Friday, January 28, 2011

Life Happens by Barbara Fleming

"Life is what happens while we are making plans," the saying goes. You are just going along in your routine-filled days, thinking you have things more or less under control, when life happens and your world is turned upside down. All your carefully laid out plans, your schedules, your appointment and commitments, your tasks must be set aside so you can deal with the crisis, be it illness, death, loss, divorce or some other major upheaval. You do what you have to do.

We are remarkably adaptable creatures, we humans. We shift priorities, rearrange schedules and appointments, set aside tasks so we can function within the newly arranged parameters. For however long the crisis lasts, we manage.

For writers, this can be especially had. We rely on having uninterrupted hours when the ideas and words that float around in our heads can be turned into the next pages of our latest creation. We rely on a relatively peaceful, ordered life to allow the ideas to flow onto the page. When life happens, as it inevitably does, we have to carve time out of a now even busier day--or set aside writing altogether until the crisis has passed. Setting it saide is hard for creative people, writers, artists, musicians, whatever, because the juices are always flowing; the ideas continue to pop into the brain; the itch to turn them into something concrete never really goes away.

Nonetheless, life happens, and we have to adapt. During the crisis, we optimistically look to the day when daily life will again take on a semblance of order, when we will again have some control, and we continue to believe this will happen, some golden day in the future. For some, the crisis might someday blend into a story, shaped to fit the story's needs. For others, it becomes a profound part of who and what we are, affecting decisions and priorities.

However it works for anyone else, I know that for me, life will keep happening. I will keep adjusting accordingly. And somehow, some way, I will fit writing into my life again.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Barbara,

You're so right about this. We writers do look for tranquility so we can concentrate. Of late,
my husband and I had a family health crisis to contend with. Life happens as you said. Then again, without real life experience, we wouldn't be very good writers.

Terry Odell said...

We learn to draw on the emotions of "life happens" stuff. An author friend dealt with the death of her mother and her husband's heart surgery while on deadline--and she says it was the best book she'd ever written.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Barbara: Enjoyed your thoughtful post. I'd never thought of it that way, but coping is adapting, and what else are we to do? Life happens, we have stebacks, but if it's something we have to do, part of our psych, we go back to writing. Thanks for sharing!