My writing year. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Hello from Patricia Davids.
2011 has been one of the worst years of my life, but as we all know, nothing lasts forever. Not even bad years.

My writing career has taken a hit, too, because of my personal loss. It's hard to write romance when the love of your life is gone. Still, I love the idea of people falling in love. Losing my husband didn't destroy that.

Writing through the hard times is something almost every writer will face in their lifetime. Be it the loss of a job, a divorce, the death of a spouse, a parent, or a child, we all get to ride the emotional rollercoaster as we continue to balance work, family and writing.

How can we keep our plates spinning in the air while we're on such a wild ride? The secret is knowing what's important.

1. You are important.
Your emotional and physical well-being is important not only to you but to everyone in your life. If you not well, how can you take care of others? Make time to take care of yourself. Eat well, park in the space farest away from your work or the supermarket and walk that extra little bit. Go to bed and get some sleep. (Did you know people who get eight to nine hours of sleep have an easier time losing weight? I may just stay in bed for 12 hrs.)

2. Your love is important. Share it.
Make sure the people you love know that you love them. A text, a phone call, a note in the mail, a dozen roses, it doesn't matter how you say it, just say it. Hugs are a powerful way to convey the message and they improve the mental well-being of the hugger and the huggie.

3. Do the things you love to do.
Read, paint, write, take a drive, ride a horse, play bingo or hopscotch. If you enjoy it, you need to do it. Me-time is sometimes the hardest thing to find. It seems that everyone needs a piece of our time and before we know it, the day is gone. Make an effort to gift yourself with a piece of your own time. Let the answering machine pick up that phone call, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the outside of your door to let your family know you need this time and stand up for yourself when they interupt. Let's face it, we're normally at their complete beck and call, so they may have a hard time adjusting to leaving you alone. If you allow the interuptions, no one will take your needs seriously and you will eventually resent the fact that you give and never seem to get in return.

4. Consider what's really important to you.
In ten years, what do you want to look back and see that you have accomplished?
A clean house?
Folded laundry?
Happy kids?
College or additonal education?
Amazing vacation memories?
One completed novel?
Ten completed novels?

5. Be realistic.
Know that what is important today may not be important to you tomorrow. Don't be afraid to change your goals. You can put one plate down and pick up another. Life will throw major and minor hurdles at you that you have no control over. When you fall off the horse, you don't always have to jump back on. First, make sure you and horse are okay.

I know what I want to look back and see in ten years. I want to look back and see that I've continued to grow as a writer. What do you hope to see?


Reese Mobley said...

Writing through the tough times is something I struggle with too. I can't even imagine your grief but you handled it with such grace and unthinkable clarity. You should be proud of what you were able to accomplish. May your next ten writing years be as fulfilling as your last ten.

Nina Sipes said...

Tears came to my eyes as I read your post. Not for you, but for me. Your year has sucked-no doubt about it. But self-centered as I am, I realized as I read your wise words that there are things, even little things that steal our joy--leaching out of us a desire to do anything but hide. I had thought this year would be easier than last. Huh.(Explosive breath release signaling disillusionment). There are only 7 weeks or so left until Christmas and the end of the year. It is like the year never existed as I accomplished NOTHING! Or Nothing I wanted. Or so it seems.

Your wise words hit me with reality. Thank you for them. I'm dropping everything right now and making myself a creamy, extra vanilla, hot chocolate--something I never do for myself and I'm going to revel in every drop. That I can accomplish. I hope you will be doing better every day.

Pat Davids said...

Thanks Reese, for your kind words. Your friendship has helped me more than you can ever know.

Nina, I'll join you in having a cup of wonderful hot chocolate. Also, don't beat yourself up. The sun comes up on a new day every day. What you did yesterday or for the last hundred yesterdays doesn't matter. What you do today matters.

Nina Sipes said...

I had that hot chocolate and it was gooooooood! Whilst I was sipping I snuggled in and watched the iceballs (some might call it snow) hit the window. And then....drum-roll, somehow I zoomed through work that I'd been trying to get done for OVER TWO weeks.
I was amazing.
Thanks for the mental health break.