In a perfect world, everyone would be happy, healthy, and holding a winning lottery ticket. Days would be filled with warm sunshine as you enjoy the sand beneath your feet on some tropical beach where your vacation never ends. And every idea you dream of becomes the next Pulitzer prize winning novel.
But a writer's life is rarely like that. That is more the stuff of Hollywood. Writers usually are the ones trying to balance and juggle the many obligations in their hectic lives. Spouses, children, work, social commitments; a million and one things sit on one side of those scales and the wish to be a published author with enough time to actually write sits on the other.
My life is hectic these days. Staying balanced with the rhythm of life is hard to do when everything seems to be working against you. Recently I have been thankful my broken house is slowly on the mend. After nine long months of my begging, the city's brush removal department was finally going to pick up the tree that had fallen on my house. I was happy...until the equipment tore into my main water line. I was balanced...until the equipment broke my retainer wall. I was going with the flow...until what started out as a trickle of water became a river flowing down the street in front of my house. I will be three days without water while the city tries to figure out how to fix the problem they created.
It's like writing sometimes. Beginner writers can sometimes prop up their stories with "fillers"...those words and phrases that take up space but don't actually give any strength to the story. At first the writing may look like it has a firm foundation, but there will be cracks where the story's flaws will start to trickle through. Poor grammar, weak characters, and vague endings will pour out until what could have been a great story is washed away in a sudden flood of inexperienced writing errors.
So what should new writers do to prevent being washed away by one of life's sudden storms? Make the time to strengthen your writing skills. Take advantage of workshops, conferences, and online writing blogs. Read books on the art of writing, seek out the wisdom of those who came before you, and gather close to you fellow writers who will help you stay afloat when the waters try to carry you away.
I have come to love and appreciate my new friends in the writing community. They have helped me to find my writing flow. They encourage me and give me balance in an otherwise crazy, hectic writing life. They are on this journey with me and if I am lucky enough, I will help them to go with the flow as well.
As for my newest drama in the ongoing saga that is my broken house, I can think of only one thing. Like the old saying goes...when life throws you lemons...make lemonade!