Monday, 10 February 2014

Will there be good news?

I have recently discovered a number of similarities between going through a period of illness and the process of writing.
Both are stressful. 
Both involve periods of feeling awful about myself interspersed with bursts of optimism that things are going to get better.

Waiting around for tests (blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasound scans, nuclear scans – I’ve had them all) is like waiting around for inspiration to strike. Sometimes the wait is long and can be very uncomfortable.

Then after the tests, having to wait for the results. Some come quickly, some take a while and all the time I’m hoping for good news this time. Just like submitting writing (after inspiration eventually arrives) and waiting for the outcome - a competition win or a sale. Either way - hoping for good news but knowing I have to gear up for probable disappointment.

That last story I submitted – could this one be a winner at last? I feel optimistic about it, it’s one of my best yet. Then I wonder whether it's any good at all. Will this last test show the latest medication is working? Surely it’s doing the trick – I’ve felt a bit better in the past couple of days – but then I feel worse.

Illness and writing can both be incredibly lonely. Fortunately both have supports groups - where people in the same situation get together online or in person and empathise with the disappointments and celebrate the successes. Such groups are life savers offering support when it is most needed. Fellow thyroid cancer patients share knowledge, ideas and good old sympathy and my writing friends are a source of information, inspiration and support too. Thank you to both groups.

A letter lands on the mat. An email pings into the in-box…will it be good news? 

After lots of disappointments I've now had one small piece of good news with writing: my piece Beneath the Arches was awarded third place in Words With Jam shorter story category. You can read it here thanks to judge Polly Courtney: Beneath the Arches 

Onwards and upwards...


Wendy's Writing said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your last story submission.

Joanna said...

This was such a moving and insightful post, Lindsay. Thank you.

I have just read Beneath The Arches and though it was beautiful and inspired story. Well done for its well deserved success.

I hope you have more good news - both writing and health-wise -very soon and, like Wendy, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed too. x for you. x

Patsy said...

Congratulations on your good news - hope there's lots more to come.

Anonymous said...

I've never compared the two, but you're right. And most writers are mentally ill anyway. I enjoyed your piece -- congratulations on placing well.