Monday, July 26, 2010

Best Plans Gone Awry

I really was planning on revising last week. I even got through the first chapter (which I have been told is the hardest).

But then life happened.

My daughter was bit by a beloved pet...the pet died the next day. We spent that day on the phone with the pediatrician and disease control making sure everyone would survive. Plus there was a shot. I think we are through with pets for a while.

Another day was spent in the emergency room with my son, by no fault of his own. There were a few traumatic days but everything seems to be okay for now.

Things are finally settling down. I feel the urge to write, but I know that there are some things that need to come first. So many other things. But I can't seem to break the feeling.

So I am left juggling life and dreams. I believe I can achieve both, if I can find that perfect balance. But it's like walking on a tight wire.

So tell me...How do you juggle life and dreams? Do you set one or the other aside from time to time? Do you spend sleepless nights trying to achieve the dream? What do you do?

You might not see me again this week. I'm really going to push for that revision, unless I spend another week on the phone and in the rooms of medical people (whom I am so grateful for!!! They have seen so much of me, they even know me by first name).

Have a great week everyone! I hope the writing is going well.

35 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I'm sorry things have been rather crazy. Hope you can find your way again!

Jen said...

Life & Dreams, if it were a perfect world they would fit together beautifully, but life (as you've just witnessed over the last week) is full of surprises and up's and down's. I hope this week you are able to pursue the dream, that so often ends up on the wayside because life gets to hectic.

I try and make time each evening to open up my binder and work on revising. If I'm not feeling that I work on writing the stories that have come to mind, and when that doesn't work I journal about not wanting to write, because then at least the dream has been fulfilled in one way :) Good Luck and Happy Tuesday!

PS Come by and see if you were right about Stella :)

Candyland said...

Aww I'm sorry you're dealing with so much. I know the feeling:/
Balance isn't something I've mastered. I seem to give too much of my time to one or the other at any given time and the other suffers until I switch. Tell me when you figure it out!!!

Jackee said...

Oh, Carolyn, I'm so sorry. Sorry about your pet and especially about your son's health. I hope things turn out okay. I'm sending prayers your way!

I don't do a very good balancing act, but I do need to write (and read scriptures and exercise) for my own well-being. Which in turn is good for my children's well-being. So I schedule time in, even if it means losing sleep over those things. (I get up and write @ 4:30 am just in case that's the only time I get to do that in the day.

I hope things get better!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Yikes - yep, it seemed as if life really got in the way for you lately. Hoping everyone makes a speedy recovery.

Sometimes you just have to set the work aside and put family first without guilt. Just make sure, when things calm down, you dive back in :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

I hope your kids are ok! SOunds like a crazy couple of days. I know the feeling. I just tell myself, eventually I WILL have time to devote to writing and the persute of a writing career. If life gets in the way, I let it and just feel assured with the fact that I'll be seated in front of my computer again when the time is right. good luck!

WindyA said...

I'm so sorry! Hope all is well and you get some rest. Catch up a bit on everything else so you can really get your mind on your projects.

When the rest of life settles down enough for you to focus, you'll know and you'll feel better for it :)

LeishaMaw said...

Juggling life and dreams. What a perfect way to sum up me. :) Sleepless nights, and crazy days. Words that scream to flow from my mind to the page. Children that need love and food. Juggling. Yup. Me.

Amparo Ortiz said...

Things will work themselves out. I believe everything happens for a reason, so just hang in there. I also set my writing aside to live the life, regardless of how much I berate myself from stepping away.

Bets of luck with revisions!

Tahereh said...

oh boy. hang in there, love! i hope everything works itself out :/

Jamie Burch said...

Sorry for all that has happened. Thank goodness your kids are okay. I hope this week is going much better and you find your way back to writing and revisions soon. Good luck to you and please keep us posted!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, Carolyn, how awful! It sounds like you've had a traumatizing time of it lately. Your poor kiddos. I hope they are handling the pet crisis okay.

As for The Ranger's Apprentice, I don't have to finish to tell you I'll LOVE it! That is a MAJOR favorite series in our house. I'm a little bit behind, but Wyatt can't stand waiting for the next ones. They are so good!! :-)

Charity Bradford said...

So sorry Carolyn! I hope everyone is recovering? That tugging in two directions is the hardest part about being a writing mom. We all struggle with it and I haven't heard of a solution yet.

I guess we have to keep reminding ourselves what is the most important and then give up sleep. That's what I'm doing. Kids are in their beds and quiet by 9pm. Then I sit and write until 10:30 or 11:00 depending on how much TV my hubby watches. ;)

Good luck!

Vicki Rocho said...

How am I not one of your followers? You should've come over and smacked me upside the head! I swear I thought I've been following you.

I'm fixing it right this minute...

February Grace said...

I am so sorry to hear about all the traumas, it's always so much harder to see your kids in pain than to be in it yourself, isn't it? I know that's how it always effects me.

Just remember to take care of yourself too...please!

As far as how to do it all, for a few years there I did a lot by going without sleep. My body is refusing to allow that any more and I really am missing my late night writing :(

If you figure it all out, let me know?

hugs
bru

Shelley Sly said...

Oh no! I'm sorry to hear about all of that, and I hope everything is okay!

For me, it's hard to balance writing and life without a crisis going on, never mind when something does happen. So I don't have any great advice, but I hope it all works out for you (I know it will.) Wishing you the best. <3

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sorry about your pet and your kids. :(

I relentlessly go after my dreams.

