I’m writing this blog post in a random coffee shop in a tiny map-dot in Oregon. We’re here for the funeral of my husband’s mother, who passed away the day after Thanksgiving. (Rest in blessed peace, Wynonia.) When we get back to Alaska, we have one week at home, then we’ll be getting on another plane, this one to Maine for my parents’ 50th anniversary party. The strangest part of all this traveling? I’ll be working the entire time. I’ve been working here, holing up with my laptop when we’re not visiting with my DH’s family. And I’ll be working in Maine in between visiting my family.
That’s one weird thing about being a writer. IT NEVER STOPS. If you’re not working on a new project, you’re editing or doing blog posts (ahem) or working on your website or filling out cover art forms or trying to squeeze in a Tweet here and there. I’m doing all of the above at the moment. If I had no other life besides writing, I could still fill up every hour of the day with writing-related tasks.
The night before last I simply couldn’t sleep—didn’t get any rest until after 6am. So how did I spend those long hours tossing and turning? Sure, I could worry about money and my husband’s grief and whether I should get knee surgery and what I should say in my parents’ toast. And I did all that. But there are a lot of hours in a sleepless night, so I did what I always do to fend off the 3am blues.
I’m pretty sure I came up with an interesting three-story series. Even if it’s crap, it helped me pass the time. And that’s the other part of being a writer. IT SAVES YOUR SANITY. Yesterday, even after my sleepless night, I managed to write a good, solid, 3000-word chapter. And it improved my state of mind a thousand percent. For me, writing is an escape, a mood stabilizer, a friend in troubled times, an adventure, a constant blessing. Sometimes, of course, it’s “work” in the sense that you have to do it even when you’d rather be playing. But the rewards are so tremendous, I don’t like calling it work. (Unless it helps people understand why I’m spending several hours at the coffee shop.)
The last couple months have been a real rollercoaster ride, with several unexpected shocks. But one thing hasn’t changed. I’ve still been writing at every possible opportunity--and unbelievably grateful for it.