What writing taught me about being sad.

What writing taught me about being sad.

I hate being sad. Like, HAAATE it. I’m sure there’s a childhood wound lurking somewhere beneath this discomfort, but it’s not really my “thing” to dwell on the past. (Mostly because I have done my share of dorky and–at times–stupid things.) But one thing I have learned through writing TEMPUS is that there is a difference in a “temporary escape” and a “permanent crutch.”

Allow me to illustrate.

Scenario: I am in a bad mood because my kids are acting like the dinner I cooked tastes like poisoned goat entrails. So, after they are in bed, I disappear into the pages of a book where I can pretend I am a culinary delight and my children, angels.

Verdict: Temporary Escape

Scenario: I am frustrated with my best friend because she forgot my birthday (Don’t you have Facebook?!). Now she wants to know if I can go to dinner to make it up to me. Ugh! It’s going to be awkward and I don’t feel like trying to think of stuff to say. I think I’ll fake PMS and stay in bed and read until three in the morning!

Verdict: Permanent Crutch

Since I dislike sadness or emotional discomfort so much, my tendency is to use a crutch to bolster my mood. Usually, it’s my work or books. In the past, however, it’s been appearances, money, grades, boyfriends, etc.

But just like Chapel, the heroine of my book, I’m learning (FINALLY) that I have to confront conflict like a grown up. Sometimes it’s okay to disappear into my stories and writing. But other times I need to put my books down and face what’s in front of me.

What’s your crutch-of-choice? What do you need to put down? What do you need to face today?

Holly Lauren is the author of TEMPUS, a Young Adult Science-Fiction Romance out now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

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