Maybe it’s just me, but given the number of books, websites and blogs dedicated to addressing writer’s block or offering help to finish that novel, it would seem I’m not alone in my struggle. I would, on average, spend more time coming up with excuses why not to write than I would on actually writing.
The simple solution would be to find a way to earn money through procrastination.
Not that I’m looking at my writing as an opportunity to earn money, it’s very much just a hobby, a fun distraction from normal daily life. I think if you go into something with the sole intention of making money, it probably puts too much pressure on it. It would feel like just another job. Regardless, a big part of being a paid writer is letting other people read what you have written. As I haven’t yet transitioned to the point of letting anyone read my work, it’s kind of a moot point.
Yes, the irony of publishing my writing on this blog, for the world to see is not lost on me but I feel safe in the knowledge that no one is reading this.
Since the 2014 Easter/ANZAC Day public holiday period (in Australia we are fortunate that in some years we get two short weeks in a row due to the alignment of certain public holidays, yay!), finding the time to write has become difficult. Yes I have the normal excuses running in my head, but I also had a new situation to deal with. During that period I just mentioned, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have never experienced anything like this before, where everything just stops.
It’s like one minute life has the usual sucky crap going on, your job, your bills, mowing the lawn, taking your dogs to the vet, going to stuff at the kid’s school. Then bam! Everything melts away, like plastic in a fire. Normality ceases to exist.
Suddenly you’re visiting the hospital almost every other day to see a doctor or a specialist. You know you’ve been at the hospital a lot when you discover that the cafe staff know your coffee order and you’re on a first name basis.
One day you’re holding your wife’s hand walking along the street, then you’re holding her hand as they wheel her into surgery, trying not to cry, trying to be strong for her. But she looks terrified and all you want to do is grab that hospital bed and get her out of there.
Then there’s chemo and radiation both of which are terrible to watch someone you love go through, but you know they have to go through it. Wanna get someone to stop smoking, have them spend a few days with someone who just had chemo pushed through their veins. It’s a scene man, I tell ya.
The worst part is that, unless you’ve had cancer, chemo, etc, you really have no clue what they’re going through. You just can’t understand, no matter how caring, how loving, none of it matters because they look like death and they tell you they feel like they’re dying. You can’t hug it away, you can’t make a cup of tea and say there there, it’ll be okay. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t be. So all you can do is stop everything and be there.
The good news is that my wife finished her last radiation treatment on Friday January 2, 2015. At this point the doctors have said they can’t detect any cancer. This of course could change at any time but we’re both, very much living in the moment. Being present, letting go of the past and not thinking about tomorrow.
The intention of this post was not to bring everyone down. I didn’t even really plan to write as much as I did about my wife’s battle, it just flowed out of me I guess. I think I wanted to use the experience to emphasise how quickly life can change and how important it is to use your time wisely. Or to quote the title of a book by Wayne Bennett, Don’t Die With The Music In You.
So I’m putting aside my fears, living in the now and doing whatever makes me happy. You should too, unless what makes you happy is hurting people or animals. Please don’t do that.
Thanks for reading, peace and love to you all.