This is a topic that has been on my mind for the past several days.
Over the past year, life has been extra challenging as my 10-year-old daughter battled an eating disorder.
In May things went from bad to worse when she began to restrict water and liquids and ended up in the ER.
Then the hospital for over two weeks.
Followed by a four-week program at a treatment facility in Chicago.
How did this affect my writing?
While she attended the treatment program, I stayed in a nearby hotel.
During the day I had AMPLE time to write. I had SPACE. I had QUITE. But I just couldn’t make progress on existing or new picture book manuscripts.
This blog? I didn’t touch it.
Now Instagram… that was a different story. Writing reviews? No problem.
What was the difference?
Why couldn’t I utilize that open time?
I have thought about this over the last few months since returning home and I think it came down to my emotional reservoir. It was running on empty. My thoughts and concerns were constantly on my daughter in Chicago with me and the rest of my family back home.
Instagram was the escape. It took me away from it all. Gave me a place to think about fun, happy picture books. Also, reviews are a lot more mechanical than creating a story.
I learned so much this summer about eating disorders and body image distortions.
I have a new passion and desire to help kids learn to love their bodies, even if they don’t love the way they look. I want kids to realize healthy comes in lots of different sizes and being thin is not even close to the most important thing they can accomplish with their lives.
But right now, this passion wants to come out in a lecture. In telling kids how to feel…and that is not how a good picture book works.
Hopefully one day I will be able to rein it in and inspire through a beautiful or clever story.
What about you?
Have you run into tough spots in life that have halted your writing?
What did you do to get through?
How did you handle it?
What did you learn?
In case you are wondering how my daughter is doing now…
she is doing GREAT.
She is back to a healthy weight and eating well. She is feeling a lot better about herself and is much happier. YAY!
We couldn’t be more grateful to the staff at the hospital and the Eating Recovery Center. Also, for the many family and friends who kept her in their prayers.
And as for me…
I am doing great too!
After a girls’ trip to the Texas State Fair, I was inspired to write a story about a little cowgirl named Lucy Rae. I am delighted with how it is coming along so far. After a few rounds with critique partners, I hope to find an agent who is as delighted with it as I am. Hahaha.
Through tough times & good times, happy writing y’all!
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