Stress & Writing

I mentioned last week that my daughter wrecked her car. It wasn’t bad in that it was a single car, new driver mistake kind of a wreck in which nobody was injured in any way at all, but it was bad because it led to over $5,000 worth of damage to her car.

This isn’t a parenting blog, but I hope you can indulge me for a minute because parenting is a big part of my life.

When the kids were little and my life revolved around mostly keeping them alive I remember thinking “it will be so much easier when they’re older.” All of you more experienced parents can stop cackling now.

While it is easier in the sense that they can get their own meals, perform self-care, and generally don’t need my hovering presence 24/7 it is infinitely harder now than it was when they were tiny. They suddenly have places to go and things to do that require we leave the house. And sometimes it means that my 16yo has to drive.

It’s scary. There’s so much more on the line when your kid gets behind the wheel of a car.

The aftermath of the wreck caused quite a bit of stress for me, for my husband, and for my daughter. Hours on the phone with the shop, the insurance, the adjuster, and each other. Hours in the car shuttling kids around, since the usual plan of having my oldest to help with that flew out the window.

There were a few days where the word count dropped precipitously. Where I had been logging almost 3,000 words a day, I suddenly dropped off to a few hundred. I just couldn’t get into a headspace that would allow me to write. I felt distracted and disconnected. It wasn’t good.

I felt like I lost a lot of ground in those days. I am slowly working my word count back up, but I am not yet back to where I was. Which is frustrating and I am trying not to pressure myself too much or stress myself out lest this become some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lesson learned: Sometimes you have to write through the stress of outside events. Sometimes you have to accept that you’ll have some low word count days.

For some positive news, I just crossed the threshold of being 2/3 of the way done with this book. It is looking like a strong possibility that the book will be first draft finished at the end of May. So YAY!

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