I’ll admit it, the last six weeks of family issues ( aging parents with serious health issues) has wreaked havoc on my well-intentioned writing schedule. I thought I’d be done with my first draft of my next book by now. I’m not. Not even close. It’s hard to write comedy when your life is not funny.
It’s eerily similar to the situation I found myself in when writing Helen of Pasadena. I was cranking along, happy with my 30 pages a week when my then 81 year- old mother broke her hip. She spent ten days in the hospital and then a month in rehab. I spent two months shuttling back and forth to Santa Monica to care for my dad, cook meals, go to doctor’s appointments and the like. My writing suffered then stopped. Again, hard to write comedy when life isn’t funny.
At the time, I eventually accepted my situation, put the writing aside without guilt and then set a firm date when I would pick up the writing again, no matter what was happening around me. It worked.
As someone whose worked at home for a long time and balanced my creative life with my real life, I was pretty good at compartmentalizing my time. Even if chaos was really happening at home, I could go on the air or sit down at my computer and Do The Work without whining/crying/bringing everyone down with me. But sometimes, the situation is too big to compartmentalize. Moving my father into a care facility and then helping my mother transition to living alone is one of those situations. So I set the writing aside and then set a date to pick it up again.
But it feels like the fog is lifting and the clock is ticking. I have been forced to turn down some great promotional opportunities for my next book because it’s NOT DONE YET. That is muy unfortunate. So last week, I did what I did with the first book: I signed up for a writing workshop to push the work through, force me into my seat and give me a great excuse to get the work done even if my life is chaotic.
First class tonight. I’m ready to do the work. You?
Embracing my Chaos, Lian
Do the Work #10: In the Zone
Do the Work #9: It all counts