Good luck on revisions!

Melanie J said...

I've cried uncle for the moment. My husband promised he'll watch the kids for me during our vacation so I can get my edits done. I have no idea how to do this in a normal week yet, but I'm hopeful I can figure it out. Eventually.

Elliot Grace said...

...juggling life and dreams. As I write this, it's 2:30 am. I returned from the cursed dayjob a couple hours earlier. The house is quiet, the family asleep. Upon finishing up this comment, I plan on spending the next two hours on revisions. Then off to bed, up by ten, play house with the kids, and off to work...and pendulum's swing is forever constant. That's life and dreams...

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Darn it! You have had a rough go lately. It's so hard when your kids are hurting. They always come first.

Juggling between family, church callings and writing gets to be pretty difficult at times. But it eventually evens out.

Hang in there!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh my goodness, seriously??? Wow. Yeah, when real-life happens like that my writer-brain just shuts off and there's really no bringing it back until things are semi-normal.

Hang in there and keep trying if you can! But please be gentle with yourself!

Nichole Giles said...

I feel your pain. Believe me. My whole July has been very similar indeed. Sometimes life takes over, and that's okay. You can only do what you can do, right? Your characters will wait, and your story will be there when you get back to it. But your family needs you now.

Sounds to me like you have your priorities in the right order. Carry on.

I even give you permission to take a week off if you need. Happy sleeping!

Al said...

What an awful time.
It is terrible when everything seems to come at once.

The good thing is the WIP will be waiting for you when you have time to get back to it.

Becca said...

Um, hi. I've been away for a while (living life) and I'm stopping by to say, Wow. Your life is full to the brim right now.

And when life interrupts the dream, we carry on. We embrace the distraction. We feel it with all our souls, and then when it all calms down, we use it. Shamelessly. We exploit the emotion to fill up the cracks in our stories (which wait patiently for us as we get on with the Life parts of life).

(Also, three cheers for No Pets. We must stand together, those of us who choose Otherwise.)

Terresa said...

Yikes, that's enough for even the most stalwart person/mama/writer to lose it! What a week you've had!!

About juggling life and writing goals - I'm tired of beating myself up for not working more on my ms (YA dystopian). So I'm hanging out with poems and essays, flirting with short stories and loving it.

Shorter pieces fit better with my hectic 4-young-kids-in-the-house life right now. Things will evolve as they grow up, and until then, it's what's working. :)

PS: Just promise, no more hospital visits for your family this week!!

Patti said...

Lately life has been taking over. I'm slowly trodding a long and trying not to expect too much out of myself during these summer months.

L.T. Elliot said...

Well, you know me. I don't balance well but I'm trying harder. Ironically, it's getting harder and not easier. How about we both take a breakfast date to talk it over? *hugs*

Tiana Smith said...

Gah! I hope things go better for you. I have a hard time juggling real life with dreams, so I go through spurts. I wish I had a better system. If you find something that works, let me know!

ali said...

Whoa Carolyn. I'm so sorry to hear about the bite and your pet. We're afraid of something similar happening here. We love our dog, but he's in a lot of pain and when he's hurting he gets snappy. It's not a good situation. So sorry for your loss.

Um, balancing? Ha! I don't really believe in balancing, I believe in prioritizing and doing things in sequence. Some things come first. That's just how it is. Doesn't matter. Heavenly Father loves me, has blessed me with talents ~ He'll not leave me without any way of fulfilling my dreams. I just have a more important job right now ...

salarsenッ said...

Oh Carolyn, I'm so sorry. Believe it or not, I went through this same thing. I was a senior in high school. My dog bit me...in the face...yeah. I ended up in the hospital for a week. I could have died. It was traumatic for more reasons than just that, though. We loved our dog. The vet wasn't sure why she flipped out, but we needed to make a decision. It took my dad 5 days to decide to put her to sleep. It sucked.

It will take time, but your daughter will heal and so will you. I hope she's feeling better.

Balancing, oh girl I wish I had a solution for you. I haven't taken a break from writing for two years. The past 7 days, I haven't been able to write a thing. Life just happens sometimes, but I think in the end it enhances our writing. ((hugs))

Danyelle said...

I thought I'd sent you some *hugs* before, so now I'm sending *double hugs* It stinks when life is hard. If you ever need a shoulder or anything, feel free to email. :)

Juggling is hard. Oddly, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome actually makes it easier to write, because I have to rest a lot. Of course this means the dishes and laundry and other housework sometimes stacks up, but doing the most important things (Spouse Creature and kids) is really all that matters in the long run. :)

*more hugs*

Kasie West said...

Balancing is so hard. It is what I constantly strive (and usually fail) for. It is the constant tug. Good luck. Sometimes life just demands that we put it first. Sounds like that was your week.

Jen said...

Gave you some blog love :)

Jayne said...

Oh dear, what a week for you all. Best laid plans, eh? Sometimes life is just like that. Life and Dreams - bloody tricky. My balance is way off at the moment, makes me very sad, but I keep thinking the crazy will calm down and then I will be able to start dreaming again soon.

Yamile said...

So sorry to hear about your daughter and your son. And the pet. I feel for you. My daughter was bit by a neighbor's dog and my son had a VERY bad allergic reaction to a wasp sting in the same month. I wanted to revise my book, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I was drained.
But little but little the writer/reviser came back from hibernation. Sometimes we need a break to go back to our dreams more recharged, with more passion.
Good luck, Carolyn. Summer is tiring too, and it's almost over.