The Hybrid Animal

I have been waiting – and trembling in secret anticipation – for acceptance to nursing school. This week, sweet word came in the form of a short email: Congratulations! You’ve done it! You have sold the next two years of your life to unforgiving schedules and stress.


I, of course, knew what I was signing up for. I am even elated by the challenge. Silly as it sounds, I have always found adversity to be character building. I march forward assuredly, prepared for a brilliant fight.

But what about my writing?

I have wished, as every writer has, to be left out to weather; to be able to write freely in an untethered realm of surrendered beauty and reluctant sound. At one time I believed that I did not belong to this world. I daydream too much, I thought. In my freshman year of high school, we read “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” as a class. I sunk low in my plastic orange chair. Oh, God, I realized in shame, this is me. I’m Walter Mitty.

No writer can exist in the lovely bubble. The creative haven is a port, but not a home. We have to go out to sea again and again. To our jobs, to school, to attend to our children and domestic duties. If we were to just writer, untangled and unabated, what would inspire us? The white-hot center from which we create would be tapped and exposed. It would cool and mellow, and so would the stories we plait in spite of all the reasons we should not.

And so, onward I march. As a hybrid animal: The writer/nurse. And may the experience – the raw material – surfeit, and never fail me.

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
C. S. Lewis


About Anna Dawes

Writer. Blogger. Vegetarian. I have two dogs that make me a little insane. I'm a nursing student. I read a lot of feminist literature; I negate it by obsessing over fashion magazines. I listen mostly to lovely lady singers, read mostly female authors, and spend most of my days surrounded by beautiful women. I consider words to be a delicate medium that only the most willing artist can bring to light. In another life I was a classic thespian. I have a purple office.
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8 Responses to The Hybrid Animal

  1. Pamela says:

    Hear, hear. I curse my day job all the time, but it’s LIFE that puts ink in the well. Congrgulations!

  2. I literally got chills from this post. I have the rare pleasure of writing full time. But as a ghostwriter, not my true love of fiction. Add to that my 3 children and I often resent those daily things that drag me away from my characters and stories.

    I too was the dreamer. Lost in the books others had written. Craving, even then, a way to tell my own stories.

    If only my life had been easier. Less pain. Less horror. If only I had more money, more time, more help. If only I had a nanny or a husband. Or a break.

    But oh, wait. It is all this, the pain and loneliness and fear and struggle and triumph and glory and strength when I felt all was lost… it is this that has made me worthy of my words. Made me a person with a story. And a voice.

    So thank you. For reminding me (when I needed it most to be honest) that I am shaped as a writer by the life I lead. And I need that life to shape my own worlds.

    And Congratulations! I’ve no doubt you will be brilliant as a Nurse and as a Writer through it all.

  3. Amelia Stone says:

    I’m a writer and a mommy. 🙂

  4. Looking forward to your book, Anna! And good luck with nursing school. I love what Pamela and Kimberly said….

    • Anna Dawes says:

      Thanks! I think Pamela and Kimberly are too generous, but I appreciate them so much. I am looking forward to the progress that is to be made with my book. I am so in love with it (is that weird) and am so thankful for all the support. I am a fan of yours, too! You’re blog is so different and interesting! Thanks again, talk to you soon!


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