Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hell, High Water, & Deadlines

Stuff happens. And it happens when you have other plans. Like vacationing for the summer. Or writing another book.

Eight years ago, I started teaching at a new school. That first year we survived what I call Hell and High Water. The upstairs flooded. We kept teaching. The power went out for five hours. In the dead of winter. We kept teaching.

Because of the many challenges that have come my way, this summer has felt oddly like that year. Hey, I thought, why don't I apply the stick-to-it-iveness I learned as an educator in public school to my summer writing career? So today, my writerly (and not so writerly) dears, we're chatting about facing Hell, Highwater, and Deadline with grace. (And only a little swearing.)

I've already talked to you about my crazy health issues this summer. People have more hellish problems than what I've faced, but it has certainly thrown off my groove. Just like last year when my dad had a heart attack in the middle of everything. Nothing makes you more nervous than when someone you love is hurting physically, mentally, or emotionally. The trick to overcoming the hellish things that come your way? Take care of yourself and make sure you take time for yourself

Hi, water!
Also, I've talked about the changes in my career. It's pretty rough facing all the goodbyes and huge changes, but it's necessary. What I haven't mentioned is that my friends and family are going through some pretty heinous things this year as well. Words like cancer, Hashimoto's disease, court dates, and unemployment keep rolling in like waves endlessly burying me and mine. How do you deal with that? Share the love. Keep close to those you love and hold tight to the beliefs and practices that keep your heart and mind in the right place.

Dead, deady, dead (lines)
Lastly, we've discussed the woes of editing. (Now there's a process that never ends. It's like laundry, but with words.) Last summer, I was vacationing AND editing Becoming Beauty at the same time. I hate deadlines. Self imposed or otherwise, they come right in the middle of all the drama and the good and bad times. They're obnoxious, but without them, little would get done in a timely manner. Here's how I cope with the drama of deadlines:

  • Get organized. Schedule in all the things that I need to do and prioritize tasks in order of importance. (Even when you're crazy busy, it's amazing how good it feels to check things off the list.)
  • Ask for help. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you can't do it on your own. We all need a healthy support group to bounce ideas off of. (And occasionally laugh like a crazy person with.)
Good luck, my dears! We all deal with a healthy amount of turbulence in life and writing. Take a breathe, eat a cupcake, and jump back in. If it helps, I'm in the same muddled mess.

I'd love to hear your tragedies and triumphs in overcoming them. Leave me a comment!


  1. Such great advice for anyone that is going through a hard time, sorry to hear that things aren't going as smoothly as you'd like. For me the schedule is key. It helps me feel in control and ensures that I am more productive. I am also a fan of lists. Even if I'm a week behind on my lists it feels so good to cross something off :)

    1. Thanks! That's how I feel. My challenge this week is allowing others to help me. Stupid hands that can't do much. I've had to set the laptop aside and just recuperate. Isn't crossing stuff off a list fulfilling? I love it!