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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Salvation: IWSG October 2018

It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader.  Co-Hosts for October Dolorah @ Book Lover, Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken!

This month’s optional question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Well, duh!

Any writing I accomplished prior was a lead-up to the place I landed one day in 2009, when after 23 years at the same organization my position was eliminated in a large-scale expense reduction. In at 8:00 as usual, out at 4:00, forever—with no notice and certainly no plan. The next day I woke up and the only way I could handle the shock of having been dumped on my proverbial keister was to write. The resulting essay became my first post here on Middle Passages and almost ten years later it’s one of the pieces of which I remain the most proud. Sure I’d edit it now, tighten it up.  But it was real, from the gut, gritty…and, it had voice. 

So, Middle Passages was born and through this medium, I took my first steps on the journey toward what I am today—settled, comfortable and proud of what I’ve accomplished. The early day-to-day writing—along with subsequent articles, essays, and yes, those pesky unpublished novels, well, they're my joy, and I suppose my legacy. You'll find the real me, the person I always wanted to be here and in the other pieces I produce. No matter what the topic, writing comes from as deep as I can go, and all of it, every word I've written since, stems from that first day of unemployment.

There I sat at my kitchen counter, weighed down by a white-space-vacuum-lack-of-purpose, but as soon as I began to write, my panic slipped away. I became focused on finding the exact word, imbuing the piece with the flavor of my crisis and my hope. Hours later, I pressed publish for the first time knowing I'd started something good, something that mattered, and aware in the gut-honest-heart of me that no matter what the future introduced, writing had to be a part of it.

I've carried forth in that regard ever since, because one thing that remains crystal clear. Writing doesn't just help. It's salvation.