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Writerly habits of perseverance

Writer’s write. We know this. But sometimes life happens. Lately, my life has been one big interruption. In February, my mom passed away, two days before her funeral our bathroom flooded, and since then we’ve been living in the midst of a remodel.

We live in a hundred-year-old house, so one thing uncovers another and it never seems to end. A person could get bleak. A person could give up writing for the interim—especially considering that I have two (small) useable spaces in the house fairly clear of sheetrock dust, contractor tools, and supplies. When you work from home and have nowhere else to escape to, it can be a problem.

Fortunately, I’ve been increasing my commitment to my writing life over the last few years to the point where sometime late last year something just clicked and I became 110% committed. I started treating it like a business and not a hobby. I started entering contests and sending my work out for publication. I set goals. I committed to several writing projects and completed them.

What I’ve discovered is that commitment and perseverance are a habit. If I have a goal and work each day toward that goal—even if it’s something small like googling writing contests to enter—then I build momentum. So when the rough spots happen like they have lately, I have those habits and that momentum to help me through.

Yes, life happens but we don’t have to let it derail us. Just today, I swallowed the temporary crown my dentist recently put on my tooth which means another two to three hours out of my week driving to the dentist and having a new temporary made and put on. I could get upset. I could curse. I could cry. Instead, I’m realizing that one of my favorite writing spots with the best cherry pie in the world is five minutes from my dentist’s office. I always get so much writing done when I’m there. So now I’m excited!

Because of the habits I’ve developed, I was able to turn an interruption into a contribution—an afternoon of writing in a dust-free zone. See, we can have our pie and eat it too.

What writerly habits have you developed to help you through life’s trials? Please share in the comments below.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Exactly right. In my experience as well, commitment and perseverance become habits. This is true when committed to a marathon of running as well as a marathon of writing! Thanks for your posts. Jane

    April 9, 2012

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