So, you’re on your road to writing a novel, but life gets in the way. Some family problems arise or someone gets sick that you have to take care of. Life gets stressful. Work gets stressful. Basically, anything and everything happens to keep you away from your writing. What do you do?
The first thing, find the time. No matter what, find the time. If writing is something that you really want, and I’m sure that it is since you’ve made a commitment to get serious about it, you have to find the time. A paragraph, a page, that’s all you really need to move forward with your writing. Don’t let life get in the way of what you like doing. If writing makes you happy, then you can use it as a refuge, as a safe haven where you can get away and relax. If writing stresses you out, then you have to reassess your priorities (but that’s a whole different post).
Second, writing will always be there. You may not be able to get to it right now, but it will always be there. I’m not saying that you have to forget your writing, you just have to prioritize. I’m sure you hear and read that word a lot: Prioritize. Know what comes first. This is actually something difficult to do if you don’t have goals to keep you grounded.
Now, the reason why I’ve gone down this road is because of what I’m going through right now. My mother is recovering from major surgery. This might not seem like a big deal to many, but for someone who doesn’t get sick, to go into surgery is certainly something big. So, I’m the one taking care of her. This is a full time job in itself. It takes me away from my writing more than I care to admit. But, I also realize that my mother comes first. Without her, I wouldn’t be writing. This is an example of life getting in the way. It’s one of those obstacles that come along that test your fortitude and planning skills.
So, using what I’m going through as an example, we can break down what I have been saying. First, I made sure that all my editing for Lunar Heat is done. A day before my mother’s operation, I sent the manuscript off to my agent. One less thing I had to worry about. While at the hospital—and with the help of Wi-Fi—I made sure that the website was updated. That counts as writing, too. At the same time, I caught up with my reading, and I started Solar Freeze, which is another novel I am working on. All this added to feeding my mother, washing her, and cleaning the bedpan. Yes, dear readers, I am an expert in cleaning bedpans. I have to make sure to add that to my list of skills on my resume.
The bottom line, no matter what life hands you, it’s no excuse to stop what you love doing. Writing is something that I told my self I wanted to do professionally for the rest of my life. So, no matter what, that’s what I am doing. Regardless of the job you’re in, whether you’re an investment banker or a teacher or a sale representative, when life gets in the way, you still have to follow through, right? No matter how fun it is, writing is still work. It’s still something that I have to do on a daily basis. I may not go to an office from nine to five, but I do sit in front of my laptop for that long. I still plan to get paid to do what I love. If I let life take me away from that, what happens?