After the rain, the rainbow—this little mantra came to me today, and I am adopting it to help me keep going through a rough patch. We all encounter these moments on our writing path and how we handle them makes all the difference.
Sometimes life throws us something our way that’s totally unexpected—more than sometimes, actually. Often seems more accurate, doesn’t it? And when these unexpected events happen, it can be hard to focus, hard to do our work—or we have to turn aside from it altogether for a time and deal with matters at hand. When these rocks in our road crop up, we can stumble over them or walk around them. Sometimes we stumble and then walk around. As we find our way back to our path, here are a few ideas to make getting back on track a little easier.
Be kind to yourself: Always, always, be kind to yourself. We all have times when our work is disrupted or upended. We all face family crises or unexpected, even unwelcome, news from the world outside the ones we’re busy creating. So remember to be kind to yourself. Self-care is an act of kindness. We need to stay strong and self-care helps us fill our emotional well, so we can give and receive support.
Do something simple: Even if you have to turn from work you’d planned for a time, there are simple, not-so-demanding things you can do to keep yourself in balance creatively. You can do some research, for example, into a facet of your story that needs enriching. This is easy and even soothing as you cope with situations beyond the page.
Stay connected: Don’t isolate yourself form your writing tribe—reach out and let your writing buddies know what’s happening. They can give you an extra dose of energy and encouragement when you need it most. They can remind you that you are equal to the challenge at hand, whatever it is. They can remind you there’s a world waiting for you.
Start something new: Disruption in your daily habits and your work projects can be a gift. It can be an opportunity to step away from your planned writing path and explore another byway. Who knows what adventures might come your way! You can begin an entirely new short story, for example, or start keeping a notebook with ideas for that personal essay you’ve been noodling around in your head for a while.
After the rain, the rainbow. Let’s all remember that life gets in the way of Life for all of us. And when it does, let’s regroup and write on!
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