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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hospitals Aren't My Favorite Place

But they sure do provide good fodder! As most of you know, I've been on a break from social networking. I want to express my gratitude for all of your well wishes while I was away. The reason for my break was my father's unexpected admission into the hospital nearly two weeks ago. I won't go into any details, but he has multiple health issues. For the first week, it was pretty touch and go. We truly thought he was going to die. I'm happy to say that he is recovering and should be fine. He's still in the hospital and has some major physical therapy ahead of him, but the scariest part is over. Despite his improved condition, I'm still spending much of my time at the hospital. It's been a great research tool for writing about emotion. You see all kinds of people feeling all kinds of things. The sad but relieved relatives of an elderly person who has just passed onto a better place. The happiness of new parents as they leave with their tiny bundle of joy. The fear of families like mine in not knowing if their loved one will survive the night. Don't get me wrong--writing didn't even cross my mind until we were certain my dad would be okay. But after that, I thought a great deal about it. Is that wrong? What about you? Have any of you ever been thinking about your writing at what might appear to be an inappropriate time?

35 comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

I've had 3 health related surgeries & I've totally used the experience in my writing. Ohh I'm sorry to hear about your father but soo glad to hear he's doing better. Best wishes! =)

Melanie's Randomness

Angie Muresan said...

Sending my prayers that your dad has a speedy recovery. And hugs to you, Susan.

Angela Ackerman said...

I'm so glad your dad is getting better. Hugs and good thoughts coming you way!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Melissa said...

I'm so glad to hear your dad is doing much better!

Lately I've been doing a lot more people watching for the exact same reason. I've done it before, but only when I was actively getting to know characters. Now it seems like I observe how people act all of the time, especially when I'm shopping;)

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh I bet it was scary for you and your family there for awhile! SO happy to hear he will improve.
I am always thinking about situations and how they relate to my writing. You will have so many deeper emotions to share with others now.

strugglingwriter said...

Glad your Dad is doing better.

I used to get most of my writing thoughts while my wife was nursing our children in the middle of the night and I sat up with her in the baby's room. We don't have to do that anymore, and I guess I miss it, but only a little bit :)

Lily Robinson said...

First let me say I am relieved that your dad is on the mend. I will pray for you and him.

Yes, I think about my characters at VERY inappropriate times. It doesn't surprise me. My entire life I've had a fantasy dialog going on in my head while real life plays before me. Now, what does that say about me? lol

Carol Riggs said...

Am relieved for you, that your father is over the worst, and healing. And you thinking about stories and characters in this is not unusual--it just proves you're a writer! I think most of us do that, in any situation.

Stephanie Faris said...

So glad about your dad. Writing is my escape but when things get tumultuous in life, yeah, I kinda lose the ability to write temporarily. Once the danger has passed, though, that's what I always throw myself into.

Anne Gallagher said...

Funerals. I think about writing all the time at funerals.

Paul Greci said...

I've spent a hunk of time at the hospital this past year with family members and friends. And yes, writing related thoughts come and go while I'm there.

I'm glad your dad is improving.

Karen Peterson said...

I think it's what writers do. At least that's what I tell myself!

I'm so glad your dad is doing better. That medical stuff can get pretty scary.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Glad to hear your father's improving. :D

I can relate to the hospital thing. My oldest was born 3 months premature and spent 10 weeks in the NICU. It became my home away from home. A place I would rather not be, especially since I saw a lot of parents say goodbye to their babies during that time. It was definitely a place for an emotional roller coaster. Too bad I wasn't a writer at the time. I certainly had plenty of time for it. ;)

K. M. Walton said...

Susan! You and your family will be in my prayers. I am so happy your dad is doing better.

Patti said...

Glad to hear he's doing better. Hope everything goes well. You'll be in my prayers.

Nancy said...

I am so glad that your father is on the mend. I know that hospitals can be scary places. I don't recall thinking about writing at the time. I don't think it is wrong at all. After you have prayed, then occupying your mind with other things is good.
I did use most of the hospital situations as "fodder" for short stories, later. It's just too good to pass up. Blessings on your father's continued health.

Stephanie McGee said...

Glad to hear your dad's coming out of the woods. Hospitals= no bueno.

For me, it's church where writing stuff creeps in. So not appropriate. But it comes. Oh well.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I am so glad your father is doing better. I'll keep your family in my prayers.

Ann Best said...

I am so sorry that your father has been so ill, but I'm glad he's recovering!

