Writing through it all

September 3, 2009 at 4:00 am 15 comments

Please join me in welcoming guest blogger, Jessica Scott.

I have to say, when I was first asked to write for this event, I was honored. How cool that someone wanted me to say something that people would read in support of a charity event.

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott

And then panic set in. Not full blown, I’ve left my child in a car panic (no I have not done that but when my daughter was first born, it was a recurring nightmare). But the kind of nagging panic that you know you’re going to wait until the last minute to do something and the words are going to fall flat. Most of you can probably already guess what I’m going to say: deadline panic.

So I figured the best way to beat that nagging panic at the back of my brain was to start writing. Teresa Bodwell asked me to write about something regarding being a writer and being deployed. About writing through adversity. I’m not sure I can do that accurately, mainly because I don’t feel like being in Iraq – for me – has been ‘hard’.

How can that be? I mean, here I am, a mom deployed away from her two young girls, away from her home and her pets and her friends. How can that not be hard? It was. It is. But it’s not something that I can dwell on every day and not get clinically depressed over. Sure, it hits me when I call home and my four year old is crying in the background that she wants mommy to come home. It nails me through the heart like a stake and the helplessness that I can’t ease my baby’s pain is the absolute worst feeling in the world.

But most days, I shut it down. I turn off the mommy side of me that worries about my kids and I try to focus on here. Now. I made my choice to stay in the Army and that meant I would deploy. I cannot sit over here and bemoan that choice. I can’t change it. I can only embrace what I still have: today and tomorrow.

Jesswhelmet

Jessica

The best thing that being deployed has allowed me to do is write. There are no dishes to do, no laundry to fold. I have time to write and really get into a book and let it pour out of me without distractions. For me, that’s making the most of the time I have over here and learn from it. I try to make the most out of every day and capture the lessons I learn in what I write.

I won’t tell you that everything I’ve written over here has been positive. I delved into some dark issues. Some that deal with the military and some that deal with spirituality. I’m sure that’s my subconscious’s way of helping me cope with things I opt not to think about. We’ll never know. But I know that I write. It keeps me busy. And the emotions I confront on a daily basis, I put into my writing. I only hope I am able to capture some of what I learn about in dealing with this tough time and portray it in my work.

Some of our truest work comes from the dark part of our hearts. For me, writing through this deployment has given me a glimpse into the emotions I’ve channeled. Instead of sitting in my CHU crying, I found a way for my sorrow to be expressed, without driving my husband absolutely insane. For me, the most honest writing I do is when I’m emotional. It’s also the hardest. I can’t imagine waking up every day and not being able to write (though I’ve recently experienced the true joy of having a lot of work to do and no time to write but that’s another story).

Writing through this deployment has been my way of coping. When I had a panic attack about missing my children and the certainty that something was going to happen to them while I was deployed, I wrote about it. When I was a wreck thinking I was pregnant and going to be that girl who got sent home, I wrote about it. When I learned about some of the horrible things that happened to our boys and gals downtown, I wrote about it. I wrote about people’s reactions around me. I wrote about mine. It helped get the stress of what I was dealing with and what those around me were dealing with and find something to do with it, other than let it eat me alive.

Writing has been my way of getting it all out, of having a discussion, even if it is one sided. I hope that when you get the chance to read my books, you’ll get a glimpse of the emotion behind the story. And hopefully, you’ll get a different view of life in the military.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share! It’s a huge honor to be part of this project and I’m grateful that Teresa gave me the chance to put my words to a good cause. Please donate and help us raise our goal for Cystic Fibrosis Research!

Jessica Scott is an Army officer with over 14 years of service. She and her husband are currently deployed in Iraq, leaving their two young daughters in her mother’s loving care. While enduring the stresses of living in a war zone–sandstorms, biting flies, spiders the size of crabs and temperatures high enough to bake a pizza in the open air, Jess continues to write romantic stories featuring military heroes and heroines. Follow her adventures in her blog at http://www.jessicascott.net/blog/.

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15 Comments

  • 1. Author Jessica Scott’s Blog » Unleash Your Story  |  September 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    […] http://unleashyourstory.com/2009/09/03/writing-through/ Tags: charity, cystic fibrosis foundation, unleash your story Posted on: 3rd of September 2009 in Writing | | […]

  • 2. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jess. It seems to me both writing and reading can get us through tough times.

    I remember when my dad died and I was on deadline for my second novel. I thought writing that book would be hard. It turned out that writing during those months was the only time I felt good.

