Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Remember, There is Life Outside of Writing

When I get deep into a writing project I start to forget about my actual life. You know, things like my family, friends, work around the house and so on.

That focus makes me highly effective at getting the writing done. It is also very effective to alienate the important people and things in my life. It is when I am most focused that I have to work hardest to step back and do the everyday things.

Nothing exemplifies that more than how I forgot to let my spouse know about a writing convention I was attending. To make matters worse, I was launching a book at the conference.

We have a family calendar that everyone is expected to write any significant events on. I, naturally forgot. When my spouse asked me if I had everything on the calendar, I blindly (or is it, stupidly) said, "yes". That was in March. With that affirmation, my wife went ahead and booked our vacation (for the following August)

Fast forward several months when it finally occurred to me that I might have a problem. You see, the writing convention started the same day we were going on vacation. My book launch was three days into our vacation.

I realized my faux pas and apologized to my wife. I told her that it was my mistake and I would miss the book launch because, "the only reason I'm able to write is because of the sacrifices of my family."

Did I mention my spouse is wonderful?

I probably didn't, but she is. She came up with a way to do both the writing convention and join up with the family a few days late.

Despite that good fortune, it reminded me that I need to pay more attention to what is going on around me. Even when I'm having a great session of writing, I have to come back up for air. I have to see what I'm neglecting so I can reprioritize my schedule to accommodate everything.

Even if it means I don't spend as much time writing. Because writing, no matter how much I love it, cannot ever replace the people around me.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

A good lesson to remember. They will be there when your books are collecting dust or losing pixels.

Liz Fountain said...

Very true. In the best of all worlds, our creative work feeds our ability to connect with others.