Monday, April 15, 2013

Falling off the Scheduling Wagon

As you can tell, it's been a few weeks since I've posted. My normal plan is to post once a week on Fridays, but lately life has gotten hectic, and I've fallen off the scheduling wagon.

Sometimes, this happens and there's not much to be done about it. I'm sure you've found yourself in the same boat at times. And there are plenty of reasons you can fall off your normal writing schedule (or frankly, any other regular plans you make, like going to the gym and such). A big project comes up at work, and you have to get it done. Family comes to visit. A good friend is in need of help. You get sick. Stuff happens.

In my case, I've had a loss. And grief definitely affects my ability to concentrate on my writing. But that's life too. I've given myself permission to take my time getting back to writing, and that's been a good thing. Because now I'm more in the mood to write than I was three or four weeks ago. Hence, here I am blogging.

Working through the situations I've faced lately has been a learning process for me, I'll tell you that. I've had to learn to balance my desires for success and affirmation with my need to be realistic and live a balanced life. And I've reassessed my goals for writing in the first place. At first, I wanted to get published to prove to myself that I could. It was publish or perish, so to speak. That is not a bad desire, but it can become all-consuming.

Along with that, I had the accompanying fear of failure. If I fail to finish this novel... if I fail to get a publisher or an agent... then does that make me a bad writer? Am I a failure if my effort fails? Fear can be crippling to your creativity. At times, I'm afraid to write a scene. Other times, I'm afraid to share a scene with my critique groups. With fear on your back, it's hard to get things done.

Then I wrestled with lots of time-draining events, a lot of which just couldn't be avoided. Health issues, a friend in need, the meltdown of another friendship, major projects at work, the holidays... And finally, my nephew passed away.

In light of it all, I thought to myself: What's the lesson here? And the answer is: I should be writing to enjoy myself, to develop the real talent I have, to learn, to grow as a person, to share, and yeah, maybe to make some money because that's always nice. I don't have to be afraid. I don't have to be published to prove something to myself. Instead, I'm aiming toward publication because I believe I write well enough to accomplish that, and writing is one of the things I was put on this earth to do. I'm going to enjoy the process, learn from it, and stay balanced in the process.

So yeah. I fell off the scheduling wagon on this blog. I'm getting back on the wagon now. If I fall off again, I'm just going to shrug, dust myself off, and climb up again once I catch my second wind. Because that's what works for me.

Now, you share: Have you ever had trouble keeping to a writing schedule? What did you do about it? And have you ever thought about your reasons for writing, or felt the need to reevaluate what you're doing and why you're doing it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

In the meantime, happy writing!

Copyright (c) 2013 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. Sorry to read about your loss. :(

    The reason I write is the same as you: "writing is one of the things I was put on this earth to do."

    And because of that, I've never cared to be one of those authors who collects rejection letters for years, hoping for the day someone finally recognizes something good. (Worst-case is John Kennedy O'Toole. Poor, talented bastard.)

    Now I publish on Amazon Kindle and it's a pleasure to see that people are enjoying my writing - without it having had to jump through any special, exclusive royal club hoops.

    Have you considered self-publishing?

    1. Thanks, Ed. It's been an interesting time for me, shall we say? It's great to hear you're publishing and enjoying the process. As I mentioned to you already on Twitter, yeah, I'm considering self-publishing. My biggest goal right now is to finish a few things to my satisfaction and publish. Of course I know no story is ever perfect, but they need endings. ENDINGS! My biggest challenge. LOL. But I'll make it happen this year. :)


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