A broken heart is the worst kind of writer’s block

Science proves how you can actually die of a broken heart ...

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.

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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.

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate America with a bang, not a whimper!


“America is the land of freedom and that’s the way I enjoy living.” — John Wayne

I’m going to preface this with my usual I don’t get into politics in my blog, but I’m not here to talk about politics. I’m here to talk about America. I am the son of a United States Marine and a U.S. Navy Sailor. I also served for 23 years in the U.S. Navy. I have two uncles, my brother and sister-in-law who served in the Marines, my grandfather, another uncle, and a cousin who served in the Navy. Add to that my family history with the military from the Revolutionary War through World War II, and you can understand where my love of country comes from. It was taught into me since I was a kid, and it’s something I passed onto my own children as well.

It saddens me to see my country degrade into the state we’re in right now. I’m not going to talk about being liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, but rather about being an American. People in politics, the media, and all across this country talk about it as if it’s a bad word. Why? Why is being an American so bad?

People say we live in a “fascist state” because of our president. Really? I always ask this question of those who call our country terrible and evil: If America is such a bad place, then why is everyone trying to get here and become a U.S. citizen. One word… Freedom.

How would you like the government telling you how to dress, style your hair, or what music you can listen to? In Iran, men cannot sport certain hair styles other than what is prescribed in Islam. Women are not allowed to go out in public unless they adhere to certain dress codes, such as covering their head in hijab and avoiding skinny jeans. Western music such as jazz, rock, and rap are strictly prohibited.

How would you like the government controlling your phone and internet access or telling journalists what to say? In Syria, communications through mobile and landline phones and internet access are significantly limited. Syrian journalists who act against the government are tortured or, worse, end up dead.

Better yet, how would you like the government to tell you how to worship in whatever religion you practice? Situated above the Horn of Africa is the small country of Eritrea. There, no one is allowed to perform public worship and one has to apply as a member to a certain sect before they can be allowed to practice their faith.

Do you see my point? We have a Bill of Rights which guarantees all of these rights to the people. That’s what makes America great. Sure, it’s not perfect… What country is? We have to make it the best we can, but we can only do that together. Remember, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall!”

That’s what makes America worth celebrating on the 4th of July. It’s not because we’re fascists or racists. It’s because we’re Americans and proud of it. So have a party, dance the night away, watch some fireworks, and thank a veteran while you’re at it. Have a Happy 4th of July!


51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.