Held Prisoner By Life


I’m being held prisoner by life! Over the last few days I’ve started three different blogs, and life events intervened every time. The new windows we’ve waited over two months for arrived, I had unexpected meetings, and blah, blah, blah. I sound just like people in my writing groups and classes. “I had company. I was sick. I had seventeen deadlines, and ...” Yes. There are times in all our lives when writing does not get done. Maybe it doesn’t even get started.

So, today I can beat myself up over not having a blog posted in some timely fashion. I can ignore the whole thing, Or I can write something, anything at all, and put it up there. I don’t ordinarily choose the latter, because posting “anything at all” violates my personal standards of offering my best and my commitment to write about writing, not my life. But today I’m posting something off-the-cuff, specifically to remind all of us that writing something, anything at all, is better than writing nothing at all.

Two of the blogs I have begun and not finished are a good start, and before long I will have them done. One hangs around finishing and posting a book review I want to reference. The other hangs around finding some resource links I want to cite. Both files are saved and ready to finish up in a day or two.

You can do the same with stories. Write a few lines, by hand or keyboard. File it away. I keep a special folder on my computer for unfinished projects, and a slot in my desk-stacker unit for unfinished paper projects. This works well for me, because I know where things are when I’m ready to start again, and I can check the folder to see what’s still hanging. (Yes, there are some very old things there... Sticking something in that folder does not guarantee it will be finished.)

If you get swamped by life events, go with the flow. Be fully present with your business, and promise yourself a clear time to get back to your writing. Make a firm date with your pen or keyboard and be faithful about keeping your word to yourself. If it feels a little awkward getting that hand moving again, write something gentle, like a to-do list or a thank you note. Consult your story idea list. Make a story idea list. You’ll soon find your words gushing forth again.

As I also will. The next month is predictably hectic, and I may be slow in posting. But I’ll be plugging away, and hope you will also.

Write now: about future events that will keep you from writing for a few days or longer and how you plan to work around that without completely losing your place and your pace.


Anonymous said...

Very good advice. I have found past writings to be invaluable later when I need them for more in depth and serious writing. The computer is like a big filing cabinet!

Ritergal said...

Ah, yes. The computer is indeed a huge filing cabinet. Mine has become so vast that things get lost and forgotten in odd nooks and crannies that have built up through the years. I heartily recommend the free-for-private-use program, Copernic Desktop Search, Home Edition. I don't know how I managed so long without it!