Books by Melissa Bowersock

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life Gets In The Way

Like most of us, I have lots and lots of good intentions. I’ve gotten so many thanks and nice comments from other writers about my self-publishing experiences and I strive to keep adding to it but, sometimes, life just gets in the way.

First off, I am planning to retire. Not from writing; just from my day job. It’s still months away, but I have about a zillion ducks to get in a row, so I’ve been chipping away at it. I need to get with the Social Security office and find out what I need to do and exactly when I might expect my first check. I need to investigate alternate health insurance and get that set up. I need to get with my HR department to find out what I need to do there. My boss already knows my plans and at some point we’ll have to advertise my job and arrange time for me to train my replacement. And to make matters really interesting (read: chaotic), my husband and I are planning to move three hours north to a smaller town just as soon as humanly possible.

The good news is that this is all months away, so I’ve got plenty of time and am not frantic—yet. The bad news is that this is all months away and I want it now! Talk about a serious short-timer attitude …

Amid all this, I am still thinking about my latest WIP, and I occasionally bug out a knotty twist of plot or refine a transition. Sitting down to actually write just seems harder. I guess my brain is just not quiet enough to concentrate on one thing only right now. It’s too used to going in 27 different directions.

Then there’s the election. I don’t normally get too psyched up about elections, but this one seems particularly important. Maybe it’s the polarization of our country over the last 10 years, but it seems that the choices are so diametrically opposed and that the downsides are so potentially worrisome. My father used to say that he really didn’t think it mattered too much who was in the White House; life just seemed to continue on in its own rambling fashion. And I used to think he was probably right, but not since the financial meltdown of the mid-2000’s. Now it seems like it matters desperately who’s in the White House. There’s a part of me that thinks the outcome of this election is a given (with my candidate winning), but there’s also a part of me that is terrified that the other guys might actually steal the election. I try to remain calm but at times the anxiety seems to spike and I’m completely worthless at writing. At those times, the only places that benefit from my talent are Facebook and Twitter. Not exactly the full-length novel I’d prefer.

However, over the decades that I’ve been writing, I have realized that I am a decidedly undisciplined writer, and I’m okay with that. I do not sit down and write at the same time every day. I do not even sit down and write every day. I write when the spirit moves me. I’ve learned that writing at any other time is simply a waste of time, as whatever I end up with is flat and dead and useless to me. So in that respect, I am very disciplined at being undisciplined. I don’t expect to write every day. I don’t even expect to write every week. I know things will calm down, things will simplify, life will get less hectic—and I will write again.

Just not now.

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