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Sunday, January 12, 2014

What to Do when Your Writing Plans Go Awry

Setting: January, 2014. Eastern Missouri. In two short days, everyone will head back to school. Cut to Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer footage with snow flying and winds howling.

It might be a new year full of brand new writing goals, but no one asked if it was going to be inconvenient when a post-Christmas blizzard hit our area. Between the extreme cold, the wind chill factor and a nearly a foot of snow blowing from Point A to Point B, I had plenty of company all week long.

What’s a writer to do?

The fact of the matter is that writers write. It’s all in the verb. Follow these four steps to come up with a new plan that will work while everyone is sharing your space.

  1. Review your goals. My original goals for the week included writing blog posts like this one, writing a chapter book pitch, working on a series of prayers for greeting cards, and working on a cookbook. I realized right away that not everything was going to get done this week, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t write at all. I had to . . .
  2. Flag essential items. Take a look at your goals and mark the ones that other people are expecting. I had to finish my blog posts and at least some work on the chapter book pitch. I didn’t start the week with an editor’s deadline early in the week, but that changed when one of my regulars asked for a series of Valentine’s Day activities. That pitch had to get done too. Figure out what must be done, then . . .
  3. Communicate with the masses. Once you’ve figured out what you must accomplish, share this information. Make sure they know why these things are important, but also let them know what you will do with them when the job is done. My son and I have been watching Nova and Big Bang Theory, playing games and sledding. Once you communicate your new goals, you need to . . .
  4. Write. Most of us could write with our families home if we would sit down and do it. I’m not saying it will be easy. There is going to be a learning curve. It might not by easy and you might miss an activity or two but if you are choosing to write, you need to squeeze it in. Take your writing seriously, and your family and friends will, too.

The schools? They may still cancel classes for a week, but there isn’t anything you can do about that other than come up with a new plan so that you can write…


Author Sue Bradford Edwards has been writing from home since her son was a new born. Yes, that means when he was a toddler, too. She blogs at One Writer's Journey.


  1. Life "happens" and it should. You're right, Sue. When our kids come back home for a visit (or they never leave for school), we still need to write.

    Thanks for the post. It was full of reminders that we all least sometimes.

  2. AMEN! What a week here in the St. Louis area. Not only did the snow mess up plans but my parents were sick so no babysitters. I am choosing to look ahead to a much more productive week. :)


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