by Telena Tanara Contreras
I am a planner down to the last detail, organizing my life much like I organize my family’s travels. When a trip approaches, I map out the events, orchestrate the timeline, gather the supplies, and instruct the participants. I make sure my perfect little plan is in picture perfect order before bags can be loaded and house alarms set.
Then off we go, only to be greeted by an unexpected storm where blue skies were promised.
And despite how disappointing that is, the trip must go on.
The same can occur in one’s writing life. Writers must plan time to write, research, and study how to improve their craft, while making sure other obligations such as work and family take the forefront.
Only life has its own storms – distractions that part the sky and fall like fat, heavy drops right into the eyes of the writer in the act of staring at her screen. Sometimes for me it’s a child who wakes up when I’m writing in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. Other times it’s an unexpected visitor, or a phone call that started out as an emergency and ended up being a request for damage control on a recipe gone awry.
Whatever the intrusion, the writing must go on.
And for an unpublished writer, that is a difficult but necessary commitment to make. For unlike a trip where tickets are paid for and reservations must be kept – or a contracted writer who has deadlines to meet – the unpublished writer is accountable only to himself.
The temptation to forego writing for a day, then two, then ten, can seep through the cracks in planning, leaving a choppy writing life at best, and an altogether forgotten one at worst.
Of course some distractions are too important to be ignored; in which case you adjust, not abandon, your writing schedule. And if your distractions are writing related-a disheartening rejection letter, lack of inspiration or motivation, or pages that start to read like a sleepwalker wrote them – that’s all the more reason to gear up and trudge onward.
Let’s face it: your writing life will get rained on. The question is will you duck and run for cover? Or will you lift your face to the sky…
And write in the rain?
Telena Tanara Contreras is a writer of Contemporary Women’s Fiction with romance and suspense elements. She is a member of ACFW, CWG, and CWOW, and a contributing author to Thriving Family. She lives in Arizona with her family and is currently writing her second novel. Visit her website at www.tanaramccauley.com.