Life and other plans


This is me, struggling.

I had a whole bunch of lofty plans this year, which is pretty normal. My plans are always lofty. But the list came to a sudden pause a few weeks ago when life got in the way. What was that John Lennon said? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Yeah. That.

Sudden unexpected craziness in your life can do one of two things to your writing. It can be inspirational. It can also bring your work to a grinding halt as you try to deal with the craziness. And what you need to know when you’re dealing with sudden and unexpected unpleasantness is that either route is fine.

If whatever happened is sufficiently difficult, you need to deal with that, and put all the other stuff on hold. You’re a person before you’re a writer. If you’re in no mental state to write, it’s going to be totally useless anyway, and it’s not like the writing is going anywhere. So you deal with working through the rough patch.

If you’re inspired and it only fuels your writing, that’s also great! I’ve written awesome things during terrible moments in my life, moments that now that I look back were the times that I learned so many things about myself, and now that they’re over I’m grateful that some of them happened. I said SOME. I’m looking at you, broken heart of 1997.

Life can be like that. Unexpected. Awful. Fantastic. Inspirational. And as writers, we have an advantage of being able to use our innate creative forces to help us muddle through the mess, and then when it’s over, make it more meaningful with our words.

But the most important thing to remember, whether you’re writing through the rough patch, or you’re putting your writing on hold, is that whatever you’re experiencing, it will be over at some point. And then you can get back to that list of plans.


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