Life on the back burner

At my last author event for a while.

Camp NaNoWriMo started on Friday, and I was really looking forward to it. I even had a story idea lined up, albeit a half-baked, very nebulous one, that I knew was probably not quite ready to be pinned down to the page. But I’ve always liked to push myself. And I tend not to fail at things I set out to do. Today is Day 4 of NaNoWriMo and I haven’t written a single word yet. There isn’t even a title. I haven’t even come up with the main character’s name. Now normally, that would drive me absolutely insane. But I’m not worried.

Sometimes it’s good to stop.

I find myself in the interesting position of having Far More Challenging Things to deal with right now, which means that my writing life is on a back burner. For a writer, that sounds pretty terrible (and damn near impossible), but there’s a funny thing about being stopped on your normal course: you either realize that everything will work out fine, or you panic and worry that it won’t and use all your energy to stop it. I’m fortunate. I’m in the former group. Because so far, no matter what else has been going on, things have been somehow (magically?) worked around my current challenges.

My mother would say it’s a matter of faith. And that’s all fine and well, but for me, it’s a little lesson in letting go. After all the work I’ve put in to my career, my writing, and crafting a writing life for myself, what exactly is going to happen now that I’m not able to manage it as intensely as I have before? Maybe it’ll shrivel up and disappear. Maybe it will stagnate, and be there for me to brush it off later on when I’m able. But maybe it will buoy me now that I need it to, and carry me for a while.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting. And I’m not going to worry about it. Life on the back burner is actually kind of relaxing.

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3 thoughts on “Life on the back burner

  1. nikewrites says:

    I am currently in the same situation: I have stuff to write, but life demands I focus my attention on other things. Frustrating! But I have found what works for me is jotting a few ideas down when I have a free moment (literally….moments). I enter my thoughts in my iPod and transfer them to my computer to piece together later. It’s a little step, but at least I feel better having written something during the course of the day.

  2. Tracey says:

    Excellent! I do have a notebook that I keep handy, so I’ll do the same. It’s interesting not being able to devote hours to writing, though. I’m waiting to see how things work out! Thanks for writing, nikewrites! 🙂

  3. Natasha C says:

    I was reading Mosley’s latest book last week and he suggested that everyone should take the time to write for at least 10mins everyday, even if it’s in a journal, and personal writings. This was a part of a bigger concept towards self-awareness but I found it very interesting, especially since I try to read at least 15mins a day, but never finds the time to reflect and write. So as you try to live your “other” life, maybe those few moments of writing can make you feel less angst.

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