A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled “real life“. It was short and didn’t say much beyond, “I don’t have time to write anything substantial at the moment, but here’s this.” I hate missing scheduled posts, so it was my way of fulfilling my own personal goal while not actually sitting down and taking the time to write something more full.
Yeah, I cheated.
But here’s the thing: real life happens. And, like the picture above illustrates, real life is messy. Sometimes very messy. There isn’t anything you can do about it but go with the flow and try to muddle your way through the mess to the other side. That’s where I’ve been for the last month or so. I’ve been in the process of moving to a new house–mine and Nim’s first–and there was a lot of prep to do before the move, a lot of cleaning and unpacking to do after, and, in the middle, the move, itself. I simply had no choice but to write less and do other stuff more.
Writers write. It’s what we do. It’s such an obvious thing to say, and yet, so many writers harp on this very point because there are a lot of would-be writers out there who aren’t officially writers yet because they have ideas and dreams and goals and an honest-to-God desire to write, but they’re missing one thing. They aren’t writing.
If you’re a writer–meaning, you actually produce written stuff–no matter if you do it full-time or part-time, there are going to be phases of life that prohibit you from writing. You’ll have emergencies, vacations, moves, new day jobs and all kinds of unexpected surprises that will pull you away from your current work in progress. It can’t be helped. When that happens, don’t freak out. You haven’t stopped being a writer. You’ve just been side-tracked for a while.
You cannot avoid breaks. Whether it’s a planned sabbatical or an ambush that keeps you from the keyboard, there will be times when you have no choice but to stop writing for a while. Do what you can to get back in the saddle as soon as is reasonably possible, and don’t stress about it.