Thursday, September 25, 2008


I was going to blog again about Sophy or perhaps about writing conflict in a novel. But this week it seems perhaps more pertinent to talk about crises and how we—and our characters—cope with them.

So long as we see ourselves hostage to what others do, we will feel trapped and scared. We also are not likely to take those steps that can help us create the lives we want to have.

I've posted before about finances and how to be financially stable. I've posted how to unclog a toilet if you can't get hold of a plumber and don't have or don't want to use a plunger. None of what I posted is guaranteed to always work or always protect you, but....these are steps we can take that have high odds of helping us achieve what we want to achieve—financially or domestically with the toilet.

In every area of our lives, we choose in every moment how we will handle challenges and crises. Will we wring our hands and worry? Perhaps even become news junkies? Or will we take a deep breath and look at what we CAN do? Every little step we take improves our odds and takes away some of the fear because it reminds us that we are not totally hostages to fate.

By the same token, if we are writing a novel, it's useful to ask ourselves how our characters handle challenges and crises. Do they try to control everything—including things over which they have no control? Do they take steps to resolve the issue? Do they turn it over to some higher power? Do they perhaps look for the opportunities that might be created by the crisis? Do you have two characters who have diametrically opposed strategies? That can create conflict—in life OR in a novel.

If you've read my blog for any length of time you can probably guess that I'm not panicking. I have taken the steps I can take to keep my financial house in order. And I choose to put my energy into getting on with my life rather than worrying about things over which I have no control anyway.

How do your characters (if you're a writer) handle crisis? How do you? How might your characters (if you're a writer) learn to handle things differently? Is there something that you, as a person, could do to improve the odds of your financial situation--or any other challenge you face?

Just as our characters can change and grow throughout the progress of a novel, so can we.