Why I’m Not Writing a Book Right Now

hand writing

I recently received one of the most exciting emails of my life. One that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a child. (I mean, I’d never heard of email back then, but the essence of the dream was the same.)

It was from a publisher. A real, legitimate publisher, who has published books I have read and loved. They were interested in potentially working with me on a book.

You guys. I have wanted to be a published author since before I can remember. Books have always been my life, and I have always longed to be a part of that world. It’s the reason I started blogging in the first place, way back in 2009. The end goal was a book deal.

This is every dream come true. It’s the thing I’ve wanted to most in my life for the longest time.

I had to tell that that sadly, writing a book just isn’t going to work for me right now.

But why??? Why would I say something like that??? Why would I turn down my dream????

I haven’t given up on my dream; I’m just acknowledging that now isn’t the time for it. In case you’re wondering, here are a few of the reasons why I had to put that dream on hold.

I don’t feel I have any wisdom to share.

I used to think I had something to share with the world. That was before my universe fell apart, when I gave birth to a medically complex child, and I realized I knew nothing about anything.

It’s been three years now and I still don’t feel like I’ve learned anything.

I’m still at the stage of the journey where I’m shaking my fist at the universe, muttering, “This is bullshit.”

My soul feel shrunken and shrivelled. It barely made it through that difficult first year, and hasn’t really had a chance to heal. So far, I don’t think my trials have made me any stronger or wiser.

Here’s the honest truth, you guys. I’m bitter. I’m scared. I’m worried. I’m busy and stressed out. I’m jealous. I’m resentful. I’m so lost and confused. More than I’ve ever been.

Three years into this journey and I’m so full of unresolved trauma and grief.

I still suffer from such debilitating envy that I’ve unfollowed almost anyone on social media who has two or more healthy children. I envy both their fertility and their ability to produce children without disabilities or life-threatening diseases. It’s so unfair!! This isn’t the life I wanted!!

I want to be that mom who can say in all sincerity, “I wouldn’t change anything about our story.” But at this point in my life, it’s just not true. I would change a bunch of things.

That doesn’t sound like someone who is ready to write a book.

I’m not ready to process my trauma.

You might think that writing would be therapeutic, that getting all my thoughts and feelings out on paper might help me process my trauma and grief. And you might be right.

I just don’t think I have the fortitude to do that right now.

Just writing this post has put me through the ringer. I pretty much sobbed through the whole thing. Talking about my feelings is draining. After this I’m going to fix myself an iced coffee and watch funny Youtube videos to recuperate.

I’m too damn busy and tired all the time.

This is honestly probably the biggest barrier.

Felix still doesn’t sleep through the night most nights. So I am always sleep-deprived.

Even though he’s three years old his needs are still those of an infant — we have to feed, bathe, diaper, and carry him everywhere. He’s still non-verbal and not walking, so he needs a lot of help navigating his world. He uses hearing aids and orthotics.

And the appointments! The bane of my existence. Clinic visits. Audiology. Speech therapy. Physiotherapy. Occupational therapy. I am constantly scheduling and going to appointments. Phone calls and emails are always cluttering up my to-do list. Most of those appointments involve experts giving me additional to-do lists. As an introvert, this is incredibly draining.

So yeah. I can’t add “write a book” to the demands of my life right now.

But maybe someday.

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Comments

  1. I just sighed the mother of all sighs. Not out of disappointment (although I would devour any book you eventually decide to publish), but out of a sense of relief that it’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to have a season of all those feelings and emotions you named. I can’t align my experiences with yours, and would never compare my situation to the trials you’ve had to endure, but I suffer. I suffer with SO. MUCH. And I know I’m supposed to embrace that and grow and lean on others and turn to my creator…but it’s all so hard.

    Once again I admire you for your transparency and just know that your words matter and your pain matters, at the very least in which it brings encouragement to others. Thank you.

  2. You are wise to wait, friend. I waited two years after getting my first email from a publisher because I knew it wasn’t the right time–partly because of my personal life at the time and partly because I didn’t feel equipped to write the book I wanted to write at the time. You won’t regret waiting until the right time. But I look forward to that day. I’ve already learned so much from following your blog. I know a book-length project will be amazing.

  3. Bitter? Scared? Jealous? Resentful? I don’t know if I have really “earned” the right to feel these things–have I gone through half as much?–but I have felt them too. Those feelings are so isolating and lonely, which just adds to the struggle. Thank you so much for your honesty and for writing any way you can. I wish I could say or do something to lift your burden.

  4. I really appreciate your honesty. So many people hide their complicated “negative” feelings because they’d rather look like they have a perfect life than tell the truth and let others in. Your openness is the very reason I would read a book you might someday write.

