What to do when there’s too much to do!
Authors...How do you go on when real life gets in the way?
“Honey, I’ve been transferred...again. I have to be in Colorado the first week of January.” This was the statement my husband made to me at the end of last year. To say it was devastating was an understatement. We had just moved into a new house and my kids were settled in their schools, one heading towards his senior year. To uproot all we had in place and move from warm Arizona back to frigid Colorado was a huge undertaking, more so than you’d ever think.
The small college town we were headed to was packed with students, therefore leaving nary a rental in sight, and we had to move fast! Thankfully, a family friend offered a place to stay, which turned into a semi-permanent solution after some chaotic packing and moving of two households.
Needless to say, I’m still surrounded by boxes and a long laundry list of have-to’s in order to get my family settled again. The one thing that's been missing from that list, however, is writing. I spent most of 2015 wearing my “business hat” and haven’t opened my laptop in over a month (only working from my phone), and not one single word has made its way to my grossly-overdue manuscript. Authors...how do you go on when real life gets in the way?
For me...it starts with not beating myself up over the downtime that is inevitable when life throws you a curveball. I KNOW I’ll get back on track soon and the words will start flowing again, and when that happens...look out! I type 93 wpm and have a wicked long book list that needs to get finished. I have stories that are already plotted and ready for me to jump into. And most importantly...I’m excited again!
Keeping yourself pumped for the stories you know are coming can be a major hurdle. As authors, we can have a tendency to get bogged down in the “have to write” stigma, instead of the “I’m excited to write” mindset. I’ve seen post-after-post about “How to get back on track” or “How to stay inspired” suggesting that it boils down to just making yourself write something every single day. And while that is sound advice that works for many, I find that it’s just not plausible for me at all times. And. That’s. Okay!
Life happens, and while I could wallow or even eye that damn towel that wants to be thrown in, I never will. I know myself well enough to realize that all I need is time. Time to attend to my family’s needs, time to organize and regroup, and time to let that excitement build again. When the dust finally settles the spark will return, and I’ll be happier for it. In my first year of being published, I put out seven books! No, it hasn’t happened again since, but I know it can, and that in and of itself is something to be excited about and strive for! In the meantime, I’ll allow myself to be human and take the time I need, knowing my readers will be there when I return. A great piece of marketing advice I received from a friend was “just write your next book,” but I think I’d like to add, “when you can.” Write your next book when you can! As a mother of three, the owner of a full-time business, and a part-time bookkeeper, adding those three little words takes away the pressure and leaves all the pleasure, and that’s definitely something anyone could get excited about!
(Originally published on Tish's Two-Cents column for Gliterary Girl Media)