No, I don't think there's anything wrong thinking about writing at such difficult times. When my daughter was in a catastrophic accident and was in the hospital for a year and a half, I wrote entries in a notebook but not every day. I wish now I HAD written every day, but as you know, it's such a trying time that actually writing is difficult.

As writers, we want to share our experiences. They're all fodder for stories!!

May your family be blessed through this difficult time. Adversity helps us see the important things in life.
Ann

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm thrilled to hear things are turning out okay, Susan. You'll continue to be in my prayers. And yes, I think most of us turn to writing at one time or another when others might call it "inappropriate". No biggie. Roll with it, and if it helps take your mind off of other things,that too can be a benefit. :-)

The Book Nut said...

I'll keep praying for you and your father! I'm so glad things are on the up swing.

I don't think that there can be an inappropriate time to think about writing, the problem would be if you rush out and actually start writing that might be a problem. Inspiration can strike at any time so why try to limit when it should happen?

It's great to see you back!

MG Higgins said...

Thinking about writing at unusual times, in unusual places, is the sign of a writer. I say rejoice in it! You must have been so worried about your dad! I'm sincerely glad he's better.

Diane said...

I hope and pray all is well for you and your dad. Miss seeing you! :O)

T. Anne said...

Thank God he's doing better!!!!! It feels SO good to hear good news for once. It's been a touch fall so far at my house. I'm thrilled for you!

Robyn Campbell said...

OH NO, Susan. I'm so thankful he is going to be okay. I love ya girlfriend and do NOT want any sadness to come your way.

I have missed you. The blogosphere just isn't the same without you.

And NO. It isn't wrong for you to write or think about the different emotions going on. It ONLY means you really ARE a writer.

Sorry I didn't make it by earlier, but my son Christopher has mouth surgery at 8:30 AM Dec. 1st. And with his rare brain disorder, things aren't as easy as I wish they were. :( God has told me he will be great, though. :)

Susan Fields said...

I'm so glad to hear your dad's going to be okay. I was thinking about you and your family while you were on break, hoping everything would turn out fine, and it's great to hear that he's recovering.

I haven't spent a lot of time in hospitals to really look around and notice everyone else, but I'm sure you're right and it would be an excellent place to watch people and their emotions.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Well, I think about it often whenever I'm out in public or have the opportunity to eavesdrop on conversations. (Much to my children's dismay, ha, ha!)

What a stressful and scary time with your dad. I'm so glad to hear your dad is doing better now; I hope his recovery is swift.

Erica M. Chapman said...

Of course! I'm always thinking of writing at strange times ;O) I'm glad to hear your dad is okay. I'll say an extra prayer for you guys ;O)

jdcoughlin said...

All my best to your dad. I know it's tough seeing your dad so low. Glad to hear he's on the mend. And yes, I have been known to pick up a pencil and a scrap of paper at some weird times. Can't help myself.

Beth Mann said...

Sending prayers your family's way, and very glad your dad is on the upswing! If writing is your outlet (as it is mine, an escape sometimes) it's only natural for you to want to do it right after what I'm sure was a very stressful experience. I know your words will be powerful!

Girl in My Own World said...

Hey Susan, so sorry to hear about your father and I will def keep you in my prayers! However, I am glad that he is doing better. I guess that I would have to question if there is an inappropriate time to think about writing. One of the biggest parts of being a writer is being able to express life experiences and emotions through words. If art imitates life then we write what we feel and what is going on around us. I think most writers are emotional creatures and that for us often times emotions envoke us to want to write as well as does oberservation of any kind... like being in a hospital. :o)

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad your dad is improving. Sorry you've been going through this difficult time. Take care of yourself too!!! My thoughts/prayers are with you.

Heather Sunseri said...

I'm so glad to hear your father is recovering, Susan. I had a family emergency (similar to yours) three days before I was supposed to go to the ACFW conference. It was very stressful, and I felt much guilt over wondering if I would get to go. Luckily all turned out okay, my family member was fine and I made the conference. Writing is a part of our life and in many ways gives us an outlet even during the trying times in our life. I wouldn't even have faulted you if you curled up with a notebook or laptop in the waiting room of the hospital. Especially if it provided you some peace and a prayerful outlet during the ordeal.

Laura Pauling said...

So sorry! I went through the same thing last year with my dad. It took him a good 6 months to recover. Glad your dad is on the up!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm glad your dad is doing better. It's always so stressful to have a loved one in the hospital, especially around the holidays. As for thinking about writing at inappropriate times? Um, yeah. All the time!