Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Struggle Is Real - IWSG Post

IWSG

The Struggle Is Real

A couple of weeks ago I talked about an issue on the home front that I was dealing with that involved one of my kids. While the matter is improving a bit, it’s still a large presence in our home. (I’m sorry to be so vague. I’m respecting my child’s privacy). While I’d like to punch the problem in its face (cause my Lord that’d be so satisfying!) it’d also result in me being arrested and possibly sued.

People these days. So touchy about physical harm.

Not only has this issue disrupted the harmony in my home, it hasn’t left me with a lot of time for writing.

The struggle is real, folks.

(My niece said that one time to a guy who was complaining about the most inane thing about his job and I nearly choked on my drink. She takes after her aunt and father).

The struggle is real.

Every time I open my laptop, there they are: my self-help book and my fictional book. Empty white space just waiting to be filled with my creativity. Hasn't happened all that much. Instead I end up doing recovery work (very important) or distracting myself with things that ain’t so heavy.

The struggle is real but it will pass when things settle down. I know it will. My child comes first. The writing can wait and I’m okay with that. For now, I’ll put the books aside until I have time to pick them up again.
from Google

Question of the Day:  How do you find time to write in your busy day? 

Right now...I don't. But I am happy to say that I did squeeze in a few hours over the holiday weekend and that was a true blessing. I needed it!

Have you had to put your WIP aside? Were you okay with your decision? How are you feeling this month?

Scheduling note: I’m working today. I’ll be by to visit everyone later this afternoon. 

  

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a chance to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our other fantastic co-hosts:  C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin! 

Thank you for letting me co-host! 

Wait! Don't leave! There's more:

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest! 
Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit. 

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. 

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 

Our amazing judges this year:



95 comments:

  1. It sounds like you're prioritizing what's really important - your child. I really like your approach to it - "the struggles are real, but so are the blessings." A good thought for me to keep forefront in my mind. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. A good reminder for me too, Ellen. I have to remember that while things may look tough in the immediate moment, in reality, things truly are good in my life. I really am blessed. Thank you.

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  2. Your child comes first. Writing time will return. And the blessings will be even more real!
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. I agree. Family must come before my writing. The empty white space will be there when things settle back down. And they will settle down as time passes. Thank YOU for the IWSG, Alex!

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  3. Hi Elsie - we can most definitely hear you and feel for you - take care and do what you need to do - you've prioritised that ... as you say your child is the essential. With thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Thank you, as always, Hilary, for your kind words. I greatly appreciate them. My child is my top concern. Writing is much further down my list...I still need to squeeze in some beach time before it gets cold!

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  4. Our families should always come first. I'll keep you in prayer for a solution. I've been going through quite a doozy with one of mine for 2 years now.

    I love that quote. True.

    Thank you for co-hosting!!!!

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    1. I greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I'm so very sorry to hear that you've been having struggles for so long. I'm sending prayers for your child too. I hope things look brighter soon. Hugs headed your way.

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  5. Real life has to come before writing, obviously. I get annoyed when it impinges on my writing, but I know I have to attend to loved ones and obligations. I'll be a better writer for it, and I'd be lost without the balance.

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    1. It did make me realize how much I miss writing now that I haven't had as much time on my hands. When I was able to write this past weekend, it was like a form of therapy for me. Such a great escape for awhile. You're right, it's a great balance to have.

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  6. I've been in a similar boat...real life taking over. I've learned to use a small pocket-size notebook to jot down thoughts and To Do lists. This helps on many levels: I've captured fleeting thoughts, helps relieve the tension, and solve problems. Your priorities are in order and things will work their way out. Thank you for co-hosting Sept. IWSG, I believe replying to the comments will provide a nice diversion during this time of struggle.

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    1. I'm sorry you can relate to the time issue. I just purchased a Galaxy Note (ya know, the one that explodes) and discovered the quick note feature and I love it! I can pop out the stylus and scribble some notes down as I'm thinking about them no matter where I am. Now I just have to hope my phone doesn't melt before I get the replacement battery. (Actually, I'm being careful how I charge it). You're right, doing the IWSG is a great distraction!

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    1. Absolutely. I've learned how important family is over the years.

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  8. First, thanks for co-hosting this month. Your family's needs come first. The struggle IS real. Nobody knows what you're going through. Yes, I had to set aside my writing for over 3 years. I was so overwhelmed by family issues I had no energy left to be creative. When things settle down, and you've gotten LOTS of rest, you can write again. Sending cyber hugs.

