When Life Conspires to Hamper You

We’ve had another series of wet, rainy days here in Western Pennsylvania over the weekend, and the meteorologists are predicting such weather will continue throughout the week. I love this sort of weather. It makes it easy to excuse staying inside with a cup of tea and writing. However, circumstances still conspire to get in the way of such activities despite the opportunity provided by Pennsylvania’s spring weather.

Saturday my family and I decided to go on a little day trip, because this was the first weekend where I’ve had no other obligations in several weeks. At first I wanted to go, taking my brand new DSLR camera with me so I could spend some time adjusting to the weight difference, focus, and new lens that differentiates it from my previous DSLR. We saw plenty of wildlife despite the stormy weather. Unfortunately that weather kept us confined to the car and limited my photo opportunities. After a few hours, I began to feel antsy and a bit claustrophobic. I will not say the trip was an entire waste, but there were better ways I could have spent my time.

Sunday was filled with the typical obligations that come from having grown up in a church family and the yearly celebrations of Mother’s Day. While the time spent with family is always something I appreciate, the three hours of wasted time picking up supplies for festivities not taking place this weekend cut into my expected writing time. Overall I only managed approximately 200 words during the two days, a pitiful amount when I finally had a mental breakthrough on a character’s development after two months of struggle.

I hate it when I find myself in such situations, times when I really want to get information, story progression, and new chapter material down on paper before I lose it but normal life gets in the way. If I’m not careful, it turns me into what others perceive as a whiny, selfish, anti-social brat, but if this need to write were any other type of work, the perception would change. Sometimes the pressure of my frustration builds to the point where I either want to cry or slap somebody, because these family “duties” get in the way of my personal goals and priorities.

It’s at such times that my self-worth tends to take a nosedive. I feel selfish for wanting to put my priorities first, especially when people start saying things like, “You can always write when we get back.” It’s a nice idea for a compromise, writing when we get back from wherever, but oftentimes, I’m too exhausted to get my mind into writing mode after a day trip. (I can easily do physical activities when I’m mentally exhausted, but trying to do mental activities when physically exhausted is a different story.)

Obviously my mental health is not in the best of places after such a weekend, and now I’m facing a ten-day stretch of work, responsibilities, and obligations. Hopefully I’ll find time to make a little bit of writing progress throughout the next week and a half, and if not, perhaps I’ll find time simply to read more. Otherwise, I fear I’ll end up with another dose of writer’s block before I have unhampered writing time again.

Everyone who creates, (whether its through writing, photography, visual arts, music, etc.) will face walls during their creative process. Sometimes these walls are self-made, and sometimes they come from outside influences. Some walls we can ignore. Others demand our attention. And still others we consciously pick and choose. None of them truly matter, however. What does matter is whether or not we choose to push past them and continue to pursue creativity once again. No one gets anywhere if they give up on the journey.


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