In my early days of writing romance novels, editors gently returned my manuscripts, with encouragement about my writing, but my stories lacked conflict and drama. Eventually I figured out writing was a craft and it was time to learn it. Finally, a few manuscripts later, an editor loved the story but couldn’t publish it in her line because – the story hero was not the romantic hero.
My career writing genre romances didn’t take off then, because conflict and drama exploded in my life. Eventually our family lived through the big-black moment, transformed, and finally got to a brighter tomorrow. I had time and energy to write books again. I wondered how to get what I’d learned about conflict and drama into my stories. I began learning the craft of narrative non-fiction. Then life happened – again. I returned to writing romances – life happened again – I learned to write memoir.
This example is because each conflict was a bit bigger, and lasted a little longer than the one before. Life events through one year, imploded and created drama that impacted the next two years, until a new balance was reached. A few years of stability then events built through two years of conflict, and created dramatic impact through the next four. Each change brought new beginnings, different challenges and clearer priorities. There were times when the conflicts were too huge to face, the drama swamped the emotions. Fear was front and center.
Many are in that place now. Financial and emotional conflicts are very real, and impacting people everywhere.
I got through many days, focusing on what I could control, like bathing. As the days dragged, I had plenty of time to learn to meditate. There wasn’t anything else to do. It brought me peace, clarified my prayers, balanced my priorities, ended my sensation of isolation.
To all reading this, please nurture your spirit and share love and compassion with everyone you meet. Do not avoid others because of fear their disaster, or pain, may be contagious, it is not. They need your gentle hug, willing ear, an added prayer. From my life I know, tough lessons make us stronger, wiser, even if it takes a few years to survive the lesson. We can only be the hero of our own story, but with love we can be romantic heroes for many others.