Turning Adversity Into Your Advantage

If you follow this blog you will have noticed that I haven’t been posting as often as I normally do. Part of the reason is, of course, the overwhelming writing challenge that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which I’ve talked about the last few posts. The other part, and a more overwhelming challenge, is that there are people and events that have taken place the last few weeks that erected several emotional hurdles to try and trip me up. These hurdles have nearly crippled me and I haven’t felt much like writing, even less of talking about the problems arising from said hurdles, and this has all led to me going to people I trust to find out my options regarding actions and what I can do to protect myself from certain things from happening again.

I don’t believe in airing drama online; I think I’ve said that before. And so, other than making the above reference, that is all I plan on doing here. But that doesn’t mean I am being quiet about them. Oh no, I am being very vocal in my thoughts and feelings on the things that have happened this week. Or, at least, my characters are being very vocal about the things going on.

One of the things I love about writing is that, in a world that is out of one’s control, writing allows the ability to create situations and events that are completely controllable. The writer manages the dialogue and how it can or will go. A scene is getting out of hand and the writer manipulates the characters and events so that the scene turns out exactly how he/she wants them to end up. If things aren’t going the way a character wants them to go, the writer can manage things so that there is either a better outcome, or a worse one to force the character into a growth opportunity. Real life doesn’t give us that. Most of the time real people refuse to back down from a situation, or they decide to keep pouring acid on a wound that will never heal. They refuse to grow or mature. Real people can be more frightening than any fictional villain. And I used this knowledge when I sat down last night to write.

I originally had what I considered a great villain. Oh, he was good. He was to go around wreaking havoc and eventually be remorseful about it. Now, he will be more subtle than that, and there will be no remorse. There are real people in the world who lie to themselves and act towards others based on those lies, even when the actions are undeserved. When someone is trying to help another person to that person’s benefit but that person is blinded by anger and ignorance and revenge for some perceived slight then that creates a ripple effect that leads not only to chaos but growth opportunity for the slighted person. But what if that person refuses to grow? What if, instead of remorse, the person proceeds to continue their journey to destruction through revenge on the very people who are trying to help them? Will the person ever learn from their mistakes or will they live forever in static agitation? This is what I intend to explore in my story this week.

Writing can be therapeutic. If, when adversity strikes, you sit down and write about those things that are occurring, then maybe you gain a new insight into the situation through your character’s eyes. It’s much better to turn something bad into a scene for your story than to turn it into something negative in your life. It’s your choice. Be a force for positive ripples instead of negative chaos. Because therein lies the path to your own destruction, or salvation. See your actions through the eyes of your characters, or failing that, look at yourself through your own eyes in five years. Will you be proud of your actions ten years from today?

Choose wisely.

xo Jesi