Writer, heal thyself!
As a newcomer to writing and publishing, there have been the typical highs and lows that authors often experience. No amount of pep talks, trolling newbie author boards, or self-affirmations helps those periods of doubt. You know the times: queries sent into the great black void, the release of the first book to…cheers? crickets?, the awesome reviews, and the reviews where no feelings are spared. For every fist-pump milestone, there were corresponding fears and doubts. Too many highs and lows. Too much doubt. So how could I fix this problem?
A side note: As a physician, this job is heavily invested in fixing things. Solving problems is what I do in my day job, and I’m pretty good at it. I also give lots of advice to go along with the fixing of patients’ problems.
However, this writer/doctor is great at dishing out advice…but not so great at taking it. But enough already. Enough with second-guessing and fear of rejection. Enough! I’m no expert on writing and publishing, but I’m can sure give out medical advice. Perhaps this doctor could help herself? Time to take some of my own medicine – writing style!
Confession time. I deliver babies, so I often tell women to breathe. (Sometimes also husbands.) At 9 centimeters dilated, women might ignore this advice and hurl objects, hurl obscenities, or simply hurl. But for the mothers-to-be who take this simple advice to heart and try to take slow, deep breaths, their anxiety and pain improves, the pelvis relaxes, and that baby descends through the pelvis faster. (By the way, if you tell a fully dilated woman she has “discomfort”, it is likely that she will demonstrate in an easy-to-undestand manner the difference between “discomfort” and “pain”.)
What does Friday feel like?
Before I launch into a new list, let me explain why this post. I haven’t had real Fridays in over ten years. That’s when I started practicing medicine, delivering babies, admitting patients, and so on. The work model meant that if my patients needed me, I would come in for them. That model is great. But I’ve skirted burnout (ok, totally burnt to a crisp 5 years ago, no question) the entire time, which isn’t conducive to career longevity, to say nothing of happiness. I haven't said "TGIF" for over ten years. Now that's just plain wrong.
With some trepidation, I joined a medical group where my duties are the same as before. Only now, when I’m on call, I manage everything – all group deliveries, admissions, nursing home calls and the like. So, insanely busy but also super fulfilling.
But when I’m off? Not on call but still working in the office? Going home after work? Off? What’s that???
Please walk with me through my first "normal joe" Friday in a long time. It was a Friday where I finished up in the office, went home, and turned off the phone. Wow. I can't stop smiling.
#10) There is a sensation in my chest, almost like I’ve held my breath for too long and finally can breathe again. Instead of cringing if my phone rings, I know it’s something not-work, like a friend, or my parents, or hubby.
#9) I made plans to do nothing on Saturday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#8) I made plans to do something on Sunday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#7) Hubby and I are going to go out to eat tomorrow evening. At a restaurant. And I’m not tense. In fact, I might leave the phone at home, and believe doing so will improve the experience.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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