Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing Vows

I missed the last round in the blog chain due to illness, but I'm back and just in time for a great topic chosen and started by Terri.

Have you ever had anything cause you to step back from writing? If so, what was the cause and how long did it take you to get back into the swing of things? If not, do you have any advice for other writers about not letting life get in the way of writing?

Basically the question is about the things that stop us from writing. Or top put it in visual terms - how do you go from this:

Fenced in.

or this:


To this:

Nothing's gonna get in my way.

Okay, so obviously the point of this visual display is that you can't let anything, including life, keep you from your writing.

But perhaps you are looking at this saying, well sure that is fine for dogs who can fly, but I don't have hind legs.

And I hear ya. So, let me try and put this another way.

Writing has been a part of my life for pretty much my entire life, or at least from the point where I could first put words together on paper, which was 2nd grade. At school during our free time my best friend and I used to write little story books together and sometimes if we could get a huge piece of paper we would draw the mansion that we would live in together in California when we became famous writers. Clearly, this was a very realistic fantasy.

The best friend and I stopped being friends sometime around fifth grade, but luckily my relationship with writing was longer lasting.

But it was never a formal relationship, instead it continued to be something that I did during my free time. And things went like this until a little over a year ago when I started writing my first novel. It began because my son was napping, and I had nothing else to do.

This, however, was not the first novel that I've started. I've actually been starting novels for over ten years. Starting is easy. Finishing though takes something else: commitment. I would even go so far as to say that one could apply the traditional wedding vows of:
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.
and apply them to your writing.

Hmmm... only problem with this is that I already admitted at the top of this post that when I was sick I took time off from the blog chain. And full disclosure - I took time off from my WIP as well.

Okay, so yes, I cheated on my writing vows. And it wasn't the first time either. I don't write when I'm sick. I don't write when I'm super-tired. I don't write if I'm depressed. And sometimes I don't write just because my ass hurts from sitting in the damn desk chair for too long.

But here's the important thing - writing is the world's most forgiving spouse and will take you back every time. Say you're sorry, promise never to do it again (although you know you will), and then get back to work.

Life's gonna get in the way, and sometimes there's no getting around that. Just do your best to try and clear the fences, and stick to your commitment.

Want to read some other thoughts on this question? Well, Jessica Verday was before me in the chain and Archetype is directly after. Make sure to go to their blogs, and all the blogs on the chain (see sidebar directly to your right) to get the full story.


  1. Great post, Kate. Writing is the most forgiving spouse. It's always waiting for you and never talks back! I loved the flying dogs picture. That was great.

    My verification word is "untuf". Definitely not a way to describe writing.

  2. Oh man, those dog pictures are FANTASTIC.

    (Eep! Now I have to post!)

  3. Loved your post. Writing

  4. Great post! Personally, I think writing is a demanding spouse: "When are you going to add that detail I told you to add yesterday? You're surfing the Net to avoid talking to me, aren't you?" I do love the analogy, though. Life does get in the way at times, but writing is always there.

    (And for me, it always feels like a race to get things done before Alex wakes up from his nap.)

  5. I started writing my first novel while my son napped too! :) I had started soooo many stories over the years....never got farther than a few chapters though. And, of course, I didn't finish my first novel until after my daughter was born :D Love the dog pics!!!

  6. The picture of the dogs leaping over the fence is awesome. Great post, Kate.

  7. OMG! The whole "ass hurts" had me laughing.
    At least I'm not the only one who gets tired of sitting at my PC hunched over the keyboard.
    Your post was really great, it confirmed that some of you guys on the chain are human too!
    :) Terri

  8. I love this whole "married to your writing, but in an open relationship" concept. *snort*