What the Writer’s Life Really
Means to Me – Part Two

“Life can only be understood backward;
it must be lived forward.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard

It’s 6:30 a.m. The walls are sterile beige. The floors are ugly tile like you might see in an elementary school cafeteria … and the halls are eerily quiet except for the occasional passing of a wheeled cart of some kind.

Sean McCool here, and I am writing from room 559 in the cancer wing of a hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

It’s not me with cancer … it’s my mom. She’s in the later stages of ovarian cancer. The visits to the hospital are becoming more frequent and more serious. In short, it’s a very tough time.

So why am I interrupting your day with such depressing news? How and why could this possibly matter to you and your quest for the writer’s life?

I’ve realized recently that the writer’s life is not a goal or destination.

I’ve come to believe it’s much more. As I discussed in part one of this article, the writer’s life is a tool we can use to create more options for daily living.

This may be just the perspective you need to refocus your efforts on living the writer’s life for all it’s worth.

Diagnosis and regret …

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, I was flat broke and working long hours just to get by. I had no financial resources and no time. I had no options.

I could not afford to take care of my own mother, who had provided for me for so many years. I won’t go into the details here, but it was a sad situation. Looking back, I regret not seizing the options offered by the writer’s life sooner.

You see, at the time, I knew about the writer’s life … I just hadn’t done anything about it. Oh, I’d been to AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair seven months before … I’d taken AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting … and I wanted to live the life. But the fact of the matter was, I had not yet committed to living the writer’s life. (If you haven’t heard it, you can read my story of commitment here.)

Back to the hospital …

I’m in a much different place now … both financially and time-wise. While I am six hours away from my mom, I can drop everything and head down when needed. And when the time does come, I can stay to the end … for weeks at a time if that’s what’s needed.

Compare that to when I couldn’t even afford the gas to get across town, much less across two states, and you’ll see why it’s a pretty big deal.

Compare spending three, four, or five days in a hospital room just to “be there” for her to having to stay at work because I can’t get the time off again.

Now I don’t have to get permission from anyone to go to her side. I have the option of bringing my work with me on my MacBook. I just use the time when she’s sleeping to knock out an article or part of a promotion.

As I said, it’s not the cheeriest topic. But it is just one more reason to fully commit to this thing called the writer’s life.

Like I said, the writer’s life is not a destination; it’s a tool – just like money is a tool. The writer’s life doesn’t magically take away pain or hardship. It doesn’t stop loved ones from dying or getting sick. What the writer’s life does offer … and what I’ve discovered it really means to me … is more options to handle the problems of life that do arise.

Listen, I hope you are never writing from a loved one’s hospital room. But if you do ever need to be by the side of someone you love for an extended time, I hope you will have already made the decision to embrace the writer’s life … and that every possible option is available to you.

Signing off from room 559.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: July 11, 2011

5 Responses to “What the Writer’s Life Really Means to Me – Part TWO”

  1. Sean,

    Sharing the writers' life from this perspective goes deep. So sorry your Mom is going through this and so glad you can be there for her.

    Thank you so much for giving us reality and a view of what this life can give to us.

    Best, Janet

    Janet GrosshandlerJuly 11, 2011 at 7:13 am

  2. Dear Sean:
    Thank you for your inspirational article.
    And my best to you and your mom during this difficult time. Your tenacity in obtaining the writer's life is a testament to your upbringing. I'm sure your mother must be proud of you.

    Take care, and God Bless

    Tom

    Tom Picciano - The Copywriting ScientistJuly 11, 2011 at 7:32 am

  3. A unique benefit that one would probably just not think of unless living it as you are.....I've enjoyed all your articles,but this one in particular"hits home"-God bless you and your mom-Chris Vigneri

    Guest (christine vigneri)July 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

  4. Sean,

    This must have been a tough article to write. It's clear you did it predominantly for our benefit. I fully appreciate your selflessness, and promise myself today to stay with it until I have improved MY "options".

    Best wishes to you and your family during these challenging times.

    Jerry BuresJuly 17, 2011 at 10:08 pm


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)