Write to create anticipation. Readers love it.

Karalee’s Post #118

More and more I’m consciously experiencing the world around me from a writer’s perspective and focusing on how it makes me feel.

My medical background and experience helps too. It’s fairly common for people training in the medical field (like physiotherapists, doctors, nurses, etc.) to “feel like they are experiencing” the symptoms of different conditions they are learning about. It’s a weird phenomenon with weird feelings, and one I went through with various diseases and conditions myself.

It was nothing compared to what I experienced in my first job as a new graduate over 30 years ago.

I’ve always been interested in orthopedics and way back then, when I was working with the surgeon on the orthopedic ward, I decided it would be good for me to see real surgeries. I was granted permission to watch a total hip replacement and I went to work early that morning to partake in the exciting experience. I headed to the operating rooms, scrubbed up and gowned like a nurse instructed me to before I was escorted to the room where the surgery was to be performed. I was told to sit on “that chair” and the patient would be in shortly.

The nurse left and I was alone. With my thoughts. And anticipations.

Well, sitting and waiting let the demons in to play havoc. I have a special talent of conjuring up images (good for writing) and my mind went into overdrive, anticipating everything I was about to see and smell and what I worried about like, “what if the doctor asked me questions and I didn’t know the answer?” and “what if something went wrong”….

It was an interesting experience to say the least. One I am still emotionally attached to and have NEVER forgotten.

In the fifteen minutes I waited I had three strokes. I swear. Three.

I thought I was dying. The right side of my body was weak. Surely my brain was hemorrhaging! There was no way I was going to survive! I hadn’t made a will….

Apparently I was introduced to the art of fainting. Blacking out. BOOM. On the floor out cold!

One minute I’m sitting and staring at the equipment in the room-without-a-doctor-or-patient, and the next BAM. Somehow I’m on the floor. I woke the first time (and the second) and got myself back on the chair, feeling very stupid and vulnerable — and scared. After all, I was having a stroke!

Then the patient came in on wheels, on a stainless steel bed pushed by a couple of nurses. No blood. No weird cutting noises. Yet.

No doctor. Yet.


I’m on the floor again. Out cold.

This time a nurse helped me back onto the chair. I was convinced I was dying. My brain was fuzzy. My body was weak and buzzing. My heart was racing. But of course I said I was alright.

Apparently it’s not uncommon to have this type of reaction your first time!

I didn’t realize back then, but this was GREAT writing stuff! I was definitely emotionally involved and over 30 years later those feelings are only a thought away and still as vivid as the day it happened. Like Silk talked about in her last post, Write with emotion, it’s creating the emotions and caring that readers remember and attach to.

Now THIS is what I want to create in my writing!

So, did I see the surgery? You bet! Once the initial cut was over, I had no problem. I even stood up next to the patient to watch the goings on and stayed on my feet.

The interesting point it highlights for me is that ANTICIPATION is incredibly important in upping the emotional involvement. Anticipation means that we are invested in the character or the outcome of something before it happens. To anticipate something, we CARE about the event or person and what is going on in the story.

I was invested in watching surgeries to increase my understanding and empathy of what patients undergo, and to help me in the rehabilitation process post-surgery. I wanted to know what physically happened under anesthesia, but the anticipation of blood and guts took over my composure as though I had no control.


Powerful stuff.

Powerful enough to evoke intense feelings. Powerful enough to remember years later.

Powerful enough for writers to invest time and energy in producing in their writing!


Achievements this week:

  • feeling great about my daughter’s wedding and enjoying the experience! This means my daughter’s dress and shoes are sorted, and in Mexico arrangements are made for getting hair and nails done! The hacienda hotel takes care of the other details, so we can relax and ENJOY!
  • my new business is challenging me and I love it!
  • grateful for where I am in life.
  • 1 hr/day writing. July 5th is on its way!

Keeping balance in my life: 

  • Still sticking to the Slight Edge philosophy.
  • Daily meditation and exercise. Gratitude keeps me in a place of peace.
  • Staying in touch with fellow 5Writers every week is rewarding and our group grows closer as life events happen. We are there for each other.
  • Staying positive is a choice, and I’ve decided to practice being positive daily.

Perspective Photos from days gone by:

My daughter and me having fun






Remembering my close friend that passed. Her daughter is a new mother. Memories….




Happy writing!

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