The uncertainty of life as an element in your writing as a book author.
(An excerpt from my memoir The Power of the Curve about the uncertainty of life.)
When you’re just starting, life seems so straightforward. You can
look out at the horizon, pick a spot, and head straight for it. It
isn’t until you begin your journey that you realize there are no
straight paths. Every road has its twists and turns, crossroads,
detours, and hazards.
In the end, the journey of a lifetime can lead you to someplace
you never thought you’d wind up. Sometimes, it’s a place you
didn’t even know existed.
I never could have foreseen that my spine would curve, turning
against me like an enemy. I could never have known that
learning to survive when your body wants to destroy itself isn’t
a matter of being strong, or brave—it’s something different. It’s
learning to adapt, to be resilient. To change.
Some of you reading this might remember an old TV show called
Quantum Leap. I watched it religiously during my recovery
from surgery. In the show, a man gets caught in time loops. He
keeps being sent to different times and places, and in every new
destination, he has to solve a problem or learn an important
lesson. As soon as he’s fulfilled his mission, he “leaps” again …
always hoping that the next leap will take him back home. But
it never does.
In a lot of ways, that’s how life really works. You never really
know where you’re heading next. So many things are out of your
control. You could think you know exactly what the future holds,
but in a moment it can all be swept away and replaced by an
entirely different reality.
If you had told me this when I was fourteen, I would have been
terrified. But now, it doesn’t scare me. I’ve learned a lot about
surviving and thriving, and the most important thing I’ve
learned is that, no matter how things change all around you,
you’ve always got yourself.
I could always count on me. And when I finally learned to
honor myself, respect myself, and put myself first—I became
It’s funny, life tries to teach us these lessons early on, but it
takes a long time to truly learn them. Mini-CEO Christine,
high-school Christine, she was absolutely sure that life moved
in a straight line. I knew with certainty that if I wanted to be
successful, I simply needed to follow a set of steps. Do the
assignments, get good grades, go to school, get a degree,
work hard, be a success.
I don’t believe things like scoliosis “happen for a reason.” That’s
just not true. The only reason I got scoliosis was my genetic
makeup and a roll of the cosmic dice. But scoliosis was teaching
me a lesson nonetheless. It was an opportunity to learn that
nothing can be taken for granted: everything can be taken
away—except one thing. No matter what, you still have the
strength inside you to survive and rebuild your body, your life,
and your future.
Uncertainty in Your Writing
As an author, how do you address the natural twists, turns, crossroads, and overall the uncertainty of life in your writing? Whether applied to fiction or nonfiction books, uncertainty is a universal truth. At any given time, most of us have at least some level of uncertainty about the choices we’re making. And none of us know for sure how they’re going to turn out.
But because we’re human and because we have no other choice, we keep making choices, learn from them, hope for the best, and when the best doesn’t happen, find a way to keep going forward.
How do you weave the universal truth of uncertainty into your writing, even in a subtle way?
P.S. Learn more about my memoir about finding strength in life’s unexpected surprises and get your copy! Already read it? Thank you, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.