So I've been trying to figure out why I haven't been able to touch my manuscript when suddenly this dawned on me:
How can I write about something so sad, painful and horrifying when I am filled with low-awaited joy and contentment?
Several years ago, I read an essay written by an artist who specialized in capturing very dark moments in life through photography. She was bipolar and she believed that once she went on medication to control her illness, she was unable to continue with her work. She became frustrated and ultimately stopped taking the medication so she could feel her emotions once again and resume her photography.
While I'm not anywhere near the point of abandoning my beloved manuscript, I do believe that a lot of the pain I had experienced over the last four years helped me to write about something so horrifying as the Holocaust. I'm not a self-proclaimed "tortured artist" by any means; but studying the Holocaust all of these years has opened my eyes and heart to human suffering and any of the struggles I went through personally has helped me write from a suffering person's point-of-view with more feeling than I might have had without having had these experiences. Though the suffering is incomparable, I believe we all have pain thresholds and that the way in which we cope with bad experiences throughout life directly correlates to how much pain we feel as individuals.
For once in my life I feel so fulfilled and it's very hard to want to go back to something as haunting as a little boy eating maggots in a ghetto to survive.
I'm so close to finishing this draft. Maybe there is a part of me, too, that isn't ready to complete it. Maybe for now I'll just enjoy the sunshine. I just pray it doesn't take another string of bad experiences to get me to finish the book!