Jackie Lea Sommers, a writer friend (and, I don’t know if she knows it, but someone I consider a mentor) of mine wrote a post of the same title last week, challenging her readers with “your turn.” Instead of simply leaving a comment, I thought I’d use the opportunity to share five of my own secrets with my readers.
- Writing terrifies me. It never used to, but during my last year of college I found myself struggling more to get words on paper than I did to write well. I still can’t shake the feeling that no matter how much effort I put into it, I’ll never be “good enough.”
- After my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I suffered severe depression. Mostly, I felt a lot of guilt because I had really hoped I wasn’t pregnant before finally taking a test. It happened the summer before my senior year of college, and I was still nowhere near emotionally ready to go back when school started. I have a hard time talking about or admitting it because I’m afraid of how family might react, but I literally wanted to die and thought about it often. The only thing that kept me out of the stress center is probably that even though I didn’t want to live, I wasn’t suicidal. My class performance suffered, and so did my marriage. Counseling helped a lot.
- Garth and I really expected and hoped we would have a boy. We don’t think boys are better than girls, we just thought it would be nice if our oldest child was a boy. I always wanted an older brother, and he has a great relationship with his younger sister. We were shocked when we found out this baby is a girl, especially since his paternal side of the family produces far more boys than girls (about 10 to 2). In fact, even though we registered for a bunch of adorable girl stuff that day, when we went to bed that night, I cried. Everyone was expecting a boy, and I felt like I let them down somehow. It seems silly now. We’re really excited to meet our daughter (and girl stuff is way cuter anyway).
- We watch way too much TV. I hope that once the baby is born Garth and I cut back, but I feel that is doubtful. We watched a little too much before installing internet (which we went without for over two years), but now Netflix has turned our evenings into a potato fest.
- I started writing two novels three years ago that I stopped working on during college. I realize now that it may have been a mistake, but I felt I needed the training first before taking on such a large project. I still think about them every day, and I keep track of character development, plot, and other ideas in a journal. Sometime soon I will be ready to sit down and actually do the hard work of writing like it’s my job, but for now I’m content with harnessing my skills as a writer.