Tag Archives: life

Writing Amidst Life

Life is happening around here.


It’s interesting stuff. There’s been serious illness, hospital visits and rehab. Not to mention international travel insurance, car hire, and the whole Christmas and New Year stuff.

I was feeling quite good about myself, getting in some writing here and there, while waiting for a scheduled 3-week family visit to wind down, whereupon I would plunge back into the writing.

But then…life.

And it’s fine. Because it’s important stuff. And I am thrilled that things are now going well. And that I have all these new experiences to draw upon.
I do, however, have to figure out how to write amidst it all. It’s a challenge, but one I’m kind of enjoying.

Because I’ve finally realized that life will continue to happen (at least until it doesn’t, and I certainly won’t be writing after that!).

Summer vacations will be part of my life for the next 8 years and probably longer. I have to figure out how to not put my writing on hold during them. Busy times with the kids will happen. Jobs might come and go. And I have to figure out how to write during them.

Listened to a WritingExcuses podcast yesterday where the hosts were talking about what they and people they know do, to keep writing amidst life. It was eye-opening and thought-provoking. Still not sure I could write during a foreign-language lecture, like Neil Gaiman apparently did, but you never know: there have been times when I’ve been in the middle of a story AND in the middle of the family, with the TV going in the background, and still able to write because the writing was flowing.



And writing.

Watch this space.

Current projects/priorities:

  1. Finish draft of the novel (so I can revise it for the critique group)
  2. Post weekly Write On Wednesday prompts to StoryADay
  3. Start prepping for April’s build-up to StoryADay (choose projects, pare down projects, write and produce stuff e.g. this year’s prompt book)
  4. Non-fiction book proposal
  5. Reading
  6. Regular column for other site.

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.

Bill Watterston

Writing Challenges

Had some ideas for an entertaining blog entry last night, but when I sat down to write this morning, it all came out flat.

So far this morning I’ve stumbled down to the kitchen, stood blinking in the darkness wondering where I was and what I was doing, grabbed two cups and some milk, made coffee, put sausages on to cook, showered, dressed, coached Boy1 through getting dressed, talked about a book with him, fed two boys both sausages and cereal, taken them to school, talked to Boy2’s teacher, nodded and smiled at lots of parents and children, listened to a news story about Bernie Madoff and his victims followed by a wildly inapproprate tale of a 3rd grade snack Ponzi scheme (way to trivialize, NPR), had a couple of lectures about my various shortcomings (some internal, some external), discussed plans for the day, talked about strategies for keeping Boy1 out of Big Trouble, made more coffee, made herbal tea and, in the midst of that tried to sit down and write.

I know it’s not much in comparison to some people’s mornings but I list this as an illustration to myself that I actually had have quite a lot running through this little brain of mine this morning. Maybe I should get off it’s back and stop berating it for not immediately being able to jump back into that funny place it was in last night after it had had some theta waves from repetitive household duties, and a whole day to reflect on things.

[Hmm. I heard an article on the radio about a study that showed how few things our brains can be asked to hold before we start to exhibit signs of stress, which affects memory and other functions. Here‘s an article, although not the one I was thinking of.]

I know that one day (if I’m spared, as the wee old ladies used to say) I’ll be able to wake up and grab a pen and start writing straight away, and no-one will demand anything of me. I know that I’ll be able to stay up all night writing if the mood takes me to start at 11 PM (which it often does) with no need to drag myself out of bed at 7 and cook sausages. And this will suit my writing self very nicely.

But, considering all the things that will have to change in my life to get me to that point, I’m not in much of a rush to get there.

So, when do you feel most creative? And does it fit in with your current lifestyle?