  • 3. Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter  |  September 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I read Jess’s blog also just now and I’m crying! The one about her and her husband missing their daughter’s first day of school. I suddenly thought maybe that’s why God had me leave the Air Force when my husband did. Maybe He knew I’d not be able to handle missing those kinds of first in my boys’ live due to the hard things that would follow when they grew up. I won’t go into details on those hard things, let’s jusr say it’s been rough for us all the last 5 years, especially me as their mother, if I had guilt from missing ttheir firsts as young kids on top of the anguish of what’s happening now I probably would have went off the deep end several years ago. Writing my books gives me the peace I need also, though right now, I don’t think I’m writing the one I need to be writing. I need to be working on the WIP titled LIghthouse At Midnight.

  • 4. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Sandy. Not only does writing help us through our tough times, but those tough times make our writing better as well.

    Even so–sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get back to the writing. We hope Unleash Your Story does that for people to help them keep writing.

  • 5. Diana Cosby  |  September 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Jessica,
    Thank you for sharing the thoughts of your heart. I, too, believe writing is therapeutic. That you have the venue to purge your doubts, fears as well as times of joy is truly a blessing. Take care, stay safe and know that I keep you as your family in my prayers. My sincere thanks for your service to our country.

    God bless,
    Diana Cosby
    *RomVet

    • 6. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Diana. And thanks too for your donation of His Captive to our $100 book give-away!

  • 7. Jessica Scott  |  September 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks Diana, Sandy and Teresa! It’s an honor to be part of this project and have the support of our fellow RomVet Sisters. It’s really great to have so many fellow military women who also write. Both are shared bonds and both my Romvet Sisters and my writing has helped me through this tough year.

  • 8. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Jess! I’m glad you were able to stop by. I know your time zone is not exactly in sync with us.

    I was wondering exactly how much writing you’ve been able to do while hanging out in the Sandbox. Following your blog, it looked to me like you wrote maybe 2 full novels? Is that right?

    Plus, I think one of those books won a contest. Or was that a previously written book.

  • 9. Jessica Scott  |  September 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Teresa,
    I’ve actually written 6 books from scratch out here plus finished two others. Two complete rewrites are included in my total of 6, though. I’m a pretty fast writer so I get to take what I’ve learned and apply it quickly. My book After the War, which has since been rewritten, won the Heart of the West contest and finaled in a couple of other contests. I had to throw the whole thing out and start over, though and I’m glad I did. The new version is a much more coherent storyline and I hope the characters are a bit more consistent!

  • 10. Kristina Cook  |  September 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Jessica, thanks so much for sharing your story with us–it brought tears to my eyes.

    Writing IS amazingly therapeutic–amazing what it can get you through.

    Stay safe over there!

  • 11. Jessica Scott  |  September 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Kristina. Writing is definitly something I’ll continue, even after I’m home. We’re under 90 days til I can see my babies. I’m very excited! I’m so glad my story touched you. There are other moms who have a much harder time than I do. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  • 12. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 3, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Wow! That’s an amazingly productive 9 mos. I can’t even imagine writing that much. You must be close to our Pacesetter, Lori Wilde’s production rate.

    I think I’d have terminal carpal tunnel if I tried that.

  • 13. Kathy Crouch  |  September 4, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Well I have to admit that I’m a slacker this week. I took my husband for a simple doctor’s appointment and he wound up in the hospital. He’s better now and we are finally home again. We have a lot of stuff looking at us down the road but we have always been a one day at a time type people. Being military trains you that way, at least I think so. Jessica I admire you and your husband for your choices and courage to do what is right for the two of you. My nephew goes back for his third deployment near the en dof the year. His wife go tin today from Germany with their daughter. Just talked to her for a few minutes, she sounded whipped. Of course 12 or so hours on a plane with a nine almost ten month old baby had to be rough. But she made it and that is the good part.

  • 14. Joyce Adams Counts  |  September 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Jess,
    Thanks for your blog. Your attitude is fantastic. You even encouraged those of us here, and I have to say I admire you tremendously. I can’t wait to read one of your books–it has to be great, I just know it. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Stay safe over there. And thank you for the job you are doing for our country.
    hugs,
    Joyce Adams Counts
    a Romvet sister

  • 15. Merline  |  September 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Wow, great blog, Jess. Sure puts all the petty problems and annoyances of us folks back home in perspective. Hang in there, girl, and come home safe!


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