Mar 19, 2012

Life and Writing...Revisited

A little over six months ago, I wrote my first post on this blog about life and writing - how if I wasn't writing I didn't feel like I was living my life.  And I still feel that way (whew! Glad to know all the work over the last half a year wasn't in vain, right?).

However, I have found that the hardest part about writing is life.  Keeping everything in perspective and meshing and just getting along as good things should is kicking my butt right now.  I have struggled the last two weeks to do anything but keep moving and writing has taken the brunt of that blow.  It saddens me and makes me sick and I keep trying to justify that some of the things were worth the lack of writing (youngest child's birthday), but some of them are things I don't really want to be doing in the first place but are work responsibilities and I have ended nearly every day the last two weeks exhausted to the point of practically crawling into bed, not a coherent thought to be found.

Here's the thing - I KNOW I'm not the only one who has life get in the way, nor am I the only one who has just been frustrated.  And when life and writing haven't been getting along before, it has been primarily a lack of prioritization on my part, something I needed to fix and could.

I know what needs to be done now - the fact that I have Gene Autry's Back in the Saddle Again playing on repeat through my head might be a good hint - but I have been surprisingly frustrated at how this has affected me. And I have had a job and husband and kids long enough to know this will not be my last battle of the wits between life and writing.  So, if you are willing, we are entering the participation point of the post.

What do you do to keep the passion and drive from writing when life is trying to navigate elsewhere?  How do you keep out of the "pits of despair" when life and writing are in need of some marriage counseling?

19 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's difficult some days. My writing has been slack as other things have demanded my attention. I'm determined to carve some time somewhere though.

S.P. Bowers said...

For me, at those times, I just keep living. I know it will get better someday, usually soon, so I just keep moving forward to that better spot.

Rosalyn said...

I think you just keep trying--and don't beat yourself up. One of the tricks to juggling is knowing that sometimes you'll have to (temporarily) drop a ball. Just treat the last couple weeks as a life crisis, and give yourself permission to start over with a clean slate.

Clare said...

It's tough balancing life and writing, especially when the two are pulling you in different directions.

Sometimes you need to push yourself not to give up, and other times you need to cut yourself some slack so you don't burn out.

I hope you find some succsess in balancing life and writing.

Cassie Mae said...

Gosh, I have no idea, lol. I know I won't be much help here because life and writing is like marriage I suppose. But remember that there will be a fight or two, but with hard work and a bit of empathy, things go pretty darn good for a while.

Focus on your life, but remember that writing isn't against your life, it's a part of it. :)

farawayeyes said...

Balance, who needs stinkin' balance. Some days it feels like I enjoy 'the pits of despair' (joking).

Anybody who quotes Gene is alright with me.

Dawn Malone said...

*I have trouble writing when things aren't going smoothly on the home front, maybe tension with the kids or my husband or a full calendar has me feeling stressed. As much as I try to write during those times, it's never productive for me. Luckily, I like resolving problems quickly and not stewing so I'm able to get past those issues quickly. Sometimes you just have to drop a ball like Rosalyn said, and don't beat yourself up about it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have so many other things that take time - speaking, photography, book formatting - that sometimes it's difficult to get back to the writing.

Cortney Pearson said...

Balance is such a huge issue for me too! Sometimes I feel like such a horrible mom because I just get sucked in. Blogging is especially tough sometimes because I want to be *on the ball* and comment and be supportive, but if I do then I end up not having time to write AND play with my kids and clean my house etc. I have to write everything down and make myself do all the things I know I need to, so I don't let writing consume my time (and my family time), and I find that I'm happier and write better with things in balance. Hope you get it figured out!! :D

Leigh Covington said...

I haven't come up with a solid routine to avoid this yet, but I'm working on it. Finding the "balance" is so HARD! Sometimes life is chaotic, sometimes writing is. Most days its hard to make it all fit, but eventually I hope to figure it out and obtain some semblance of balance. :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think the biggest help for me is just letting go of the 'guilt'. You can't get to your MS today, tommorrow or this weekend? It's okay! Keep thinking, dreaming, noting where you want to go with it and when you can sit down finally, just let it rip. You don't have time to visit blogs or comment? Then don't! And don't feel guilty about it. You will get to it when you can and put the time into it you can. Real life comes first. Family, work, responsabilities. It's not always fun but letting writing and the world of publishing take over 'real life' obligations won't be fun either. Trust me;)

Emily R. King said...

Ha! "Marriage counseling" is a great description for it.

In answer to your question, I blog. Yeah, I know that's lame, but all of you keep me motivated. Every time someone signs with an agent or publisher, I feel a renewed sense of love of writing. It's awesome.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Ooh, that's a tough question, and I don't think I've ever got it right. I'm lucky that I have days full of writing, because my job has unsociable hours such as Friday nights and Sunday mornings.

Right now I'm blogging while my kids watch TV. My kids watch a lot of TV, but as long as I'm in the room with them, that's ok, isn't it?

No one has the answers, that's the most important thing to remember - even that woman who you really admire from the school gates has got work-life issues!

Joshua said...

I only write when I'm in the Pit of Despair, so...there's that.

Angela Cothran said...

This might sound weird, but I like to get out of my house and write at the library or somewhere quiet. That helps me tons :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I always let life win if it and writing are battling for my time. I keep telling myself I find more hours in the day tomorrow.

Kelley said...

I think its important to remember that there's a lot more to being a writer than just writing. (thought that sounds weird) When we're folding laundry, taking care of others, cooking meals, etc, we can be thinking, poking, prodding at our story and our characters, growing the MS in our head. That way when we do find those precious moments to actually write, the words are at our fingertips because we've envisioned it many times before.

Also, living is very important to being a writer for it is from life that we draw inspiration.

I try to look at my writing job in this way so I don't get as frustrated with everything that gets in the way. When its time to write, we'll make time.

Even if we have to run for the nearest starbucks and lock ourselves in a corner booth :)

McKenzie McCann said...

I know what you mean. I don't feel like myself when I'm not writing regularly, or at least not thinking about my writing. Sometimes writing is work, but it's part of who you are. Being a writer isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle. I think all true writers find ways to write, even when it isn't easy, and even if they take breaks.

Sarah Pearson said...

If I'm having trouble getting back to it, I sit down and write short pieces of nonsense, or flash fiction, or just ... something. It's easier to go back the next day to what i should be writing, knowing it's not my first day 'back'.