Life Interrupted

Congratulations! You’re finally writing that best-seller. The words are flowing, your characters are playing along, and your plot is mind-blowing. Life is good. Then it seems everything that can go wrong suddenly rises to meet you.

During these unexpected interruptions, you may find it hard to focus on your WIP. Don’t worry. There are still things you can do to keep your skills sharpened.

Time Management

Writers' Resolutions for 2017 by Karen JurgensLast year brought my writing time to a halt as I faced more responsibilities with elderly family members plus my own health issues. As days turned to weeks and weeks into months, it became necessary for me to write on the go. Here are a few places I found time to write.

Waiting in the doctors’ offices

In the nursing home parking lot

Waiting for my daughter to get out of class

While riding on long trips

While cleaning and cooking

Writing on the go isn’t easy. But with a little imagination and creativity, you’ll be surprised at how many words you’ll have written by the end of the week! Now, let’s look at what we can do with those words.

Goals

During difficult times, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a project. If yours is a long-term interruption, why not set smaller goals. If you can’t work on your story, work on smaller pieces. Write articles, devotions, or short stories. Each small goal will hone your skills as you wait. The most important thing is to keep writing and reading.

Reading

If you are a writer who can’t write unless you have absolute solitude, try reading. Reading will hone your editing skills. Reading a well-written book makes you aware of plot patterns and sentence structure. It will also fill your creative tank and get the ideas flowing once more. Keep those ideas tucked away in a safe place until you can begin writing again.

Self-Care

I want to add a caveat here. If you are facing a physical ailment, family responsibilities, or the loss of a loved one, take some time off. Do not feel guilty for needing time away from the computer. The book will be there when you are ready. Your health is the most crucial issue. There is only one you. And guess what, you can’t do everything. Believe me. Take care of yourself.

Remember, God holds it all in His hands. He knew everything that would come our way on this journey. His timing is perfect. Our jobs are to submit to His plan, follow His directions, and be ready when the time comes to share what He’s given to us.

Happy writing, dear friend!

Click-to-Tweet: Learn how to deal with life’s interruptions. You might try writing on the go. Life Interrupted by @lgjohnson87 via @InspiredPrompt

Writing Prompt

Use your imagination and write down ways you can continue writing when life brings interruptions.

Blast From the Past

It has been called the last great decade. I don’t know about that. But for me, it was one exciting ride! During those ten years, I had two babies.

My son made quite an impression. He was the biggest baby in the nursery weighing 9 lbs., 6 ozs.

Not one to be left out, my daughter weighed 9 lbs. and was the only girl in a nursery full of boys.

Blast from the Past house moved

While our family grew, we moved our house to its current position and remodeled it. Later on, this former drop-out became a life-long student and chose to homeschool her children.

No question about it. The 90s were unforgettable—the good and the bad. Do you remember…

News

First Gulf War-Operation Desert Storm
Mandela freed from prison, won the Nobel Peace Prize, became President of South Africa
Presidential candidate William Jefferson Clinton (D) became the 42nd President of the United States of America
Genocide in Rwanda
O. J. Simpson Trial
Oklahoma City Bombing
The Una Bomber
The Clinton Scandal

Television

Friends (Remember the raves over Rachel’s hair?)
Seinfeld
Home Improvement
Full House
Family Matters
Saved by the Bell
Dawson Creek
X Files
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Law and Order

Movies

Titanic
The Silence of the Lambs
Forrest Gump
The Matrix
The Lion King
Saving Private Ryan
Jurassic Park
Home Alone
Star Wars: Episode I -The Phantom Menace
Men in Black
Beauty and the Beast

Books

Notice a lot of these books became movies. Do you have a favorite on the list?

Bridget Jones’s Diary
Golden Compass
Harry Potter
Outlander
Ella Enchanted
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
The Notebook
The Firm
A Walk to Remember
The Pelican Brief

Sports

Tiger Woods (21) youngest golfer to win the Masters
Tara Lipinski (14) youngest figure skating champion
LeAnn Rimes (14) youngest Grammy winner.

