Monday, March 7, 2022

The Dry Spell. (Day 66, Year 2)

While I've been writing here everyday, I feel like I am struggling. I am going through a dry spell in my writing--the creativity well is dry and I am just spinning a bit. I know creativity is like this--cyclical, finkle and unpredictable. 

I just don't like it. It takes up a lot of mental space feeling devoid of ideas and all my time is sucked up avoiding the tasks I want and need to do, because I feel like I cannot do them. 

But, like a runner in a race, I just have to find a way to keep going, keep trying, lest I don't finish and disqualify myself. I've got to write myself out of this dry spell. 

In that spirit, I decided tonight to give myself a bit more accountability on my writing to-do list by sharing it here! 

Note: I feel a little funny declaring my intentions here. It is risky to boldly say what you are going to do and what you want. I could very well fail at all of these; but I feel I won't even try unless I force myself by writing this list. 

1. Apply for a Highlights Foundation Fellowship

Highlights Foundation has load of always writing classes and retreats that cover all sorts of topics, including writing science nonfiction for children and middle ages. I love science and medical writing and I spend at least 10 hours a week explaining complex cancer research to my 9 year old. Plus, we live in an age of constant misinformation coupled with a public hungry for more medical information. I think this is a genre of writing I want to explore more--and one that I know I could rock. The application deadline is March 13. So I have to pull my life together. 

2. Submit a Contribution to The Mighty. 

The Mighty helps people with health challenges and their loved ones better manage their conditions. The content on the site is stuff I read on the regular and while contributing to The Mighty is not a paying gig; it is a gig in the wheelhouse of things I like to write. I know that sharing my walk as a childhood cancer mom is important and I know it can speak to other moms too. The Mighty feels like a nice place to start and share, buld my voice a little and then branch out. 

3.  Pitch a Story about the Higher Education Process for Childhood Cancer Survivors

As I get close to this phase of my parenting, I have so many questions, concerns and feelings about the next educational steps for daughter the childhood cancer survivor. Her diagnosis was almost 15 years ago; but childhood cancer is a forever sort of thing. Writing this piece is self-serving, I need the information; but it is also critical and useful to other survivors. And to expand on this idea: this is important information for school guidance counselors and teachers and case workers. In my early research, I've seen clear roadmaps for students with ADHD . . but for kids facing the long term side effects of cancer, the information is spotty. Cancer does not come with a guidebook; but it could. I'll start with this story idea and see what it goes. 

4. Write more words in my memoir book.

I haven't worked on my book project in a while. And I did briefly decide I hated everything I wrote and vowed to never write it again. I am over that now;  but devoid of ideas. However, I am not giving up. I need to get back to do it and soon. 

5. Create an online portfolio.

It's 2022 and I have no online portfolio. My LinkedIn profile sucks. I don't think either of these things are the most important things in the world; but I do think my writing life would feel less chaotic if I organized all the things I have written and done. And maybe I'll find some good writing connections on LinkedIn or maybe I'll get distracted by social media controversy; either way this feels like a positive step out of this dry spell, by reminsicing about all the words I have written. 


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