When Life Gets in the Way


Lately I have found that it is so easy to find something else to do rather than work on the work-in-progress or edit the work-waiting-for-response-from-agents. The waiting is excruciating. My lovely daughter wants to have a party, so I said yes. Partly because it will be fun, partly because I now have way too much to do. I have an excuse to leave my work because I have to dust, vacuum, clean, shop, etc. Of course, she’s doing a lot, but you know it’s all on me.

Of course, that isn’t to say I don’t sneak away every few days to make sure everyone is still in my computer, waiting for me to return. It’s a little world in there that comes alive when I open it-and is stuck in a never-ending game of freeze tag as soon as I hit “close.”  But I know they are just waiting for me to return. Sometimes I feel guilty thinking about them in there, waiting for me to unfreeze them. And I miss the characters, as if they are friends (even the ones who are not so likeable). Alas, life gets in the way. The party must go on, the shopping must get done, the classwork must be completed.

When life gets in the way, the best thing to do is fight back, yes? I’ll be waking up earlier now and making time for my frozen universe in the computer. Early mornings are my favorite time to work, but I also love to sleep. Sleep has been winning these days, but I owe it to my characters and to myself to get up early. It’s an excuse to say that life is getting in the way when what I really mean is that I am not taking the time to work. It means I’m avoiding it because I’m stuck on something or waiting for an agent to tell me how much they love my work before I continue. Big mistake—life may get in the way but this is also my life and I’ve got to embrace it.

How do you make time? Do you work late into the night, steal moments during your kid’s soccer game, write in a coffee shop during lunch? All good ideas. Writers write when they can. There is no excuse is there?

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8 thoughts on “When Life Gets in the Way

  1. Synchronicity strikes – A few moments ago I posted a story about my battle with the page and how it stems from fear.

    I discovered I need regime to keep me on track, but inside that regime, I also need diversity. I’ve devised a plan that works around my family time. It is somewhat flexible due to my husband’s irregular schedule. I block and rotate my writing related task to include time to write, research, blog, study, read, and simply observe and listen. These elements keep me involved in my work without overwhelming me with a strictly word driven schedule.

    I really cherish my observe and listen time. These moments refresh me, while adding to my arsenal of descriptive detail.

  2. So true, I just read your post and the fear basis of it it something I hadn’t thought of. Seems we’ve both come to the same conclusion in a different way. Let me know how your new schedule works. Good luck!

  3. I negotiated at least one night out where I get to leave the house and write for a few hours. Lately it’s been FireSky resort. I have a soft spot for lavish hotel lobbies. I just wish the beer were a bit cheaper.

    • What a great idea. I really don’t like coffee shops, they can be so distracting and loud. Hotel lobbies can be so pretty and comfortable. I may steal your idea!

  4. I find myself feeling like this. I realize I’m procrastinating when I’m stuck or afraid to push the story where it needs to go and sometimes that place is right off the cliff, into the abyss. I recently received a mini laptop that I take to work and try to work on the story during lunch or a down time. I feel better knowing I’ve done some work for the day. I try to do something on the story everyday, preferably writing, but sometimes it’s research or plotting. I don’t let more than a day go by without doing something, no matter how small. It’s too easy to find a convenient excuse not to go back to it if you don’t

    • Getting that laptop sounds like a great idea. Since I work from home, I have no excuse really. But doing something-anything-is a good habit to get into. The more time you don’t work on it, the easier it is. At least that’s what I find. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I write in starts and stops. I’ll write thousands of words a day for a month or two and then I won’t write for weeks. The system works well over the summer, at least.

    • Makes sense if it works for you. I find if I’m away too long it dries out…And since it’s so hot here in AZ, summers are great for writing! thanks for reading and commenting.

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