writing

When is sympathy the wrong approach? When you are talking to a perfectionistic procrastinator with ongoing leg pain in winter. When it hurts to sit and stand, and its cold and wet outside, it's so comforting to curl up under a cosy blanket and escape into a well-told tale, whether a novel or a television series. And when your own words emerge in jerky clumps, as if your thoughts are crashing against successive barriers erected by electric flashes of pain - well it's too easy to say "I'll write better when I feel better", and open a new novel on my E-Reader.

Packed, downstairs, and chatting to my neighbours while waiting for the cab at 3 pm, I was feeling much more relaxed than my usual bleary-eyed 6 am-to-the-airport-self. The flights to Europe usually seem to be late afternoon so theoretically one should sleep for the nine hours and arrive refreshed and happy, thinking how wonderful the trip was, and book again with the airline for your next trip. Ah, but what about those of us who don’t sleep easily on planes?

I wake this morning to a sky that is grey with the promise of rain. Before breakfast I walk outside and round the block to check if the café/bar is open yet. It is not. Today is a “day off” from the travel part of the course and time for us to focus on our writing. Sydney and Stephanie decide to go for a long hike. I decide to write.

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Over my 35 years as a physician (of course I was a mere teenager, 17 to be exact, when I started medical school), I can’t begin to count the number of times people have said to me “I always wanted to be a doctor but…” and then would follow one of several common excuses: “All that studying, it’s too hard” or” six more years in school is way too long” (actually counting 2 residencies it was 14 years) or my favorite, “but I can’t stand the sight of blood”. Actually I don’t much like the sight of blood either – rather ironic for a laboratory physician. But that’s another issue, so what’s my point?