If you had only one year, what would you write?


Today is turkey day for many people, including my huge and wonderful extended family in Mexico City, Detroit, and all over the western world. I am so grateful for them. I wish I were with them.

I am grateful for friends.

For self-publishing. Even for Amazon.

I realize how grateful I am for the ability to write, however slowly, but I’ve been feeling lately it is slipping away.

Part of that is the normal losses of life: the last chick has left the nest (we hope, for her sake and happiness, for good). I am in the middle of a huge effort to downsize. And another huge effort to walk properly again. Both these efforts take a lot of energy – and the energy has to come from somewhere.

A big part is chronic illness; it demands more than anyone can afford.

But part is also aging, and the thought that if I slow down much more, I will be at a standstill.

Time is finite – will you be happy what you do with yours?

So this morning I asked myself the title question: If you only had one more year to be a writer, what would you choose to be your legacy?

Many writers have had this question thrust on them. Some have quit writing – they’ve said what they want to say, and the work is getting onerous.

Others, like Sir Terry and Iris Murdoch, were taken from us by the disease no one seems to be able to fix except in mice – Alzheimer’s Disease. I hope AD also removed from them the pain of knowing they were losing it, because it is the most awful feeling.

But still others – and I hope to be in this group – use this question to focus, to re-prioritize and re-aim their writing, and to ask themselves if they really are doing everything they can – and whether the work is important enough to warrant the expenditure of so many chits.

I have a very short professional list:

I have to finish Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD, and Book 3, tentatively subtitled LIMBO & PARADISE. Or maybe just PARADISE. And get them both published on Amazon.

I want to put the prequel short story, Too Late, up on Amazon.

I want them read, and I hope they will have an effect on people who consider the disabled ‘other,’ and not worth considering – or reading about.

I think I can accomplish those things IF I focus. Tempus fugit.

It is nice to consider that I have all the time in the world. But nobody ever really does. Life can strike the writer at any age.

Note that I’m also asking this question of people who don’t consider themselves writers – is there someone you should write to, or something you could write, need to write? That letter to your children? The one where you tell someone how much they’ve really meant to you?

What’s on your list?


7 thoughts on “If you had only one year, what would you write?

  1. Pearl Kirkby

    Very thought provoking post, Alicia. I wish I’d reached the point of writing to publish before my folks “journeyed on” – alas, water over the bridge.

    So many prayers for your comfort – Pearl


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      My dad got to read my first novel – the unpublished one which needs a lot of work – so he did see me as a potential writer. But he was a sweetheart, and he was looking forward to making the letters big enough to read on his Kindle.

      I can’t make myself go any faster – but I do have a bit of a life, and it keeps interfering: children, husband, you know the kind.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get Pride’s Children: PURGATORY finished in time for my dad to read it – I was a bit over a year late in getting it published.

      Please do what you can now – and don’t regret later that other things go in the way. It really doesn’t take that long if you set aside some time regularly – a couple of hours five days a week is what I manage (once you discount the down time DURING my writing time). If you’re healthier than I am, and younger, you should be able to find something in you life that doesn’t have the priority writing does.

      Just be aware that the writing itself can be frustrating sometimes – it’s part of the thinking process. I just keep asking my mind WHY it is having trouble (in a special file for that), until we figure it out.

      Liked by 1 person


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