Terry Pratchett Quote

 

“It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases – one was Alzheimer’s, and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer’s.” ~ Terry PratchettTerry Pratchett

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A Year Long Struggle and a Decision Made

Two PathsFor the past 3+ years I have been writing Children’s books and submitting them to agents, hoping to get published. I would still be doing that if a strange thing hadn’t happened to me a year ago. I had a severe sinus infection, so bad that I was rushed from the local hospital to another one 60 miles away where they operated on me to drain the infection. Afterwards one of the doctors said, “You should be down on your knees thanking whatever higher power you believe in because you should have been dead before you ever got to us.” My treatments didn’t end when I left the hospital six days later. They continued for six more weeks with a nurse visiting me at my home every day. In a sense I am still being treated, still taking special medications because I am now highly susceptible to reinfection.

While I may be very fortunate to be alive, something within me died. Whatever creativity I had disappeared. I tried, but could not come up with an idea for any children’s story. I had a list of 92 story ideas. This is what happened whenever I picked out one of them to work on. Nothing! Sure, I wrote. I added sentences, but nothing new happened.

I turned to other things: poetry and blog posts. Every now and then I pulled out that list, but there is no interest there, no desire. Maybe the real problem is that I have realized how terribly hard it is to get a children’s book published. The field is so crowded, the competition at such a high level, that I just don’t want to do it anymore, even though I think I do, because I would love to see my granddaughter reading a book I wrote. Nevertheless, I think my subconscious is telling me the truth is if I had any real talent something would have happened by now. At the least an agent would have written some encouraging when rejecting a story.

There are thousands and thousands of people who are trying to crack the market. Many of those who eventually got published spent five or ten years at it. Let’s be frank here: I am 70 years old. Enough said!

My creativity has returned though. Every week I write a new poem or two (I’m sure I could write more if I made that a goal), and I write a number of blog posts, but last week I wrote the first draft of a short story. It’s the first story I’ve written in more than a year. There is also that book I was writing, Good - Better signsthat I set aside three years ago…

So, I will still be writing about writing here, maybe doing an occasional book review, maybe posting a flash fiction type short, but what I’ve been trying to say here is: My emphasis has changed. Your thoughts?