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    1. Thank you for those cyber hugs. They're appreciated. Three years is a long time, but I can understand why you had to do put your writing down. If you're emotionally drained, it'll show in your writing. Sometimes writing can be a great escape, like it was for me this past weekend, but if your not feeling up to it, you've got to take care of you first and foremost. I'm glad you were able to get back to your writing again.

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  9. Thanks for taking the time to host when you have so much else going on. Tell your niece she sounds awesome ;) and I hope everything else sorts itself out soon.

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    1. My niece is a total rockstar (although I may be a bit bias). Seriously though, she has the best personality: giving, funny, and smart as can be. And talk about gorgeous! Oh, and she has a pretty cool aunt too. Just sayin'. :)

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  10. I think you have your priorities right. Writing can wait if the children need you. I set my writing aside very often when my children were little. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. It's funny you mention about when your children were little. That's when I stopped writing too. My children are older now, so I figured that wouldn't happen anymore. Not so much, huh? I guess our kids always need us, no matter what the age. :)

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  11. You do what you can do, and you do the best you can. Hang in there and take care!

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    1. Thank you so much, Madeline. I appreciate that!

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  12. Thanks for co-hosting, Elsie. When there is someone I know who needs a good kick in the butt, I have one of my protagonists do it. Very gratifying.

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    1. Now that sounds like a grand idea. I may have to do just that. I have a great new protagonist in mind too. Came up with her over the weekend. ;)

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  13. Kids come first indeed. The cat rants when he wants to slap someone upside the head haha there is a site that lets you mail a box of elephant crap to people, just putting it out there. Real life can screw with writing though, that's why I stay ahead, as the shit always piles up at some point.

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    1. The cat rant? No? I'm so very shocked! Why am I not surprised that there is a website that sends elephant crap? I've seen lots of stuff mentioned on that show I love: @midnight for things like that. Thing is, the person would know it was me. Well, would probably know it was me. I'm sure I'm not the only person they've managed to tick off. haha

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  14. The way I see it, family always comes before writing.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I agree. God, family, and then all other things.

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  15. There are times when I am truly busy doing other stuff and times I could be writing where I'm lazy. I think distinguishing that for ourselves is important. Life truly never settles down enough to make a 100% clear path for writing (or anything). Some times I need a break and take it. Other times, I get my tush in a chair and open up the laptop. Best wishes!

    Here's my September IWSG post - my secret tool for finding writing time

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    1. Thank you, Stephsco. I agree. I miss my writing time. That's why it was so good to have this past weekend. It was such a good escape from everything that had been going on with my child. I needed it.

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  16. If I forced myself to write when I didn't feel like it, I can't imagine how it would read. Yucky is probably close! Glad to be co-hosting with you today.

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    1. I agree! I think if I wasn't in the writing mood, it would show through in my writing. You'd be able to see the difference in the pages when I was "present" and when I wasn't. Thank you for co-hosting!

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  17. Your niece - I like her style. That's awesome.

    Sorry to hear the writing's been slow. Real life is just the worst, isn't it? You could think you have the most simplistic, boring daily life, and something will still come around and bite you in the ass from time to time. I'd like to think it just makes you appreciate the writing time more when you eventually do get it. Good luck with the family issues! Those always come first. After that - back to the grind!

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    1. You would love her, Bryan. She's not much younger than you. She has the same sense of humor and wit as we do. She's outstanding. I love her. A bunch. In case you couldn't tell.

      I have to say, you're right. Life was pretty boring there for the longest time. See what happens? Life went, "Hey Elsie, this should wake you up a bit!" And it did. Then those hours I had over the weekend...ahhh! Pure bliss. I had such a good time switching between stories. I need to email you about that too. Good stuff, man, good stuff!

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  18. I hope things get back on an even keel for you and your family soon, Elsie!

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    1. Thanks, Debra. I appreciate it. I know they will. It'll just take a bit more time. You know me. Patience isn't my strongest suit.

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  19. I can't wait to get started on my planning for the anthology contest, it's such a fun theme! I hope all your issues iron themselves out, and you get time for writing again :)

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    1. I haven't decided if I'm going to try the anthology. I'm glad to hear you're doing it. Thank you for the well wishes. I appreciate them!

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  20. It's all about priorities. Most of us struggle to find time (oops, I mean... MAKE time) to write or to do whatever, but when our priorities are in order, things will always work out in the end. Right now, it's no contest. Your family has to come first, and the writing will just have to wait its turn. As important as writing may be, some things... and people... are much more important. I hope everything settles down for you real soon.

