Jim C. Hines (jimhines) wrote,
Jim C. Hines

Writing. Diabetes. The Same ... Only Different

This is something I've been thinking about off and on for a while now, and it mostly comes down to accountability.

As we're growing up, we learned that sometimes we could dodge the consequences of our actions. A well-told excuse or lie might keep us from getting into trouble. (No, really! I swerved to avoid a cat and hit a patch of ice, and that's how I ended up in the ditch. Nothing to do with doing donuts on the backroads...) It continues well into college, as any teacher of freshman composition can tell you. (If certain of my students had been half as creative and clever on their assignments as they were with their excuses, they would have done much better in the class.) Even as grown-ups, many of us still talk our way out of tickets, offer excuses for missing deadlines at work, and so on.

With my diabetes, I found myself wanting to make excuses when I went in to see my endocrinologist. "Oh, I know my blood sugars were high that weekend, but that was because I was under stress, and I had a convention, and then...." Sometimes those excuses were true and valid. Sometimes I just hadn't been as careful about monitoring my blood sugar as I should have been. But I realized it doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

Lousy blood sugar control will damage my body in the long term. My body doesn't care whether I had a really good excuse, or even a perfectly valid reason for that poor control. This week I've been fighting a cold, which always makes my blood sugars run high. That's not my fault, and I do my best to compensate, but the numbers are still high. I can either focus on why it's not fair and it's totally not my fault, or I can accept it and deal with it as much as I can. Easier said than done sometimes, but I do my best.

Writing is the same way. There are days I haven't been able to write. Sometimes for perfectly valid reasons, like various surgeries on my wife, son, and daughter over the past few years, or just the fact that I want to spend some time with my family. Other times, it's a less "noble" choice on my part. (I didn't have to watch Criminal Minds last night. I could have gotten at least a few more paragraphs written...)

The thing is, in the end, it doesn't matter. Unlike most day jobs, where you can dodge some responsibility, sweet-talk your boss, and so on, with writing you either write or you don't. You and you alone are accountable for your writing career. You can get advice and support, just like you can with diabetes management, but you're the one who has to do the work.

Decent metaphor, or am I stretching? :-)

Deathwish, by Rob Thurman
Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy
Red Hood's Revenge

Tags: writing
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