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One Day at a Time

April 6, 2010

Fair Warning: This post will be less about writing, and more about life, than our readers may be used to. For this personal indulgence I apologize. But if I can, I hope to bring it around to writing—at least a little.

This is my first post in seven weeks. Sometimes real life rears it’s head and makes writing—and talking about writing—too hard to fit into the daily routine.

Before I continue I’d like to thank those that made my sabbatical possible. Jodi stepped in with only an hour or two notice to fill in for my first absence. Then Jodi and Annie sat me down—as much as that’s possible by email—and convinced me that I needed a break. All the regular writers pitched in to find replacements so that I didn’t have to worry about hurrying back. And of course thanks to those who filled my spot for the last six weeks: Jodi, Anne Whitaker, Annie, Icy Sedgwick and Joyce Mason.

So why the break? Well, much of it I’d rather not get into in a public forum…at least not the specifics. The last three months have really heaped a lot onto an already full plate.

A suicide attempt by someone close to me, a broken engagement, my step-kids moving away, worsening asthma, cluster headaches running out of control, stomach ulcers and depression (ranging from mild to severe, but never really going away), have all conspired not only to make daily life a challenge, but to make writing all but impossible.

My life today bears little resemblance to even two months ago. But changes can also bring opportunity. And those same friends who convinced me that it was OK to take a break from writing, have helped me see that by trying to get back into the habit of writing may help me rein in some of the chaos, but also help me deal with the thoughts and emotions that threaten to overwhelm me every day.

So that’s what I’m trying. Little by little I’m restructuring my life, with time set aside to do the things that are important to me, but for the last several years have gotten pushed aside. This blog is one of those things. My own blog as well. But even more important is simply giving myself time to write.

Maybe, someday, I can look at the events of the last few months with some perspective. Maybe I can use them, and the rush of sadness, fear and depression that I felt in my writing. Maybe.

For now, I’d be happy just to distract myself by getting back to the fundamentals—putting pen to paper—and actually writing something worthwhile.

Dale is trying to take life, and writing, one day at a time…one small step at a time.
  1. adampb permalink
    April 6, 2010 1:55 am

    Grace and peace be with you each and everyday. May you find recovery and refreshment through writing.

  2. April 6, 2010 6:23 am

    It’s great to see you back.

  3. April 6, 2010 6:30 am

    Writing is one of the things that saved my life when I was younger and struggled with family issues, worsening migraines and pretty awful depression. I found that it was a respite for me, a way to get away from the world I knew and into a world I wanted to know. The things I wrote maybe weren’t award winning masterpieces, but they brought me out of the depths of dispair and therefore they were masterpieces to me. Even when my “make believe worlds” mirrored the one I was trying to escape, getting the thoughts down on paper sometimes brought my perspective to a different aspect of it, a different way of looking at it. Sometimes I’d even try coping the way my characters did in the stories… which often just ended up awkward but sometimes had really positive results.

    I hope that little by little you can find positive results from writing again. Good luck and know that you’re not alone in this.

  4. April 6, 2010 6:37 am

    congrats Dale for coming back to writing. Really, it was a painful time. But, this wound will also recover as others do.

    And I too strongly believe that writing surely gives some sort of relaxation to our minds thus, helping us regain from the pains we suffer.

  5. April 6, 2010 4:31 pm

    I believe everything we write is worthwhile, if only for the process.

    Wishing you well.

  6. April 8, 2010 9:00 am

    It’s good to see (read) you here again. Wishing you all the best.

  7. April 13, 2010 3:15 am

    We’ve already talked, and I know exactly how you feel, but I’m sending you hugs from across the pond, and looking forward to what you cook up! Writing really is as therapeutic (and escapist) as people say. Hang in there.

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