Writer’s Block is something I talk about a lot, probably because in recent weeks (or months) I’ve had a serious bad case of it. The question is, how do you write when your heart is broken? The heart, to me, is the soul of the writer. It’s where the inspiration emanates and flows into the pen (or keyboard) for any writer.
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” — Virginia Woolf
I don’t mean to get personal here, but I think that this might help me get over my own writer’s block. You see, about a year ago, my oldest daughter stopped talking to me and my wife. In fact, she has pretty much disassociated herself from us, her brother and her sister. And the sad part is, it was over something as stupid as politics and a cultural/social disagreement.
You hear a lot about that nowadays in today’s harsh political climate. Families torn apart because some are on the left and some are on the right when it comes to political and social views. My case is just one of many to see the light of day in this so-called new age of enlightenment. It has made my oldest daughter distance herself from her family because our political views are different.
I’ve had differences of opinion on politics my whole life in my family. I never really saw eye-to-eye with my parents or my sister, but I never totally dismissed them because of it. We simply agree to disagree and not talk politics whenever I visit. And yet, my daughter seems to think that because I don’t agree with her views, I don’t support who she is or her way of life, and therefore she wants nothing to do with me. This happened over a year ago, and to this day, I haven’t been able to write like before. Little bits, here and there, but the inspiration is faltering because my heart is broken.
Here is a little girl who I watched grow up into a beautiful woman. I was there when she graduated high school, college, moved into her first apartment, and got married. But now, she’s turned away from us and I don’t know what to do. Things like this weigh heavy on a parent. What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? These questions rage within me, night and day, and its affects me more and more as the days wear on.
When my wife breaks down and cries, wishing things could go back to the way they were, it just breaks my heart. As holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays pass us by, it gets even harder. I try to understand her feelings, and even though I don’t agree with her train of thought, she’s a grown woman. She’s free to think and do as she wants. That’s what freedom of choice, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech mean in America.
I served my country in the U.S. Navy for more than 23 years, fighting to defend those freedoms. It’s the same old adage… I disagree with what you’re saying, but I will defend your right to say it with every fiber of my being. I wish it was as simple as that, but its not.
There is more to it than that, I’m sure, but in the end, it has definitely hampered my ability as a writer. I can’t focus on my stories, partly because she is a part of them. You see, in the Forever Avalon series, I channeled my children and their personalities into the children of the protagonist, Lord Bryan MoodDrake. Although this iteration is more of a homage than my actual children, it still represents how I saw them when I wrote my first book over 20 years ago. Unfortunately, there is a difference between then and now, and that is giving me a pause in my writing. It’s hard to put the words down when the person you imagine speaking them isn’t talking to you.
I hope and pray that we can come together again in the near future. The problem is that, the longer this stretches out, the more the heart goes numb to the whole situation. Numb is not a good feeling, even worse being a writer. That feeling stretches across me, body and soul, and I don’t like it one bit. Sylvia Plath said, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” I can honestly attest to that.
# # #
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse Publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available from Austin Macauley Publishing.