stutter stop stutter coast

Life can make it so very difficult to gain momentum with the things we love doing. As I think about my many cycles of writing it is highlighted by the stutter stop effect. There  are good times of coasting, making strides, WORLD BUILDING! but then life inevitably complicates a good thing and the everyday writing becomes hit or miss until it is completely stalled.

It gets tempting to throw in the towel. But inevitably my darlings beckon. My characters nudge my thoughts for some attention. I turn my computer on to pay the bills and a pesty muse redirects me to open a writing folder. The engine starts to stutter until I demand that life makes room for me to write. Again. Finding hidden minutes, keeping the dictaphone on the passenger’s seat, waking up before the kids. It is possible because

Writers must write.

Dogs must bark.

Children must play.

Trees must sway in the wind.

Who am I to deny the way I was created? So write I must, write I will.


And it feels so good!


To plan or not to plan? That is the question and the frustration. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

I love this quote. It is a mantra of mine. I love organizers. Daily planners. Long range planning. Goal setting. I love to feel organized. To look for something and know where it’s supposed to be and for it to be there. To open my pantry door and see like items hanging out together and not dangling precariously over the edge or splattered on the floor. To come home and see the counters clear and the floor empty save for the furniture that rests on it. To sit at my desk with no pile of papers to file and the knowledge that the bills are up to date and the accounts are balanced and tracked. I’ll spend an hour or so on Sunday evening planning my week, meals, projects, writing time. And I get crazy happy when the day goes “as planned!”

I know. I’m delusional. The natural state of things is disorder, especially when other living creatures occupy the same space. My mom’s favorite phrase is, “We make plans and God laughs.”

I find that irritatingly true. First because I find myself reflecting my mother. But also because I like it when things go as planned.

Or do I?

I don’t plan out my stories. I have a vague idea where the story is going to go, but no outlined map of how to get there. I find having too tight of a plan, strangles the story. Though no editor has yet accepted one, I love my stories. I think they are beautiful, colorful, stirring, funny, lovely. So I guess that is the way I need to view my story as well. I know where I want to end up, but I don’t need to detail my days to make sure I get there. Gotta leave room for the Holy Spirit to reroute my day, which seems to be happening a lot lately.


Didn’t start the day planning on going here.  Didn’t even know it existed.  My day got rerouted.  🙂

So while stories reflect life, this time I must take a lesson from my stories. Yes, I will set goals and plan out my week. Just a little more loosely. I have to trust that I will get to the most important things each day, even if some days that means no writing. Greater things happen in my day than I plan when I am open to rerouting.

By the way, I didn’t PLAN to write a blog today.