I’ve just read a great blog by one of my favourite bloggers, Kristen Lamb. I always get so much from her blogs, because not only does she give great advice to writers, much of what she says has great pertinance for life in general.
The latest one is a case in point. Check it out here:
What she says is so true. In my life I’ve often had to persevere through times of great personal difficulties. Two of those biggest ones are also what I consider my babies – firstly, my actual babies ie: my boys. I was told that it would be very difficult for me to have children and I persevered through many years of infertility treatment and IVF to have them. The pregnancies themselves were dreadful too with me almost dying from complications due to pre-eclampsia in the first one and having those same complications become an issue in the second pregnancy too. But I wanted children – at least 2 – and I just put my head down and said ‘this is what I want and I’m going to get it’. Now, I know that’s not necessarily the reason it happened for me – ultimately, I was very lucky and I know I am blessed. Blessed to have my kids, blessed to be alive, blessed that they’re alive (they were both prem because of my pregnancy complications and my eldest in particular was very small and needed a lot of help breathing and just surviving – which they both did and are robust, boisterous boys of 11 and 8.) And even though I was very sick for a long time afterwards, I have overcome that too, in great part because of the joy I get out of them and out of being creative.
We all need a joy that is personal and outside family and friends – and writing is mine. It used to be performing, but having the kids made me change it to another creative endeavour. The only issue is, writing is very insular, unlike performing and at times it can be so difficult to lift your head and keep going. But the stories in my head didn’t stop just because my will wavered on occassion. Just like my desire to have children (and those children themselves who were persistant and strong willed and determined to survive) my other babies – my stories – kept on keeping on.
Despite what some of my friends and family think, I have travelled in the land of DarkestDoubt, but my dreams and those stories wouldn’t let me sit down and sob into the Lake of Eternal Regrets. So I reminded myself of the light side of the Force and the Wibbly Wobbly timey wimey stuff, two things that I had control over in my own personal space. I thought of all the things that brought me joy (my kids, my hubby, my family, my friends, performing, singing, skiing, horseriding, the shows I loved, the books that made me go ‘ahh’ at the end etc etc) drew inspiration and courage from them, had a chuckle at my silliness and continued on.
And now I have a lovely published book to show for all my hard slog, thick skin growing (some of those criticism lashes really hurt! And I know 39 lashes is said to kill you in biblical stories, but I really felt like death at around about 25!) and gritty determination – it’s a wonder I have teeth left the way I grittily clenched them against all naysayers and doomsday prophets. I reached my personal holy grail – a published book – and am greedily reaching for a second and a third and so on and son on. Once you’ve drunk from the fountain of ‘I’ve done it’ you need to replenish yourself in the bottle of ‘It doesn’t end here.’
If you’re confused, don’t be. Read Author Kristen Lamb’s blog and you’ll understand all of the above drivel and hopefully get something out of it too, whether in regards to your own writing or for something else that’s important to you – like going in that triathalon, or wanting to learn to sing, or learning to skydive. Anything you dream of doing but people might say is stupid – as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else (or yourself), then persevere. It’s all the sweeter when you’re standing there at the end with the trophy in your hand (or baby, in my case) and can think to yourself, beaming crazily at the world – see, I knew I could do it. Now what’s next?