Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"A Writer's Life"

That's the name of the column that I semi-regularly submit to the the Pocono/Lehigh Romance Writers' newsletter.

I'm really not an expert on a lot of things - maybe an expert on some aspects of long term care and geriatrics, maybe an expert on Alzheimer's. I'm not even a writing expert. But I'm an expert on being a writer and trying to live a life around that.

That's right - trying to live a life around being a writer.
Being a writer can sometimes be all-consuming. I think of my stories, my characters, the plots - of the books I'm presently writing and the ones that are still fermenting in the little gray cells - I think about it all constantly.

I'm a multi-tasker - I'm a woman - I have to be. I can be reviewing and auditing a clinical record at one of our facilities with one part of my brain while the other part is laying the groundwork for a new chapter. I'm not even aware of it. It must be happening because, after work, in the quiet of my office at home, sitting in front of a monitor, it just spews out of me.

For example: I'm working in several of our buildings this week -as a regional nurse, covering for one of my regional nurses who's on maternity leave. I am fully engrossed each day in what I'm doing in the building. That is, until I'm on the way home - and then ideas come onto the monitor screen of my imagination - like those infernal pop-up ads. Suddenly, I have an idea of how to condense a short story that was aimed for a now-defunct magaizne into something I can submit to "Woman's World."

And I'm not done yet. Chapters for a nonfiction book are coming to me at the same time. I've even started making notes on it - doing research to see if there are other books out there on the market. Goddess bless - here aren't. I'm even reeling wih promotional ideas for this specific book. That reminds me: I must email my daughter about another link I want on my website - being created in the next few weeks.

I want to - need to - stay home today to get everything on paper - well, really, in the computer.
But, alas - I can't. There's a job to be done -clinical reviews that need to be completed before the end of the month. I need to get that paycheck so I can buy cat food and litter.

But through all the days in the office or in the nursing homes, one part of my brain is focused on long term care and one part of my brain is writing away, sending me ideas, pictures, dialogues, entire scenes - heck! - entire books.

Writers hear voices and see people who aren't there. The only difference between a writer and a schizophrenic is that the writer knows they're not real.

At least not until I get them down on paper.


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