How I Conquer Despair by Writing Books
It’s funny how writing can be therapeutic. Last year, I wrote an entire scene with my main character struggling with her current dilemmas. It’s a rough draft and will probably change once I put my editing hat on. But the initial feeling writing this new scene aided my own internal turmoil.
For the past decade, I’ve had several family members and friends pass away. Dealing with that kind of pain can be difficult for anyone especially when the people closest to us die. It was through this grief that I imagined a world filled with an immortal race of superhuman beings that gallivant around the galaxy saving civilizations from destruction. I mean how cool would it be to have a space fairing alien culture come to Earth and solve all our problems right?
Well, writing a story like this isn’t easy. It took me several years before I could reverse outline The Progenitor, fix the story issues, find an editor, and hit the publish button. Trust me when I say, it’s a completely different book. But regardless of the “author life” issues, writing The Progenitor Chronicles has been the best therapy for my grief I could have ever asked for.
Even though, the first two books in the series, guided me through my grief, it was while writing the third book The Ancients, that really allowed myself to feel the pain. Unfortunately, while outlining this third adventure, I became a caregiver to my mother-in-law Nancy. She had been dealing with several life-threatening diseases for over a decade. While juggling my day job, my family, and writing/publishing, my Aunt was experiencing similar issues.
In 2022, these wonderful women paralleled each other. Each of them needed surgeries and both of them ran out of time. So, while I was writing this new scene about hope and despair for my main character of the series, I was writing it with my mother-in-law in mind; only to hear news that my Aunt died too. I really wanted to give into despair in that moment.
I did what any writer would do: I googled researched these powerful emotions. I found the definitions. I researched how these feelings can affect our abilities to function. Then I wrote more scenes with hope and despair controlling the outcome of my main character.
Despair is vinegar from the wine of hope.
~ Austin O’Malley ~
What does despair mean?
Despair: The complete loss or absence of hope.
The feeling of despair can be different for everyone, but for me, I feel cold and dark; as if I’m sitting at the bottom of a well with no way out. I took that feeling and turned it into the dark powers that my main character absorbed. These dark cloud-like powers are forbidden for a reason.
What does hope mean?
Hope: a desire accompanied by an expectation of or belief in fulfillment
Feeling hopeful can be exciting. Personally, I feel light when I’m feeling hopeful. If you’ve read The Progenitor Chronicles, you’ll see that hopeful feeling manifested in Xendara’s golden photonic powers.
I asked myself:
What would it be like living with these two emotions sitting inside you at the same time? Is it possible to have hope when we have reason to despair?
I think so. But I also think it’s incredibly difficult to see the positive.
These two powerful emotions are potent, but hope and despair also opposites of each other. They can create an internal war, where one day you feel fine and the next day you just want to hide under a blanket; which doesn’t sound so bad if you have a good book with you. But books aside, the struggle can be real.
Why is hope important?
Hope doesn’t just reduce feelings of helplessness while increasing our happiness. It pushes us into action. It helps change our lives for the better.
Throughout history man has pushed their fellow man into impossible situations. Those who grasped onto that hope were motivated to do more and in many cases survive their ordeals. That is why it’s such an important emotion to cultivate.
How can you cultivate hope?
While sometimes we may need a little help from our doctors, hope can be cultivated in a variety of different ways.
Here are few things you can do.
- Give yourself obtainable goals.
- Track your goals and then examine the evidence.
- Adjust goals when necessary.
- Seek a community of like-minded individuals.
- Know your limitations.
In the process of cultivating your hope, I’d add one more thing. Do something you enjoy! Whether that is reading, writing, or going on adventures, we need those fun activities to help cut through the despair. That is why I write my stories.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
I’m sorry to say my characters won’t be getting a break to have fun activities in The Ancients. They are still in the throes of fixing the timeline and they still have a few more life lessons to learn. But they won’t have to struggle with despair for much longer. With all the evidence I’ve placed in the series, I think Xendara and Darijus will get a much-needed break in the fourth book.
As for me, despite currently being wrapped in a dark black blanket of despair, I will choose to be hopeful. I will continue to write my hopeful, clean science fantasy romance books, and publish them. I will continue to bring new exciting stories to all of you bookworms and fantastic covers for you bookdragons.
May You Prosper as the Golden Wood trees!
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The Progenitor Chronicles
Time Crystals are forbidden for a reason, but King Oren must use one to save a civilization.
King Oren’s only goal was to be a peaceful caretaker of the galaxy. But when a girl falls through a portal into his courtyard clutching a forbidden Time Crystal, his life changes.
With a cataclysmic event imminent, he must lead a group from his home system to the opposite side of the galaxy. Everyone looks to their seemingly immortal race for aid, but even with their elemental powers, they are far from perfect.
Armed with the Time Crystal, they seek to stop an exploding star from decimating an entire population. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to use the crystal. Even worse, he might die trying.
Will King Oren stop the star from exploding? Or will time unravel?