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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Writing in Spite Of

by Kaye George

We write because we love to write. We would rather be writing than be doing anything else. Why is it, then, that we don’t always do it, can’t always do it?

Things get in the way. Most of us who have contracts and deadlines are long past the idea that we should sit around and wait to be inspired by a…muse, whatever that is. We KNOW we have to sit at the computer (or with the laptop, wherever) and just do it. But sometimes we don’t, do we?

It does happen that we can’t make our brain operate sometimes. Just before and just after my husband’s death a couple of years ago, my brain was paralyzed. My publisher graciously gave me the time I needed to turn in my project. Without worrying about being cancelled (which I was before I told them), I was freed to take the few months I needed and then to complete my project. 

If it’s not our brain, it can be our body. That’s happening for me this month. Yet another joint wore out and I’m having it replaced. By the time you read this, I’ll have a shiny new hip. (I assume it’s shiny. If it’s not, don’t tell me—I like that visual.) I really goofed up picking my ancestors and I have lousy joints. I don’t plan on missing my next deadline for this, though. It isn’t until February, and I’ve tried to prepare for a week or two off by doing a lot of writing lately.

Outside forces can interfere, too. Having to move—that’s not only a hassle, it interrupts work when resource books, computers, printers, whole offices have to be packed away, moved, then unpacked.

I haven’t experienced a flood or a tornado, but that would interrupt me indefinitely, I’m sure.

How have you dealt with interruptions, distractions, and obstacles? Any tips for getting back into your work after that?

photos from morguefile: jim113, clarita, npclark2k


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

If I can anticipate a disruption in my normal routine, I hunker down and get the words typed. I outline, freewrite, and scribble ideas in the middle of the night.

If something unexpected happens, I try not to fret, read instead of write, and go with the flow.

I hope you're well on the way to recovery!

Grace Topping said...

I hope you have a quick recovery from your surgery and enjoy your shiny new hip joint, Kaye. I'm not one of those people who have to write every day driven by my desire to write. I enjoy writing, and I've been doing a lot of it recently to meet a deadline, but I could let lots of time go by without writing, especially if my life becomes stressful. This year has been one of those years, and I found it difficult to get started with a book I had under contract. I write somewhat humorous books, and it is difficult to be humorous if you are weighed down by family concerns. However, with a delivery date looming, I bit the bullet and started writing and have gotten it done in time. It contains a few grins but not a lot of laugh-out-loud humor.

KM Rockwood said...

Hope that shiny new hip is treating you well!

I try to write on schedule, but I'm often amazed by the time that passes without me producing anything worth while.

Right now, I am embroiled in a problem with a 2016 tax return problem for an investment club for which my husband was treasurer. He is no longer able to handle this, so guess who is trying to find all the members (the club was disbanded when he could no longer act as treasurer) and get their information so I can resubmit all the forms. This not only takes much of my time, it also crowds out the musings and random thoughts that are so much a part of my writing.

I'm trying to do some editing & rewriting now, & will get back to first draft material as soon as I can clear my mind.

Kait said...

Hope you are well on the road to recovery!

My reactions and writing time depend on what part of my life is getting in the way. If it's hectic, crazy, work days, that require creativity to best serve clients, sometimes my creativity is sucked right out of my mind. Then I sent my cat alarm (I don't know the process for that, but it seems to work) for 3 AM and I get a good hour and a half of writing in while my brain is fresh. If it's physical stuff, I'll cut myself some slack until I'm able to write and make sense!

One trick I have learned. Treat the writing like a job. 5 days a week and two down days works for me. I can edit on the off days, but nothing new. If something comes to mind, I make a note and deal with it on my next writing day. Keeps me fresher.

KM Rockwood said...

From Kaye George:

Thanks for the comments! I came home from surgery to a completely dead computer! One thing after another. I hope to get my data recovered and put onto a new machine sometime next week.