(Think: Writing vs. Life)
We all know the importance
of writing daily. At least I do.
Creative writers have it pounded
into their heads all the time; we should write something, anything – good or
bad – daily. It’s just like working out, building muscle.
You won’t win any
weight-lifting competitions if you only go to the gym every other week.
But every now and then, Life
(think: sumo-wrestler sized) lumbers along while you’re in the middle of word
sprinting or working on your novel (think: pushups), and it just sits on you,
making it impossible to keep going (think: not a pretty picture).
Case-in-point: this whole
past week for me.
Basically, I took an
unintended vacation from social media, blogging, and yes, writing.
Picture this: I was coming
to the end of a personal challenge (which was to finish my novel or write
approximately 25,000 words on my novel in the span of fourteen days), had just
passed the 50k mark and was on fire for my novel, being within a few thousand
words of typing “the end.”
But then, amid my already
busy life, I decided to explore a career opportunity and decided that I was
going to take a job at another newspaper in another city, far-far-away from
where I live now. I grew up in the area where I’m living now and I felt ready
to take on a challenge and wanted to advance my career. I’ve never lived
This was going to be huge
(think: life-changing) for me.
So, in the span of a week, I
talked on the telephone with this other newspaper, I traveled for a job
interview to this other town and the job was in. Then I talked to my boss and
editor and prepared to leave behind the paper that gave me my start; my editor
even wrote a column in our publication about me leaving (wishing me luck). Then
I packed my apartment, sought out housing in the other town, and called my
landlord to let her know I’d be moving out – you know, made all the arrangements.
And then I ended up having
And decided not to go after
Yeah, how are you supposed
to concentrate on finishing your novel when you’ve got all that going on?
As of the writing of this
post, the first draft of my work in progress is yet unfinished. But, it’s so
close to being done that it’s not even funny. I think, literally, less than
five thousand words. I’m not sure, that’s just a guess. But either way, that’s
For those interested in knowing, my
personal fourteen-day challenge was a success because I wrote well over 25,000
words in that timeframe, although I didn’t get to “the end” then.
But the point I want to
make is that sometimes life gets in the way. And we stress out and feel the
need to put the writing away for a little while so we can focus on one thing at
And that’s okay as long as
you get back to writing as soon as things settle down.
Could I have finished my
novel with all that distraction going on last week? Sure. But the added stress
in my life would have shown in the end product and I’d have soon come to detest
the story because of it.
What do you think? Is it better to put your writing away
when faced with a life-changing decision or to keep writing with a