Sticking to my Writing Plan (It Ain’t Easy!)

Lucy assistant

Dyane & Lucy after my first writing session (Are her puppy paws big or what?)

This past week has been more hectic than the previous 10+ weeks, and it has put me through the wringer.  Those of you who are parents to young children will know why…

School has begun! 

My two daughters started second and fourth grade, and after the first day of school, my oldest girl came home in tears.  Something very upsetting had happened to her during her day.  For the first time since she started elementary school, she said that she hated school and she never wanted to go back!

My heart sank to the tips of my toes.  

I panicked and wondered if I  would need to pull her out to homeschool her.  We have a outstanding homeschooling program here, and I even minored in teacher education in college.  I was a substitute junior high and high school teacher, an experience that soured me from attaining my full credential.  If I had to homeschool her, I could do it, but I sure as hell didn’t want to do it!

I told her that everything would work out somehow, and I gave her a few concrete examples of how that might happen, but was I freaking out inside.  At bedtime, I stayed up with her for over an hour as she sobbed.  

I wanted to eradicate her her sadness, anger and anxiety.  What sucked was that I knew couldn’t do that.  As I knew all too well, she’d need to learn how to grapple with her feelings the rest of her life, and I needed to cut the cord as trying to “make it all better” when that might not be possible.  I went to bed feeling angry at life, but at least I had an action plan for the following day.

The next day a total miracle happened.  My daughter resolved the situation all on her own.  It seemed too good to be true, but it was!  I felt like I had been given a “free pass out of jail” of some kind.  However, I knew that this incident was only the beginning of challenges she’ll face in school. From now on I’ll need to figure out how I can handle these types of situations in a healthier way for both of us.  

Meanwhile, my other daughter turned seven on the first day of school.  Being the far-from-perfect mom that I am, I spaced out at buying mini muffins to send along with her to celebrate her special day in class.  

I had a poor night’s sleep the previous night, and I awoke at the grisly hour of  3:00 a.m.  I was sorely tempted to take additional Seroquel,  but I knew that if I did that, the medication might make me too groggy and out-of-it to take my kids safely to school on their first day.  That was unacceptable – I wasn’t going to let that happen!

After dropping the kids off, I returned home.  I felt drained to the core.  My bed looked awfully inviting, and I almost flaked on my vow to write two pages.  I was too awake to nap.  After hemming and hawing for twenty tedious minutes, I sat down to write two pages just as I had planned.

At my desk with my canine assistant/muse Lucy near my feet, curled up in a sweet ball of fur, I stared off into space for a few more minutes.  At last (and at least! 😉 I came back to the moment.  It occurred to me that if I tossed my writing vow to the wayside, I’d feel much worse than simply exhausted, so I took a deep breath.

I started pecking on my laptop.  

I completed one page, then two.

Ten pages later I felt done for the day and then some!

I felt proud of myself.  They were not the greatest pages ever written.  I may not win a National Book Award.  I could live with that.   What mattered was that I did it!

Since then I’ve written at least two pages each day except for the weekend.

Despite plunging back into the waters of writing my book, I’ve gotten the heebie jeebies, thinking negative thoughts such as, “You’re wasting your time.  Why don’t you go clean that decrepit fridge?”, “Pick up all the nasty dog poop festering in the yard!” and last but not least, “There are many better writers than you struggling to get their work published and haven’t landed a deal. Why should you get published?”  (I particularly detest that one!)

These persnickety thoughts come and go.  But I’ll keep moving on with my writing, and I’ll keep reminding myself that if I can grow two human beings, I can certainly complete a first draft.

I’m not doing brain surgery or piloting a jumbo jet!

Thank God for that.







10 thoughts on “Sticking to my Writing Plan (It Ain’t Easy!)

  1. Bravo to both your daughter and you. Your daughter faced her challenges at school and learned skills that will help her to successfully navigate life. You let her do so, helping her to stand on her own two feet, and you are making progress in writing your book. Hats off to the both of you.

