Twelfth in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
Last Wednesday another string of tornadoes blew through Oklahoma, and more specifically, Moore, OK just south of Oklahoma City, apparently the worldwide epicenter for tornadic activity. If this was Ghostbusters, Moore is the apartment building where all ghost activity is converging, or Spook Central.
Tornadoes set down all across the state, but four hit Moore, and the death toll is reported to be up to four now as well. So bear in mind that I’m still alive and everything I’m going to say that follows is with that in mind. I could have suffered greatly and I didn’t, and for that I’m very thankful. I’m not trying to belittle or demean or lessen other people’s suffering when I talk about the inconvenience I experienced. What I am talking about is my personal experience with the tornado and how it affected me. I recognize it isn’t much, but that doesn’t mean my experience is just tossed aside.
Now then. Let’s talk about tornadoes and why nature tried to stop me from writing.
So there was some damage, some business and homes that were destroyed or otherwise left in shambles. The power was knocked out for 35,000+ residents of the Oklahoma City metro area, and my apartment happened to be one of the places this happened. One of the tornadoes touched down about a quarter mile north of my apartment complex and I imagine this is the one that knocked the power out.
We hadn’t been expecting tornadoes. The day before it was heavy rain, high winds, and some hail. Every few hours they updated it, and every few hours the prediction got worse. The winds were faster, the hail larger. It wasn’t until tornadoes touched down that anybody really talked about the possibility of tornadoes happening.
The moment the siren went off, the power went out. I had just been getting ready to start writing and then BYOOOOOooooo. Lights out, computers off. Now, of course, my first thought was FUCK FUCK FUCK I’M GONNA DIE and I listened intently to warnings about locations until the danger had passed. It was maybe fifteen tense minutes of worry and wonder while car alarms went off from wind rocking them in place, people dashed around the parking lot to get home or to try and outrun the storm (don’t do this), the sky turned green, the wind died, sheets of horizontal rain pelted everything in sight.
Then it was over. The tornadoes spared my apartment complex the bad stuff. But now it was four hours to bedtime and the power was out and it was too dark to do anything.
And I still had words to write.
I could have called it an act of God and skipped writing that day. Hell, I probably should have. But instead, I grabbed my tablet, which I thankfully had charged the weekend before, popped open the crappy word processor on it, sat at the kitchen table in the dark and wrote my words.
My roommate called me crazy. Is that crazy? Is going out of my way to get it done when there’s a perfectly good excuse not to do it crazy? I wasn’t in danger. I had no internet (spotty on my phone at best cause some towers got knocked out), I had no power. I had no good light to read by.
What I had was a routine, a device to help me get it done, and the drive to snub nature for trying to make me fail.
Ok. Let’s flip this bitch and talk about it a little different.
IF, and I say this so that the weather gods out there won’t take this as a challenge against their authority, if the day had gone different, if there had been damage or danger to myself or anyone I knew, if my home was destroyed but I lived.
If any of that had happened instead, I wouldn’t have written. I’d have said “fuck the routine” and gone and taken care of business.
Don’t let your selfishness and your desire not to fail get in the way of doing what’s right, what’s necessary, in the face of tragedy, pain, and loss. I was lucky. The tornado spared me and I was able to do something to get the words in even though it wasn’t my usual thing.
But if you’re fortunate, give those weather gods the finger and write the hell on, writers.