I was having a hard time.
It was the usual writer stuff–a lack of response from editors and agents that resulted in a lack of motivation. Even the silence on this blog was deafening. Were all my readers on vacation?
To make matters worse, my 102-year-old house decided to kick me in the wallet, as it seems to do almost every year at the most inopportune times.
As if to compliment my mood, it rained. Every damn day.
I really needed a win. Whether or not I deserved one was not up for discussion–I needed one. Just some little sign that told me I’d done the right thing when I’d quit my day job to focus on my writing.
And sure enough, I got one.
But it wasn’t anything like I’d expected.
My dream is to write fiction full-time, but to pay the bills, I’m a freelance journalist. A few months ago, a health magazine asked me to write an article about two brothers with a most unusual problem. They were both terrified of needles and doctors–so much so that they both went blind from cataracts rather than seek medical help.
Dr. Gdih, an exceptionally kind and patient eye surgeon, heard of their plight and convinced one of the brothers to undergo the necessary procedure, which he promised would not involve any needles. The man had the operation, he regained his sight, and he helped convince his brother to do the same.
It was a difficult story to write, and certainly one of the strangest of my career.
In the midst of my recent despair, I had to interview the same eye surgeon for another article. He praised me for the cataract story, and then proceeded to give me the win I so desperately needed.
Another local man had the same fear of needles. This man had also gone blind from cataracts. Somehow he heard of my article, and he took it to his doctor’s office, saying he was willing to have the operation if Dr. Gdih was the surgeon.
The man’s doctor immediately referred him to Dr. Gdih.
Dr. Gdih operated.
The blind man regained his sight.
“You’ve made a difference,” Dr. Gdih said. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I didn’t become a journalist for the money. I didn’t start telling stories to get published, although both are nice side benefits.
I wanted to be a journalist so I could use my writing ability for the greater good–so I could help people.
My conversation with Dr. Gdih brought home the fact that I was helping people, even if I wasn’t aware of it.
Isn’t that reason enough to keep going?
It may not be sexy. It’s not a six-figure publishing deal or a hundred comments on a blog post.
But at the end of the day, if the best thing that can be said about me is that I wrote things that made a difference, I’m okay with that.
Just think of the people your stories are helping.
Trust me–they’re out there.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!