So I have thought for years about writing a book.
There. I said it.
Actually, I really did say it out loud in a Bible study at my church several weeks ago. The leader asked us about what we’d do that we had thought about for a long time but just never done for lack of time or courage or whatever.
That was mine. So, after praying on it a bit, a very little bit, I just sat down and started writing. I had over 2000 words by the time I quit that day. After sort of hitting a wall, I quit for about a week and then started again and now there are almost 10,000 words and a lot of wondering, doubting and frustration.
The lady in that Bible study asked me details…she asked if I wanted to write a novel and if i had a title in mind. I answered no the first question and yes to the last.
I’ve thought that a book about my life, the various medical situations and dealing with a chronic disease and depression might be interesting to some people and that it might help in some way.
Maybe you’ve figured out by now that I’m not really an ambitious person. I tried to be…back in “The Mary Kay Days”…I thought I could be a competitive sales woman. Yeah, I know…it was makeup and there have been MK ladies forever, yada yada.
I’m glad I tried that, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I feel like God probably used that time in my life to stretch me and show me some things about myself. I was so determined to be successful and it was hard and people would lie to you (not necessarily MK people, although some did, but potential customers and such) and I didn’t like the stress that made me feel. But that’s not actually why I quit, although it probably should have been. I had to get an unbelievably painful rash that made it impossible to wear clothes part of the time it hurt so bad. Then during all that, I developed a worse sensitivity to strong odors and chemical scents. Being all up in someone’s business while they are wearing perfume was no longer an option for me. I’ve spent the past year and a half dealing with all these new allergies and sensitivities, getting rid of chemicals in the house and all that. I really feel like that was God’s way of saying, “STOP” with MK. And ultimately, I had no choice.
One thing it did for me was make me have to set goals, which is something I had never done before. Honestly, other than small ‘to-do’ list type stuff, I’ve never set any grand goals in my life. I’d never really been encouraged to and I didn’t know how.
So like I said, this book thing has been in the back of my mind for probably fifteen years. It was like a joke I had with myself. I’d never told ANYONE about the idea because it seemed so ludicrous. So when I had to say it out loud, it kind of made it become a real possibility. I mean, I was sitting in a room with a doctor, a pharmacist, a teacher and writer, and several other women who had careers and families they were juggling. I felt so completely like the one thing that’s “not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong” (sorry, I had a Sesame Street flashback there) For me, doing this…
is terrifying. I become paralyzed and my mind goes blank.
But then I think wouldn’t it be encouraging for other people to know that life doesn’t have to end or be miserable when you have diabetes? Wouldn’t it help folks to know you can overcome the depression, even if it sometimes gets the best of you, you can still win? But there are many other things that have happened in my life and all those tend to work their way up through my story.
There’s the hurt and struggle of not being “the favored child” at home. The obvious preference given to my sister over me since we were children. There are the years, three or four of them, when my father’s preacher friend moved his family to our town and his son molested me repeatedly. And I never told anyone. Those are relatively minor things, I guess. I mean, in the big picture they are just a petty brushstroke, but they have made me what I am. They have shaped how I think and feel and how I see myself and others. I just imagine that finding out some of those things after years and years might be hard to take or hurtful.
Then there’s the act of actually putting into words the feelings, the hurt and wounds I carry. The reality of how my family will feel if they ever read my book. Thoughts like, “Do I leave out things that really matter because I might hurt someone’s feelings by telling how they hurt mine?” and “Do these things really even matter now?” go through my mind and now I’m once again stuck.
Fear speaks loudly in my mind… like I’m just wasting my time, why would anyone care about what I have to say? Even if I finished the book and by some miracle it was published, what kind of mess would it create with my family if they read it? Is telling MY story worth possibly hurting someone I care about?
Well, no, of course not. But then I think, Should I omit things because someone else might potentially have hurt feelings? Even when it’s true? Even when I’ve actually toned the whole thing down a lot already? When I’ve left out details that would make it sound a lot worse to others?
Argh! I drive myself crazy with these things!
I’m not sure what I will end up doing. I will keep working on the draft when the mood hits me, I guess, and see how the Lord leads me. He will have to direct me because I am completely stumped. I feel like the book could be so much more than just “how I live with diabetes and depression”…I want it to show the hope that I have in Jesus and to relate how it is ONLY by my faith in Him that I’ve made it this far. I want the book to reflect the life He offers, the peace He gives…but I feel like getting to that “chapter” is oh-so messy.
I just don’t want this to be true of me….