Sometimes, a scare like an illness, or a layoff, shoves things into perspective. In a way, I believe bad things happen in order to wake us up and remind ourselves to get our head’s back in the game. The real game of life.
Kids drain your energy and sometimes you just want to rent a hotel room and check in alone, order room service, and stay in bed for a week. Or maybe a day. But maybe it’s a good time to remind ourselves how empty the house would be without their zest. Maybe it’s a sign to listen to their needs, in order to satisfy your own.
My boys were bouncing off the literal walls one afternoon when all I craved was a quiet bed or some quality writing time. I became crazed and frustrated, trying to make them play by themselves, when I decided to suck it up and fulfill their needs. I closed the door and we played for an hour in their room – any games they wanted. The joy on their faces made it worth it. I also bargained with them that I’d give them what they needed, if they pinky promised I could be alone for an hour after our fun. They agreed.
As a writer, sometimes I get stuck on the promotion and publicity of the career. Trying to make it full-time is hard, and stressful. Though I adore my social media, sometimes a nonstop stream of Facebook and Twitter have the opposite effects I need. Instead of feeling supported, I question my methods, wondering if I am doing enough, blogging correctly, getting enough reviews, or posting enough on author loops. Too much noise clamors in my head, and I lose my way. The endless tasks of promotion and selling can sometimes overwhelm us. As depression closed in, I took a conscious step back.
Away from the trappings of writing and back to the task.
I opened up my new work-in-progress, closed down my Internet pages, and wrote. I didn’t go on for the rest of the day. I didn’t need to know what anyone else was doing, or not doing. I needed to get back to the story – the real reason I wanted to write full-time. I want to write a great book, and enjoy the majority of the time doing it.
When life pushes us in one direction, it may be a sign to follow. Our natural instinct is to battle back for what we think we want. But the Rolling Stones said it best…
“You can’t always get what you want…but you get what you need.”
Or if you’re into some great hip hop, I prefer the other song.
“Baby, get back!”