A Fearful Revelation. I Am Writer, Hear me Roar

I would venture to say that, at some point, all writers ask the questions “Is writing really what I want to do? Do I have what it takes? Am I cut out for the turmoils of the writing/publishing industry?” Everyone answers those questions in his/her own way.

I have an interesting perspective today. I never realized I needed this revelation of urgency, but I accept it as a gift. Hold on to your seats for an intimate peek into my world.

Many moons ago I heard or read a celebrity comment on keeping family and work time in perspective. The quote went something like “When you are on your death bed, you will not be saying ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.'” She was absolutely right. When I left my corporate career, I knew I had made the right decision.

Here comes the revelation part: Two weeks ago, a routine medical exam rattled my world. “Something” showed up on a mammogram. Naturally, my imagination tackled any sense of calm and beat all rationality to A Pulp. I had to wait a week for the re-evaluation. During that week, as I awfulized the situation and lost a few pounds, I was struck by the chain of thoughts that invaded my brain. The overwhelming fear of leaving my kids without a mother pierced my heart in ways I cannot express. Really, the thought of it kept me in tears for the full seven days as I tried to hide my emotions from my youngest son. Even my nearly nineteen-year-old needs me, though he doesn’t realize it.

The surprise was how often my self-talk turned to the books I haven’t finished, and those I haven’t started, and the few that are on the threshold to publication. Truly! I was so shocked by what seemed a selfish potential regret. My mental processes detoured to finding a way to write my life’s story for my children before putting my current works-in-progress in the express lane – all in the hopes of beating the ultimate deadline of my life. I wondered if I could love my family by day and write all night without sleep. Was I on my deathbed regretting more time in the office? Guilt wrestled with logic.

It was then I realized that my writing is not merely work to me. It is a part of my DNA, my soul, if you will. It is every snapshot of my life ever taken wrapped into a bazillion words that will live on when I am gone. My writing gives clues to my hopes, my fears, my dreams, my interests, my loves. It is and will be my legacy for my children and their children. How could I leave my legacy unfinished? Unrevised?

Re-evaluation day arrived. My heart was determined to jump through my chest. I reread relaxation passages and mentally prepared myself for the inevitable (cuz I’m an awfulizer.) I sat alone in the radiology office with the lovely hospital gown opened to the front, hugging myself as I shivered with fear. I watched the clock tick as if my life was measured by seconds. Then the radiology goddess arrived… “All is well. Just a shadow. See you next year.” My blood pressure instantly dropped, my heart rate slowed. I sobbed the way to my waiting husband who responded with a typical, “See, I knew everything would be alright.” Uh huh, easy for him to say.

I had wasted a week of my life with worry and fear. All because of a technology glitch. I need to work on this ‘awfulizer’ condition. I’ll get back to my exercise routine and improve my eating habits as added health insurance.

The one positive that came from this frightening experience, was the revelation that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do. And I am doing it for the right reason. Hopefully, publication will come. If not, my most precious audience (my family) will at least inherit my life in words.

Who knows when the final deadline will come. All I know is that time’s a wasting.


Quotes for the Day: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.” —Edward Thorndike