Lessons from a Tough Week

I've had a tough week, a few of them strung together, in fact, as I've battled a mystery virus that has laid me low. At first, I didn't want to admit I was sick, and the idea of asking for or accepting help -- no way.

The Big Bad Bug had other ideas, and I've been forced to reckon with in. My husband, family, and many friends -- blog buddy Joni among them -- have really proven their mettle, and I'll love and appreciate them forever.

But today, the first day I've had the focus to write more than a brief e-mail, I've been thinking about how these lessons apply to the writing life.

1. You have to face the fact that you only have so much control. Whether it's a health issue, a publishing line's demise, or a really icky cover, there's only so much say you have. All the vitamins, exercise, critique group meetings, and self-promotion in the world can't insulate a person from the occasional bad break. They come into everyone's life sooner or later.

2. Failing to admit there's a problem doesn't eliminate the problem. It only isolates you from the support system that can keep you going.

3. Everyone you know has faced a crisis of one kind of another. And a lot more than you suspect are eager to give you a hand up out of yours.

4. The road to recovery, whether physical or career, generally isn't in a straight line. You might take a few steps forward only to slide back, but as long as you keep moving, you're bound to end up somewhere else.

5. When it's someone else's turn to face the fire, you owe the universe to pay back at least a smidgeon of the kindness you've been shown.

Thanks, Joni, for everything - including keeping the light burning on the blog.


Joni Rodgers said…
Welcome back, Colleen. A tough week indeed. But you proved that you're tougher than anything the week had to dish out.

Be gentle with yourself as you climb back on the proverbial horse.

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