Writing Through Crisis

Today's GUEST BLOG comes from Susan Winters, who works, writes and dances salsa in Reno, Nevada. She gives great coaching and writing advice, so feel free to ask questions here or visit her blog.
Susan's novella, Mixed Blessings is now available from Amazon. For more musings and interviews check out her blog http://createontheside.wordpress.com/

 A crisis often leaves us physically and emotionally drained making routine tasks seem impossible.  If you’ve taken time off from your regular job to handle the situation, you might be tempted to set aside writing endeavors until life returns to normal.  Bear in mind “normal” may not be on your bus route for a long time.

 When you’re broadsided by the unexpected, change gears, reduce speed, but don’t completely slam on the brakes.  Even with a reduced writing schedule you maintain a link to the world beyond the crisis.  That does not mean going to the other extreme abandoning your loved ones to the whims of fate, while you flirt with your muse.

 Focus on smaller scale projects you can complete in a reasonable timeframe.  Think minipiece instead of masterpiece.  To have control over a single thing during a time of tumultuous uncertainty is empowering.  Consider experimenting with a different styles or genre—only if the variety inspires you.  If the thought of breaking into poetic verse makes you anxious-don’t do it.

     Other activities to do while you wait for the storm to pass:

·         Research potential markets for your work.

·         Reacquaint yourself with writers who inspire you.  How did they handle the challenges in their lives?

·         Organize your work space, sort through working files.

·         Review the fundamentals of your craft.

·         Update your on-line networks.

     What strategies have worked best for you while in crisis mode?
Thanks, Susan, for a great blog post!

I know personally that writing kept my sanity when I was providing eldercare for my MIL, who has dementia. That was a challenging time, with a lot of anxiety attacks. But whenever I was down, I put my head into a story. In fact, I produced a book (An Eye For Danger) which got me into a new genre, romantic suspense, and I'm publishing the book to Kindle in July. So good things can come out of tough experiences.

Moreover, during that time and when my dog, Bo, died early this year, my novel critique group helped me focus my energies. So I also see how our community of writers empower us to handle to rough times, whether they give a shoulder to cry on, or assign tasks to keep you busy and forward your career. We have to all stick together in this business, personally and professionally!

The Editor Devil