We are very pleased to have for Our Little Books Guest Post Wednesday, a post from author Margaret Lambert. Marg is from Down Under (if you are from Up Above) and has a book, "Longing to Live: Journeying with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia," to be published later this year. So, in tune with the Sound of Music and “Let’s start at the very beginning”, lets kick off Margaret's first blog titled: Why write? Enjoy.
Writing developed as an unintended interest for me when I became chronically unwell. Prior to that time, I engaged in writing for purposes of my professional work and study: writing submissions and reports, reviews and recommendations, assignments and papers; and writing to raise issues and present new ideas to staff or bosses. I enjoyed writing for work and study and had not considered broadening my perspective to write in other genres. Besides, when I wasn’t at work or studying, I was busy being physically active: with four children in tow, a full-time job, building our home on a farm in a remote location in Australia’s Northern Territory, raising cattle and growing pasture, I did not need to look too far afield to keep myself busy. Writing as a personal endeavour, and just for fun, was the furthest thing from my mind!
How things change - and without any planning on my part! Over the past 20 years I have had several lessons in my life nudging me to notice that I am not totally in the driver’s seat directing my own life. In former years I argued vehemently that we control our own destinies and we must direct our lives in whatever way that we choose for ourselves. I even taught others how to achieve their goals more efficiently when adopting a single focus. Well, that philosophy worked well up to a point…
Repeatedly, the lesson that has been presented to me through the challenges of chronic illness, is that I am not alone in the driver’s seat, but rather that I need to work with whatever presents in my life each day. This may seem at odds with general coaching advice but it appears to be a necessary philosophical approach to life when living with an erratic and unpredictable health condition.
So what has this got to do with Why write? Absolutely everything! The very reason I have developed a love for writing is because I couldn’t do much else! Had I not become unwell with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS),which main symptom is erratic and low energy levels, I would have continued living a highly physical and active life and I would never have contemplated, or even had time for, the ‘leisurely’ pursuit of writing.
When I developed CFS, my busy lifestyle was brought to an abrupt halt. Being bedridden for long periods of time allowed me much time to think, although often my mind would not function sufficiently well enough to form a rational string of thoughts, a typical symptom of CFS. With reduced physical capacity and the inability to accomplish many tasks associated with my various roles, I was forced to find new ways to make sense of my life and carry out activities that were manageable from my bed. So began my pursuit of writing.
Why write? Writing commenced as a way to express the disappointment and grief associated with my reduced capacity to do things. I was fortunate to have a dear friend and mentor who was interested in reading whatever I wrote and this was great encouragement for me to continue to write and express the physical and emotional battle of my experience with CFS. Many years and millions of words later, I thought that some other sufferers may benefit from my expressions of struggle with CFS and the additional symptoms of Fibromyalgia that had become part of my experience, and so the concept of my book Longing to Live was born. The book has been many years in the writing (that’s another blog topic!) and will finally be published this year.
Why write? For me it is to put words and expression to the inner journey, with the wonderful side-effects of gaining insights and developing greater awareness of myself and my reason for being here. What is it for you?
Margaret Lambert is a Registered Psychologist specialising in the use of Energy Psychology techniques (EFT) for counselling and mentoring. She has lived and worked in remote Australia and currently is based in Darwin, Australia. Margaret writes on matters of personal and spiritual development and holistic health and her articles can be found at www.connectcounselling.com.au