Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5,000 Words is a Victory

I don't think there's anything worse than a relative who is unable to take care of themselves any more. This family member (I won't go into any more detail than that, for privacy reason), needs my--- no, their family's help now and it's hard on everyone involved. The family is not basically running two households until we can merge the two. It is hard physically, but also mentally and emotionally on all of us. With this happening so close on the heels of my friend's death, it's an emotional jolt to the system.

It also means that any time I managed to carve out for writing these last couple of weeks has been a victory. Last week, I managed to write a little over 5,000 words --- 60% in the three Battlecorps stories, the rest into the outline for Outcast Ops:African Firestorm. It hasn't been easy --- we've had to make several trips a week to the relative's home, and handle all the details that need to be handled. And while I'm not at the center of the storm, I am still very much involved.

The entire situation is a reminder of how things can change so quickly, without any input from you. Too many factors beyond our control can hit us and changes our lives without warning. It's a feeling of frustration that settles in like a bad cold and stays far too long. Incidents like this remind us that life is fleeting, and can change without warning. It wears away at you, like ocean wears away at rocks on the shoreline.

That's why I consider those 5,000 words I wrote last week a victory. Unlike the real world, I can control events in my stories, decide what does what to who, and how. Writing allows me to control something in my life, at a time when we, the family, are trying to regain control of a situation we never saw coming. We're regaining control, it it's still too much that has to be done.

Every word I wrote last week represents time away from the family situation and time in a bubble where only the words matter and the story flows as I say it should. Each sentence a brick in the temporary wall that I needed to build between me and the overwhelming responsibilities that the situation has given us. Each paragraph was an advance in the story, when in real life, the family makes baby steps, slowly trying to untangle the threads of my relative's life. Writing is the one area where I have control, and that has been my island in this trouble sea.

My goal this week is another 5,000 words, and 5,000 more words next week. No not great amounts, but doable and I intend on writing when and how much I can, as much as possible. It keeps my focus on things I can control and avoid, even for a few minutes at a time.

Now, bed....


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