Last Wednesday, I evacuated my college campus in Florida in preparation for the wrath of Hurricane Irma. I was fortunate enough to leave the state entirely, but several of my close friends and professors remained in Florida to ride out the storm. The past few days were difficult as I worried about my friends and our home away from home, along with the many other people facing the potential devastation of Hurricane Irma.
But these days also offered a small silver lining—a spark in the dark.
Perhaps it’s because I got away from school, or because I needed a distraction, but I found the energy to write again. (By this I mean more than my effort to spend an hour each day working towards writing goals, which often means an hour staring at a blank document). I found the energy to write, and the desire to only write.
In the past few days, I’ve spent hours brainstorming and writing. Although it means pushing aside my other responsibilities—e.g. my homework—I feel more fulfilled than I have in weeks. Writing gives me a purpose, and it serves as a distraction. In those moments I spent writing, I temporarily forgot my fears about Florida.
Sometimes a difficult situation can offer a spark of inspiration or an unforeseen opportunity.
Maybe experiencing a trial of your own helps you feel more in touch with a protagonist’s feelings and thoughts. Maybe it inspires you to write about a similar situation, or an entirely different situation which creates those same emotions.
Or maybe you need to escape the suffering for a short period of time, and that’s okay.
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath says she writes fiction in order to escape herself and disappear. Sometimes we need to be someone other than ourselves, and live a life other than our own. Writing gives us this opportunity, and allows us to share that opportunity with those who wish to read in order to escape.
It’s okay to escape. It’s okay to seek out distraction, or to find a source of positivity in an otherwise challenging time. Sometimes these are the greatest sources of inspiration.
What are your thoughts? If you are experiencing the impacts of Hurricane Irma in one way or another, feel free to talk to me. Please keep those affected by the recent hurricanes in your thoughts.
I write YA fantasy and contemporary fiction. This blog is dedicated to thoughts and advice on writing and publishing, as well as various interests related to the world of Young Adult.