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    1. Thank you for your kind works, Susan. They mean a lot to me. The writing will be there when things eventually calm down in my child's world. Now that school is back in session, I'm thinking there will be other things in their world to occupy their time and attention. So that will help too. They can do homework...I can write :)

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  21. Things settle down?
    When does that happen?

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    1. Hmmm....good point. I think after we die, right?

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  22. I agree the struggle is real. Great post. I hope your home problems smooth out soon and stress goes away. You gave me a snicker with "People these days. So touchy about physical harm" I agree. I would say socket it to'em but that would be encouraging anarchy. Still Best Wishes.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. I'm so glad you saw the humor in that, Juneta. I sometimes wonder if people know I'm kidding around on here. My humor can be sarcastic at times. Your mention of anarchy reminded me of one of my favorite lines from Breakfast Club. "He'll get up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy!" Love that movie! Thank you!

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  23. I've put the manuscript down a few times after some personal tragedies, but I always came back to it later. I just pray that my next struggle isn't for a long time.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

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    1. Hi Ken! I will pray along with you that you don't have any personal struggles for a long time. They suck. While I know it is a teaching tool, they still suck while we're going through them. :)

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  24. I feel ya. Real life can totally suck your creative energy dry. Be realistic and be kind to yourself.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I've learned from past experiences that I need to be kind to myself and take some *me* time too. That'll help fuel those creative juices. Thank you!

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  25. It's all about real struggles, failures and successes. And sometimes, you have to step back, breathe and give yourself some time deal. I do think a swift kick in the pants for some of those "issues" would feel darned good.

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    1. I would love to give a swift kick in the pants to the person who caused my kid all this grief. Too bad it would cause me a huge law suit. Silly laws haha

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  26. Sorry to hear your life is difficult at this time. Take time to deal with it--hopefully not by punching someone in the face. It might be very satisfying, but you could break your knuckles! Then what? No writing for sure!!! I had to put writing on the back burner when my husband and I bought a business. Along with those long hours I had to go home every night to our 2 daughters and care for them. But 20 years later, after selling the business, I began writing again. Felt so good. You will do it too. Best wishes!

    JQ Rose

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    1. Exactly, J Q. My luck I would break my knuckles if I punched the person in the face. It would feel so satisfying though. I'll have to settle for imagining it instead and writing about it as someone else. Not quite the same thing, but it'll have to do. Twenty years is a long time to put your writing on hold. I'm glad you were able to accomplish something so big as starting your company, that's awesome, and then get back to writing. Thank you!

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  27. Sorry to hear about your troubles. When something happens with our kids, it's the worst. You have to take care of your family and of yourself. But from personal experience, writing will come back for you. When the dust settles, you'll look back at every disturbing and painful thing that's occurred, and you'll channel that pain into the best writing of your life.

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    1. I think you're right, Olga. As I was writing over the weekend, I was able to escape from reality for a few hours and immerse myself into my writing. It was such a fantastic escape for a little while. I was grateful to have it. It made me appreciate it. Thank you for your kind words.

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  28. I am so sorry for the stress you and your family are experiencing right now. I am a momma bear and I am there for my kids at all costs. I hope everything resolves for you all soon.

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    1. I never thought I'd still be a momma bear to my kids when they reached a certain age. But here I am, even as they are older, and still, those momma bear claws come out when they need to. :) Thank you!

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  29. Your family will always need and have you. Writing can wait. Hang in there.

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    1. Thank you, Lidy. You're so right. Family first. Thank you.

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  30. Hope things get back to normal soon.

    Wally World sells a shirt that reads that saying, I saw it there earlier in the season. On a pair of jams, the top.

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    1. Thanks, Ivy. Not sure if you know this, but I despise Wally World with a passion. I avoid it at all costs. So...I didn't know about this saying being on anything. Now this makes me want to go look for it at Wally World. Will I? Probably not. I really don't like that place. :)

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  31. I hope things work out soon. Take care.

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  32. Nice to meet you Elsie- I had to take a hiatus too because of a family crisis involving my daughter. Looking forward to getting to know you better!

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    1. Thanks, Tess. Great to meet you too. I'm so sorry you can relate to the family issues. I hope things start looking brighter for you soon. Sending positive vibes your way.

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  33. It's uncanny how both you and my friend Teresa wrote about the same topic on IWSG.

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    1. I love when those kinds of things happen. Lets me know I'm not alone out here :)

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  34. I love that struggle is real but so are the blessings graphic! I am going to print that out and keep it where I can see it. I am guilty of focusing on the struggle far too often lately.
    I'm sorry you are having such difficulties with this situation in your family. Thinking of you and hoping it can be resolved soon. Take care!

