As a writer I have daily goals. I want to obtain that word count or the edited page count I've set for myself. But when there is a crisis it makes things difficult. I'm not talking a little head cold, or you sprained your ankle. I'm talking the kind that aren't about you but has a direct effect on your writing schedule.
What do you do when you have a death in the family? Or someone is ill with cancer and you need to help with chemo appointments, etc. Your grandchild's health is at stake. Or your husband--the sole bread winner--loses his job, or his job is threatened. And the list goes on.
This is a time when you have to take care of yourself. It's stressful, and you can become sick easily. Keep eating, drink lots of fluids. Rest--if you take nothing else away from this listen to this one. Rest and sleep when you can. You will need your strength to get through whatever crises life has thrown at you.
We've all heard from veteran authors, who've found success that their secret is to write everyday even if it's only a sentence. And that works during every day stress, etc. But I'm talking the type of crises that fills your life with 48 hours of things to do in 24 hours.
There literally may not be a minute to put away for a sentence. However, what do you do if you need to write for you? Or for a deadline, or you're at the end of your manuscript and you need to get it submitted.
Be selfish. Grab an hour away--even if it's one time during the week or in a few days. Take that time for yourself and lose yourself in your writing.
What do you do if you have found that space of time, but your mind won't let you write? It's listing all the things you should be doing, calling the social security office to stop direct deposits or calling the insurance company to cancel. Calling to make an appointment for labs before Chemo.
I do one of two things. If my mind is racing too much I take ten minutes out of my precious time to meditate. I play relaxing music softly. Every minute I may be forcing myself to clear my mind, but by the end of my time I can concentrate on my story. Or if I'm just antsy and I'm thinking too much about my story, how it ends instead of the next scene. I exercise. I have an elliptical machine in my office--which usually just lurks behind my chair--but when I use it for ten minutes I have a scene in mind to write and the words flow.
So when your life is in crises, my advice to you first and foremost is take care of yourself. And second, find time for yourself and if you're a writer that's losing yourself in your story.
If you've ever found yourself in one of these situations, what have you done?