Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rose, the TARDIS, and Being a Writer

There's a scene from Doctor Who that strikes my soul again and again. The first time I saw it, I squirmed in recognition. Again, when I watched it with my younger son, my heart leaped in my chest. Then that scene repeated again and again in a montage I watched on Youtube.

In the scene, Rose is on earth. She's in a diner with her mother and Mickey. The Doctor has dropped her off. He sent her home while he was off saving the world. As far as she knows, he is sacrificing his life at the very moment her mother is shedding tears of joy to have Rose home. Rose is distraught. She's angry and scared and despairing.

Because what's the point?

If I can't have that life, if I can't be off in the heavens, fighting the bad guys and having grand adventures with the Doctor, what is the point in all of this? A job in a shop? Driving to work? Taking the tube? Eating fish and chips with my mother? Going on dates?


Once you've been inside the TARDIS, being inside your own life seems so small, so confined. Once you've seen the future, the present moves at a snail's pace.

This is me. I am Rose.

I love to write. I lose myself in stories. Creating characters - it's my own Genesis. My hands fly across keys, and I am doing what I am meant to do. I glimpsed the future when I found an agent. When an editor at a major publishing house loved my writing, I saw the stars. With each inch closer to publication, I found time travel to be real and true and part of who I am.

Some days, however, I am sent back to earth. I am stuck in the present. I make spelling lists. I go for walks in my neighborhood. I count calories and cook dinner and watch an episode of Glee. And I wonder, if this never happens, if I am not meant to be a novelist, how will I take it?

Honestly, when I imagine a life where I am not a writer, where no one cares about the words that are spinning inside my head... I feel like Rose.

What's the point?

Publication isn't the only thing that matters, but right now it is my TARDIS. It can take me places... places I really really really want to go.

Rose makes it back to the Doctor. She helps him save the world. Again. It's a great episode, one of my favorites. There's a magical kiss. Rose becomes one with the TARDIS.

If I close my eyes, I can believe it's coming for me too. The Doctor, the book contract... they're coming for me too.

Me. Too.


  1. I understand this. I love the analogy, too. I once thought I would for sure be a published author in my 20s. I was almost surprised when it didn't happen. Looking back, I can see WHY it didn't happen, but I didn't get it then. Now? I want it but I don't long for it. If it happens, it'll be very cool. If it doesn't, I think I'll be OK anyway. :)

    1. Yes, perhaps I will get there too. I was there, for a while. And then, the story bug bit and now I can't seem to stop myself.


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