This week has been absolutely wonderful. I’ve had a chance almost every day to sit down and either write or edit and I couldn’t be happier about it. It goes without saying; being able to get your feelings and thoughts down on paper is a cathartic experience. When I have days (sometimes weeks) where I don’t have time to write, I start to get very upset and am often sad. This entire ordeal with la maison (yes, I found one!) has kept me on the go for several weeks, driving hither and thither to check on inspections and take education courses and sign documents. It’s all well worth it; I’ve just missed my time to myself.
The thing about being a productive writer is that you have to squeeze it in to your already insane schedule. Sometimes, it’s only for a few minutes in the morning, sometimes it’s just before you go to sleep. And for those of us that have to weigh the scales and make a sacrifice (which is most of us), something else is left unfinished to make way for our beloved activity. In my case, it’s the dishes. It’s always the dishes.
I met with my lovely new writing group earlier this week and got some extremely helpful edits back on my novelette, “The Collection”. I’ve been implementing those changes to the story, strengthening the characterization, improving the mood, and have had so much fun with it! I’ve missed this social interaction with other writers. Each person notices and appreciates different things. No matter how long you’ve looked at something, you invariably begin to miss things because you’re the only person that’s read it. You automatically read sentences without actually reading them. It’s always a good idea to have multiple people critique your work and I’m so glad I get to be a part of this group.
While our meetings are sometimes difficult to plan because of everyone’s schedules, I’ve noticed that since this group formed, I’ve broken out of my suffocating writer’s block and have actually looked forward to coming home and jumping back into the world of “The Collection”. I’m even thinking about working on a novel-length sequel for it because I love it so much!
Writing can be a love/hate relationship and part of that hatred is finding time to do it. As long as there is a driving force to bring you back to it, an attraction that begs for you to return, that’s all you need to keep going. I run the full gamut of emotions while working on a book. If I don’t have any feeling toward my plot or what my characters are going through, it signals that I will probably drop it and might not come back to it (I’m looking at you The Wild Dark…)
So, after all of that, here is my advice for this week: if you are experiencing the five stages of grief because you can’t find the time to sit down and write, make the time. Sacrifice the laundry for another day, the dishes for an evening, the trip to the grocery store that morning (unless it’s for coffee or chocolate). Prioritize your writing as necessary “your” time. It isn’t just a hobby, it’s more important than that. Treat it like that.
And write on!