Recovering from Hitting a Speed Bump
|Photo courtesy | Flickr: Andrew Rivett|
No matter how we try, our writing life may not follow the plan we had set for it. Recently I had a chance to experience a couple bumps I hadn't expected.
Last year I wrote the gluten-free eating book and was thrilled with the experience. Capitalizing on the momentum I was feeling, I focused on some fiction I've had rattling around in my head. I expected I would be able to write another book and looked forward to completing it. This spring, I was contacted to write another book for the same publisher.
I put the fiction aside and hit the ground running. I Googled. I went to the library. I started checking out books on the book's subject. I downloaded medical reports. I visualized writing the book and following the same pattern that worked so well last year.
And then I looked at my life. Really looked at it. I looked at it more than just clearing the proposed deadline date in my calendar. There was too much going on in my life as it is: My mother-in-law and ailing father-in-law have moved to town. I have a different, more demanding job than I had last year. I accepted several teaching gigs this summer, which I had rarely done before. I'm traveling a bit in the next couple months. And I wanted to relax and explore new avenues, such as recipe development.
So, I returned the books to the library. Recycled the medical reports I had printed. I removed my name from consideration and scratched my name off the imaginary byline I had already envisioned.
While I enjoy writing and think the book would have been a great challenge, I'm glad I made the decision I did. I’m picking the fiction up, albeit a slower pace than previously, and spending quality time with my in-laws.
I’m just trying to enjoy my life right now, even if I've hit a speed bump in my writing plans.
Do you make plans with your writing life? How well do they pan out? What do you do when you hit a speed bump?
Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor living in coastal North Carolina. When she’s not at her computer, she is happily playing in her kitchen.