Shortly after I agreed to write this blog post on the topic “Writing When Life Gets Crazy,” it did. The saying “It never rains but it pours” is apt for my life right now.
I received invitations to speak at 7 events taking place within 18 days. Our chronically ill youngest daughter took a turn for the worse and needed rides to multiple medical appointments. A vehicle her family and we often share was down for major repairs. And to make it “a perfect storm,” my five-month-old laptop started giving trouble and was sent away to have its hard drive replaced. I’m writing this on a loaner laptop, trying to do without email for several weeks, muddling through back-up files of speaking notes and half-written blog posts.
When isn’t life crazy? Job, family responsibilities, and news events crash against us like the wind batting and shaking our homes. If that’s not enough, then the media whispers ceaselessly around the cracks of our windows, letting us know that we are not beautiful, wealthy, or powerful enough. And yet we must take time to write through these storms. How?
For most of us writers, working demands a certain amount of predictability and solitude. But life doesn’t always deliver that. Sometimes it gets crazy. Then the question becomes this: Do we continue to write or do we drop the pen and surrender to circumstances?
To begin to answer these questions, let’s look at some of the things that might hinder our writing. I can think of at least two types of interruptions that can mess with a writing routine: planned and unplanned.
Planned interruptions include things like Christmas, summer vacation, weddings, elective surgery, house renovations, and moves. Unplanned interruptions could be car accidents, personal illness, illness or death of a spouse, needy family members, or natural disasters like floods or fires. The way we maintain our writing practice through these two types of interruptions is slightly different, at least that has been my experience.
Sometimes life gets crazy busy. I know. I know. That’s an understatement.
However . . .
If we’re going to actually write (and not just dream about “someday”), we have to carve out some time. Here are a dozen suggestions on how to do so: