Blame It On My A.D.D.

This writer’s life…

My friends and regular readers will know by now that I have many interests. While I try my best to concentrate on writing, I find great enjoyment in art and photography. But I also have a day job: I am a chiropractor with an office in my home. This June 3rd, marked 23 years in practice, the first 18 of which was spent in a busy, multi-doctor office. I said goodbye to that at the end of 2013.

While I have been pleased to care for my faithful patients, friends and family here at home, the business side of things has never been my strong suit. I despise the paperwork, the red tape and the hoop-jumping one has to do in the name of healthcare. It takes the joy out of practicing a healing art. Recently, some of the rules changed again for maintaining a license. It’s a good and necessary rule, mind you, but it requires extra fees for continuing education. Someone always finds a way to make money. So as I did my taxes this year, I considered just how profitable it was for me to remain in this small, part-time, cash practice when the cost of insuring my office, continuing education, license fees, and malpractice insurance all keep climbing. My conclusion? It isn’t profitable at all. And I don’t have the zeal or drive to go out and build my practice up anymore. My heart is in a different place. There’s more to the story, however. We are considering a move. Trying to practice in a new location presents a whole list of challenges. So on August 31, 2018, I will close the door on Dr. Margaret Sorick, Chiropractor.

You might be thinking: “Wow, pretty nice that she has the luxury to pursue writing full time.” Yes, that would be wonderful, however, I still feel the need to contribute to the household bottom line and novel writing is a slow and uncertain way to earn an income. Hopefully, one day I will be a best selling author, but for now I need to be realistic. So what am I going to do for work?

One of the aspects of writing that I find enjoyable is editing. My own professional editor, has often remarked that I don’t give him much to do. I have edited for four other writers just for fun and they were all happy with the results. I started thinking it might be something I could do for income. Coincidentally, Writer’s Digest offers classes and workshops in the art of writing, editing, and so forth. One of their copy editing classes started this month and I enrolled. There is an advanced class to follow. At the end of the course, I can either try to find a job copy editing or do some freelance work on my own. It also allows me to work from anywhere as long as I have a good internet connection. And obviously, my own writing will benefit from the course as well.

As one door closes, another one opens, they say. I only hope this new door opens onto cool, green meadows and not a grubby, back alley filled with dumpsters! Time will tell and of course I’ll keep you posted!

Writing and Self Censorship

Adventures in novel writing.

This really applies across the entire spectrum of writing –blogging to novel writing and everything in between.

I wrote a post a few months ago called Writing Romance In the #MeToo Era. In summary, the post was about how we as writers need to be conscious of how we portray the development of a romance, not as semi-stalker behavior (guy chases girl until she finally gives in) but in a healthy way (still can be exciting). There is one thing that has been rattling around in the back of my head since I wrote that piece. An extension, if you will, of the idea that writers have responsibility to the reader. In the context of my previous post, I still believe that is true. But…

There is a difference between writing an uncomfortable theme into a story and glorifying it. I believe in making that distinction clear. Isn’t some of the most compelling fiction that which explores the most troubling aspects of human life: heartbreak, betrayal, injustice, psychosis, and even death? How much greater is the satisfaction at the end of a story when the characters successfully overcome what seem to be the most insurmountable odds? The direst of circumstances? The writer must plumb the depths to pull the hero from the mire. And the mire might be pretty revolting.

Nevertheless, in the way that writing about a serial killer doesn’t make you one, neither does writing about any other abhorrent behavior make you guilty of that particular sin. In this confusing atmosphere of political correctness, we may feel the heat of closer scrutiny. It is my personal feeling that even truly awful themes can be explored and written about with tact and style rather than shock and vulgarity. However, not every writer will have the same set of standards or comfort level. Fortunately, we each have the right to set our own. But as a reader and viewer, I always have the option to look away.

Twenty One

Her blue black hair curves to the line of her chin

A stark contrast to a pair of bright blue eyes

She is tall and willowy, only accentuated

By black tights and a short skirt

She reads Kafka and pretends to enjoy it

Writes overbearing poetry with bloated metaphors

It is 1987 and she is 21 years old

The age of majority

But young enough that everything

Seems as serious as a heart attack