I wrote about my turning point as a writer on Nova Ren Suma’s blog, Distraction No. 99.
(At this moment, you can also enter to win a copy of Men Undressed which contains an excerpt from my novel-in-progress on Nova’s blog).
My turning point is my stroke at the age of 33. It’s a topic to which I often allude, but do not often write about as a central subject. I find it awkward to talk about my stroke. I don’t want it to define me. Some people are just not interested in hearing about a past ailment. But awkward or not, it is undeniably The Turning Point of My Entire Life.
So when Nova asked me to write about my turning point as a writer, I inevitably found myself writing about recovery from my stroke, as lesson-filled an experience it was.
One of my friends, while visiting me in the early days of recovery, wisely advised me to look for lessons throughout my recovery; my hunt for lessons learned made what could have seemed like a meaningless random and stupid happening a much more meaningful and valuable experience.
I shared a few of the things I learned about myself as a writer in the wake of my stroke and as I fought to write my novel again. The message of my story is, as quoted from the last paragraph of my post at Distraction No. 99:
“It took years before I could remember this experience as a cohesive narrative. And while most writers don’t have strokes at the age of 33, I don’t think my experience is all too unique, because many of us have been kept from our writing in one way or another in our crazy writing lives. It could be a year away from writing as you raise a new baby, or a year away from writing as you immerse yourself in financially-necessary work, or a year away from writing because your writing just breaks your heart and you just can’t look at it anymore. Maybe you were really sick and couldn’t write. But sometimes, it is that very time away that forms the negative space around your identity and determination and your writing. When you come back, you know who you are, more than ever. And who you are is a writer to the core.”
I hope you check out Nova’s Turning Points series, which includes a number of amazing and inspiring posts about writing.
*The picture above is a picture of the whiteboard in my hospital room where I lived for 10 days following my stroke. The nurses were so nice, and left me uplifting messages!