One of the reasons I began ROW80 is because I wanted to create a community of accountability for writers that fostered a climate of acceptance and being kind to ourselves when life happens and derails our plans (not a lot of room for that in challenges like NaNo). We writers are so often INCREDIBLY hard on ourselves and running around with emotional bruises from our own mental hands is hardly conducive to creative pursuits.
But today I want to talk about the flip side.
When life happens, you can be either the author of your life or the victim of it. Those are your only two choices–accountable or unaccountable. –Gary Keller, The One Thing
Sometimes fitting writing into your life is a hard thing. You have all these demands on your time from your job or your children or your friends or any number of other places. You may have family who doesn’t support you and don’t understand why you’d want to devote all this time to something they perceive as having no value. You may struggle with getting your head in the right space during that half hour you’re stealing from who knows what in order to get words. Your kid didn’t tell you that he has a science project due tomorrow. Your husband is bringing his boss home for dinner at the last minute and the house is a disaster. All things that can derail you, and there’s no sense in beating yourself up about it because they weren’t in your control. But. You can absolutely go too far in the opposite direction and let yourself off the hook too easily when life happens–instead of revising your plans to make up for missed work time, you just let it slide…and eventually you get into a place where little or no work is happening.
There is a balance. While you must be kind, you must also be firm and dedicated. You have to choose to be an author of your own life (and work) instead of a victim. So my challenge to you this round is to be accountable. Choose responsibility instead of victim mentality. If something blows up your plans to write, you need to revise them. MAKE some time to make up for the lost work time. Nobody can or will protect your writing time other than you, so you must be vigilant and set those boundaries. They’ll likely be resistant, but they will eventually get used to it.
Are you bleeding? No.
Is the house on fire? No.
Is there a flood? No.
Then whatever it is can wait.
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