The Next Right Thing

Years ago when my late husband started his treatment for cancer I chose to quit my job and stay home with him. It was the right thing to do then and even now the only regret that I have is what could we have done differently, if there was anything we could have done to keep him alive.

At the time all my energies were focused on him. He was a very positive man, a survivor who believed that this, his illness, was a phase that he could conquer. That together we would see it through. I was too blocked creatively then, too scared to write.


Being an artist himself he somehow sensed my frustration and one day he suggested that I start writing again. “What’s the point,” I was quick to reply.

“Just do the next right thing, one step at a time,” he said. And the next right thing for me was to write. He had sensed my irritability, my restlessness. He knew me and he believed in me more than I did and still do sometimes. And when we cannot believe in ourselves we can at least believe in the belief of others. That’s how my blog got started. Dorothea Brande writes:

“Every author is a very fortunate sort of dual personality, and it is this fact that makes him such a bewildering, tantalizing, irritating figure.”

Focused on things that were out of my control I failed to create. Over the years I have wasted so many valuable writing hours thinking, contemplating, reflecting and regretting. And now when I feel irritated or restless and notice that too many people around me have started behaving badly then I know I am not working hard enough. Then I know I am not writing. And when I am on the right track, when I am writing, everyone around me seems to behave better.

“Becoming a writer is mainly a matter of cultivating a writer’s temperament.” Dorothea Brande


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