  2. Thank you, Kitt. I know you too have faced challenges as a parent in terms of being challenged when you can’t make your child’s pain go away, i.e. migraines etc.

    After I (frantically) asked a perceptive teacher friend for advice on the situation, she kindly wrote me right back, suggesting that I “be a soft, supportive place for her to ‘land’ at home. Let her grieve and accept the situation. It might take some time. Be close while she cries, but don’t try to distract her. I know it’s super hard and super triggering to be around our kids’ intense sad or angry emotions.This is something I work on every day.”

    Her words really helped me during a tough time, just like yours have as well, Kitt.
    Thanks again for being a beacon of inspiration not only to me but to many others through your wonderful blog and your insightful comments.

  3. I totally identify with this post! My younger daughter had a bumpy beginning of first grade, and there’s no way to “solve” the issue of a 2-to-1 boy-girl ratio in the entire grade. It’s hard to concentrate on writing when a child is having school issues! I also completely understand the difficulty of writing consistently. Some days are better than others, but I’ve managed to keep at it and I encourage you to keep going, too!

    Have you ever read scribblepreach’s blog? He’s going a series on “writer fails” and they’re pretty interesting. He gives great advice. It’s He’s a writer and a pastor (or at least working on his M.Div), so there’s a unique blend of theology and communication posts. It’s well worth checking out.

    Best of luck with your writing! And Lucy does have big paws!

    • Dear Laura,

      Thanks so much for your kind, supportive comment! I’m sorry your younger daughter had 1st grade challenges, and I hope she’s enjoying school more nowadays. I appreciate your encouragement to keep writing no matter what – I’m trying!!!

      I’ll check out scribblepreach’s blog – “writer fails” certainly sounds intriguing. A blogging friend of mine you may know (Kitt O’Malley of who attended divinity school may be interested in that blog as well – for all I know she’s on to it already.

      Take care & I look forward to reading your upcoming posts!!!

  4. Oh, Lucy is adorable!
    After teaching elementary school for more than 20 years, I can tell you there is a huge transition from 3rd to 4th grade. More homework, higher expectations, and a big jump academically. Kudos to her for sorting out the problem, and to you for giving her the space to do so.
    Thank YOU for the encouragement to keep at the writing, stay on task and write those pages no matter the distractions – and yours was a big one! And remember, those brain surgeons and pilots probably can’t put three words together to move a heart as you have. ❤

    • Dearest Susan,

      Your warm comments always make me smile and feel GOOD! :))))) I didn’t know you taught elementary school, so it *really* helps me to read about your perspective about the difference between 3rd and 4th grade!

      We all have our strengths, and I guess comparing myself to a pilot or brain surgeon doesn’t do much to help me in terms of boosting my self-esteem. But I must admit, your last line in your comment, (they) “probably can’t put three words together to move a heart as you have.” just lifted up my spirits skyhigh! I felt like I just had some yummy chocolate!

      I wish you a beautiful and peaceful day filled with activities that bring you deep contentment. You certainly deserve every happiness after teaching for over two decades!!!

      Much love & joy to you,

    • Supermommyoftwins, you ROCK! I started off this morning in a daze and I was feeling overwhelmed. Then I read your comment, & it gave me hope too!!! That’s what blogging is all about.

      Thank you for taking the time to write, because after reading your last amazing post, I’m simply astounded by all that you do for your twins, and for the rest of your family! ;))))

      Hang in there and keep writing!!!! I want to know how those feedings are going!

  5. You are doing and amazing job and so is your daughter. She is going to learn in school how to be able to deal with her problem. Its a learned skill. You are doing a great job writing your book. I would have never been able to stay committed. Wish you all the best in your work.
    love ya

    • Oh Z, nothing too profound to write here except for “I love you”!!!! Love and hugs to you and your family……and p.s. you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to doing!!!!!

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