When Life Gets in the Way of Your Writing

This morning I learned a very important lesson. Or perhaps two.

  1. When you’re working towards a deadline, get it done well in advance
  2. Spontaneous visits from best friends are one of life’s great joys

I am on a deadline to finalise and submit my short story for @A Writer’s Path contest. I had planned to do all the fine-tuning this afternoon and tomorrow morning, working in the lunch I have at my parents’ house and the breakfast that will happen when my son’s friend gets picked up. His mum is a friend of mine so we have lots to catch up on. She also has puppies on the way so there will be more dog pics pictures in the near future. You have been warned.

Sid Ice Age

Then this morning one of my oldest and dearest friends wants to know what I’m doing. She and her dog are in the mood for a road trip. Yes! They’re finally coming to see my happy place in the country. At that point I suffered a slight panic because the word DEADLINE flashed in front of my eyes. Right now I’m grateful there’s a six hour time difference between here and the US. I won’t submit my story if I’m not happy with it, but I also won’t tell my friend to stay home because I have to write. I will get it done. And I will have a great day with my friend and her dog. How can you say no to this? It’s like having Sid from Ice Age come to stay.

Yes, sometimes we need the deadline to motivate us to get going. But life doesn’t always work that way. I’m not used to writing to a deadline, because the ones I’ve set myself for my writing tend to fade away like milestones in the distance. Someone else’s deadline, however, is a different matter.

Entering a contest, writing to deadline, means that someone will actually read your work. As writers, isn’t that what we dream of every day?

Life happens. If we shut ourselves away from it to write, we’d have nothing to write about.

I’ll just make sure I’m more aware of all this next time.

My characters will never forgive me if no one gets to read their story.

7 thoughts on “When Life Gets in the Way of Your Writing

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