Writing My Way Out From Under

25 Jan

The word for this week is overwhelm.

I’m looking for a new house, helping the older daughter with med school apps, completing high school apps for the younger, working on financial aid applications for both, and just received manuscript notes back from the editor at Penguin. Deadlines loom.

Yesterday, I started to crack. I have a couple of genre projects I want to get published, and I began to feel like they’d never get done. I obsessed over all the things that could go wrong with my many obligations. Have I procrastinated too long? Will my fail my daughters? Will my writing partner make time to work on the manuscript before the last minute? How long will it take to get the next advance check? What if the girls don’t get into any of their desired schools? What if there’s not enough financial aid available to close the tuition gap?

I worked all day, but not efficiently. Even while I marched on the incline machine at the gym, my energy was manic, my mind roaming from one task to another. Today started out the same way, but one simple change made the difference.

I gave myself permission to delve into my own work. Sure, I met my writing quota yesterday, but it was done without respect for the work as a priority. I was simply getting it done, because I’d committed to doing it. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t even appreciate it.

I worked on all the family and career obligations. They’re all important. But I also allowed myself ninety minutes to write my fiction. No tabbing over to websites, no stopping to make a quick phone call to an admissions office, no whining about how underwater I felt.

Ninety minutes isn’t a lot of time, but it saved me. Focusing on something I can control, seeing visible progress on an important project, diving into my fictional world, and spending time with the characters of my creation recharged me in a way that few things can.

I’ll have to remember that over the next few weeks.

Go write something!


Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Writing


Tags: , ,

5 responses to “Writing My Way Out From Under

  1. crubin

    January 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Good for you. I, too, have learned that if I don’t allow myself at least 60 uninterupted minutes to write fiction, I will never make a dent in my next novel. There are always so many other obligations. Thanks for reminding me to make this a priority.

    • Candice L Davis

      February 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Now go write some fiction!

  2. IrisnAlfonso Giebus

    February 14, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Candice, in my humble opinion, you gave Anna the healthiest and most productive advice. I was reading all the suggestions about do this, do that…..we are a country of doers. Yes, we need to pay the rent/mortgage, etc. but as the wine commercials of long ago said “no wine-before it’s time. We often leap at the first thing that we are capable of doing and miss our hearts desire all together because we didn’t honor the voice from within. I recently lost my mother to cancer. Shortly after, I had a meltdown and quit my nice steady gig. I’ve been grieving and also,preparing for,a new chapter n my life but to,the outside world, it may appear that I’m standing still. And yet, creativity requires stillness before the work can take place. Doesn’t it?

    I’m glad you got your work in even after taking care of everyone else. It proves that you know how to take care of yourself.

    Very honest blog btw! I’m going to,copy the first part of,this email for Chris’ question for,Anna, hope you don’t mind.

    Ciao for now,

    • Candice L Davis

      February 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how losing someone so important must have impacted your way of seeing the world and deciding what’s important. Good for you for making space in your life to have some of that necessary stillness.

      All the best.

  3. IrisnAlfonso Giebus

    February 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you Candice, I sensed you a kindred spirit amongst all the doing-ness when I read your post for Anna. I hope she does what is right for her just as we attempt to follow our own true paths.


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