Last week I ‘gallivanted’ my way to a granddaughter’s wedding, a wonderful family visit and back to my own home again. Did I write during my absence? Of course. Did I write much? Of course not! Life got in the way.
As writers we’re led to believe that we should be able to write “no matter what” – that if writing is our passion we’ll always find the time. That’s idealistic. Reality says that times of unexpectedness are bound to interrupt our routines, and unless we’re impossibly addicted to our work, we’ll know when family needs, personal health, work responsibilities, church commitments — other priorities — require our attention.
We’ll always have to contend with the complexities of our daily lives. But how do we know when those other activities and apparent demands are priorities or simply excuses?
If it prevents us from making a start, I’d say it’s probably an excuse. “I’ll wait until my children are in school.” “Once I’m finished this course I’ll have more time.” “I can’t focus on anything while home renovation has the household in chaos.” “I’m feeling overwhelmed by life; I can’t write when I’m this depressed.” I’d say those are all excuses. Temporary, relatively brief interruptions are more likely to be valid priorities.
Am I wrong? What do you consider valid interruptions in your writing process?