Lessons from life’s speedbumps

Speed bump on the road of lifeSo there I was at the start of September, full of ideas for writing experiments to stay in writing shape. Three new blog posts in the works. Pages upon pages of ideas for more.

Then the flood gates of life opened and priorities took the stage. Some things took a back seat. Some things demanded my full attention.

And I realized…

If you’re a writer, you can write almost regardless if what your writing conditions are like.

Yes, there’s value in practicing writing in adverse conditions because you can’t get too used to having things all perfect.

Sorry, the muse won’t come out and play.
Room’s too warm, door’s too squeaky
—and there’s a bird starin’ at me.

But if you’ve reached the level of being paid to write for a living and you face an impending deadline, you should already be able to produce even if a herd of elephants is doing a Gangum Style flash mob next to your desk. It’s what you do.

These past couple weeks, I was put on three major projects, each of which had high visibility and squeaky-short turnaround times. Of course, thanks to events in my personal life, I haven’t been sleeping much lately and as a result, have had half the energy and mental alertness of a wet mop left out overnight.

But when I had to finish these projects, I produced like I’m supposed to and my end clients were happy.

Erica Hayes rocks the company RV
Guess what I came up with in 2 hours? Boo-yah!

Sometimes priorities define themselves.

At work? It’s been game on. At home? Sweetie’s been sick, which leaves me to take care of him and the home (again, how do those of you with children do it?). My priorities are straight, which means that a sick Sweetie and the need to put cupcakes on the table come before blogging and creative writing.

It’s okay to give yourself a break.

Outside of my paying copywriting work, I either blog or work on my two Works in Progress almost every day. But with everything going on lately, the juice just hasn’t been there.

Here’s the thing: If you need to put side projects to the side for a bit, give yourself that break. You’re not required to keep every single thing running smoothly every single minute of every single day. If something has to give, let it give for a little while.

And finally…

It really is possible to type at rapid speed when you’ve just done your nails without a single ding in your fingers’ finish. Just sayin’.

Yes this all goes in the file of “we should already know this” (otherwise known as “duh”), but apparently the universe will us a reminder now and then anyway. Except for the manicure thing; that was one to grow on.

How about you? Anything derailed you lately?

11 thoughts on “Lessons from life’s speedbumps”

  1. Ah, yes… derail, derailing, derailed (derailment?)… take your pick, September was the month for it. I haven’t written a useful thing – blog, LOI, or even a grocery list – since the first part of August. Just kind of drifted for the last seven weeks.

    No more of that! I’ll take your willingness to show us your life’s speed bumps as a springboard, as a reminder that I’m not a writer adrift and alone. That I have friends and colleagues who know exactly what’s what. I’ll get my rear in gear, and use my usual Fall restlessness to write again, to promote my writing and to keep a-goin’* no matter what.

    As usual, your words are timely and most welcome!

    Writing by Kendra

    * The poem “Keep A-Goin'” from Frank Lebby Stanton is one of my favorites, when I stop whinin’ long enough to read it. It’s here:


    1. “Taint no use to sit an’ whine,
      When the fish ain’t on yer line;…”

      What an excellent share. Particularly for the lines above (I’m a preemptive worrier). Thanks, Kendra. That’s one for Resources page.

      I haven’t managed a grocery list either. Half the time I barely remember to feed myself lately. 🙂

  2. Yet again, you were writing for me – noticed I haven’t blogged in almost a month? Sometimes I feel like my whole life is derailing. I’m always putting out fires instead of preventing new ones. I haven’t done my hair in like a month, nor done enough laundry to keep the piles away, but I did manage to go home for a week and vacation for a week in the same month!

    My clients are still happy, but I’m under deadline and have no reserves left for this assignment. I wanted to turn it in early, but it looks more and more like that one happen. And this is just one assignment. It’s a big one to be sure, but it’s just one. I need a mental break from….everything.

    1. @Willi ~ can’t do anything concrete for the “mental break” bit, but how ’bout a {{{ZenHug}}}? Almost as good as a “real” one, in my experience…

    2. We all go through those lows and September seems to be the month for it.

      You can do that assignment. You’re a kick-ass writer who’s capable of more than you realize. ((((uber-super-duper cyber hugs))))

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s