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Overcoming Obstacles – Indies Forward

I’m joining the team of Duolit and all the other indies at Indies Forward today to help promote The Cell War Notebooks.

 

The Cell War Notebooks cover.
The Cell War Notebooks cover.

The Cell War Notebooks was written by Julie Forward DeMay in the last seven months of her life while she battled cervical cancer. Julie can’t promote her own book like most indie authors because she is no longer around to do so, so the blogging community is doing it for her. If you already want to check the book out, here it is on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link).

For the promotion we are supposed to write about a difficult time in our lives when we were inspired to overcome adversity. I’m certain there are going to be heaps of post out there about tougher obstacles than mine, in fact the more I think of it the more I feel like I’m ‘letting the team down’ by not having some Everest-esque problem that I had to overcome, but I feel the heart of this question is in the overcoming, not the obstacle (if that makes sense to anyone but me).

I have always wanted to be a writer. Even before I really knew I did I was telling stories. My parents told me I used to sit on the end of the guest bed and tell stories to those who had stayed the night and that, young as I was, I still spun an entertaining story. I remember watching the generator indicator at my uncle and aunt’s house waiting for the generator to reach ‘float’ (which means fully charged FYI) so I could use their computer to write my Goosebumps-inspired horror stories. I remember getting a typewriter and when our family went camping giving up my leg room in the car so I could take the typewriter along with me (why I couldn’t just use a journal don’t ask me, ask ten year old Kirstie).

With age comes procrastination. Though my talents and ideas blossomed, I kept finding other things encroaching on writing time, movies, socialising(not always bad things), chores, reading – even sometimes sitting around and fantasizing about being an author took precedence.

I kept writing, but it was piecemeal, a bit here, a few pages there, months flying between chapters with nothing written.

When I gave birth to Xander I despaired. Prior to having a child I was well aware I would lose massive chunks of my time to raising another human being – I wasn’t THAT deluded – but I had no idea how tired you could be running on 5 or less hours of sleep every single night, keeping a child happy and healthy and the house clean. I had no time for anything I thought. I gave up on doing anything but ponytails or buns for my hair, I never wore make-up (not that I tended to much before that anyway) and fashion became forgotten due to a need to always be wearing something I could breast feed in.

I even read less.

To anyone who hasn’t had a kid yet you are probably shaking in your boots. To those with more than one kid, you’re probably laughing and telling me to take a concrete pill and harden up.

Xander passed his first birthday and I was depressed. Not out of any lack of love for my family, but because there was no ‘me’ anymore, only mummy and mummy was nothing like the woman she had been.

Mummy became determined to prove there was something else to her other than just her title.

I took the aforementioned concrete pill and pulled myself up out of my self-inflicted swamp of sadness. I made a website. I wrote a second book. I edited my first book and made some substantial changes. I joined a writers’ group. I took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo and came out a winner with a third book.

Basically, I kicked ass.

I was determined to be the author I spent all my life dreaming of being, and instead of just sitting around fantasising of how cool it would be to be Stephen King or JK Rowling I took action.

All of my goals are not yet achieved, but there are many lofty goals I have and I am making strides toward them. I may not achieve them this year, or even next year, but it sure as hell won’t be for a lack of trying.

I’ve spoken earlier about how having Xander solidified my determination. I know I have very little time and so I make sure I use it as productively as I can. No more lazing around all day trying to watch entire seasons of Doctor Who and Supernatural (as awesome as those days were). No, instead I throttle every drop of time out of each day that I can and use it.

So my obstacle was myself. Kind of lame compared to something as dreadful as cervical cancer. I can’t even fathom how Julie kept herself moving forward and writing The Cell War Notebooks. But that’s what we need to consider. There are people out there worse off than us and they aren’t letting their circumstances stop them, so why the hell are we letting ours stop us?

So you don’t have to waste time scrolling up, here’s the link to buy The Cell War Notebooks, so buy it, read it, review it and start overcoming your own obstacles, no matter how small or large they are.

You can read other posts by other bloggers about overcoming obstacles here on Indies Forward. You can also go to Facebook and Like Julie Forward DeMay’s page, or talk on Twitter about her book using #indiesforward or #cellwarnotebooks.

On a small side note, if you want to listen to an inspiring tale of an author fighting against the odds, listen to this podcast interview of my friend Talitha Kalago. If you come out of listening to that not feeling inspired I will be genuinely shocked!

6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Don’t be negative about the nature of your ‘obstacle’ because it *is* something that affects your time, energy and ability to write. Pesky stuff like kids (I only have the one like you), work, bills, house hold chores, social commitments, wider family, travel and helping your loved ones achieve their own goals all get in the way.

    …then again, sometimes the best story ideas pop up when we’re busy doing other things, don’t they?
    Kath Lockett recently posted..MRI musingsMy Profile


    1. // Reply

      You’re right Kath, I always come up with a great idea or solution to a problem while I’m taking a stroll with Xander or hanging out the washing.


  2. // Reply

    Hello Kath and thank you very much for the link to the podcast! It was great to chat with Talitha about her career.

    I’m still struggling with the whole writing thing. It always seems as though there are other things I Should Be Doing (don’t you hate that word, “should”?), so much stuff that I wind myself up in knots worrying about it all. The biggest challenge seems to be just letting myself be.


    1. // Reply

      No probs, Rob, I was glad to link it. I’ve listened to it a couple of times now and knew the content was very relevant to this post as well so had to share it.

      I totally understand the worry too, you feel bad that you haven’t done the dishes or swept the floor when you should be focusing on the fact you just wrote 2,000 words, or outlined an entire novel. Should can be an evil word some days.


  3. // Reply

    Goosebumps inspired some horror stories from me, too 🙂

    Your obstacle is not lame. Your obstacle was real, and it’s something a lot of people struggle with and give up, so it’s definitely something to be proud of!


    1. // Reply

      Thanks Faith. I definitely can’t see myself giving up, I’ve wanted this for too long.

      I loved my Goosebumps books. I collected them like mad and read and read and read them until they wore out and the second hand bookstore owner wasn’t even sure he wanted to take them ;p It’s almost strange that I don’t write a lot of horror anymore, though I do dip back from time to time, like with the flash fiction Emily’s Typewriter I did a week or so ago.

      It’s so fun meeting people who fed on the same inspirations as you, I’m glad to hear we share the love of Goosebumps.

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