Toys

According to Stitchlabs.com the top selling toys of the 90s include the following:

Ninja Turtles
Power Ranger action figures
Razor scooter
Furbabies
Beanie Babies
Buzz Lightyear
Tickle Me Elmo

Prices

Fun facts from 90s.com

Postage stamp: .25–.32
Bread: 1.29–1.62
Milk: 2.15–2.41
Gas: 1.08–1.11
Cars: 9,437.00–13,600.00
Houses: 128,732.00–119,250.00 (No, I didn’t write the number backward. Houses were less expensive at the end of the decade. WOW!)

Now you know my story, how about sharing your own blast from the past in the comments!

Click to Tweet: It’s been called the last great decade – A Blast from the Past.

Writing Prompt:

From the headlines above, choose one incident and write a scene. Where is the setting and what is your character doing? Try to incorporate all five senses to help your reader visualize the scene.

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I Can’t Work With Clean

By Gail Johnson

Are you a planner or a free-spirit? Organized or messy? Plotter or pantser?

Now, you may be wondering what my questions have to do with organizing your writing. Well, for starters, one man’s idea of organization is another man’s idea of a mess. And the more you know about yourself, the more productive your life will be.

For example, in the movie, Yours, Mine & Ours, Rene Russo plays Helen North, a free-spirited artist. Dennis Quaid plays Naval officer, Frank Beardsley, who runs a tight ship. When they decide to marry, worlds collide as Quaid tries to change his wife’s messy ways.

I can't work with clean. I have a deadline

I’m a mixture of both characters. When it comes to my house and yard, I’m a militaristic planner with a to-do list longer than my arm. I get a tick when something is out of place. And when I’m unable to clean or rake… Mama ain’t happy!

On the other hand, when it comes to writing, I’m one of the worst organizers around. I’ve written on restaurant napkins, oil filter box tops—it was all hubby had in the truck, at the time—and the bottom of my shoe. Yep, with my favorite pen.

A Pilot G-2 05 gel pen and a composition book are my choice instruments for the first chapters. Using longhand puts the writing side of me in control. While at the computer, the mouthy critic and finicky editor take over.

Also, writing longhand allows me to write all over the house and the yard.  Personally, when my body is in motion, my brain is in motion. Writing is easy. My characters talk a mile a minute and their words fill the empty pages.

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Eventually, I have a good idea where the story is going. Then and only then, do I sit down at a computer. And even then, I don’t hide my notes in documents. Yes, I know about Evernote, Onenote, Who note and all those other notes. But if “I” put my notes in a document, I tend to forget about them. I “need” to see them, at all times. And that makes for a messy desk!

The same goes for my office. I have papers scattered from one end of the room to the other. I have a write-on board for lyrics and a plotting board for scenes. At first glance, one would think it is a mess, but I tell you there is a method to my madness.

Steve MartinThe point I’m trying to make is this: we will drive ourselves nuts trying to be something we’re not. Furthermore, we will waste more time trying to conform to an idea rather than spending time writing. We need to understand what works best for us, and then do it.

Show up. Set longer times to write, shorter times for social media. Set a word count. Spend quiet time listening to characters. But most of all, write!

When we create a personalized plan, our stories will come together. And before long, we’ll be looking at a completed manuscript.

Click to tweet: I can’t work with clean. I have a deadline.

Writing Prompt

Now, for all you mystery lovers. This one’s for you. See if you can finish the writing prompt with three words. Can’t wait to read your comments!

Bakery closed today.

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This Grateful Score: A Poem of Thankful Prompts

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(Photo source:
aesthetic–pleasures
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Clarity
The blanketing warmth of
Grace and Mercy
That silent darkness that proceeds
The newness of day
I’m thankful
Infinite potential rises
Every morning along with the sun

For the working together of nature
Intricate, intimate
Organic harmony
The blending of peoples
The sharing of stories
And the spreading of legacy
For others to follow
Like a trail that starts here
And stops wherever we leave off

I relish understanding
Beginnings and endings
The bliss of engagement
Like violent laughter
And soft rain at dusk
The to-and-fro
The roaring crescendo
These are the “musts”
Of Life’s symphony

It’s the mountains and valleys
We sometimes abhor
But we cannot afford to miss our cues
In this grateful score

And all the tears
Like distant prayers
Though unspoken
Aren’t unheard
Only God knows
The weight of glory
A story that none but the angels
Have overheard

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