“I’m back!” It’s a phrase I hear and say a lot as a writer. Do we mean we’ve returned from the grocery store? No, not for the purpose of this blog post—even though I did just return from the grocery store. *grins* What I’m referring to is: back to writing and back to putting a dent in the word count.
It seems like every few weeks real life rears its head and I’m forced to sit the writing down for a few days to be a wife, mother, daughter or friend. Every time this happens I become more and more anxious to get back to my writing the longer the time draws out. And every time, by the last day of my hiatus I’ve convinced myself not only that I can’t finish my work in progress, but I also can’t even string a sentence together. This is a ridiculous thought, but one that floats through my mind with equally ridiculous frequency. The thing is…I don’t think I’m the only one guilty of this writing break induced self-doubt.
Writers write. It’s more than what we do, it’s who we are.
This past week I sat my writing down to spend time with family visiting from Canada. By this weekend I was certain I would never write another word, which is unfortunate since I’m on a deadline. LOL. I was grumpy and blue for two days over the loss of my writing abilities. Then, just as it always does, something crazy and beyond belief happened: I had a few minutes to sit down in front of my computer and I wrote. Guess what? I’m back! While this surprises no one, it always manages to surprise me.
Why do we put ourselves through this, bad girl writers of the world?
I heard someone say once that Stephen King writes 2,000 words everyday even on Christmas and his birthday. To be honest, I wonder how he does that. Does he not have family? As the mom of a 4 year old, I don’t see how every day without exception is possible. And even if you don’t have a 4 year old like I do, there’s work and the holidays right around the corner. So, if we can’t realistically pull a Stephen King 365 days a year, how do we survive the writer self-doubt backlash? I’m going to vow here in this blog post to remember I can write even when I’m not writing. I don’t want to be “back” anymore when I was here the whole time.
How do you juggle writer life? I’d love to chat with you about it.
xx – E. Michels