So what a fabulous prompt from Gabriella, author of the DIY MFA book, and founder of the book club of the same name!
In today's email, she asks us to consider our reality, and to think of a time when we had to honour our reality over writing.
This is a tough one. I am not so sure I ever do honour reality! I love writing so much, I need it for sanity. Just today I was thinking how I have a lot of thoughts that I need to 'write out'. But there are times when life is just too much and I physically cannot do the act of writing.
Today was a busy day, but I have still found the time to write this blog post. I wasn't going to, but I daren't let the book club down!
But as you will see from this post, December 2017 really demanded my time. As did October 2017.
October 2017 was my wedding month, so that was a flurry of activity, finalising things, doing things I perhaps should have done months ago, and it was enough to just keep the family alive amidst all of this. I don't recall writing anything during October. I certainly didn't blog.
Then December, well. What can I say? Not only the month that Christmas lands, but my Father-in-Law taking critically ill, then passing away, then having his funeral the Friday before Christmas! To say I was exhausted in every which way would be an understatement.
But I did get writing done. I had to. You see, I write for the church magazine, and the editorial team decided I could manage three pieces now the wedding was out of the way. Under normal circumstances, perhaps it would have been a breeze. But the day before they were due, I sat in the Critical Care waiting room, laptop balancing on my knees, notepad at the side, and quickly typed out those three pieces. I then got asked to edit one piece which was too long. I couldn't. At this point, my FIL had passed, and I couldn't face reading it, let alone editing. I haven't read those pieces since.
I had to write those pieces. I wasn't getting paid for it, but I needed to write them so I didn't let anyone down at such a late stage. I kept my toes in the writing pool by keeping up with the news, reading writing blogs, but couldn't face being with my characters.
I am back on the writing waggon now, and I hope that next time my reality knocks loudly, I will find a way to keep swimming in the writing pool.
Have you had any experiences? What advice would you give to fellow writers, who feel their writing life is sliding away?