Today is Dcember's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
Why makes me an insecure writer this month?
Not knowing how much more time I still have left for writing. One consequence of being a slow writer is that ideas for stories come to me faster than I can write them down, which means I always have a backlog of stories bubbling around in my head . I’ve always been a slow writer, but I figured if I could keep writing until my 80’s, that would be good enough. Unfortunately, back in September, I was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer and suddenly, I’m going to have to beat some awfully long odds in order to finish this indie author dream I’ve been nurturing for the last 10-15 years. I’ve already begun chemo and radiation treatments, but it may be a while before we know if they’re going to work, or for how long they’ll keep working even if they do.
As far as my writing is concerned, turns out the tumor is located on the right side of my brain, in the section that communicates with the sensory and motor neurons on the left side of my body. My left hand can no longer touch type, so I’m forced to use my right hand to do all the typing, mostly by hunt and pecking, and since the anti-seizure medication tends to fog my brain, every time I look up at the computer screen, Word is filled with squiqqly red error lines. As you might expect, these kinds of obstacles will slow down an already slow writer like me, but it is what it is, and I’m determined to publish as many stories as possible in the time I have left. The one thing I do have going in my favor is that my focus on writing has intensified over the last month. No more do I allow myself to walk away from the keyboard when I get stuck on a scene. I can no longer afford to simply sit back and wait for my muse to show up.
But since we’re rapidly approaching the Christmas season, I’d rather spend the rest of this post giving thanks for what I do have. And despite the cancer, I have plenty to be thankful for:
1). A supportive family that have been helping me through all this.(Heck, my son even volunteered to put up the roof Christmas lights for me this year, although being on the roof kind of freaks him out.)
2). A supportive writing community that allowed me to grow as a writer over the years,(thanks guys!)
3).Two great critique groups that put up with my writing for several years until I improved to the point where I was comfortable with my voice.
4). My chemotherapy is easy, a daily pill I take at home that doesn’t make me sick.
5). I’m also extremely thankful for being right-handed, which means I can still do a lot of things on my own, including typing on my laptop.
Have a Great Christmas everyone!
P.S. I didn’t realize how hard hunt and peck typing is on your finger joints. Do any of you out there use dictation software?