The Writers Journey: A Book Begins

“When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”  Isak Dinesen


Most all writers would certainly identify with this quote.  Sometimes, you look at the task and think, “I just can’t do that.”  The task may intimidate so that you have difficulty even starting it.  This reminds me of another saying that goes, a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step (or something like that).


A human brain showing frontotemporal lobar deg...

A human brain showing frontotemporal lobar degeneration causing frontotemporal dementia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been knocking around in my head an idea to write a book about my adventures with my mother-in-law and her dementia.  I’ve written a few things, and I think this would be a great book for anyone dealing with a family member who is slowly going away one brain cell at a time.  Even if it only helped the family, it would be well worth it.


So, how do I begin?  I guess I’ve already begun by writing what I have already finished, some of which I could take and some I can’t.  If anyone would like to check  out the ones I have on Yahoo Voices, here’s the links:

The Ups and Downs of Caring for Someone with Dementia

Yes, Mom   (a short story)

A Faithful Friend  (poetry)


As I sit here looking at her as she nods off again, I think about how I can honor her life.  I also think about how hard it is to watch her disappearing, regressing into childhood and innocence, often having more in common with my 2 yo granddaughter than the adult she was.  I think about how many stories are locked in that brain.  I feel for her during the times she realizes something is wrong.  I think about all the other people out there who are, have, or will be taking care of an elderly parent or parent-in-law.  I think on these things, and it makes me want to start this journey.

So this post is step one.  I hope you all will help me out by giving me ideas, stories to share, feedback, or anything else you think would help me take that next step.  Then we can all celebrate when the task “finishes itself” in time.  Since this topic has to do with the brain, I am hoping to allow Gram and Imma to contribute their part to this book.


What do you think?  About my journey, or about something this quote brings to mind for you.     Have you faced insurmountable obstacles?  What did you do?  Did you keep plodding away until it was finished or did you sit down and not start? 



  1. I think it is wonderful idea. People we love who suffer either from Dementia or Alzheimer will finally lose themselves, it is a terrible thing to watch. For family members it is worse because the person we love disappears. But there are good days, funny days and loving days within the terrible.

    • Yes there are – lots of funny days around here – you might as well laugh. Thank you for your input. It is a sad thing to watch as they gradually lose everything that relates to people around them and more into their own private world of the past. We’re getting close to that with the mother-in-law, but she has days where she fires pretty good. Angie

  2. elizabeth

    I also think it a wonderful idea Angela. I am leaving next week to take care of my Mum for five weeks. I think sharing information and insight is always a good thing. :

    • Thanks Elizabeth. I hope things go well for you 🙂 Angie

  3. Great quote and post. I agree with both and think that many authors are overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a book.

    I was a little different. I’m known for starting things in life and not finishing them (maybe that’s just with my education). Before I started my book “Freelance Writing Guide,” I was full of ideas and confident that I could write the book. I did not let doubts enter my mind and just wrote as much as possible. Then my motivation began to slow. About halfway through I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” I had come so far, and yet, I had a long ways to go. I wasn’t as motivated to write, but I wrote every chance that I felt a little inspiration. There were weeks when the manuscript sat untouched, but I didn’t forget about it. Now the first draft is complete and I couldn’t be happier. The hard part is done.

    You can do it too! Just keep your mind focused on the things that compel you to write the book and it will carry you through. Once you get halfway through, you will not want to give up.

    • I’m glad you got your book finished. I know it is a very long and frustrating process. I’m already having panic attacks just for having gone so far as to make the statement that I want to do it in front of people!!! Ugh. Ah well, I will keep plugging away at it. Thank you for your encouragement. I anticipate your book coming out 🙂 We can all use help there! Angie

  4. I am proud of you Angie. I have thoughts that I too would like to write but some issues are just so hard to address and we have to do that when we write about our own selves and lives… hugs to you and I look forward to our connection along our writing journeys.

    • Aw, thank you Christy! It is hard. It’s also cathartic. My husband bawled when he read the posts I included, but he is encouraging me to continue to write about it. She is an amazing woman, and I want to honor her in this, as well as helping others. I know when you are ready to share, you will do so. It may be too fresh for you. I love seeing your smilng face in the blogosphere 🙂 Angie

  5. I think your book is a great idea! There are a lot of people you could enlighten. Sometimes knowing or having an idea what is in store, can help prepare the way.
    God Bless You!

    • Thank you Deidre. It is true that knowing what’s coming helps. It also helps to know others have gone through the same thing and survived. 🙂 Angie

  6. Red

    Anyone can eat an elephant. Just bite, chew, swallow, repeat. You can do this.

    • lol Now I’m really scared!!!

  7. Great idea, Angie. It must be difficult watching someone disappear. Anytime someone can learn from us is a wonderful day. I took a peak at your ‘Ups and downs’ link. You have lots of important details but it sounds like a text book, more like a ‘professional’ wrote it. Where are YOU in this story. More personal involvement might warm up the subject? Just an idea…

    • Hey Tess. You got lost in the shuffle in my e-mail, so this is late. Thank you for looking. You might have wanted to look at the next two though. That one IS professional. It’s an article I wrote that had to be not in first person. When I do the book, it will certainly be more personal because I can do what I want. 🙂 The other two are very personal if you want to check them out. Thanks for your input and thanks for calling me a professional 😀 Angie

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