Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tough Love Day

Writers, like everyone else, get distracted with events in their personal lives. Just like you, dear readers, we get headaches, suffer from broken hearts, are overwhelmed by family responsibilities, lose people we love and are diagnosed with heart ailments and cancers.

Working while dealing with physical and emotional distractions can often be difficult to do, no matter what profession we work in.

For a fiction writer or anyone else who works alone with his thoughts, setting aside these painful distractions can be a challenge because he has nothing concrete or tangible to help take his mind off his troubles while he's working the way an auto mechanic, a maid, a teacher or a factory worker does. If he takes the day off to give in to or to nurse his sufferings it matters to no one but himself, at least for that day. While patrons of a hotel would definitely miss the performance of the important duties of a maid, if a novel writer didn't work for a day, so what? Right? No one is hurt by his absence from his duties.

This is why it is easy for writers to slip into the bad habit of not writing because "she didn't feel like it" or "he wasn't inspired" or "she just found out she has a serious disease and she needs to feel sorry for herself."

Professional writers write--they write every day, no matter what is going on in their lives.

Police officers work no matter what is going on with their personal lives, so do nurses, janitors, CEOs, dog walkers and everyone else who is physically capable of doing so.

If today is a day a writer would go to work if he were a waiter, an electrician, a priest, a garbage collector or a candy maker, then it's a day he needs to work as a writer.

Setting up a work schedule and sticking to it no matter what is key to a writer reaching her goals.

Throughout my writing years, I've had my share of distractions just like most other people. I've taken care of sick loved ones, supported people dealing with abuse, gone through surgeries and dealt with serious illness, done volunteer work, lost family members and tended to the duties of being a wife and mother. When it comes to keeping up with a writing schedule I have found that adhering to the schedule no matter what is going on not only helps to accomplish goals, it helps with maintaining a sense of normalcy in life when everything around me is dragging me down.

I believe this perseverance can be uplifting if we let it. It can be inspirational and rewarding during our more difficult times. Writers, give yourselves some tough love and make yourself work, no matter how tempting it is to set work aside because things are not going well for the time being. Work and find inspiration and satisfaction in what you do. It'll turn tough love into warm feelings of accomplishment.

Good luck, and God bless everyone who is having a difficult time this week whether you're a writer or not. (God bless those who are having a good week too!)


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author
Fran's Web Page

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