In addition to being a caregiver and caregiver advocate, I’m a writer. In spite of other responsibilities, I’ve always felt this undeniable itch for the creative life, and I suspect many of you are just like me. I’ve known countless caregivers who feel they must get their “truth” out into the world.
Write Your Truth And Don’t Give Up
Listen to me. No matter what your age, you can write a book about your experience, and you can find readers who will appreciate your work. Wherever you are, it’s not too late, but just in case you’re young enough and willing to listen to some free advice, here’s what I wish I’d done:
- Written 500 words every day, rain or shine;
- Not wasted a decade on a book I thought I should finish, simply because I’d couldn’t face “being a quitter;”
- Not revised my manuscript one more time when an agent told me she hadn’t “fallen in love” with the characters;
- Listened to my heart about what was good and worthy in my writing;
- Made up my mind to get my book published, no matter what;
- Discovered that writing, humor, and wisdom are the most important coping mechanisms a caregiver can have.
I’m here to tell you that even if you are weighed down with the responsibilities of caring for another person, you can find the highest and best parts of yourself through writing. That writing can consist of journal entries, poetry, letters to your future or past selves, letters to your grandchildren. The important thing is to give voice to all that chatter that’s going on in your mind. Let it come out through your pen.
Many websites, including mine at maryleemacdonaldauthorauthor.com, can help you learn how to write, but only you can give voice to the unique truths of your situation. And, I’m still learning about life and the constant juggling of the lived life vs. the ideal life we all wish we had.