Sometimes us writers get so involved with our writing that we forget about the rest of our lives. We can become so involved with the characters that we talk about them as if they were a friend.
We can even convince ourselves that it is the depths of winter when its 90 degrees in the shade outside. All of this in an attempt to make our stories believable and enjoyable for you, the reader.
Sometimes though even we admit that life must come first.
Life has the complexity and surprise factor that few stories ever achieve and each of us lives it in a different way.
Life has the habit of throwing things at us and sometimes we are hit all the harder because our attention was elsewhere.
I recently had a phone call to tell me that an elderly relative had taken a fall and been admitted to hospital.
Now to begin with you sort of think ‘omg’ buy some fruit, a card, some chocolate and rush down to see them.
You hope they won’t be there long and that soon life can return to normal, theirs and yours. Unfortunately in this instance it didn’t.
My relative stayed in hospital, moved from one ward to another and his mental health took a sharp decline.
His life won’t be returning to the way it was. He will be going to a new home with much less indipendance but much more care. His sons have to take on responsibilities they just weren’t expecting to do or and were not ready for.
I have gone from visiting every weekend when I was a kid till I was sixteen, to visiting every few weeks, to working away and then more recently visiting every week until it became every other day whilst he was in hospital.
He has lived a long and interesting life and has quite a few years left in him I suspect, but here’s the thing, he was an unpublished writer of children’s stories and whilst I have agreed with him to publish his works as an ebook he will have trouble remembering that its been done. He won’t be able to read them and can’t write any more stories.
It’s a difficult thing our families must do when we reach old age, they find themselves making difficult decisions for us often at fairly short notice and with little guidence or knowledge of what we need.
So friends, for your families and friends, leave instructions. I’m not talking about your will, I’m talking about letting your families know what you would want in advance. Write a letter and leave it with them to be opened in the event of….type thing.
We make plans all our lives for what we want, we choose where to live and where to work, we even make choices about our own deaths but what about the bit in between?
Life isn’t always straight forward, its twisty and inspiring, confusing and surprising.
Don’t forget to plan your old age, just in case it doesn’t go the way you expected.
And don’t be afraid to put your work out there!