Published in the Rains County Leader on March 10, 2020:
Several years ago I read four books by Christian author Terri Blackstock called the Restoration Series. The basic premise was that a world-wide electromagnetic pulse wiped out every microchip on the planet rendering useless anything that needed one of these little pieces of plastic to function. Simple mechanical engines still operated, but fuel soon ran out since gas pumps no longer operated. Water treatment plants and power plants shut down, so there was no electricity or running water. Modern society was plunged into, if not the dark ages, at least a time that called for life skills sorely lacking by most who survived the initial catastrophe. Although not nearly as dramatic, David and I suffered a miniature version of that experience this past weekend – our WiFi and our clothes dryer went out – all on the same day! (more…)
This quote reminds me of the best advice I read when I was working on my memoir. It came from Anne Lamott’s book, “Bird by Bird.” Basically, she said to put your rear end in your chair and write. She advised you to let yourself write a terrible first draft. The second draft would be better, and eventually you would have created something wonderful that didn’t exist until you wrote it. Before I read her book, it took me days to write a single blog post. I read and re-read what I had written after almost every sentence, micro-editing and second guessing myself. Now I write until I’ve finished a particular article or chapter, and then I go back and edit. It’s amazing how well my ideas come together if I stop obsessing on perfection and just write.
Another good piece of advice came from the website of Terri Blackstock, one of my favorite Christian authors. She said, “Don’t get it right. Get it written.” I copied that quote onto a sticky note and put it on my monitor. During those moments when I found myself staring at the screen, struggling to find the perfect word or phrase, I would stop and read her words. Then, I would put my hands back on the keyboard and write.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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