Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tomorrow I Just Might Achieve My Dream

The Writer 2Image by Michael Hirst via Flickr

Novelist Sinclair Lewis was supposed to deliver an hour-long lecture to a group of college students who planned to be writers. Lewis opened his talk with a question:

"How many of you really intend to be writers?"

All hands went up.

"In that case," said Lewis, "my advice to you is to go home and write."

With that, he left.

Bits & Pieces - March 1997 Economics Press

I want to be a writer. Being a writer is an aspiration of mine, dreamed about before my life with fibromyalgia.

In my life with chronic illness, I've been faced with the postponement or loss of many of my dreams. Then I read Miryam Ehrlich Williamson's book The Fibromyalgia Relief Book: 213 Ideas for Improving Your Quality of Life
and learned that Ms. Williamson is a freelance writer who lives with fibromyalgia. In her book she details how she is able to work as a writer. Among her strategies:
  • She only accepts a limited number of assignments.
  • She only accepts assignments with deadlines that allows her plenty of time to get the job done and deal with the unexpected that comes with living with fibromyalgia.
  • She has a back-up writer lined up in case she flares-up and becomes unable to complete the assignment.
Even though I am a 30 out of 100 on the CFS/Fibromyalgia rating scale* with moderate to severe fibromyalgia symptoms most of the time, I haven't forgotten about the career I used to have as a clinical social worker and the satisfaction I used to get from going to work every day. Without a significant improvement in my health, going back to my social work career is not an option for me right now. But perhaps, following Ms. Williamson's example and her fibro-friendly plan, pursuing my dream of being a writer might be the silver lining to my chronic illness raincloud.

Sinclar Lewis said, "Go home and write." I started this blog in January 2006 and every day since May 2009 I've made the commitment to write a daily blog post. In addition, I continue to be a voracious reader. When I am able, I take writing classes through Santa Monica College Extension and attend a monthly book club I found through MeetUp.com. I am working on a freelance writer's resume, submitting articles to publications to build my "clips" and I am applying for a "fibro writer" job this week.

Tomorrow I just might achieve my dream of being a writer.


*Rating scale developed by Bruce Campbell, PhD of CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help

Miryam Ehrlich Williamson's books are available at Amazon.com.

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