I have often said that there are only a few legitimate reasons for not writing. Given that you’re a writer in the first place.
1. You’ve got to finish your education. You really do.
Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to support yourself while you write. You need a place to sleep, food, and at least paper and pencil. Ideally it means a home however humble, enough food to keep you healthy, and at least a small computer/word-processor. They say artists starve for their art, but you can’t starve and do art at the same time. If you’re really hungry, as I have been, all you can think about is food. So, finish the education, and even if you work part time you’ll be able to live while you write the other part of the time.
2. You have a small child or dependent parent.
They need all your time and attention and energy, even if you have a spouse or partner. I was my daughter’s full time father, since Diane had the outside job and the income. That meant that, until I found a good play-group for her, I was unable to write for her first three years. It was worth it in so many ways, but I still wrote nothing during that time. If Darcy needed me, I put down the keyboard, and did what had to be done. My sister took care of our mother who had Alzheimers.
3. You are ill, or exhausted, or on medication, so that you can’t think. Grief due to death of immediate family counts.
Writing while you can’t think is theoretically possible, but when I can’t think of the next word, it really doesn’t work. Get well first, take notes, but serious writing demands a clear head, focus, and energy. And by the way, the only drug compatible with good writing is caffeine. Oh, and if you’re dead yourself, you are excused from all further writing.
4. Your commanding officer has other ideas.
You really have no choice. I know people who have had to put their writing career on hold while responding to the demands of their military career. You really have to do this.
5. You lose the means with which to write.
Computer, or quill and paper, or old manual typewriter. If you don’t have what you need to make a permanent copy of your creative efforts, you can’t write, and what you must do is to get what you need. Also, though you could write with pencil on paper on the table, try sending that off to a publisher.
And on May 18, I effectively lost the means to continue writing, when my computer’s user account finally revealed its corruption. I have no idea what it was. I probably tried whatever somebody might suggest, including disk recovery and professional help. So I started with a new computer, and a new system, and recovered from the back-up I had made just before things went wonky. The backup was also corrupted, and I could do nothing. So I erased the drive, installed the system again, and now I’m moving things from that back-up, one at a time, piece by piece, sometimes reinstalling, fixing permissions, re-validating …
Which is why I haven’t posted in so long. I am writing now, for an hour or two a day, and doing quite well. I am recovering still, for three or four hours a day, and trying to not succumb to all the bad feelings roiling around in the back of my head.
As you can see, I am making progress. After all, I wrote this blog.