When Life Happens, Keep Writing

I haven’t posted on here in a little over a month. That could suggest one of two things: I’m the laziest writer on the planet, or life happened. While I tend to berate myself privately at times, this time life happened. Although I wasn’t writing out blog posts in their entirety, I was still writing and creating during numerous distractions. So, this week’s message is all about the oft handed down cliché – keep writing.

During my noticeable absence (noticeable to me anyway), I had to replace the boiler in my house last month during the cold snap before Thanksgiving here on the East Coast. What started out as an inconvenience of the neighbor alerting the gas company about the smell of gas ended up being a blessing. I didn’t smell gas. I also didn’t realize that the boiler (we have radiators and not vents in case you’re wondering) was about to go. So, when PGW (the local gas company) shut us down for not having a clean out cap on the chimney, which we replaced, we were unable to get the boiler working again. It was almost 30 years old. It was time. However, when your mother is older with arthritis and other ailments and money is tight from not teaching this semester, it’s an inconvenience to say the least. We didn’t have heat for 10 days. 10 days. It was all I could do to not have my teeth pierce my tongue from all their chattering. No one could think, let alone write.

I did, however, manage to work on a short story piece for the literary magazine “Breadcrumbs” during this timeframe. I figured I could use that to have some form of engagement with my work in progress (WIP) as it relates to characters from my novel. Also, it doesn’t hurt to explore certain ideas through prompts and journal entries. How does Liz react to her only child’s action at the end of novel? Is Savannah really dead (because I’m really invested in her as a character and that would suck)? What happens next? How do I convey the idea of the universality of the human condition in the next work?

All of these are questions that I’ve been asked or I’m asking myself. What is next? Just because I’ve achieved part of my dream of being a published author doesn’t mean that I don’t want more. My only enemies are complacency and allowing myself to be distracted. You can learn your craft, but no one can teach you discipline to live your dreams. I’m successful among my family and friends but I want more. The only way to get more is to keep writing despite not having heat for so long and fighting some serious fatigue and having to cook holiday meals and taking my mother to doctor’s appointments.

In spite of life happening, I’m going to be in Breadcrumb #610 in 2020 (an official announcement later) where I answer one of the questions above. My journal entries are a plenty and I’ve got several blog post ideas in the queue. The way I see it if I could begin my novel while dealing with a divorce and death, I have no excuse not to simply keep writing.

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