Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Writing Through Adversity by Cindy Thomson

Cindy Thomson
There is this unspoken rule among writers, something like Murphy’s Law. When a writer is not under a deadline (and of course he/she always wants to be!) life moves along at a steady rhythm. If you don’t get much writing done during those times, it’s due to nothing more than procrastination. But when a deadline approaches, whether is it to turn in a manuscript, complete edits, or launch a book, BOOM, all kinds of things are thrown in your way. Not only disasters like car breakdowns and power outages or difficult times like deaths and illnesses, but also happy events like weddings, births, and once-in-a-lifetime vacations. All of these things are 87% more likely to happen when a writer is under a deadline. (Okay, I made that up, but it SEEMS to be true.)

I speak from experience. In the last year I lost several close friends, young and old. I had to deal with a family member who was causing problems for another elderly family member. I had foot surgery. My husband and I went on a glorious 16-day trip to Ireland, and my youngest son got married. At the same time I had extensive work to do on a book and launched another one. Let’s see…there were a few magazine articles to work into the mix as well, along with the normal stuff I usually do.

But truly those kinds of things happen to lawyers, dentists, and hair stylists as well, right? Of course. Life is filled with ups and downs no matter who you are. But with writers and other artists, a loss of focus can spell disaster. The way to cope is with determination and prayer, all the while ignoring the pile of laundry, dusty floors, the fact that all you have in your refrigerator is an apple and Chinese leftovers. You just ignore those things and whatever else is not essential to tackle during those Murphy’s Law-type times.

I recently spoke with a novelist friend in Ireland at her book launch party. She was living through one of those episodes at the time—deadline approaching, book launching, the death of a friend…she told me, “I will get through it, and so will you, Cindy. We always do.”

And she was right! Yay! We write through those times of adversity because we have a story to tell, and it’s our duty to tell it. I like to call that Writers’ Law.

About the Author
Grace's Pictures
by Cindy Thomson
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit Cindy online at www.cindyswriting.com

Cindy's latest release, Grace's Pictures is a historical by Tyndale House. For more info about Grace's Pictures visit Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16923109-grace-s-pictures or see a special offer after June 17th at Tyndale House's blog.

How does Murphy's Law work for writers? Cindy Thomson shows us how to break it on #SeriouslyWrite http://bit.ly/17jTPx8 http://clicktotweet.com/qNa0E


  1. Cindy, You're right. These things happen to non-writers, as well. They happened to me during the 36 years I practiced medicine. They're happening to me now that I'm writing. I take comfort in the passage of Scripture that tells me nothing has befallen me other than what is common to mankind, but it's still a struggle sometimes.
    How do I handle it? The same way any of us do. I soldier on, call on God for reserves I didn't realize I had (and perhaps didn't until He gave them to me), and on the other side I pause to look back with wonder and thanks.
    I appreciate your sharing this with us.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Richard. I once interviewed baseball hall of famer Ferguson Jenkins, who had a tremendous amount of tragedy in his life. One of his biographies is titled: The Game is Easy, Life is Hard. I'm thankful Jesus walks beside me, but that really is true.

  2. Great encouraging post, Cindy. Do what you have to do at the pressure times and keep on keeping on. We'll get thru it. :)

  3. Hi Cindy, indeed life intrudes for a writer...and sometimes even inspires the next book! This was a great piece...I am starting a genealogy search. Guess what? Deadlines have gotten in the way LOL. Best of luck always.

    1. It's all about balance and finding peace in that journey. Thanks for your comments.

  4. We are given sick time, emergency leave,& bereavement time at a 9to5 job. Why do we not take the same for our writing career? Thanks for this post Cindy.


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