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    1. I love that you're printing out the saying, Julie. It's a great reminder that while we may be going through some tough times, we're also experiences plenty of good things too. I need be aware of those good things and not keep all of my time and attention on the negative. Thank you!

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  35. I've had to put writing aside due to personal things. I bet we all have. Life comes first. Good luck resolving this issue.

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    1. It's good to know I'm not the only one who has had to put their writing aside for a period of time. Thank you, Shannon.

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  36. Hope the issue with your child can be resolved soon.

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  37. I agree that your child is top priority. The writing will always be there.
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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    1. Yes, our family must be our top concern. The writing will be there when things have calmed down for us.

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  38. Yes, of course your child comes first. And though the struggle is real, as you've pointed out, so are the blessings. Just sharing your post has been a blessing to me, and perhaps having the time to write it was a blessing for you. Your writing will always be there whenever you come back to it. Thank you for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thank you, Toinette. Being able to co-host this month has been a wonderful blessing and a welcome distraction for me. It's kept me plugged into the writing world and allowed me to remember just how fun writing is and how vital it is to stay connected to others.

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  39. I had to take almost a year off because of one of my kids' health issues. I did miss writing but definitely your kids have to come first. You only have so much time with them before they move on, there will be time to write when the house is quiet. But it's great to get a break and sneak in some writing time just to help you cope, because you have to take care of yourself as well. Good luck with everything! Thanks for being a cohost, despite all that is going on!

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    1. I'm so sorry your child had heath issue, Kathryn. I can't imagine what that must've been like for you and your family. It's so true, we really do only have our children for a short while before they are grown and gone. I'm grateful I can be there for my child now, when they truly need me, and be a shoulder to cry on for now. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  40. Elsie Dearest, I found you :) I'm not following the blogging world now as much as I used to. I recognize this site. Whew!!

    Yes, the struggle is real. Its hard for some people to relate to things they have not experienced themselves, but life is just life. It happens, and usually when its least convenient. We deal, we move on, we deal again. I hope your situation resolves itself satisfactorily soon, and doesn't replace with a new problem set.

    Take Care hon.

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    1. Hi Donna, it's so so good to see you again. Very true, life really is just life. You have to roll with the punches and hope and pray you're doing things right. I like to think I am this time around and I have a feeling if I wasn't, my kid would be the first to tell me ;) Thanks again for stopping by!

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  41. Sorry to hear you're in crisis. I hope things do indeed resolve soon. Stress is no joke. Deep, calming breaths...thanks for hosting in the midst of it all.

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    1. Thank you. Elizabeth. I make sure to take care of myself too. (Just treated myself to a spa pedi the other day). I learned long ago that I'm no good to anyone if I'm too stressed.

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  42. Sometimes you just need to put away the writing for a while. I put away mine for a while, wondered and worried about getting my creative spark back, and then IWSG goes and announces this new anthology. This idea that's just too good not to write just came to me, and I'm working on it (slowly but steadily).

    Hope the issue with your kid improves, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. I'm so glad the announcement of the anthology inspired your creative juices to start flowing again. That's fantastic news, TCC! Slow and steady is the way to do it too. No need to try and rush to get it finished. You've got plenty of time still ahead. Best of luck!

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  43. Of course your child comes first. That's a healthy set of priorities you've got there, Elsie.

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    1. Thank you my Blue friend! I need to remind myself of that sometimes. :)

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  44. Family first always, especially in the tough times.

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    1. Yes, I think family has to come first and always before our writing.

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  45. Writing always takes a back burner to family and work obligations. It'll be there when things settle down, and you'll be even more inspired when it's time to write. Hope things continue to improve for you! Christy

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    1. It makes me appreciate the writing time I've been able to find now that things have been a bit more chaotic on the home front. But I sure am able to dive in and escape during that time too. I appreciate it that much more.

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  46. (I came around to you before I realized you were on the co-host list. Thanks for co-hosting!)

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    1. Thanks for swinging back by, Deb. That's sweet!

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  47. Crazy stuff sucks so much emotional energy. You have to do what you can as you are able. I think that's one things we often over look, the amount of energy worrying or stressing takes. It can incapacitate us.

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  48. Yes, I've had to set my writing aside before. It's hard, but as you said, family comes first. I hope the situation with your child smooths out and things settle down for you. Thank you for co-hosting with me!

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  49. Wallys is a horrible place. I don't think Mister Wally World, back in the day was that bad as his nucktard kids are.

    Really a gross place. But I still do go for very few items.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.