Not so much. A week after her last treatment, her transplanted kidney gave up the ghost after 13 years of faithful service (and don't think that number has escaped my notice). So not one, but two catheters for dialysis to filter toxins her kidney will no longer handle. And then, one of the catheters got an infection, and....
You know...life stuff.
It's not usual - or comfortable - for me to make public my private life, even in a "safe" place like this. But I'm a writer, and this is a blog about writing. The experiences of the last year have added a depth to my understanding of writing that I would be remiss not to share.
Certainly, anyone who's been in any writing class has heard the phrase "Write what you know," ad nauseum. But what does that mean? I recently read a book by Gregory Benford, Eater, about a sentient black hole that swallows everything in its path to use as fuel...to bring it to Earth. It's a really good book, and if you like "hard" sci-fi, I urge you to pick it up. The point is, Gregory Benford, I would wager, has never met a sentient black hole. He doesn't "know" about them. For that matter, most genre writers (and I'm talking here specifically about sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers) are writing about things they don't know about from any personal experience. And yet, they are.
It's meeting people, talking to people, living through life stuff that gives writers the ability to make characters and situations that seem "real," rather than flat, color-by-numbers rehashes of countless other stories. The unique experiences, thoughts, and questions each writer injects into his or her writing can, if fully fleshed and explored, bring a depth to their work that would otherwise be missing.
Think of an author whose work you've thought about long after you finished the book. One whose characters impacted you significantly, made you feel, maybe even made you think in a way you might not have before. Truth is the gift life experiences gives to your stories, from simplest flash fiction to the most epic space opera. It's the commonality of the human experience we respond to, the ability to make the reader feel what the characters are feeling.
As I look back, I can see how my experience has fed my writing. Remembering my thoughts and emotions watching my wife go through these traumatic events, feeling her own as she tries to remain strong in the face of what often seems like insurmountable odds, the actions and words of friends and family who have supported us both. I believe these things will push me to reach further and deeper to write more "Truth" in my fiction.
As you think about your own writing, think also about your own experiences. How they made you feel or think. How others have held up under difficult, even tragic situations, or even success. This is how you will create characters that live and breathe.
This is how you will write what you know.