Be specific…


I have always wanted to be a writer, but as a single parent with three kids, a full time job, and caregiver for my parents who had become disabled, that left very little time for my creative endeavors.

As I was attending my 20th class reunion in 1991, I was continually impressed by my former classmates. Some of them had their own businesses, some of them owned multiple homes, and some of them held positions high up in the companies they worked for.

That reunion rekindled my desire. I resolved to be a published writer by the next reunion.

Five years later, I moved to Washington State, so I was going to have to take an airplane to attend my 30th reunion. As it turned out, I was going to miss it, as were many others who had moved away from Las Vegas. It was scheduled for September 12, 2001, which happened to be the day after what has become known as 9/11, so all flights were cancelled.

10 years later, as I was attending my 40th class reunion, I remembered that resolution. It occurred to me that I had actually become a published author by the next reunion.

It just wasn’t exactly what I meant. I really wanted to write a novel, have it published, and see it in print in a book store.

 What actually happened was that I submitted a piece of work to a website that offered cash prizes. Out of the hundreds of submissions, only about 30 were selected to be published on the website. Out of those, only three cash prizes were awarded the next day, based upon content, comments from the readers, and the quality of the writing. The top prize was $50.

My submission was selected to be published, and I waited anxiously to see if anyone liked my work. They did. I won the $50 prize! I was so excited that you’d have thought I won the lottery. It was amazing how much that little bit of recognition for my work motivated my writing. I won a couple more prizes for my submissions…and then the website shut down.

The point to all of this is that after I attended my 40th reunion, I realized that I had achieved the goal I set 20 years prior to that. I was an author and I had been published. The problem was that I hadn’t been specific…and I hadn’t done the work that would have enabled me to reach the goal I really wanted.

Lesson learned.

Be specific about your goals. Then you know exactly what you have to do to reach them. Vague thoughts in your mind may only create vague goals.

Even if it wasn’t the novel I always wanted to write, I’m very proud of my first published work, so I would like to share it with you. I’m not so sure you’ll “enjoy” it, but it wasn’t written for that purpose. It’s more of an “educational” piece, titled:

Memoirs of a cigarette

Most likely you have never wondered how a cigarette feels about someone who smokes, but just in case you have, here is your chance to find out.

I remember the first time you tried me. You had been drinking with your friends, and one of them offered me to you. You hesitated for a second, remembering all those times when you were a child, begging your parents to quit smoking. But you tried me anyway, and were pleasantly surprised when you felt “high”, kind of like when you took a hit off that joint a few weeks before, but it was better because it was legal.

It wasn’t long before you didn’t feel that same “high” anymore, but nevertheless, you still wanted me. I became a panacea; a remedy for everything. You wanted me to wake you up in the morning, and then to help you sleep at night. You wanted me to relax, but sometimes you needed me to wind you up. You used me to curb your appetite, but then you had me after you were full. You used me when you were bored, but you wanted me when you were excited, too. And now that you usually can’t use me when you’re indoors, I’m still there for you when you have to go outside in the hot sun or out in the cold, even when it’s windy or raining.

I was, and am, always there for you, but every time you just suck the life out of me. Then, when there is hardly anything left of me, you cruelly crush out the last spark of my life and throw me away, always looking for another opportunity to have me.

I want you to mark my words here today. At some point in your life, I will have my revenge. I will get you back, because what goes around comes around. The time will come when I will suck the life out of you…and it may be sooner than you think. The next time you think about using me I want you to remember my words. Maybe you’ll think twice before using me again.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?

Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.

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