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When Life Gets in the Way

So you got your story set, you’re pumped to start cramming out those word counts, and there’s a ghastly silence that’s reached your house. It just feels like it’s the perfect day to get a Writing session going. Your creative juices are coursing through your brain, and your mind is drowning with all the ideas that are hitting you without stop. It would be a missed opportunity if you just let this go from your grasp, so you do the only thing that you know how to do. You get writing.

You open up your laptop, click on that word processing software, and smirk to yourself when you open a document that says Chapter 42. “Hell yeah…” you whisper under your steaming breath. You’re the king of the world, you got this whole novel-writing thing in the bag. At the rate you’re going, you’ll be done with you novel in a week!

Oh wait…

A miserable thought crops up in your mind. Like a slithering abomination from the deepest pits of hell, it calls out to you from that lone recess in your mind that you scarcely venture to. You had a test due for next week. And you haven’t even studied.

That royal perception of yourself that you’d constructed shatters all at one instance. Where you had once been the epitome of self-confidence and initiative, you are now just a quivering wretch that is incapable of writing even the shortest of phrases. “Alright…alright…” you try to calm yourself down. After all, studying shouldn’t be that hard, you just need to review a few phrases and–

Oh God Almighty…

You forgot to Write that essay you’re supposed to have done for Wednesday! You blundering, sizzling, mumbling, lumbering, moron! How could you even forget that, that’s half your grade!

Those same fingers that had at one point been poised to strike out at the innocent keyboards of your laptop are now preoccupied with clawing at your own skin. Your slow breaths have now turned into raspy wheezes that force themselves out of your mouth. Your nostrils flare open just to try to take in the minimum amount of air that your body needs to keep moving, lest you wish to faint on your very desk.

“Everything…everything is going to be fine.” Somehow–you don’t know how, but somehow you managed to collect all those fragments of your mind that had wandered off during your little monologue. “I just need to make a call or two and ask my friends if they remember what the essay topic was. Then I just need to cram those phrases I keep forgetting for the test. Yes, yes, this will work perfectly. As father would always say, a good plan of action–”



Your father was waiting for you at the airport today! You dunce! You writhing, undulating, slow, uninspiring, waste of space! What the hell were you even thinking!? He’s been telling you the same damn thing for the past month! Don’t forget to pick me up from the airport, Jerry. I’ll be arriving by 8:00 PM, Jerry, I hope you’ll be there. This was miserable…utterly miserable. Dad is going to kill me…wait a moment.

You really are dunce, aren’t you? How could you have been so naive? Your father is fully capable of using cellular devices. Surely, being the tech-savvy alpha male that he is, he would know to text you to go pick him up.

You slouch against your computer chair, and emit a sigh. You wipe the beads of sweat that were forming on your brow. All that worrying for nothing. Sometimes you find it a mystery how you manage to go through every day. You shake your head, you give your appendages a much needed stretch, and you get back into writing position. Yet while your head pivots across your desk, over to your computer, you spot a peculiar object lying on your bed.

Your Phone.

Good thing I left it near me. I would have missed a message from the old man if it was in the other–oh no, oh God please no.

Your trembling hand makes a cautious approach toward your cellular apparatus. You touch that pink cover you bought for your phone at a flea market and you bring the black screen to your face. You gulp. You press the home button.

Your phone was turned off.

You shake your ahead, knowing what’s going to come. You turn on the phone, it vibrates once, and then you set it on your desk. There is a brief space of silence provided to you in which you ponder the futility of your existence. Then the phone vibrates. And then it vibrates. And then it vibrates. BrrrzzbrrzzbrrzzbrrzzbrrrzBRRRZZZZ.

Your watering eyes gaze upon the start screen of your cellphone, only for you to see that you miss precisely 20 missed texts and 7 missed calls. And what do you know, they’re all from your father.

You glance back at your monitor and you grit your teeth. “Whatever. I’ll have to write tomorrow. I can just use the extra time to think.”

begrudgingly, you close your computer, wincing when you close the window that has your novel, and you exit the room. You put on your jacket and walk out into your front yard where you see your car is parked. You stick your hands into your pockets and walk over to your SUV. You can’t really say you’re looking forward to hearing your dad give another round of his unremarkable stories, but at least it’ll keep your mind out of your other tasks.

You reach your hand to the car door’s handle, and remember that it’s locked. You give a grumble, but remind yourself it’s nothing to lose sleep over. You just need to find your keys. You rummage through your pockets and then–

Oh no, oh man, oh God…

You left the keys in the car.


  Moral of the Story: All writers have days like this. We won’t always be able to cram out the writing sessions that we really want to, and some days, we’ll fall short of our word counts by large margins. This is unavoidable and should not be a source of fear. If you feel urgent tasks burning in the back of your mind that you know you should do before writing, then do them. You’ll never be able to write properly if you have half the world resting on your shoulders. Deal with everything else so your novel can have a monopoly on your thoughts as you write.

   As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.

This post first appeared on QuestingAuthor, please read the originial post: here

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When Life Gets in the Way


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