My first written words found a home of their own. As a nurse, I would periodically write a journal entry after a harrowing day, or about a patient that was particularly inspiring or interesting. Then one day a colleague of mine told me about a pair of nurses in California who were compiling nurses stories for a book. I submitted three of mine, two were accepted to be published in Touched by a Nurse. Touch by a Nurse became an international best seller and was selected to be housed in the Florence Nightingale Museum.
After that experience, I began to wonder, could I be a writer? I began taking writing classes, read about the art of writing, and closely observed how other story tellers script their stories. The thought of actually sitting down, however, to write anything longer than an article evaded me. I am way to busy, I told myself.
In 2010, an internal nudge began to tell me to write a novel. I was perfectly content creating container garden designs at the business my husband and I own, Naturescapes. I had ‘retired’ from nursing in 1999. I say ‘retired’ because leaving nursing is like trying to check out of Hotel California, I joke, you can check out but you can never leave. My nurse clients even tell me the work that I do at Naturescapes helps people feel better. I acknowledged the nudge to write, but quickly shooed it away.
The more I pushed the nudging feeling to write away, the stronger it got. I found myself creating a story in my head as I quietly gardened away, but never took the time to write it down. As a final straw, perhaps, I broke my ankle going down the stairs and was laid up in a cast for six weeks. My husbands immediately said, “Now you can write that book you are always talking about.”
And so I began writing, finally. It turned out to be the perfect mental escape while my bones healed. Supports and resources for publishing began to come my way. When I was finally done writing my first novel, I felt lighter, relieved, it was out of me, I did it.