The Difficulties of Transitions – In Writing and in Life

changes-ahead-exit-signIt’s that time of year. Time when the kids go back to school, my husband goes back to teaching, and I, ostensibly, go back to writing.

Transitions have never been easy for me. I didn’t fully comprehend or acknowledge my difficulties with transitions until after my two children were born. Both times, I fell down a deep rabbit hole of incapacitating anxiety. Yes, I attribute a lot of that to biochemical changes in my body and brain. But in the middle of it, while I was scouring the internet for information to try to figure out what was going on with me, I stumbled across something called Adjustment Disorder. Yes, really. When I read the list of symptoms, I thought, THIS IS ME! (Of course, my family might tell you that’s what I exclaim every time I read about some sort of illness.)

Not dealing as well with huge transitions such as adding a baby to the family makes more sense to me than having issues with transitioning back to school, especially since this fall transition means more me time! Well, I’ve never claimed to make sense.

The first week everyone was away, I felt uncomfortable. Irritable. Ill-at-ease. Overwhelmed with all I could and should be doing. And I procrastinated on about everything I could, except for playing Facebook games. Whoops. This week is already better. I managed at the end of last week to submit my first book to a contest. I’m feeling motivated again. I’m setting goals. I’m starting to believe I can do this again.

It got me to thinking of the importance of transitions in writing, as well. Nobody wants to feel jarred, jumbled about, confused, or disinterested while reading, right? Authors endeavor to create cliffhanger endings and seductive intros to each chapter, and rightfully so, as we want to stay hooked throughout the book.

Transitions are key everywhere – in writing and in life. Not only do you need strong chapter beginnings and endings, you need strong middles. You need sentences that naturally lead from one to another, so that you draw your reader into your words and make them want to stay there. You need paragraphs that transition seamlessly from one to another, that are given in logical order. You need book sections that make sense, a finite and clear-cut beginning, middle, and end.

Luckily I think I’m better at transitions in writing than I am at these real-life ones. Maybe. I hope. I guess time, and readers, will tell.

What are your tips and tricks to managing transitions, in fiction and/or in life?

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