Please do not think this is a morose posting. Nor is it a hopeless one. It is reality. I read an Ernest Hemingway quote: 'There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter (keyboard - my word) and bleed.'
I definitely am of the camp that suffering helps writing. Yet, I know lots of writers, good writers, who haven't suffered (in the eyes of the world) and yet write a wicked tale. I think it's like everything in this crazy world. 50/50. What works for some won't work for the masses. And vice versa.
A dear friend of mine, a great writer, loves when life throws something at her (well, probably not loves it). Five times out of ten, she's thinking about how she can use a twisted ankle to bulk up a character, how shoveling snow and sweating in the midst of twenty degree wind chills gives her perspective for her mountain-climbing hero, or the love she has for her husband that she uses for her tragic heroine.
I bring this up because I've been doing a wee bit of suffering these last three years. At first, I thought of my writing and how to use emotions and hurts and such to make my stories even better, delving into these things in order to flesh out the characters and situations and the old arc!
At the moment, I'm in the midst of saying good-bye to the lifestyle I had before my medical conditions affected me to the point that I had to make major changes. I don't like this at all. I've lost the joy of 'suffering' for my stories. I suppose that sounds unhealthy, but I know you writers understand what I'm saying. It's the little things that chipped away at my joie de vivre. Now the big things are impacting me. I keep telling myself I will get well one day and resume my life, but I know it's probably not going to happen.
I find this frustrating besides. I want to write, but my energy is going to survival, at the moment. I know I'll write again. Heck, I'm putting on make-up again, and that is a very good thing! I am also almost finished with my paperwork. I've got two huge 'events' coming up, not fun ones, that insist on lots of paperwork. I feel good that I'm finally getting it all together. I can send it off to my attorney sometime next week.
A friend says she thinks she knows what the 'nasty' critiquer meant by 'voice' and she wants to meet to discuss it. I'm looking forward to that. Thankfully, I have learned, over the years, to accept creative and concrete criticism. I'm learning all the time.
The wounds of life need to be cauterized, but I will survive. I will write. I will continue to cajole my writing friends into greater deeds, and I will comfort those who are fighting the good fight.
Life is wonderful.