I had an amazing time at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers conference back in April — wait, April?! Has it really been almost five months? How disappointing that I haven’t accomplished more. And I was doing so good at self-care and working on my recent WIPs… then summer hit.
Summer has never been a good time for me to write. Every year, especially since my kids are older and tend to sleep in,, I say I’m going to get up like I normally would and use the three or so hours of morning silence to write. And every year, I fail.
But summer makes me tired for lots of reasons. For one, I’m the mom who can’t sleep until I know all my kids are safe in their beds. So when my teenage sons work late or go out with their friends, I stay up until they are home.
Two, having teenagers and young adults means staying up late in our house, and eventually late ends up averaging 1am. With three out of five of our kids out of the house, parenting advice at this point is pointless. We’ve had a rough few years of changes that have forced us to choose battles instead of strict routine.
And though things are looking good as far as our life finally stabilizing, when you have five kids, a freelance job, and are helping your husband run his business that’s growing like crazy, life can still wear you out!
Reasons three, four, and more include heat and poor air leading to less exercise, and slacking on the proper diet, vitamins, and water intake. And this summer I’ve had to multiply the hours I spend on our business (more work means… more work) — and during a week of compounding emotional stresses, my family experienced the unexpected death of my 30-year-old cousin. Emotional stress takes a huge toll on my body and is a long process of letting go of anything that can wait so I can replenish and restore mind, body, and spirit.
That brings me to the title of this blog post, which I typed into my phone at least a week ago but am just now getting around to writing.
WEARINESS TRUMPS MY WILL EVERY TIME!
There is a difference between being tired and being weary. And chronic weariness or fatigue that might also have the glorious partners of brain fog, migraines, and left hip scoliosis flare ups can make it awful hard to get anything accomplished–not to mention anything creative.
And summertime always seems to lead to an increase for me.
I hope I haven’t lost you yet. The morning I thought of writing this, I was beating myself up. How can I call myself a writer when I’m not writing? Maybe I should give up the idea of writing novels until all the kids are out of the house and we can afford to hire someone else to do the marketing and bookkeeping for the business.
Maybe I should give up writing until I don’t have any stress or unpredictable events in my life. Haha – not happening!
I was upset at myself for spending a lot of time and A LOT more money on investing in the writing craft and keeping up with recent trends and resources. If I quit now, I’d probably need to start all over again.
- And I still have stories to tell, lots of stories.
- And I get depressed when I don’t write.
- And I love to write and learn about writing well.
- And most everyone who reads my stories loves them and tells me I’m a good writer.
I HAVE A WILL TO WRITE, SO WHY CAN’T I JUST DO IT? WHY CAN’T I WRITE EVERY DAY?
I know I’m not the only one facing chronic pain or health issues. I see writer friends on Facebook talking about their challenges all the time. But it’s not like me to publicize things when I’m not feeling well. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. I see so much encouragement and people offering prayers for those who need it. If I really think about it, it’s more about the energy it would take to write about it in the first place.
If I’m going to take the time to write anything, I want it to be my stories. But there are days I just don’t have the strength. I push through what I have to do and then let my brain and body rest.
Then there are other days when I do write! Like today… I’ve been writing a new synopsis for the first book in my historical fiction series all day. And I even wrote a blog post too!
And with my two youngest back in school (weird to say “youngest” when they are in 8th and 10th grades!) – I don’t have the excuse of summer slide anymore.
But first, I have a baseball game to watch. My husband and oldest son are at Dodgers Stadium as part of his send off back to California and giving this “adulting” life a try! We will sure miss him… but that’s a topic for another day.
As a final thought, I simply love all the songs by Tenth Avenue North… they’re full of honest lyrics that have helped me to express my feelings while acknowledging God through triumph and tragedy. This is one of their more recent ones that I play whenever I’m feeling discouraged.