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:~: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 :~:

When Life Overwhelms

I had another topic slotted for today's post -- character consistency and how it lives at the core of a good novel.

But life overwhelmed me. I didn't get it written. And today, as I head off to another ten hours at the day job (filling in for a sick coworker), I considered copping out of the blog altogether. There are moments when you just can't do it all.

But, instead, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to reach out to all of you who deal with the same things on a daily basis--work, husbands, kids, laundry, PTA, extended family, friends, health, grocery shopping...etc.--and see how you handle life when it overwhelms.

We all come to some level of comfort in our lives. We have to. At some point we learn how to say no, to juggle responsibility with passion, to seek a happy medium.

I'm a little like the injured human body when life comes at me at sixty miles per hour--I back off any unnecessary activity and focus on the basics of repair the way the blood rushes to a bodily injury to provide oxygen and nutrients in an effort to cure.

(That's why there are stacks--and I mean STACKS--of laundry everywhere, why there's no decent food in the house, why I planned to back out of the blog today, etc.)

Hopefully, next week things will slow down and I can spread myself out again.

Share with us how YOU do it. How you fit your passion of writing in when life comes at you at sixty-miles per hour.



Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Sometimes I just have to let it go. I've learned that forcing myself through only results in bad writing for me.

However, carving out a little time to write -- even if it's only fifteen or twenty minutes -- sometimes works as a mini-escape from life. That's actually what I'm up to tonight, trying to finish a scene in my WIP as a break from the myriad responsibilities of school right now.

I hope things even out for you soon!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

That's how it's been for me the last few days. I've been determined to write, but I'm making half my goal. I'm not banging my head against wall about it. Some days are like that.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...


You're describing how I've been feeling for the last two months. LOL

I tend to really pull in and just concentrate on surviving. Getting through the hectic periods. I've been working 8-10 hour days, 7 days since close to mid Febuary. Plus-- there was the moving and then removing on top of that. Then cleaning. And then putting a fence in and rebuilding the kennel complete with the patio brick floor and full roof.

I tend to concentrate on one project at a time. Just get it done and out of the way. But I only concentrate on the things that have to be done.

I knew it was going to be bad. So I gave myself permision to not even worry about the writing until after the overtime and moving was finished. I haven't even tried to write, nor have I been feeling guilty about it. Worrying about would have been the straw that would have broken my back.

I'm happy to report the improvements are pretty much all done now. I'm all moved in and last weekend was my last weekend of working my days off. The writing-- or I should say revisions-- will start this Sat. I'm going to print the book off tomorrow to read it all in one huge gulp.

My advice, is to just keep your head down and plug away. Don't let yourself fall into the guilt trap. If you can't blog the world won't fall apart. And we'll still be waiting for you when you do have the time again.

We'll keep the lights on for you!!

Good luck

9:20 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Joan, sorry to hear what life's dealt you recently. I know I can't write through family crisis - been there, failed at that - and I try and write every day that "something" isn't going on! I hope you get back on track soon...

BTW, I tagged you on my blog today, for the "Thinking Bloggers Award". You can post back to me to see if you want this Award on your group blog or not. (and, I actually finished that chapter I sent to you a few weeks ago! - like I said, family crisis and all that...)

8:04 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Linda - I love that: A mini escape from life. I often find myself writing in twenty minute intervals, usually while I'm waiting for my kids somewhere.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Theresa -- good advice. Sounds like we operate on similar survival modes!

Glad things are evening out for you.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Laurie -

Hey - thanks for the Thinking Blogger Award. Spy tagged me for that award on my personal site a few days ago, and I have to say it's a high compliment to be thought of as someone whose comments are thought provoking. Only thing I can think that would top that is to have fan mail from a published book. :-)

It took me forever to figure out which five blogs to pick -- so many good ones out there.

I know how that crisis thing goes. Fortunately, this has just been one of those months I can't catch up from. Our crisises (is that a word?) tend to stem from finances. I have to pick up hours at work or spend more time at the torch or doing things that save us money. I'd rather have that than a health or family crisis - although any crisis affects everything else.

Congrats on finishing up that chapter!

1:41 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Edie - I'm with you in spirit!! We'll plug away together via cyberspace. :-)

1:42 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Hi Joan - you're quite welcome with that Award. And btw, congratulations on finaling in the Daphne!! Here's hoping you win the category, and find a buyer for that book.

And I know all about financial crisis' - I just starting working at Wal Mart for 24 hrs a week. More time management needed for writing now! :)

Can you plse email me from my blog? I have a quick question for you (and no, it doesn't involve critiquing! :) )

8:22 AM  

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