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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Phone Call That Nearly Ended My Writing Career -Throwback Thursday


On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, trailers, or randomness about life.

The year was 2005, and I was a fresh-faced newbie to the world of fiction. I'd been writing short stories for oh, two or three years, and I'd dared myself to do the unthinkable: pen a full-length romance. With little clue how to go about it and a very full life (several kids were still at home, plus I was back to college full time while also juggling a full time job), I was nevertheless determined to chug along like the proverbial little train who could.

Then I got the phone call.

Below is the first blog post I wrote after the incident, once I was able to function well enough to get back to blogging. The date was August 2005.


On Head Banging and Writing

I’m ashamed to have it noted for all posterity that my previous (blog) entry was circa February. All I can say is this: one moment I was giddily blogging about the ceaseless joys of writing, the next I was in an emergency room trying to remember whether I had any allergies (and incorrectly reporting the baby’s as my own). Leave it to me to suffer a concussion at my own hand, not by anything glamorous like having saved an old lady from an oncoming train, but by answering a telephone at work in too big a hurry. CLANG.

Not just any concussion, either, but one that brought with it all the wonders of Post Concussive Syndrome: a fabulous ride through the murky depths of trying to relearn how to braid my hair, remember whether I’d brushed my teeth thirty seconds earlier (wet toothbrush suggested I had), and the ever popular "Will I Ever Be Able To Write Again?" Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no better Blog Crusher than the inability to think, let alone write, in complete sentences. (While I will allow for the fact that some material out there suggests this does not stop everyone, that’s a topic for another time.)

I found it interesting to note that, once the CAT scan came back negative, my biggest fear was whether my writing had suffered a fatal blow. Sure, it bothered me that I could not view a computer screen nor read a book for the first few weeks, and had to wear glasses to manage it for weeks after that. Of course, the jumbled spaghetti-toss that had become my thought process did not bode well for someone in the midst of a college semester. And no, I didn't like being forced to sit in the dark to combat a light sensitivity that even moles would respect. Still, what was really keeping me swirling in a swamp soup over the whole affair was wondering how far down the mountainside of writing progress I’d slid–and whether the equipment I’d been honing for years was too damaged to regain the loss in altitude.

While the answer to this may be obvious by virtue of my humble return to this blog (or, perhaps not), it has brought about some reflection on my part as to why this part of my life was so important. Why must I be able to write? It’s not my bread and butter, nor even the financial equivalent of an olive on my table as of yet. And, while some may consider it self-defeating to downplay one’s hopes, I am practical enough to wager that within my writer’s soul I do NOT hold some genre-defining Tolkienesque masterpiece, nor a H.G. Wells glimpse into a future which will inspire scientific discovery, nor a work of Lovecraftian horror so chilling and astute that it would become a high marker on the totem of frightful comparison. In light of this, it is doubtful that my removal from the writing community would hold any major repercussions for society. Yet, when I am caught up in thoughts of my current work, a future idea, or, as noted above, the thought of NOT writing anymore, it carries a tantamount importance which consumes and, at times, startles me.

I suspect the answer has as many facets as a diamond, and I shall turn that crystal over in my hands for further examination as time permits. For now, I have settled on this one facet of who I am as a writer: someone who must tell a good story, and who relishes the challenge of defining the world around her in new and (hopefully) thought-provoking ways. Or, perhaps I’m just trying to get out of household chores. There’s always room for another facet.

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image courtesy of clip art panda

...So here I am, almost a dozen years later. The stories have continued, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly...and on rare occasion, not at all. But knock this writer down and my muse WILL get up, stronger and more determined than ever. It's a reassuring thought.

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I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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