By Chad Morris
Trees bowed in the wind. The air whipped passed the fences and trailers, and rushed over rooftops. I have been in strong wind before. I have felt impressed with the rushing air’s power—being practically pushed down the street, feeling lighter with the wind behind me, or leaning against it, letting the wind’s force keep me from falling. I have flown kites as high as they can go. I even remember waking up in the night as a kid hearing the strong winds and thinking they would shatter my window, but it never did.
A few days ago, my experience changed. The winds howled louder, long gusts blasting against my house—over a hundred miles an hour I’m told. Fences swayed, shingles rippled, and the trees bowed lower . . until . . . CRACK. Hundreds of pounds leaned and then crashed to the ground. That is some powerful stuff.
Fences flapped over like cardboard.
Vinyl siding rippled in the wind like streamers, until they pulled free from my house and flew into the golf course behind my yard.
Shingles pulled lose, and my trampoline fulfilled its long-time dream of standing on the back nine.
(My kids thought that was the greatest tragedy. They don't care about things like fences, siding, and a roof.)
It was an anxiety-filled, nerve-racking experience. My insides all felt like they twisted around each other. The wind was so powerful, and there was very little I could do about it. I could actually feel the house tremble in the wind if I hung out on the second story. Maybe the wind was about to rip it from its foundation and hurl it into OZ—hopefully we’d at least land on a wicked witch, a couple of creepy flying monkeys, or bare minimum an especially annoying munchkin.
And after . . . I felt relieved and somehow better. I didn’t care about some of the things I used to worry about. I was glad to have power in my house, not to have anywhere near any of the nineteen semi trucks that blew over, and to have my family and friends all safe. (As I'm typing this, the winds are back. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.)
It’s the difficult experiences that help us grow. That goes for characters in a story, or us real-life people. We love the stories where the characters go through something horrendous, face apparently insurmountable odds and conquer. And we love it after we’ve survived something hard. In fact, sometimes we even voluntarily challenge ourselves with it (NaNoWriMo).
Just my random thoughts. When writing, don’t ever be afraid to put character into trouble. In fact, make sure it’s a LOT of trouble. It will heighten the relief and lessons learned at the end. And on a similar note, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. And if you’re in the middle of something hard, whether you chose it or not, hang in there. There is a great resolution coming.
Don't forget to enter the Book Lovers Giveaway Hop HERE (Amazon and The Book Depository!)