Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Life Happens - What's a Writer to Do?

by Alycia W. Morales
@AlyciaMorales

Life Happens. We all know it. Don't we?

We sit down at our keyboard or with pen and paper, throw words on the page, and in the middle of the momentum, our train of thought is derailed by ...

The dust bunny hiding under the keyboard. Kids. Questions. Appointments. Trips to the ER. Collection calls. A friend with a desperate need. Death. Emergencies that need our immediate attention. Things we cannot possibly put off.

What's a writer to do?

Here are 8 things I recommend:

1. Forgive yourself for missing your word count. That deadline. The blog post that was supposed to go up on Monday and...

2. Reschedule. Put the post up Wednesday instead. Contact the deadline holder and let them know you've had an emergency and need an extra day or two. Double up your word count the next day.

3. Remember that those who we're accountable to have a life too. They'll understand. They've probably missed a blog post, word count, or deadline themselves.

4. Keep going. Don't quit pursuing whatever it is you're pursuing just because you had an off day. Or week. Or month. (Hopefully you're not having an off year, but I know they happen.)

5. Schedule in a little extra writing time. Think of it as a time savings plan. That way, when things do come up, you have another time set aside to focus on your writing. The little interruptions here and there won't seem so big.

6. Go on strike. Tell your spouse and the kids you are going dark for the evening and find a quiet place to write, where interruptions aren't allowed. Maybe you need to head to the coffee shop. Maybe you need to lock yourself in a closet. Strike on life and write.

7. Acknowledge when there are seasons you may have to set your writing aside. Maybe you've been writing since you were single in college, and now you're married and about to have a baby. Responsibilities and situations change. You may have to lay it down for a season. But that doesn't mean you can't pick it up again later.

8. Pick it up again. Maybe you set your love of writing aside for a season while life happened, and now that season has passed. Take down that dream, dust it off, and get writing!

Here is the one thing I don't recommend: Use these as an excuse to procrastinate.

Yes, life happens.

But don't let the need to take your child to the emergency room because they just broke their arm become the head excuse to look at Facebook for the next hour, talk with your best friend while eating lunch at your favorite restaurant, and then wander around Hobby Lobby until you have to get your other kids from the car line at school, go home to cook dinner, and collapse in front of the television to watch Castle and doze off.

Take care of life and get back to writing.

Tweetables:
Life Happens, So What's a Writer to Do? {Click to Tweet}

What's a writer do when life interrupts? {Click to Tweet}

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