Friday, November 30, 2012

Learning When NOT to Write: A Reality Check


Today, I am not doing what I planned to do on this blog. That is, I am not posting what I planned to post, which was a look at how we can energize ourselves to write when we're busy. Obviously, if you have read this blog often, you know I'm busy, often too busy (I confess). So I do have some thoughts to share about keeping your energy up and taking care of yourself so you have the power of creativity behind you, even when you have a busy schedule.

But there are times when you just have to recognize you can't do it all.

And that's my personal lesson for this month, which maybe you can sympathize with. I started out the month planning to get 50,000 words written on a novel in progress that I want to finish in draft by the end of this year. And if all things had been equal, I could have done it.

This month, all things have been decidedly unequal. Drastically so. There is just too much going on in my life to meet that goal. And I've decided, after a talk with my best friend who kindly gave me a reality check, that it is entirely okay to let go of the 50k word count goal for the moment. It means I won't be winning Nanowrimo this year. But it also means I can put more energy into being there for a friend recovering from surgery, as well as supporting my young nephew who is currently in the hospital. It means I can better guard my energy levels given that this is an absolutely insane season of deadlines at my day job. It means I can concentrate on the writing class I offered to teach without burning myself out.

Yeah, I have to admit it: the Chipper Muse can't do it all. So, I'm giving myself a break and not writing this week. It's not the end of the world. So, for those of you in this boat too, like my Twitter friend Derek (@wrytersblockDH) who said to me: "It's the mental energy to write after a 12-hour door-to-door day I can't find," I say this:

The writing life is life, not an event. We are still writers, even when life demands that we not write at the moment.

Next week, I hope to be back with a look at how I energize myself to write. But hey, if it doesn't work out for me to do this series of posts until January, that's okay. I'm learning when not to write.

Do you ever find yourself in this position? How do you reconcile your hunger to write with your need to rest, spend time with others, and take care of yourself? Share, please!

Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. It's so good to know that we're all human and can only do so much at once! :-) Thanks for being honest! You may not have written about energizing yourself to write, but you did write about energizing yourself to handle life, and we could probably all use some tips in that area, too!:-)
    Still a great post! Thanks for sharing!


  2. That's a good idea, Adele. I'll take you up on that topic suggestion, if I can. And thanks for the compliment. Glad you liked the post.


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