There are two things I believe in when I write
1. I need to push through on the days I don’t want to write. Push through even when I feel like a complete failure in my writing, and push even when I don’t feel inspired that day;
2. However, in the same token it is healthy to take a short break from writing… a break to breath, a break to collect your thoughts and to live life. (After all, this is were we can get our most meaningful inspirations from)
After writing and editing a few chapters dealing with some really tough issues, I decided to take a week off. Take off from the novel and everything surrounding it. The process of creating this monster of a novel (I use that term with only my most loving endearment LOL!) has a been a real emotional journey for me.
But even on my ‘Off’ days I’m always thinking about my story and the characters in it. I have Cops and Alaska State Troopers playing in the background. All in an attempt to learn ‘language, lingo, actions and behaviors’ of my characters’. I’m also watching and listening to the interactions between people in my personal life and those in public spaces.
More than I would like to admit, my mind is often on the story I’m writing about and the journey my characters are taking. However, this particular week I needed a respite from it all. Spending time with friends, reading, and being with my godchild was exactly what I needed.
However, it didn’t take long for my book and characters to beckon me back. This time it came in the form a picture….58 of them. On February 3rd The New York Times featured a pictorial display of the work from a former New York City Police Officer Antonio Bolfo. I had never seen anything like it. They were beautiful and tragic all at the same time. Humanizing the people behind the ‘Force’. Helping us, the viewer get a glimpse of the trials they go through.
Why is this relevant? A few years ago I met and befriended a former Marine, now 20+ year veteran of the police force. I learned about a world and a life I had never given a second thought to. I listened to life changing experiences and stories that dealt with two decades of witnessing the ugliest most part of people. With a new found respect, I was inspired by his strength and the pain he had both felt and was witnessed to.
In awe of his endurance to keep waking up each morning to do it all over again, it became one of the many reasons why I began writing my novel. So when I saw Bolfo’s images, I was moved by the depiction of their heroism, fatigue, stress and comradery for each other.