Back-up Plans and Granola Bars

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Homemade Granola Bars
There's a little saying at our house about back-up plans and granola bars. It came about without thought - we are busy and since my husband spends most of his day and night in the barn or tending to the cows, it's just me and my children plus one most days. We have come to the conclusion there really is no "normal" at this stage of the game. We have a baby in diapers, a potty training toddler, children who are new to school, emotional middle schoolers, and a mama bear who gives it her all but fails more than once (and usually several times before seven in the morning). There's lots of moving parts to our days, so we always have a few back-up plans and a container of granola bars for those moments when our original plans fell through.

At least one day each week, someone misses the bus for one reason or another and we find ourselves chomping on granola bars as we wait in the drop-off lane. As much as the older children may groan as I roll down my window and holler "I love you; have a great day!" I like to tell myself they appreciate the chocolate peanut butter granola bars I lovingly baked  for them. Similarly, there are days we think we will go grocery shopping after school but someone calls in sick on the farm and we find ourselves in the barn trying to do homework and eat dinner while milking cows and feeding calves. I hope someday our lifestyle of having a back-up plan and a granola bar helps the children be flexible fast thinkers.

Now you know the back story. As I was thinking about what to write about this week, the philosophy of a back-up plan and a granola bar popped in my head. A decade ago I started writing what I hoped would be the next great novel. My goal was to finish it within a year, send out a few queries, get traditionally published, and spend the rest of my life enjoying the fruits of my labor. That didn't exactly work out how I planned - we moved onto the back-up plan and with proverbial granola bar in hand I find myself writing, but not exactly the next The Great Gatsby or Jane Eyre...

This begs the question:

Is this a back-up plan or 
am I making excuses for falling short of my goals?

Pretty deep thought right there, isn't it? I ask myself this exact thing every day. I love what I do. Reading books brings me joy. Working with successful authors makes me feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be. And yet...I still have novels saved in my computer. They are at various stages, yet there they are - selfishly kept from the public. Am I afraid of rejection? Maybe I'm not tough enough to deal with a negative review.

Where are you with your writing? 
What helps you move forward? 
Has your back-up plan become a crutch? 
What advice do you have for others who may be struggling with the direction of their craft?

Thank you for your thoughts, comments, and support - this is such a great community of talented authors and writers!


Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother and auntie, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 5, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora who somehow turned 1 already), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary, blogging, reading, reviewing, and baking here and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!


Margo Dill said...

Every time I read your posts, I just think: how do you do what you do? You are amazing and if the back-up plan of granola bars works, then I say more power to you! I also think being a writer requires having numerous unfinished projects on our computer. I know I do. :)

Mary Horner said...

I don't know how you keep up with everything, and then manage to write. I'm in awe of your dedication and commitment!

Crystal Otto said...

Thanks ladies - the key is lots of coffee and one small step at a time. I'm humbled by your kind words.

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