How a stuffed dog and a drunk driver strengthened my faith
As a child, I would write in my diary, then as a young adult I would fill the pages of decorated journals. All those adventures and emotions are now trashed.
However, one batch of my scribbles remain, my book, “The Unbreakable Cord.” My daughter’s car accident inspired the book. At the time, the events were so overwhelming, I isolated myself from my feelings and emotions. Using a stuffed dog, Woody, as my voice, I began journaling. I gave the little fluffy dog a personality and I channeled all my fears through him.
Different genres fill the writing field and the same is with caregiving. To the viewers, our life looks like a fiction movie. But, we live the suspense pages of our nonfiction journey. Writing my first book was like my years of caregiving— overwhelming.
When I decided to publish my book, someone told me, “You should choose the fiction genre, no one will believe that many things can happen to one family.” It took fifteen years to transcribe my scribbles into my nonfiction book, The Unbreakable Cord.
My new blog, The Caregivers Ride, shares my experience of writing and the involvement of being a caregiver. You may wonder how the two are similar. Looking back, they seem the same, not the experience, but the fear, the questions, and the doubts. Stepping into the world of punctuation was as new to me as stepping into the world of caregiving.
Some of you are in the beginning stage of your novel, while others are writing the last chapter. Maybe you story is a short story. For others, their caregiving journey is a series, with one character leaving to only be replaced with another.
The main characters of my suspense book were a disabled brother, an injured daughter, and an ageing Mom. They danced and cried on the pages of my journal.
So, in this blog, I am using punctuation to ride through the caregiver’s heart. Punctuation marks tell the reader when to speed up, slow down, when to stop and even what to expect coming. I’ve blogged about the question mark; the exclamation point and the comma.
However, today, I am setting aside the punctuation marks and writing about how I chose my titles.
The title of my blog, The Caregivers ride, relates to my experience of caring for my disabled brother. A photo of my brother riding a bull hung in his room until his death. But my brother’s accident wasn’t from a bull ride but a bar fight. Maybe it was easier seeing a photo of a bull rider than a bar fight. Realizing life is a ride, no matter if you are learning the craft of writing or the skill of caregiving.
For my book, I had many working titles. but when I submitted my manuscript I reflected on the one consistent theme throughout the book. Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” His love is unbreakable. So, my new title, The Unbreakable Cord was born.
For me, the experience of caregiving and writing were the same. I could only do my best. I know for myself, focusing on one chapter or one doctor’s visit was all I could manage on some days. I surrounded myself with support groups both in the caregiving field and the writing field. I hired helpers and editors. As time passed, questions became less and I moved into each assignment with a little more confidence. However, the work didn’t stop.
My hope is no matter how many rejections notices come in your mail box or how life invades your space and you can’t find time to write the book trapped within, you will hold tight to the cord that never breaks.
I suggest using your appointment book as your journal. Use a punctuation mark or an emotion icon to note the feeling about that day, that doctors visit, that loneliness, that writers block. Then when you have five-minutes free time open your journal and expand your feelings. Write from the heart, journaling is a rough draft and is for your eyes only. Who knows maybe one day your scribbles will become a book.