Article Date: 11/1/2009

A <I>Novel</I> Idea
reflections
THE HUMAN SIDE OF OPTOMETRY

A Novel Idea

An economy-caused gap in my schedule hasn't entirely been a bad thing.

DEEPAK GUPTA, O.D. F.A.A.O.,
STAMFORD, CONN.

As is the case with many of my fellow practitioners, the economic downturn has caused my patient load to slow a bit. Rather than spend my newly free time lamenting this unfortunate turn of events, however, I've chosen to use this time to revisit an interest that's long taken a back seat to my practice and family. And I'm pleased to say that the result of doing so has not only enabled me to achieve a life-long dream, but it has also relieved the stress associated with running a practice during financially challenging times. Here's my story…

Write on

I'd always loved to write and have had a life-long dream of authoring the next great novel. But, like many aspiring writers, I chose a more stable profession — in this case, optometry — for which I also had and continue to have a great affinity.

The problem: Once I decided on the career path of optometry, the time I had for crafting stories became less, particularly when I began building my optometric practice. And, after I got married and soon thereafter had children, my time to write became almost non-existent.

So, when the economy went south and one- to two-hour gaps began appearing in my practice schedule, I decided to park myself in front of my computer and start writing again. The result was my first novel, "A Passionate Death."

Without giving too much away, the novel is about a serial killer who has a dark family secret and issues with women. Because the macabre topic of serial killers fascinates me, and I've, therefore, read and seen quite a bit of news programs and movies about it, the 264-page book practically poured from me.

Dr. Gupta's debut novel "A Passionate Death" a project, with which he filled his practice schedule gaps, was eventually published by self-publisher company Eloquent Books.

Upon completion of the manuscript for "A Passionate Death," I then spent my practice schedule gaps reading and re-reading hundreds of its' pages for grammatical errors, story inconsistencies and improvements I could make in the plot. I bugged as many of my friends and relatives to do the same.

After several re-writes and changes, I submitted a final version of the manuscript to many bookpublishing agents in hopes of getting it out to the masses. Once I acquired an agent, he had me get the manuscript professionally edited prior to his presenting it to publishers. Eventually, Eloquent Books, a self-publisher, published my novel and has made it available on Amazon. com, among other book-selling outlets. My life-long dream had become a reality!

Rewards

While any business owner/practitioner, including myself, would rather have his practice schedule fully booked, this is often no longer the case given the current state of the economy. As a result, I suggest you use the gaps in your schedule to pursue a personal interest or practice-building project you've always wanted to, though never had the time to pursue before now. Take it from me: Doing so will not only give you an enormous sense of accomplishment, but also take your mind off a situation — although temporary — that has and continues to cause much stress. OM


DO YOU HAVE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? DISCUSS YOUR STORY WITH JENNIFER KIRBY, SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF OPTOMETRIC MANAGEMENT, AT (215) 628-6595, OR JEN.KIRBY@WOLTERSKLUWER.COM. OM OFFERS AN HONORARIUM FOR PUBLISHED SUBMISSIONS.

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2009