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The Struggles of “Catching Up”

Perhaps you recall the famous lines about “the best laid plans of mice and men.” Often, the flow of “normal” life events tends to discombobulate those plans, and “catching up” afterward often takes longer than we anticipate or hope.

What other responsibilities so demanded my attention that I had to resort to such drastic measures? The first was the arrival of the edited draft of my book manuscript. Since my editor was on a deadline, I had to put my review on a deadline. That review took top priority. I had to get it back to her so she could do the final read-through and keep the publication process on schedule.

Then there was the arrival of a book for which I had agreed to read and write a review. In all of the activities, I had forgotten that it was coming, but it was among the accumulated held mail when I returned from a trip and was already late. (I’m still trying to get that read between other tasks. One of these days I’ll actually get the review written.)

Then there was my publisher’s request to see the manuscript for my next book. It had been so long since I wrote the manuscript that I couldn’t remember if I had actually finished writing it all, so I had to go back and do a quick reading of it. Then I had to get it to the Acquisitions Department in a timely manner.

There’s more to writing than first meets the eye. And emergencies. And unplanned visitors. Or even planned ones! There is grass to mow and trim. Cars to maintain. Bills to pay. Things to do. Places to go. People to see. There’s life. And the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!

This is not unique to me. Every writer faces these problems and interruptions and distractions. Maybe more than I face. And yet, the professionals, the true writers who must write regardless, always seem to get it done. It’s what they do. It’s who they are.

If you sometimes find yourself in the same boat, wondering how you’ll ever catch up and return to a “normal” state in which you can write, don’t despair. It just takes time. And setting realistic priorities. And “biting the bullet” to delete all those e-mails you’re so tempted to open and read.

Now that I’m caught up on the e-mail, I can settle down and do some serious writing.

Here we go again! It’s the “new normal.” Besides, it’s a couple of cute granddaughters who are visiting, so how bad can it be? I think I’ll take a break from my writing. I can always catch up later.

#writers #grandchildren #books #publishing #editing #family #learning

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