    I am sorry that you are suffering right now. The issues you’re dealing with are real and they are hard. I haven’t had the same struggles you’ve had, but I have had different ones. It’s so common to struggle with painful realities that you would have an eager readership; we all want insight about how to deal with our feelings and life difficulties.

  5. It’s great that you know your limits and are able to say no even though writing a book is your dream. I will say, however, that I would appreciate a book that doesn’t have a picture perfect ending. I’ve read a lot of books where a horrible thing happened and it’s made someone a better person and they see how all the pieces fit and here’s what they learned now that they are standing on the shiny, happy other side. Not every story goes that way – sometimes something horrible happens and every day is filled with pain and suffering and challenges and way too much to do. The best story is one that is honest and real and just might not have a ‘happy’ ending.

    • You’re so right, Cheryl. I guess I’m still hoping that even if I don’t reach “happiness,” I’ll gain some kind of insight or wisdom that feels worth sharing. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

  6. I hear moms always saying that they would never take away their child’s special needs but I have never felt that way!! I love my daughter with all my heart just the way she is, but boy am I sad for her most days!! To not be able to freely communicate your wants or feelings, to most likely never experience normal milestones like driving or getting married or having kids. I would take it away from her in a heartbeat and if you don’t have a special needs child, please for goodness sake, don’t give me or other special needs parents suggestions or advice (unless they ask )because you feel like We are not already doing enough or as much as we possibly can manage!! I know you have more struggles than you even share but you are making the right decision for your family, and you will have many more opportunities in the future!! I hope things get easier for you because I know mental burnout is more exhausting than physical burnout, just always take help when it’s offered!! And take comfort in the fact that you are doing a good job taking care of your family and making your kids feel safe and loved!!

    • So so so much this. I can’t even explain how much I completely agree with what you’ve written. I’m almost 5 years into raising a child with Down syndrome, and not for one minute have I ever thought I’d let him stay like he is, were I able to change it. Nope. I love every part of him and am grateful to be his mom (most days…), but yes – I’d take it away in a heartbeat if I could. I can’t imagine NOT doing that, given the ability. It seems crazy to me to hear people say that. Anyway, that is all – I just totally agree with you.

      And Kathleen – the appointments. And phone calls. Sheesh. They get to me. I am an introvert too (although this process makes me masquarade as an extrovert, when i sometimes have to demand my son gets what he needs) and it’s like peeling my fingernails off, it’s so painful and uncomfortable most of the time. So i just wanted to say that I get it.

    • UGH, yes. Before I had a child with disabilities I thought I knew a thing or two about what parents could do differently. Now I understand: they’re all doing the absolute best they can and it still never feels like enough!

      I appreciate all the wisdom you have from experience. Thanks for understanding and sharing!

  7. I know there is nothing I can say to make this better or easier. But I see you. My heart breaks for you every time you post an update. You are in a hard hard season right now. Know that you are loved. Sending all the hope and courage and rest I can muster. x

  8. Leticia Smugala says:

    Thank you for your honesty. And thank you for allowing us to share in your journey just a little bit. You are loved and appreciated by so many.

  9. Heather Westropp says:

    I just wanted to join in with these other readers to affirm and encourage you, because you’ve shared such a vulnerable truth with us. I don’t have a special needs child, yet raising my kids is incredibly challenging and I can only imagine how parents like you do what you do. I am so sorry for your struggles and your pain. I’m praying for you and your family. One day when you’re on the other side of this, and you write your book, I will be eager to read it. Until then, hang in there.

  10. I also want to let you know that I often think of you and your situation, and send prayers and positive thoughts in your direction when I do. As others have expressed, while the situations vary, the turmoil and disappointments of the life that is actually unfolding is very relatable. I appreciate your sincerity as well. I don’t know how to help, other than continued prayers and positive thoughts when you come to mind. I also listened to a podcast the other day, don’t remember where off hand, but it talked about Jesus being perfectly capable of “holding” our anger, our doubt, our _____(whatever else we may be feeling that we think we shouldn’t feel toward Him). I appreciated the reminder that He is there to succor me, with a perfect love, even if I can’t reflect that back to Him, or others, in even the smallest degree. It reminded me of the “Far Side” comic showing God at a computer, watching a human, and preparing to push the “smite” button. How sometimes we feel targeted. Now, I remember the podcast, it was about Job, and how he wasn’t “patient”. He railed at God, felt abandoned, and how friends, in a desire to “protect God” instead of comforting a friend in need, wanted him to repent. Then the point, God can handle all we throw at him, we are here to try and support each other. I wish I had a more tangible way to try and show you this support. I do send my best wishes for you on this journey.

  11. I, like all the other who have commented, appreciate your honesty. I have been reading your blog since before Felix was born and have always wished the best for you with all this. Hopefully it may help in some small way to know that folks out in the world care, and pray for you and your family. Because I do <3

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