How do you refresh?
So one common thought or point made by nearly every author I've ever met is that one must read a lot to write a lot. I have to say that for the most part, this is true. Sometimes, ideas just come to you, whether you've been reading or not. Other times, you get stuck in a reading rut - much the same as with writer's block. How do you rectify this? For me, I go back to one of the novels that I read when I was at one of the lowest points of my life that helped me to cope. The story in and of itself did little to aid me, but rather the act of reading and finding an outlet so my mind didn't linger on all of the worst parts was what saved me.
That novel, was Twilight.
Now I know, you're thinking I'm crazy, but it's true. You see, back in 2007, my marriage had fallen apart, I was five months pregnant, and also had a two-year-old. I had just turned 20 years old. I was at a loss as to how to pull myself back together and I couldn't quite figure out how I had messed my life up so badly, which now would affect my children. I was in a pretty dark and scary place. At the time, I didn't recognize the years of emotional and mental abuse I'd endured because it was all too fresh and I even held out hope that we could work things out so my boys didn't grow up in a broken home, but as time went on, I realized that we were better off, for the most part.
So where does Twilight come in? Honestly, it wasn't until after the first movie came out that I decided to read the books, and I'm so glad I did. You see, the movies by comparison were total shit - apart from the very last Breaking Dawn (I don't care - you can fight me on this). Anyway, when I read the first book, I realized how much more substance there were to the characters than what was portrayed in the movie and I loved it! I ended up reading all of the books in about ten days. The hardest for me to read was New Moon, but only because it brought me face-to-face with my abandonment issues. I was trying to hard to ignore the deeper issues I harbored after my divorce, but it was after reading that book I realized just how much of a hollow shell I had become.
It wasn't that any part of the story really spoke to me, but rather the emotions (yes, Bella has emotions in the books) that were portrayed during that time. I had felt everything that Bella felt and then some. I knew what it was like to be numb. I knew what it was like to feel like the abyss was swallowing me a little more each day. It was Hell. It was my life. But I wasn't alone in my fight. I had two babies to care for who depended on me for everything. I had been lost in the magnitude of what that meant and I couldn't figure out what I needed to do or how I could push forward. I was lucky most days to get out of bed.
While it was true that I had met the man that is now my husband during that time, I still had a lot of healing to do and we both suffered for it. He was eager to step in and help me with my children, but I was apprehensive and frankly afraid of what would happen to my heart if I gave it license again to feel. It was one of the hardest decisions I'd ever made because I was terrified of what could happen. We've been together 11 years now, but the first few years were definitely rough, to say the least. But I digress.
After reading New Moon and dealing with those repressed feelings, I was able to really and truly feel deeply again. As I read through the other novels, I was laughing and smiling and crying right along with the characters and it felt good. For so long, I was locked in a sinking ship and I had finally found something to cut me loose.
Now that I've moved past that time in my life, if I find myself in a rut or if I need to jump start my reading again, I usually turn to Twilight. Honestly, it's not about the book, but rather the journey it takes with you. I have found myself reading Harry Potter again, as well, but mostly that's when my kids leave theirs lying around and I don't have anything else to do. For me, Twilight helped to kick start my heart and it serves the same purpose for my mind.
Is there a special relationship you have with a novel? Do you have any tricks you use to get your mojo back? Drop a line and give me some pointers!
I'm a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. My journey as a published author is in full swing and I'm inviting all my friends along for the ride!