Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sidetracked Again

I make these wonderful plans, these elaborate schedules of tasks and goals I want to accomplish. And then life throws its curves, and I’m sidetracked again.

Last month an illness (my mother’s) knocked my writing plans aside as I dealt with her, my siblings, nurses, therapists, doctors and everyone else who cares for my mom. Each time something like this happens, I’m determined to keep writing through it all. I’ll be disciplined and faithful, and not lose sight of the novel’s twists and turns as I go through life’s twists and turns. Each time, I fail. I tell myself it was a legitimate sidetracking! I shouldn’t feel guilty! But I do.

I’ve realized that part of the reason I write is to keep myself balanced; I’m happier when I write regularly. Recently I told a daughter I think I use writing to distance myself from the world. Life doesn’t seem to have the power to hurt or disturb me much when I’m in my writing zone. This coping system might be very unhealthy, but I’m not going to twelve-step my way free of it. La-la-la, life is good, I’m happy, don’t kill my buzz, don’t suck my joy.

Things seem to be settling down again, at least for today. So today, I write. La-la-la, life is good!

How do you cope with the world?


  1. Who knew? I'm not the only one who escapes to my alternate reality when the real world gets overwhelming. Anytime, really--I don't need an excuse. But it does help to be elsewhere when you're being pelted with golf-ball-sized hail, doesn't it? No twelve-step program for me, either. :)

  2. we all have something that we love to do that helps us escape this world and problems. Now and then something dramatic happens (you so well know) and there is no way to escape the sidetrack. The best we can do is to NOT feel guilty for however you handle it and whatever you get done or can't get done during it. I find that my concentration level goes when I have to handle bad things... when my Mom got sick I couldn't read or go to the store for over a year. My brain couldn't take it. So just relax - no guilt - deep breathing - and let things happen... give your troubles to God - he'll be up all night anyway!

  3. I'm just the opposite. I feel guilty when I write because I feel like I'm ignoring the world. Maybe we should meet in the middle.

  4. I think we all have our escapes and guilty pleasures. If we didn't, we'd all be rolled up in a ball somewhere. Not a pretty picture. And yes, I write to escape too. Can't help it. It's therapeutic.

  5. My problem is more disciplining myself to write, rather than writing to escape. It is all too easy for me to get caught up in a whirl of things that must be done, things I would like to do, and just the ongoing details of daily living. When I need to escape I read - usually something completely removed from this world like a historical novel or a fantasy/sci-fi novel. Or a watch a DVD that is set in the past or in another country.

  6. A day away from the office with my husband always helps! Reading is good too.