Do you write in a bubble?

No, me neither. Life happens. Our best laid plans go awry. Sometimes it’s our day job, sometimes it’s our kids, and sometimes it’s us. The key is to balance taking the time you need to deal with the issues at hand, and still staying on the path to your writing goals.

Last week I found out that I tested positive on a blood test for celiac disease. That was Thursday morning, and, to be honest, it threw me for a loop for a few days. I like to eat. I love pasta and pizza and this delicious sushi roll at our favorite sushi place that uses fried shrimp. Other than migraine medicine, I take no other pain relievers, even after a surgery, other than Advil Liqui-gels, and guess what? Advil Liqui-gels (plus Advil Migraine and Advil PM) that are made in the US have gluten in them. Beer, too… Now that’s just sad.

I took Thursday off from writing, because I was doing my OCD thing and researching celiac disease to death, plus my brain wasn’t exactly on the fiction fast track. Saturday I only wrote half of my 2000 words a day goal. Sunday I felt much better because I felt like I had a handle on the whole thing, and wrote 2777 words. Last night I wrote almost 2300. But tomorrow is the biopsy, and I’ll be sedated and all that, so I probably won’t write (or what I write will be gibberish!).

All that is to say this – life happens. Good and bad. Babies are born. People get sick or hurt. The opportunity for a road trip comes up. You get unexpected visitors. A deadline gets moved back. Your company gets a new account and suddenly you’re working 80 hours a week. Since I’m not Buddhist, I won’t say you need to maintain your “zen” but I will say that you need to have realistic expectations. And realistically, well, shit happens. (Pardon my magic word.)

It’s actually amazing that, in my 4th NaNo event, this is the first time that something like this has come up. Surely that’s beating the odds! But I’m OK with it. I’ll get my 50,000 words in August, even if I don’t get my goal of 60,000, so I’ll win. And I’ve begun to realize that this YA novel isn’t going to be finished in 60k words anyway, at least not the way I’m write it now. I’m not changing my 2000 word a day goal, but I’m realizing that there may be a few more days off or deficit days than I’d planned for. And I’m OK with that, too.

We tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Florida sailing… but I’m pretty mellow. But I can still start freaking out over my self-imposed goals. So once again, I’m giving myself permission to do my best, even if it’s not what I’d hoped, and to write a really bad first draft. It’s all OK – really.

Happy writing, friends!



Filed under NaNoWriMo, Writing

7 responses to “Do you write in a bubble?

  1. Candace Knoebel

    Very well said. I wish you the best. You sound very determined and that’s all it takes! Keep believing in yourself and you can accomplish anything. Even through all of life’s throws. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fortuanately, I’m a very practical person by nature. Kind of “it is what it is.” So the choices as I see them are adapt and adjust, or drive yourself nuts – and then still have to adapt and adjust! I just cut out the middle man!

      • Candace Knoebel

        That’s the best way to look at it. If you fight change it’s only going to be that much more stressful. I keep reminding myself that!

  2. I’m with you on this one! For me, it simply is no possible to shut out life and concentrate solely on writing. The more pretentious of our kind may frown upon that thought, but quite honestly, I’d much rather enjoy my time writing rather than holing myself up and cranking out 10k words a day just to say I did.

    Not to mention: having kids DOES tend to throw a monkey wrench in most daily plans hahaha

    Great post; glad to see I’m not alone! Additionally, pintrest is a treasure trove of gluten-free recipes. A friend of mine has Celiac’s and she’s always posting up new foods. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the info on Pinterest and gluten-free! I love Pinterest!

      Kids = monkey wrench. Isn’t that in the thesaurus??? My daughter is going back to college Sat for her senior year. This is the first summer since…ever…she’s spent the whole summer at home, and it’s been great. So I’m going to enjoy her last days here! (Although she’ll be spending a lot of the time with her almost-fiance who graduated in May, so that should free up some hours! haha!)

  3. Here, here! That’s it, do your best. That’s all you can aspire to do. And if you do it, at the end of the day you can better appreciate life goals, life blessings and LIFE. Good Luck, Jennings, I’m rooting for you! And sidenote on the gluten thing. I had a really bad bout with colitis and C. difficile. When I moved to Cali (briefly) I discovered the raw food diet that has been my lifestyle for the last few years. It helps a lot and PROBIOTIC, PROBIOTICS and more PROBIOTICS! Hey, I even learned how to make some raw Greek food. I’ll be checking in on you. Be well and know that you will be well. Start healing now.
    ~A.M. Day

  4. The thing about bubbles is they pop, so writing in one would only be one more mess to clean up. But then again, if the bubble popped it could give me something good to write about – Maybe even call it “The Life And Death Of My Bubble”….lol Good post, thanks for sharing!

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