Truly serious writers are few and far between. Reading a very short bio of a young author, who was featured in the magazine I was browsing, it dawned on me she was a very committed writer. She taught classes in writing, had two books published and was featured in multiple magazines. She was on her way and it was obvious she was a very serious writer.
When I finished my brousing, I had to look into my mental mirror and ask myself if I had that kind of dedication to my craft. Was I doing all that I could do in my chosen profession to expand my readership? How was I handling my time. Not very long ago, I had decided to write a set number of pages in my current young adult novel. My goal is two and a half books this year and I only have the half completed.
So what happened? Why was it going so well and then why did it fall apart? LIFE! Within a period of one month, Life stomped all over my plans. While I was out of state helping my sister with recovery from back surgery (I had the easy job, my younger sister had been with her during the surgery and the first week after), my husband had a sever auto accident.
My empathy crushed my initiation in writing
I came home to a man with broken ribs and a torn biceps and a rotator cuff. His pain was horrendous and he suffered for two weeks while the doctors finally got the MRI completed and surgery scheduled. I found my time totally devoted to helping him. Now that the surgery has been completed, he still has a lot of pain and discomfort. I spend a lot of time trying to help with that.
Now just when that has calmed down, a very dear friend of mine lost her young son to a massive heart attack. Shocking and totally unexpected, it hangs over me like a huge dark blanket. I have done no writing for two months and am beginning to wonder how to start up again.
It is very hard to pick up where we left off, when all these life distractions impose their will into our day to day existence. And that is all I was experiencing – an existence of putting out fires, comforting others, and
feeling all the pain that they felt. So when I read that short biography of that young writer, it dawned on me that I had taken a two month hiatis from my chosen profession.
Take charge of your life – a little at a time
Instead of allowing it to bother me, I readjusted my schedule. By maintaining a consistant number of pages per day, regardless of all of the life distractions, I still can reach my goals. By changing my schedule the targets can be reached IF I stick to my guns and use what little time I have to put print to page.
If you have ever had to take a break from writing, whether voluntary to recharge your imagination or because life thru you a curve, when the dust settles, screw down your determination and get writing again. Life will always be with us, but we must never give up! We must find new and inovative ways to accomplish our goals if we are to feel like serious writers.
Sometimes when life’s distractions take over, we feel out of control.
This is what I felt, so I put up a white board over my desk. I made a new goal listing for the next few months. Taking control a few hours of my day, helped me to feel better.
Items my goals covered:
Set the number of pages you want to write per day. You may not be able to meet this everyday, but it is your target.
Determine where these pages will reside: book, social media,blogs,etc.
Decide how you waste time. For me, getting up to do dumb little things. They can wait, if I am truly honest.
Schedule writing to fit in between appointments and necessary items.
If you can’t write in the book, write in a blog, or on your website page.
Write a letter to a friend if your writing feels stagnent.
Be proactive. Join writing groups online. There are many facing the same issues as you.
Don’t let interuptions distress you – go with the flow of the day. If you must, write when others sleep.
Rememeber – Serious writers are a determined writers. Life happens to us all, whether we are famous or just starting.