How Our Lives Affect Our Work

I feel like this post should come with a disclaimer in advance: Warning, may contain some self-deprecation and a bit of moping.

So basically, without going into too much detail, I found myself leaving my job and becoming unemployed this week. It was not a nice experience and although I’ve now found a new job and can technically start getting over it, I’m still finding it hard to get past. It’s been a stressful and emotionally tense week and I’m feeling a little lonely tonight. My boyfriend, who has been amazing this whole week, is working a double today so I won’t get to see him until just before I go to bed. I am definitely in need of speaking to somebody, but it’s at this point that I realise life can sometimes be really lonely when you don’t want it to be.

Because of all the issues and drama that have gone down in the last week I haven’t done all the writing and editing I could have done so I’m not really in a position to have a good boast or anything. I do have the next week ahead of me off, so I’m hoping to quench what is sure to be almost crippling loneliness by putting all of my attention into my novel. In the meantime, however, I have found the strength and creativity to start a short story. Tentatively titled ‘Another Case‘, it’s a supernatural thriller that is kind based around an unbelievable “What If?” scenario with the main character being an amalgamation of some of my favourite protagonist archetypes and then throwing in the personality of my best friend for good measure. So far it feels like the short story is going well and I’m hoping to post it on Amazon (at a very cheap price) once it’s complete.

The real reason I’ve come to my blog tonight though is… well, it’s for two reasons really. The first is that I’m feeling quite lonely whilst my thoughts and feelings are very pent up and going round and round in circles. I find this blog is a good outlet for that kind of stuff. Another reason is that I’ve been wondering this last week or so: How do the occurrences in our lives affect our creative work?

Perhaps some of my (for lack of a better word) depression has leaked a little bit into the short story I’m writing, giving it a darker and more dreary tone than I had originally intended. I’d like to think it works in my favour though. I’m not usually one who does well with description, but as the protagonist approaches the setting of the story I felt like my description of what she encounters wasn’t bad for a first-draft:

Driftmoor Manor is a beautiful antique of a building and every bit the manor its name implies. I’ve seen plenty of buildings of its kind, likely dating back to the medieval era, but the only ones I’ve visited were national trust houses that I had to pay to visit. To see an actual home that serves as a stunning display of age-old architecture is very rare indeed. Not just that, but the building seems to have a sort of gothic charm all its own, completely unique. The windows are tall and narrow – almost church-like – and the dark brickwork of the exterior glistens with moist from the continuing onslaught of rain. Directly ahead of my car is a smaller building adjacent to the manor itself. Quite simply it is just a garage, and although the architecture was clearly designed to match the main building it looks like nothing but a pale and barely-passable imitation by comparison. Knowing the kind of people who own houses like this on Driftmoor I’m sure there’s a ridiculously expensive four-by-four parked inside

Obviously this isn’t by any means an innovative or flawless paragraph, but I read it back and realised that the description of the building: the gothic charm, the church-like windows, the dark brickwork all mirrored how I feel inside at the moment: basically a bit gloomy. I know that that’s a ridiculous and over dramatic statement, but it makes sense to me. Even the fact that I’ve set the story during a dreary rainstorm sort of shows how I feel at the moment. I really didn’t want to fit in to typical “creepy” conventions, but it turns out that it kind of developed that way by itself based on how I’m feeling.

The funny thing is, I probably do better work when I’m feeling a little sad or depressed than when I’m happy and everything is going well. Especially on days when I haven’t even changed out of my lazy clothes all day. I’m just hoping and praying that everything that’s happened recently is actually the kick up the ass I needed to get my manuscript printed and sent off to agents and publishers. Who knows, maybe the fates are trying to tell me that if I do it now I might be in with some luck? I guess there’s only one way to find out: This week, editing. The week after, print it. Then, when I get my first pay from my new job: Send, send, send!

Who cares if I have barely any money to live off of this month and my life has taken a massive turn and change in the last five days? I’m going to see it as an opportunity to make the most of what I’ve got.

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5 comments on “How Our Lives Affect Our Work

  1. enjoy says:

    I do some of my best writing when I feel bad. Hang in there and good luck on your new adventure 🙂

  2. elainecanham says:

    Me too. Don’t feel bad about moping, either, you’d be odd if you weren’t feeling down after such a week. Good luck with your writing.

    • Thank you for your kind words – it has been a difficult time but I’m back on track now. Determined to get myself back in the center of the road towards a destination of success! Is that a little cheesy?

      Thank you for reading! 🙂

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