Saturday, August 25, 2012

Anita Hughes - Why I write

Since MONARCH BEACH was released two months ago, I have been asked why I write. I have given various answers: because I have always loved to read and writing is even more enjoyable, because stories fill my head and I have to put them down on paper. Today I added another reply.

My daughter left for college yesterday and I was devastated. I have been preparing for her departure for months. I happily researched colleges with her, attended parent night at the high school, shared her excitement as the acceptances rolled in.

I sat proudly at her high school graduation, attended goodbye parties for her friends, but her own departure was still in the hazy future. Yesterday, after a flurry of purchases at Bed, Bath and Beyond, she moved into her dorm. The bedroom she has slept in for the last six years is empty. The pile of laundry that I sifted through every day is missing. Certain foods only she liked are gone.

I sat on the love seat in my bedroom, feeling sad and empty. I knew the feeling would pass eventually but I wasn’t sure how to get through it. Finally I opened my laptop and began to write.

I returned to the characters in the book I am working on. I immersed myself in their problems. I laughed and cried with them. By the time I looked up, hours had passed and I was smiling.

I revised the day’s work, made dinner for the children that remain at home, and wrote a few more pages in the evening. When I called my daughter to see how she was settling in, I was calm and mature, not the hysterical mess I had been hours earlier.

So if you asked me today why I write, I would say to fill some of the spaces in my heart. One should never expect other people, even members of your own family, to make you happy. We need to do that for ourselves.

Writing gives me joy. I am excited to slip into another world, to create characters and friends. And I am thrilled when readers say I have given them a story they can relate it. Making other people happy is the biggest bonus of what I do.

When you need a lift, what do you do? I’d love to know!  Leave a comment to win one free copy of MONARCH BEACH.


***Anita's winner is Maureen!  Please email with your mailing details!***


Scarlet Wilson said...

I love writing and reading too, but what like best is snuggling up in bed. There's something about a good nights sleep that is a real pick me up. I am a demon if I don't sleep well, thank goodness I don't have babies any more (just a bed wetting alarm to deal with!) I especially like lying in my bed and hearing the rain battering off the windows - perfect!

traveler said...

I enjoy reading in the backyard where it is quiet and relaxing with a cup of tea, but walking in the clear, beautiful sunshine definitely gives me a lift each day.

petite said...

If I am fortunate enough to travel to the beach during the summer this destination always lifts my spirits and revitalizes me. I love the entire scene which gives me hope and strength.

Lory Lee said...

Apart from reading, what I usually do to uplift my spirit is play with my seven and one year old (will turn 2 this 28) nieces. We usually draw together, dress up and do some "cooking". I don't let myself be alone when I'm feeling down. It makes everything worst.

host said...

I usually read or go swimming - that often makes me forget my troubles and helps me find my peace :)

Redspect said...

"If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!mawaddainternationalaid

Pat Cochran said...

I curl up in a corner of my big comfy couch
with a cup of tea(or a Diet Coke)and a tall
stack of books. I read myself into a better
mood! Almost as good: I set my laptop to the
music settings, then I sing and dance myself
into good spirits!

Pat Cochran

Martha Lawson said...

I read! That's my escape. Your book sounds really good. I'd love to be entered.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Eli Yanti said...

i'm usually reading book or listening music :)

erin said...

thanks for a great post and congrats on the new release!

Reading :)

marybelle said...

I find going for a walk or beginning a new craft project helps me.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

It's tough when they go off to new adventures like college. I enjoy a great book on the screened in porch with a lemonade.

Maureen said...

When I need a lift I might read or bake or find a new recipe for dinner.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Jen B. said...

I like to listen to music and sign along. I like to read. I like to play with the dog. Sometimes, when I need a lift but I am just overwhelmed, I sit quietly. It helps me recenter and then I can drive back into the craziness of life. jepebATverizonDOTnet

*yadkny* said...

Hi Anita!
Thanks for sharing why you write. I think much of what you said relates to why I read.

Michele L. said...

Hello Anita!
Great to have you here! Bass Pro shop is only 15 minutes from my house. I love to go there to sit and listen to the waterfall,(it's huge!)watch the fish in the huge aquariums, cruise around the store and look at all the stuffed animals, boats, hunting gear, clothes and just soak in the relaxing atmosphere. It is like a big hunting lodge. Lot's of wood and animals everywhere! Just love it! Plus the food smells from the restaurant are heavenly! Garlic, seafood and steaks wafting through the air. Yum! It is my "Happy" place that I love to go to when I need a pick-me-up!

Also, the beach (Lake Michigan) is only 5 minutes from my house so sitting at the water's edge in my beach chair is very relaxing, letting the water lap on my feet and staring out at the boats on the lake. Heaven!

Oh, and there is my favorite drink, Strawberry Margarita that picks me up everytime! We have a Mexican restaurant 5 minutes from our house that has excellent drinks for $3.00 on Wednesday night. Plus, we have another restaurant very close by, Hooligans, that has great drinks and appetizers and offers them half-off every Wednesday. We love going there for that! Definite pick-me-up!

Laney4 said...

Well-written story of your daughter's departure. I'm glad you had writing to turn to in order to help you throught this adjustment in life.
When I need a lift, I turn to my friends, usually by phone, but sometimes via email (first). I am blessed to have several good friends in my life, most of whom have been with me since childhood or my early twenties some thirty years ago....