I admit, I’ve been lax in posting, but dealing with my father’s terminal illness has made me trim my focus. I’ve been working on my book and going back and forth to the nursing home, of course there’s that family of mine. They do need attention…
But on one of my father’s last lucid days, we had a conversation about my writing. He knows how hard I’ve been working at it over the years and he made me promise him something.
“I’m not planning on it,” I told him. I’ve been at this too long, and while I’ve been tempted, I always go back. I’m a writing junkie.
“No. You have to promise me. There are too many things I didn’t do. Too many things I gave up on and I regret it. Don’t have any regrets. You will never have regrets if you do everything you can to succeed.”
Which got me thinking. Have I been giving my writing my all? My everything? Sure, I have a job and a family, but when I write am I doing my best? I always tell my students to do their best. I expect it of my own children, but have I been practicing what I preach?
Wham. Talk about a slap upside the head.
Don’t get me wrong–I’ve been working and making progress, but I knew I could step it up a notch. Hell, I could have stepped it up a couple of notches. So, I have. I’ve been making some great changes and I found a hook for this series that has made people cry.
Now, when I sit with my dad and try to calm his agitation, or help him take a few sips of soup, I feel confident I can keep my promise to him. I think he knows it, too.
Writing this post was a first step. I backed off the blog a little when kids at school found out about my writing life. As I’ve said before, I never felt it was a secret, but some really immature students have continued to make a joke out of what I do. And it bothered me. I shouldn’t have let it, but I did.
But now, I’m done.
I am going to do my best to succeed and have no regrets. You see, I’m not a quitter. I don’t know how. I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep working and I am going to keep my promise to my father.
That’s who I am. That’s what I’m dedicated to. What about you?