Twenty-one weeks after the second day of the new year
This morning Author prepared a perfect cup of coffee and then that round plastic top of the milk carton fell in.
Not a single frustrating occurrence, just the least frustrating one. And not a frustrating day, but an entire frustrating week. Nothing in this week went as Author had planned, and the unexpected kept coming up, disrupting her work and then standing aside and looking on, snickering. Author isn’t kidding. Something unexpected came up every single day of the week. And Author doesn’t mean something that she could sigh and say, “Well, I would have had to deal with this anyway, at least it’s done now.” No, too much of what happened this week was not supposed to happen at all. And so all it did was leave her depleted and, in too many cases, worried. Nor was she able to fully resolve all issues, which means that quite a bit of that unwanted worry is likely to linger in the back of her mind.
Author can tell you that she is…well, she is ending the week more disappointed than anything else. Yes, that says it best. Disappointed that things went a bit too wrong for comfort, despite her best hopes. Disappointed that she couldn’t get the work she wanted done, when she is so eager to make progress, and in fact has set clear deadlines that need to be met. Disappointed that she couldn’t control the way things went, but then no one really can, can they?
The thing is that, as Author told you, she is in the stage of her work when she needs and wants to be focused. Instead, this past week proved more of a distraction than ever. Ironically, the only tasks she found it easy to complete were those added tasks she told you about in last week’s post, because they are brief and could be dealt with despite the mess that were her days. But her work on her next book for you, that serious writing, not so much. She was distracted and found herself running around busily, so that distracted soon turned into exhausted. And, understandably, her mood didn’t cooperate either. Author doesn’t like such days. She can deal with them, mind you, but she doesn’t like them. On such days she is tense, unfocused, and trying hard not to be irritated, and it all converges to that feeling, you know, of being unsettled. Unquiet. Author needs to be focused to write, and she needs to be calm, or at least in a fair mood, to be focused. This past week filled none of these conditions.
Notice that Author doesn’t tell you exactly what it was—or were—that made her week so frustrating. The reason for that is simple: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it happened to her, and it may happen to you, if it hasn’t already. And your reason for having your plans for the day, week, or any other stretch of time turned upside down would be different than hers. The point is the happening of it, and the consequences.
Now, Author could go all preachy and tell you that when something like this happens, you should accept it, not let frustration take over, not get angry at the universe. But she’s not going to do that. It won’t do any good. And the way she sees it, it’s okay to feel frustrated, and it’s okay to feel angry, and it’s okay to feel whatever you do. You work hard, you’re stressed, and a bad stretch can take the wind from beneath your wings.
The good thing is that days pass. So do weeks. And bad days—and weeks—are followed by good ones, or at least ones with enough good moments in them to give you what you need to go on. And yes, Author hopes the coming week will be better.
Tip: none this week. Author just wanted to show you that everyone has a bad day, week, or whatever stretch of time now and then. Or maybe there’s a tip here after all: it’s ok when that happens, and it’s okay to be frustrated about it. Forgive its occurrence, and move on to doing what you should be doing. Your story is waiting for you to work on it, and your readers are waiting for you to bring it to publication. So whatever made you pause, whenever it did, just don’t let it stop you.