Summer used to be my most productive season.
I’d make a list of goals, hunker down for the duration, and set about my task.
With a few exceptions, I’d accomplish nearly everything on my list. Well—not so this summer.
This summer has been a busy season. It’s been a poignant time marked with highs and lows. The highs came with a wonderful reunion and some nice career affirmations, and the lows came with a loved one’s sudden passing and other unexpected events.
Instead of making projected word counts and gaining traction with specific projects, certain things were shifted to the back burner as I prioritized what mattered most.
Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes, we have to decide what to do and what to let go.
I’m not Wonder Woman and I don’t pretend to be. Maybe some folks can do all, be all, and have all while plowing forward like a freight train. Good for them! (I’m just not one of them. I know and understand my limitations. My exhaustion level maxed out a few weeks ago, which I talked about here.)
As a writer, I’ve come to understand there will always be seasons like this. Calendar seasons and life seasons. Seasons where we must accept the temporary shift and realize such things come with the territory, and seasons that we know will be longer stints in the valley—though we may kick and scream about the unfairness of it.
Bottom line: we can let the unpredicted stymie us and hold our mindset hostage, OR we can dig in our heels, jut out our chin, and decide a plan of action.
Since I tend to be a go-for-broke kind of gal, I’m more of a grin-and-bear-it, but let’s get ‘er done person. In other words, while I may not like the Reality Sandwich that life offers during a particular season, sometimes if I add mayo and a fat, juicy pickle (along with a big mug of coffee and a HUGE piece of chocolate) that’s just the motivation I need to tackle the difficult stuff again.
I’ve found for every bitter pill I’m forced to swallow, a small reward may be just what the doctor ordered to prod me along. (Self-comparisons don’t work. Those are a trap. Don’t do it!)
Encouragement for writers is huge. Huge. It’s something that works for us.
That encouragement to stay the course, despite seasonal obstacles might come in the way of:
- An encouraging phone call
- A handwritten note
- A verbal “I believe in you. You can do it!” (Positives motivate.)
- A commitment to pray
- A hug
- A box of truffles (Now you’re talkin’!)
- A small writing-related item
- A shared adventure
- An inexpensive lunch
- A book (Yes!)
I’m sure you can think of others. The point is when seasons affect our writing goals or output, we shouldn’t let those life-points paralyze us or color our self-worth.
Yes, we may be derailed for a time, but one day it will be our season again. Perhaps, our brightest one yet!
It’ll be beautiful and have our badge of courage stamped all over it.
Additional thoughts to encourage you:
Have unforeseen circumstances hindered your writing? Relax! You’re not alone!
The “unmentionable” writers don’t like to talk about.
Sometimes, our writing’s a monsoon. Other times, a dust bowl. Encouragement here:
What season are you in?
What tips work for you when circumstances hamper your goals?