Due to personal stresses, it has been difficult to find the time, the enthusiasm, or the energy to write the past couple months. Part of me dreads putting this post up, but struggling is part of the process and maybe sharing my personal challenges lately might help someone through theirs.
If you are like me, writing is a part of your life. I think about it most of the day. Even when bogged down in real life issues my mind wanders to my stories in the car rides to the store or while waiting for a call back with news from a family member on the latest in a series of crises. At the same time, it can be easy to shove aside a blog post or writing especially with only a self-imposed deadline looming. But the truth is if you are writing to be published, then it is a job. It is up to you to keep yourself motivated.
“Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.” ~Peter’s Laws
Usually, perseverance is not an issue for me. I am a goal-oriented person and can be persistent to a fault. Although I understand how people can get writer’s block, honestly, I have never suffered from it. I shift to another project or I write what I can even if it is only a sentence. Then I make sure to work harder on days when I have more motivation or inspiration.
Last month I pushed myself, but it didn’t feel like I pushed through. On July 2nd I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, but for the first time ever I completely failed to meet my goal of writing each day. I probably squeezed in three days a week working on writing and a solid chunk of that was critiquing others’ work. I wrote only a handful of words (around ~300 toward my manuscript). It was disheartening, but I also realized for that month it was the best I could do.
I still met with my writer’s group, my writing partner, and my critique group, even though on some of the days I just wanted to deal with the other things going in my life. I don’t have much to show for the month of effort. Far less than normal. But the truth is I did preserve and I will continue to.
Even though my daily word count was non-existent, I used group writing sessions for outlining. I spent the time between handling familial problems mentally going over issues in my writing I needed to work through. On days too stressful to work on my own writing, I read for inspiration and knowledge.
I needed to slow down for a moment and take care of my family, but that isn’t a failure. That is what it means to incorporate something fully into your life. It is just another step on the journey of being a writer. Not every day or month is going to be shining success. The important thing is to never let the feeling that you didn’t accomplish what you hoped stop you from accomplishing more now.
So far this month the trend has continued, but it is time to settle down and get back to some serious daily work. The issues going on in my personal life are far from over. It is still stressful and overwhelming. However, my focus is better. So it’s time to move forward on my writing once more. The first step is to get this post done and published even if I am not thrilled with it. Then keep working on my manuscript even if it is just a sentence or two because small progress is still progress. Writing is a business of perseverance. So I will persevere. I hope all those of you reading will too.
Crushed Car by Tracy Lundgren
Chalkboard Never Give Up by Gerd Altmann