Friday, December 23, 2011

The Broken Rule

“I try to write a certain amount each day, five days a week. A rule sometimes broken is better than no rule.”
—Herman Wouk

We are in the midst of busy times . . . the holidays, which frankly could be called the hecticdays. All routine is thrown out the window as all those around us focus on Christmas, Hanukkah, and more. You will break your writing rules. But that doesn't mean you give up on them because they were fractured once, or twice.

It's like a diet. You slip one day because you had to have those french fries. Then you snitched a bite of bread at dinner, or a second slice of ham. But, you can go to bed, wake up the next day and start the routine again. Better to miss once and start back than to toss the rule.

So, when you can squeeze a moment to write, do it. It might not be the whole hour you want or might not be long enough to complete that draft, but you are marching forward. If you skip a day, insure you don't skip the next. Missed your AM journaling? Do it before you go to bed, or at least don't miss the next morning.

Your writing can be the stabilizing factor in this chaos of the holidays. I know it's mine. Yesterday I baked, hung wreaths, wrapped presents, invited a neighbor to come in and taste my candy goodies, and planned the Christmas menu. Also, this year we are without our beloved dachshund Dixie, for the first Christmas in 15 years, so it's particularly hard. So last night I sat at my computer and worked on anything having to do with writing. I needed that back-to-right activity.

So it's okay to break the rules. Life shifts and moves around you, so no plan works all the time. Allow that slip, that reprieve. Just try not to let missing your routine become the new routine.

Merry Christmas everyone.


Glenda Beall said...

I feel sad that you have lost Dixie and I understand. I lost my Rocy a couple of weeks ago. He was 14 and had been healthy all his life until the end. We miss him so much. Writing helps me deal with loss, sad feelings, sorrow and mourning. I want to write about Rocky and I will.

Kathleen Basi said...

Amen! I remember one year I set a New Year's resolution for myself that any day I practiced (I was a music major), I was going to practice four hours. I knew it was a resolution made to be broken, but that pursuing it would put me in a whole lot better place than if I hadn't resolved at all.

Carol J. Alexander said...

I'm determined to NOT take a break, but in the flurry of baking yesterday I forgot a story due today. I discovered it sitting in my chair to edit before I went to bed. So...I stayed up another 1/2 hour and did the work so I could turn it in this morning.

I love the quote from Anne of Green Gables: "Tomorrow is another day, with no mistakes in it yet."

Have a very blessed Christmas, Hope and thank you for this post.

Kelly Robinson said...

I very recently lost my cat of 15 years, so I understand the void that's left. I keep expecting him to hop up on the bed.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Hope--I gave myself a little "gift" and subscribed to your newsletter. I hope you have a great holiday, and may 2012 be a smashingly successful (debut-wise) for your novel.

Sioux Roslawski said...

May it be a smashingly successful YEAR, Hope.

Yesenia said...

Sorry about your loss. I hope you have a great Christmas. Really liked your post. Great pick-me-up after not giving much time to writing for a couple of weeks. I just need to get back in the game like nothing happened!

Gdub said...

I hear you, best to have the rule and break it now and then. Also, the loss of a great 15-year family member/friend is a gut/heart pain you eventually get to the other side of by going through it. Then you can smile because she was there, not feel pain because she's gone. All my life I've lost these wonderful friends, horses, dogs, and my friends right now are going on nine--aussies. The last pair were 12 and 13. Love 'em dearly. We read each others' minds.

Well, I hope you get some good bing crosbyness egg nog family snow if you like it peace and writing time. Merry Christmas.

Hope Clark said...

Thanks, y'all. My sister-in-law lost her chihuahua last week - 15 years old. We cried together on the phone today over the loss of our beloved puppies. But we are better to have loved them and then lost. They made us better people.

But writing is grand this time of year. We need to try and stick with it. It keeps us stable and sane, IMO. LOL


D.G. Hudson said...

You're so right, Hope. Some form of discipline is better than none.

Merry Christmas!

Cat York said...

I love the Anne of Green Gables quote from Carol. I say that one too! Thanks for being an inspiration, Hope. Merry Christmas. Now, go enjoy your holidays!

Anonymous said...

Nancy Purcell:
I read your "sharings" and leave them with positive feelings. You have gifted so many with your input and kept us clicking away on the keys!
May 2012 be the best, most successful year ever for you!