The second DIY MFA prompt asked us to discuss a time when we had to “honor our reality” and let writing take a backseat to the challenges of day-to-day life. Here’s my thoughts.
Like many others, I find it more of a challenge to honor my writing than my reality. I have a somewhat demanding full-time job and a long car commute, both of which eat up my time and generally wear me down. I have found that rising early affords me the opportunity to do things that I enjoy and/or feel compelled to do, including meditation, exercise and writing.
That’s my day to day, but when I truly had to honor my reality was basically all of 2016, when I underwent treatment for colon cancer. I was diagnosed just before Christmas in 2015 and proceeded to go through radiation, two surgeries and IV chemo over the course of 2016. The good news is that it’s more than two years since my diagnosis and I am cancer free (knock on wood).
Over that time, though, I really had to come to terms with not having the physical and mental energy to do all the things I normally do. The experience did leave me with a renewed and enhanced appreciation for life, as well as a stronger resolve to dedicate myself to the creative work of writing fiction. Onward and upwards!