

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