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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The Importance of Now

I received the sad news last week that a writer friend had died.

To be honest, we weren’t very close friends. We’d attended the same weeklong workshop and had been in the same small critique group. I had read her work-in-progress and been impressed—and even after these two years, after reading hundreds of books and blogs, I remember her story. But we hadn’t kept in touch except for an occasional note in the social media world, a comment on a blog. And yet, she lay on my heart, and I grieved for her, leaving much too soon.

I started skimming her last blog posts, reading comments of those who knew her well. She had been writing, working on a manuscript, all through the challenges of her illness. I read where many of her friends were buying her books and donating them to schools and libraries so that her legacy would continue, and I loved that idea.

She was a children’s writer and loved making school visits, so I thought of the SCBWI Amber Brown Fund, too, and how donating to that fund would surely please her. But mostly, I thought the best way I could honor her was to work hard at writing.

She was passionate about her writing; it was a passion that came through from the first day of that workshop, from the first moment we spoke. It drove her to work on being a better writer, even though she had several published books. In fact, I wondered why she needed the workshop. She’d already accomplished her dream.

But that’s not the way she saw it. She wanted to be a better writer, wanted to get her new stories out there. She wasn’t ready to rest on her laurels; she was ready to work, and work hard!

Remembering her drive brought that iconic shoe slogan to mind. You know the one I mean, right? I think it could’ve been her motto.

And so now, I’m taking you to task, friends. If writing is what you really want, do it.

Quit talking about how you want to write when you have the time, or when you can quit your day job, or when you have a really good idea. Put a plug in that endless stream of excuses and plug into your heart’s desire.

You know what? It doesn’t have to be writing. Whatever is in you, whatever it is you really, really want to do, start working on it. You can start with small goals, little steps, day by day.

As long as you start today.

~Cathy C. Hall

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Blogger Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm sorry to hear of your friend's death, Cathy. She was obviously an inspiration and, thanks to the actions of her friends and your post, she still is. In fact, she's inspiring people she didn't even know, like all of us reading your words. A great reminder to get going and get doing.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Cathy Biggerstaff said...

What a lovely testimony to your friend's passion. I agree with Madeline, by sharing your friend's story, she lives on and is inspiring people who never knew her.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Audrey said...

This is a message that we need to hear over and over and over. I'm sorry for your loss, and I appreciate you passing on what you learned from it. "Get on with it". The most important words we'll ever read about making our dreams and passions come true!

10:38 AM  

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