Love in a time of crisis

A tree

We all go through difficult times. Times when you’re hurting, disappointed, hopeless. A bad situation seems like it just won’t get better soon. I find it hard to write romance at times like this. I find it hard to work, full stop.

The only thing that I have found really works for these moments in life is to surrender. Dreadful word, I know. Who wants to do that? You want to fight the pain, you want to fix things, or lash out. Revenge looks good.

None of that works.

Surrender is another word for acceptance: of the situation, and what you feel – and the next step is asking for help in the sense of plugging into universal energies. Life works on a vibrational level and this is the moment to choose the high road (raise the vibration). Higher, towards love.

Usually, I need to start with feeling the pain. It can be huge, your chest cracking open. I don’t leave myself standing alone at these times. Yup, I call on the Great Beyond to assist me. Or whatever you want to call it (you choose). Have a good cry. A deep, core cry. You have to do it. Honour yourself in this way.

Next I will calm myself with a mantra. I’ve spoken about fear and the power of affirmations before. You need to tell yourself that all is well over and over again at times like this. I flow with life.

Allow yourself to be guided and held.

Plus, a gratitude list helps. What can you say thank you for despite this awful moment? Write it down. This tool always makes me feel better.

Finally, a happy dance. Yes, you can. Get up, even if you’re miserable. Shake that booty.

(Folks, do I need to add Read a good romance here? Didn’t think so.)

I hope you’re feeling better soon.


Getting out of the way


Before I had a child, I spent many hours thinking about how to write. Where would be the best place to write. And when. I even messed about with an overly long, fraught manuscript loosely based on my own life.

In this time I also did lots of creativity-enhancing exercises, which I’ll share with you in a later post.

When my son was born, I panicked. My writing career was clearly over before it had started. When he was three, and started attending a local play school, I ran home to write. I sat in the mess (toys, unwashed laundry, dust) and opened my laptop.

I realised all you have to do is open the document. Open it when you have no idea what you are going to do. Start writing when you have no idea what will happen in the scene (or, very little).

Writing a single sentence made me feel calmer. Writing a page was a meditation. Writing a book was paradise. You can read about that particular process here!

Nowadays, before I write, I plug in. I hand it over. The deal is, I show up (and open the document) and the universe does the rest.

I am the hollow reed, an instrument for the story to come through as it wants to, but I am not The Author. At most, I am a co-creator.

The picture above is of a little dedication space I hold next to my desk – its objects represent my fears, wishes and difficulties. Here they are transformed in a process of surrender, and returned to me all sorted out.

If you really want to know how to write a book, that’s it.

It’s easy. The difficult part is only ever in our own heads. Give it up.