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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Life Is Short: Where do I Sign

Scott Benner

It was the Monday after Lynne's pitch meeting and I was folding laundry when my phone rang. This would seem like foreshadowing if I wasn't practically always doing the laundry. I was standing in Arden's room, putting her clothes onto hangers when I heard Lynne's voice come through the phone. I have to admit that I knew right away that her call must be good news. I mean, who would call with bad news that early in the week?

My table of contents and outline made a good impression at the pitch meeting and I was going to be offered a contract to complete a book based on my idea. Lynne's words took my breath away. I almost immediately pictured a book spine with my name on it. The little boy inside of me, the one that always wanted to write, he was smiling! I didn't know that I could still feel so childlike at my age.

We spoke about the reality of delivering a manuscript and when Lynne asked me if I could do it, I said "yes" immediately, but I had no idea to be honest. The most I write on Arden's Day is seven hundred, maybe a thousand words at a time. I had conscientiously taught myself to be brief for blogging (I know that I do go on longer sometimes) and I wasn't 100% sure that I could write in a longer form in a meaningful way but I was going to find out. A number of days later I was reading my first book contract, it's no windfall mind you, but I was inching closer to becoming a published author and it felt astonishing freeing and terrifyingly constraining all at once.

I'd tell you more about what Lynne said on that call but who knows, I can't remember one word that she spoke after the reality sunk in... I was going to write a book. My brain was throwing a party and dancing with a lamp-shade on it's head. When the music stopped I pulled myself together and called my wife. I told Kelly that Lynne asked me if I could delivery a manuscript on time, Kelly replied, "can you?".

"Yes, I think I can..."

I spent a couple of weeks finding out the true answer to that question. I wrote at much greater lengths to find my voice in long-form. I wouldn't call what I wrote an outline, that wouldn't be fair to outlines. It was perhaps more like a stream of conciseness about what I thought the book was. Some of the sentences in that exercise exist now in the book, some times word for word and others in tone or theme. Mostly, I just needed to prove to myself that I could tell my story in a way that hopefully would be meaningful and well received. 

I was nervous during that process for reasons that had little to do with writing a book. First off, this was a life-long dream. I couldn't imagine what I'd feel like if crafting a book was something that I couldn't do. What if I had no ability to accomplish the thing that I spent two decades believing that I was meant to do. What if it sucked? What if I like it and no one else responds to it? What if I let my wife down? I remember vividly being in my early twenties and telling my then girlfriend that I wanted to be a writer. Now here I am almost twenty years later and I was getting the chance to make good on my wish. I didn't want to let Kelly down, I didn't want to let myself down and I really wanted my kids to see that wishes can come true. Most of all, I wanted to write a book that impacted someone. I wanted to make a difference. So I wrote and wrote and didn't stop until I loved my voice at three thousand words the way that I do at seven hundred. When I found my legs, I typed out the first topic from my table of contents onto a blank page and began to write you a book.

I didn't have the courage to read those first words for a few days. When I did finally find the nerve, I never looked back.

In my next entry Life is Short: Writing I want to tell you about the catharsis that accompanied me as I wrote. It was a once in a lifetime feeling that I wish for everyone and a gift that I won't ever forget.

 

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