Under normal circumstances, I’m a highly energetic, ferociously physical guy. This affects my writing, both in terms of voice and in terms of what I choose to write about.
These past two days, I’ve been alternating between periods of aching recovery, frustration with how slowly I have to move, and hazy drifts through pain-medicated fog. Overall, this is not the most pleasant experience I’ve had this year.
It helps with point of view. Joe R. Lansdale, a martial artist speaking of writing bad fight scenes, once said “You can tell when a virgin is writing a sex scene.” This feeling of helplessness, of low energy, of weakness, will help me write better characters in my fiction and write more effectively for some audiences of my nonfiction.
A lot of the best authors suffered throughout their lives, giving them the empathy to truly understand each and every one of the challenges and conflicts affecting their characters. I’m not comparing my routine hernia operation to the lives of those giants, but it’s a small piece of the same page.
As writers, we have the advantage that every hardship we suffer now is fuel for your creativity later. Even if it never makes it into a particular story, simply knowing this can help us better handle the situation as it happens.
Thanks for listening.