Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sometimes a Little is Enough by Melanie D. Snitker

As writers, we tend to pile a lot of expectations on ourselves. I know I’m guilty of doing that on a regular basis. Every year, I detail my writing, editing, and publishing schedules. When I fall behind, which inevitably happens at some point, I feel stressed about getting myself back on track.

That happened to me this last November. The month started off great: I had two new releases set for January, and I was looking forward to writing two novellas during the holiday season that would release the following fall. I had it all planned out until life threw a curveball.

Our sweet son has autism and began to have an exceptionally difficult time in several areas. We’re still working with him now, but suffice it to say, the months of November and December put our family into survival mode. Most of our energy was funneled into helping him while trying to keep the magic of Christmas for our younger daughter. In other words, I had nothing left to devote to writing. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t find time to write, I truly had no energy to even think about it. It’s only been in the last week or two that we’re starting to see a break in the storm.

When it came to writing the last two and a half months, I dealt with everything from stress to guilt, not to mention that frantic feeling as I got more and more behind. But through it all, I’ve learned something valuable.

Sometimes a little is enough.

I may not have written much in the last two and a half months, but I did get the main points of my next book plotted out and successfully launched two titles this month. Now that I’m starting to write again, it’s my hope that this new story will come together quickly.

Try as we might to stay on schedule and meet our word goals every day, there will be times when that might be impossible. Whether we’ve got a child who’s sick, our computer dies on us, or we get a cold that turns our brains into mush, there are going to be days, weeks, or even months when we can’t stay on task the way we want to.

That’s when doing what you can, even if it’s just little things here and there, that’s often enough. Jot down story ideas while waiting in the doctor’s office or do some research and print out pages to read later. But most importantly, take care of yourself and your loved ones. The storm will eventually clear. When it does, you can take all those little things and piece them together to get yourself back on track again.

What have you found works for you when life gets too hectic or stressful to write for any length of time?


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Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing fiction for as long as she can remember. She started out creating episodes of cartoon shows she wanted to see as a child, and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children, who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs, who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crocheting, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.

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5 comments:

  1. Thank you, Melanie, for sharing. Life does sometimes throw us a curve ball. When this happens, my first reaction is to panic when my schedule is interrupted. BUT, when I take a deep breath, take a step back, and look to my Creator who is the one in charge anyway, I realize my work will get done eventually & maybe even at a greater depth than before. I can do nothing in my own strength.

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    1. Hi, Carol. Yes, my first response is to panic as well. I think the more I get behind, the worse I feel about it. You're right, sometimes God can take a situation where we feel out of control and help us to not only learn from it, but eventually do a better job with what we originally had planned than what we would've done on our own. He always knows best!

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  2. Hi, Sandy, thank you so much for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog and chat with your readers. Have a blessed day!

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    1. Glad to have you, Melanie. I so agree with you that we need to do what we can, when we can. It all adds up! :)

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  3. Melanie, thanks for the tips. I know they'll come in handy at some point for all of us.

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