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When Life Gets in the Way

Considering everything going on in the world today, I can’t complain about my life. Actually, I think I have a pretty sweet deal here. But, alas, things are not always peaches and cream.

Yes, stress! It’s every…freaking…where! My sources of stress are minimal compared to some. I did not just have my house blown away by a hurricane. My child’s school did not collapse in an earthquake. No subways being fire-bombed here. All in all…I’m eternally grateful for all aspects of my life.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t stress. A lot. It’s in my DNA. It’s my nature as a mom. However, the one place I could leave my stress behind for an hour or two every day has been under assault. The time I write my stories. If you are an author, you understand. Stories bounce around in your head all day and night. The stories and the characters demand to be heard. Relinquishing them to the written page (or the computer screen in this case) is the ONLY way to get any peace of mind.

What happens though when I don’t have time to write? Like this summer when the kids were home and I had zero time for myself (Disclaimer: I’m not complaining about not getting “me” time. I love my kids and spending time with them) so all creative writing came to a screeching halt. Well, there was always the promise of “tomorrow”…

or, in that particular case, the promise of August 28 when school started back. But this case is different.

How? The kids are in school. I have ALL this time to write, right?

Now the real stress kicked in and as a result, kicked out all my creative mojo. Where the H.E.Double hockey sticks did it go?

Stress? What stress? Why stress? Things should be smooth sailing.

Well, after lots of pulling out my desperately-in-need-of-a-color-and-cut hair, lots of digging sharp fingernails into my palms because I haven’t taken time to even file my nails much less give myself a manicure, lots of trips to the gas station for all the running around town I have to do during the marathons of after-school activities…I may have discovered the problem.

I’m overbooked. Brain is on overload. 24/7 our family schedule plays out in my head. Can I get such-n-such there while also attending curriculum night at the middle school while getting the other such-n-such kid across town to his/her practice while attempting to help an 8th grader with math (the new “Core” math that is incomprehensible to me – seriously, I could learn three languages before I figure out the new way to do algebra), …and the list goes on and on and on and on and on….well, you get the picture.

The everyday, mundane tasks of running this family have zapped every ounce of creativity and energy I ever had. There’s no room left in the gray matter tucked inside my noggin to equate to a paragraph of creative writing.

Then why am I here…writing? This isn’t exactly creative writing. It’s me flinging words onto the screen in the hopes of jarring loose some figments of imagination. After all, as my fellow authors and friends on Scribophile will attest…my heroine in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel trilogy has been stuck in Hell for months now in Book 3. It’s time to free the poor girl so I can write the ending of the trilogy. At this point, I need a jackhammer to break up the concrete wall in my head that has trapped all creativity.

In essence, this blog is my therapy in an effort to release the story, the plots, the sub-plots, the twists and turns, and spirals of the stories banging on my frontal lobe to get out.

Some may see this as complaining. In a way I guess it is, but I see it as venting my frustrations at my own inability to block out the everyday stresses of life so I can write. Ultimately, my goal is to provide to the world an epic urban fantasy series with lots of hot sex appeal and supernatural fun. A kickass heroine for the ages! I can’t do that if all I’m thinking about is…did Son X fill out the proper forms and turn those in to get his official transcript sent to the college that gave him a provisional acceptance for next year based on him getting them an official transcript within the next two weeks; or if Son X and Dad are out of town again this weekend at another college, can I get Son Y to his team’s party on Saturday after his game but during Son Z’s game; or should I sign up Daughter W for the out-of-town swim meet in Atlanta when I don’t know if Son X, Son Y, or Son Z will have playoff football games that weekend yet; or….well, you get the picture.

My point, dear readers, and I hope you stuck with me through all my ranting…I love my life. I love my family. I love writing. I want to get back to writing and feel that sharing my story with you may help trigger my imagination again (Greylyn isn’t writing herself out of Hell). Also, and more importantly…I want you to feel welcome to vent your own frustrations to free yourself from what stress weighs you down. Maybe you’re a writer, too. Maybe you’re facing writer’s block too and you feel you have no place to turn…

You do have someplace to turn. Vent to a friend, or feel free to vent your frustrations here. I want my readers to know that we are all infallible, we all need a way to break free of our everyday stresses. Otherwise, it will weigh us down and take away that which gives us strength, pleasure, purpose outside of the daily grind of life.

Don’t let the everyday dilute or swipe away your happiness. Some workout to battle the stress. Some meditate. Some go on wine-drinking binges with other like-minded moms and dads. Well, I probably should try that exercise thing again – maybe that will work. Meditate? Who’s got time for that? Drinking? I get a headache after half a glass of wine and had to give up beer years ago when a sip of the stuff started giving me migraines. Besides, I’m also an introvert (see previous blogs) so the group drinking thing isn’t really me.

Instead, I’ll tick through the calendar playing on repeat in my head. And after venting my thoughts on the matter here, I feel a tickling behind my eyes. Maybe that’s my heroine trying to escape Hell, or maybe it’s one of the characters from another story chipping away with an ice pick and trying to break free. Or maybe it’s something I forgot like Son Z’s orthodontist appointment this morning…


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