Saturday, July 13, 2013
Widowhood and Writing
It was a tough morning. I had to go get a head shot (mug shot) taken for the national column I write. Several months ago an editor there had told me they were updating all the columnists' photos but I kept putting it off. He recently sent me a reminder.
First, I'm not a fan of having my photo taken in a studio. ("Lean this way, look that way, put your chin up, sit up straighter, big smile, come on, big one!")
And, second and much harder, I would be alone in this picture. For more than 20 years it was my wife, Monica, and I who were the coauthors. She died of uterine cancer in January. The photo that had featured both of us was being replaced.
As a widower, I know more about dying, death and grieving than I ever wanted to know.
As a novelist, I know that knowledge may very well help me better develop a character facing those powerful experiences.
In a similar way, your good times and your hard times can help make you a better novelist. They can enable you to add a tone or voice that rings true because, on such a personal level, you know that truth.
Just keep writing.