An Absolute Catastrophe: Writing Interruptions

My writing has taken a bit of nose dive the last ten days but for a very good reason. We’ve acquired, through no real attempt on anyone’s part, a tiny, furry, milk-ravenous family member.

She’s all of seven ounces in weight and has turned our house, and my writing time, upside down. Our A/C contractor found her under the sun room during our spring checkup. She was maybe seventy-two hours old, her hind legs and tail were injured, and there was no mom around. We couldn’t let nature take its course. No, my household already hosts four spoiled felines, so we rushed her to the vet. Poor little dear had lost the hind foot on one leg and part of the other hind leg below the knee. The tip of her tail was dead as well. All three were infected and she had conjunctivitis to boot.

So, now we’re the proud owners of one Danni, which is short for Lieutenant Dan. If you don’t get the reference, remember Forest Gump and think of Danni’s injuries. Yes, that Lt. Dan. Ten days later, Danni is nearly healed and has taken control of the house and our hearts. She’s a tiny ball of black fluff who’s learning to wobble walk on back nubs and must be fed every four hours, day and night.

Needless to say, we’re exhausted, and my writing has taken a temporary backseat. This isn’t to say that I don’t get to work on my writing at all, but writing time now comes in snippets. Fifteen minutes here. Thirty there. It’s proving difficult to get anything done, and nothing new is going onto the page besides a few ideas I’ve jotted into my notebook. I’ve taken to editing on a post-beta-reader manuscript. I can come and go from it without losing my train of thought, and the story isn’t going to suffer if I’m delayed.

Yeah, it sucks, but so goes life, and every time Danni gets all snuggly-purry against my neck I melt. She has me and the rest of my household wrapped around her tiny, tiny paw.

So, there’s the reason for my current slowdown in my writing. What’s yours?

Really? So how are you managing? You haven’t stopped writing, have you? No edits? No idea mapping or, gasp, even napkin notes? Nothing? Well now, that’s a problem. A big problem.

Think. Think hard. Isn’t there something you can do to satisfy, or at least pacify, your writer instinct during this period of write-time desolation? No? Well, here are a few ideas to keep you going.

  • Explore new ideas via concept mapping and/or brainstorming

  • Jot down the outline for a new scene

  • Create a character profile

  • Plan the death of an antagonist (a fictional one, okay?)

  • Practice some quick dialogue between two characters. Not an entire scene. Just practice.

  • Draft some flash fiction

  • Find a contest to enter or somewhere new to submit

  • Submit a review request

  • Draft a short poem

  • Work on a cover letter or query

  • Draft a blog post (Guess what this author decided to do with the hour before Danni’s next feeding?)

There will always be a reason to stop writing if you want one but finding a way to keep writing is just as easy.

Don’t let an interruption become a permanent stoppage. Don’t let— damn, it’s time to heat the next bottle.

Keep writing. And I will too.

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