When life gets in the way

I admit it freely. I’m really late with this month’s column. Life got in the way.

A vacation and wedding got in the way, and preparing for vacation and a wedding. Excuses, you say. Justification, you think.

You’re absolutely right, it is in an excuse. It is also a reality for every one of us writers who have a day job, who have life outside the computer and beyond the pad and pen. I’m talking to those with children to raise and parents to watch over. It is a time to take care of the business of living, of loving, of being a part of this sometimes crazy, often wonderful world.

That is not to say I totally cut myself off from writing during my vacation. I took one of my manuscripts to edit, which I did at the airport or when my mom retired for the night. During my trip, my writer’s brain often kicked in, that is the observer in me who steps outside my life and takes mental notes of the way people dress, talk or behave. I think, “Boy that would make a good character in a story.”

Life away from the computer also is a time to reflect about life. Why I am here. Why people act the way they do. Which way will the world spin. There are times when I can’t write because I’m too tired or too busy because of life that got in the way. I become frustrated because without my writing life, I’m not whole, just as I would be incomplete without my life away from words and sentences.

So the conclusion of all this is — letting life get in the way is an absolute necessity. Unless we let life get in the way, what do we have to write about?

PATRICIA SANTOS MARCANTONIO

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Filed under Question of the Month, Writing

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