The human mind is a dramatic structure in itself and our society is absolutely saturated with drama.Edward Bond
Life happens. “Stuff” happens – even to passionate, well-intentioned people writing books. Especially to people writing books.
In my experience, “life” is the top reason people either never start that book on their bucket list, or never finish their book in progress.
It seems like a perfectly legitimate reason to put a “passion” or “side” project aside – to deal with real life. Living the human life can be a daunting undertaking. There are many real life emergencies and crises that demand our attention for a period of time.
It only becomes problematic to your publishing aspirations when the initial emergency that draws you away from your book, expands into an indefinite emergency mindset. When chaos becomes a mindset, the idea of writing a book might seem like a frivolous undertaking.
When chaos becomes a mindset, a temporary emergency has become a permanent state of mind. You’ve now inserted the idea of “constant chaos” into the pages of your life operations manual.
How could a person who could get hit at any time, with a fresh emergency requiring their attention, be expected to organize their life around writing a book?
Eye of the Hurricane
It’s as if every year a hurricane hits a certain beach town, without fail. What would be the point of following your dream and building a beach bar in that town, if you’re certain the hurricane will come and wipe it out? Better to hunker down and play it safe instead. Dreams are for other people anyway, right? People who aren’t constantly getting hit by hurricanes every year.
If you see drama in all directions for a long enough period of time, eventually it’s all you see. The walls of your world – and your dreams – close in all around you.
This might seem like a rather dramatic rant, but I’ve seen situations like this happen over and over. A temporary situation turns into a permanent mindset.
A short-term setback becomes a permanent excuse not to return to a book project that was started with enthusiasm, excitement, passion, and purpose. Whether you’re writing your book for yourself or others (or both), it has a worthy purpose. Just because writing a book is a little higher up on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of your time and attention.
Reconnect with Your Why
Before you allow anything to permanently push aside your book purpose, your WHY, think back on the day you first made the decision to write a book. Become a fly on the wall and look at the person you were then. That person certainly didn’t choose the life emergencies that would sidetrack them from their book. But they also didn’t choose to let those emergencies become their new way of life.
Hurricanes come and hurricanes go. Don’t let them take your dreams with them. Find the power in life’s curves!