Don’t freak out when it’s time for “downtime.” If you’re like me, then you’re afraid the second you stop writing is when you give up your hard earned momentum. What if that’s it? What if you stop, and one week turns into two, turns into ten, and then you wake up on your deathbed never having reached your goals?
Calm down, Chicken Little. If I can get back on that horse, you can too. Life has thrown a lot of curve balls at me this month, and I’ve been secretly afraid my motivation for writing would take a hit by all the forced down time. I’ve written 1,000 words everyday for two years. A whole month of writing nothing has been devastating, or so I thought.
What derailed my winning streak, you ask? Let’s see. I’m a project lead at work and had to take a week off for family visiting. I was able to swing it, but it meant I came back to a mountain of past-due tasks. Then I had medical issues where my body decided to have everything go haywire at the same which led to 2 ER visits and 4 doctor appointments (and yes, I answered work emails with an IV hooked up to my arm). I’ve gotten a handle on the medical situation by drastically altering my diet to vegatarian and gluten-free. If you’re wondering what I could possibly eat, that makes two of us! But I’m finding recipes and making progress. Oh, and, I bought a house somewhere in there too. Because that’s just how this has timed out!
Good, bad, and scary things can all hit at once and it’s all you can do just to whiteknuckle it like a roller coaster and hold on for dear life until the screeching pace slows down! I think this is just how life works and I’m glad to be on the upswing of things now. And last weekend, for the first time in 4 weeks, I sat down and wrote a chapter for a book in progress. It came out just as easy as I remembered and I enjoyed it just as much, even though I haven’t had the time or energy to write for a while. And I’ve been able to write consistently since then.
So let this be a comfort to you that no matter what happens, you can get right back on that horse when you’re ready. Writing is something long term, a lifestyle. Don’t panic or make yourself feel rushed that you’re not doing enough, because it’s not about that. And I don’t mean you have to go to the ER or buy a house to be forced out of your writing, sometimes stress builds up out of small things and you just need a break. Take care of yourself and listen to your body. Your writing will only benefit from it.