This January proved to be a month of reflection and spiritual seeking for me. Last week with the stomach virus plague, I slept for hours with no dreams or pesky thoughts. I lived up my picture of the year-"Rest." As I wrote before, rest is not absence of work, though. I see giving up the striving, but continue the craft of writing.
In 2001, I determined to write every day in the first step on the journey of professional writing. My journals, now all tucked away in a tote in my closet, show seldom did I miss a day writing.a witness to my discipline of what I wanted to do when I grew up, not a fanciful thought of youth any more.
The journey took on more shape as I grew comfortable with a keyboard. I still bless my year at Sharon Regional Home Health with their insane insistence of writing out the whole "485," the initial order for a new home health patient. I typed so much, missing the check and click of the program I used for another company. I learned to think and type and now I find I do most of my writing that way. In high school, when I was failing typing, I didn't know how the writers of old did that. I still don't as I look at things I typed back in high school with the old typewriter I had.
This blog commenced four years ago. I look back and cringe some. As I was building my platform, I thought I would dazzle someone with my writing. Oh, boy. I have read we all secretly go through that at some point in the beginning.
After Christmas this year, as I reviewed my numbers for sales. I sadly realize there was no Christmas bump or The Way It Was (the local paper I wrote a piece for) bump. In fact, not even a limp crawled out of the numbers. A funk waited, as they do, as I questioned why am I writing?
I answered, "You wanted to hit the lottery with your books, admit it. You wanted to escape the work world." Another journey I never plotted the way it turned out is my nursing career. I never thought I'd leave home health, but I did two years ago. My decision to work afternoon turn at a local long term care facility encouraged the writing. And it does. Loving my residents and co-workers surprised me. Many days of despair, I reminded myself of my dream. A return to loving nursing became a surprised plot twist. Lately, the feeling I lost my dream became a blow to who I am.
I questioned the time I spend in this dream. I crave more time to write. I stare at all around me, the housework, the yard work, the continuing educational credits, the parenting I placed on the way back burner. As I dealt with sickness and only having energy to get to the better paying job, the thought stubbornly knocked on my brain. "What are you doing? Why do you think you can write? You are a fraud."
I'm reading Summer Triangle on Kindle and am horrified at the formatting. It is all wrong and my writing looks horrible. I am satisfied with the paperback, but not on the laptop. I apologize to all who have read it in e-form. That is not how I edited it. That again was a blow to my perception of my dream.
The doubts creep into my ego. Formatting, research, marketing, time management, and finances glare at my imperfection. Some days, even my consciousness of my writing ability turns tail and hides under the table. I asked for humility and the journey gave it. I think C. S. Lewis said, though, it is not thinking less of yourself, it's not thinking of yourself at all. A hard feat to accomplish in this writing world with marketing and platform.
I have prayed a lot over the last few weeks as I wonder about my writing career. I do make money, not enough to take a friend out to lunch, but there is money. It happens slowly I believe for a reason. I do rejoice at others success. In my striving, I spy for keys to that marketing value. I fight back envy. And I fight being branded or wanting to do the popular venue. I am true to myself.
Back to my word for the year, "Rest." I am handing all of it over to God. Yes, I believe in my dream. I feel I will be successful. I also know my steps are ordered by God. I feel my mission now is to continue the writing, as I care for the residents in my care. I'm to be a vessel of Jesus' love wherever I am and whatever I do.