I published my first novel, "Blue Hydrangeas" on Kindle back in April and in paperback in September. This was a project started in 2002, years before my TOS and other repetitive strain injuries made it nearly impossible for me to pursue writing as any kind of career or hobby.
The manuscript languished on my hard drive, waiting for better days. Occasionally, I'd open it up and tinker with it, refining the prose, tightening the story, preparing for publication, etc. In May of 2012, a friend suggested I publish on Kindle, and I figured, why not? It took me almost a year to publish, but I did it and to glowing reviews.
Seems as soon as the digital version went live readers were asking for a paperback, and so I managed to put that together, too, which turned out to be a much more difficult task and impossible to complete without a little help. So, due to these two milestones in my life - achievements I thought I'd never see - I've neglected this blog.
The best I can offer my readers is a little hope, and some encouragement that TOS and repetitive strain injuries can be managed and the pain can be controlled enough to bring us to a point where we can go on living and achieve our goals.
Publishing this book has opened a new door for me. The last seven years have been fraught with disappointment and frustration over the fact that I could not pursue my dream of becoming a published author. I had tried the traditional route before becoming disabled and failed to gain any support. I could not even consider the possiblity of starting that process all over again - the research, the letter writing, the waiting - with an uncertain outcome.
But, as I went through the process of learning how to live with my injuries, the publishing world changed. Independent publishing became more acceptable and more achievable. When I reentered the arena, I had a new avenue in which to pursue my dream, one that I could travel at my own pace.
I am in complete control of my project, and while that is scary it is also necessary, because like so many others with repetitive strain injuries I am an overachiever who pushes herself well beyond her limits. With someone else directing my progress this could be disastrous, but with myself at the helm I am able to steer a safe and steady course, avoiding flare ups and preventing myself from crippling myself in the process.
Sometimes we need patience and acceptance in treating these disorders, allowing our bodies to heal and conditions to arrange themselves to best suit us and our new abilities. Situations change. Attitudes adjust. While we are healing, the world moves on, waiting for us to come back and start living again.