Medic alert charm bracelet:
Lessons on Writing from the Heart
I have to admit it is difficult for me to write this. Writing may be a strength, a gift entrusted to me. Still, I struggle with how to put it to its best use.
Recently, I had a conversation with a writer and advisor of writers who reinforced some facts of an authors' life. One, writing books is not about making money. No surprise, naturally. Two, many authors write books to launch a related career in teaching others to write, or alternately to achieve enough recognition to become known on the lecture circuit. Following in the footsteps of Mark Twain and Robert Frost, I guess.
Not that I scorn any sucessful literary figures, but I doubt whether I'll become one of the few.
I examined how and why the Spirit is leading me to write. It comes down to this: though I have only a little light, still I have been placed here to let that light shine. Why do I write? To share the light, and perhaps, if the Spirit shows me how to lift the candle high enough, to cast a little of that light behind me.
The Spirit has shown me that transparency about our struggles is good, while in writing as in life, placing all the blame for our struggles on others is counterproductive. Vulnerability is good, but attention-getting for the purpose of self-aggrandizement puts my ego directly in the way of the little light I have to share. If you begin to get a sense my little light sometimes flickers, you are reading me right: I'm so far from perfect. And so it becomes safe to compensate by saying less rather than more.
I strive to write from what I find in my own heart, in response to my own experiences. It is not always easy to know how much to filter, and how much is too much. Blogs tending toward daily updates on grooming routines and household products, in my opinion, err on the side of too much information. Unless I'm filling out a marketing survey, I doubt if anyone really cares what I think of these things. But just in the event you do, I
won't be secretive: shea butter, baking soda and borax.
I'm sharing some personal information here to let readers know why my writing is going on hold for a
while, and from here may progress more slowly than I had hoped a few months ago.
My health isn't great, and that's an understatement. I'd need a medic alert charm bracelet to list all my
conditions, so I won't bore you with my entire history. Those who know me well know it's nothing new. I've known about the risk of sudden death due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy--an hereditary condition--for more than a decade.
Doctors have given me less than a year to live more times than I care to say.
There is a great advantage to knowing that any day--today--might be the last. I know my friend Richard claimed his awareness of mortality as a voluntary spiritual discipline. I believe he gained a greater appreciation of life through his awareness of death, and that when he died unexpectedly, he was prepared to go.
In my own case, advances in medical technology have finally caught up with me. I'm going into the hospital next week for a defibrillator implant--not because my heart is that much worse, but because heart treatments are that much better. The purpose of the defibrillator is to send an eletrical shock to the heart to re-establish a regular rhythm whenever a fatal rhythm develops. A Frankenheart won't make me immortal, but I have been told it will cut back on the potential causes of death. Still, I maintain the hope and intention of completing more writing before the end of my life, yet as we have been instructed to say, "if the Lord wills and we live. . ."