Taking a Break From Writing

Posted by dwallace on January 23, 2017 in blogger, Why I write |

Recently I have had a couple of people ask me, “Hey Doug, did something happen to make you give up writing? I haven’t seen anything out of you in a long time.”

“Life’s happening,” is what I usually say.

There has been so much going on in my life that I have put writing aside for a while. Here’s my dirty laundry list of what’s been happening recently:

–Some people may not know this because I haven’t written much about it, but my ex-wife and I got divorced last year after being separated for two years. We are both doing well and are getting along just fine. We have a seven-year-old daughter to raise so we try to make it as easy as we can on each other.

–The lease on my apartment is going to end at the end of March, so my girlfriend of two years and I have been talking about moving in together. I think both of us had a mild panic attack when we realized how much stuff we both have. Two months come and go pretty quickly, so I’ve decided to take a six-month extension on my lease and move at the end of summer. This allows both of us enough time to get physically and mentally ready for the move.

–I blew up my car. I had a 2002 Honda Civic that I bought from a friend when she moved to the Middle East. It only had 12,000 miles on it when I got it and it lasted me 12 years.

–I also have a 2003 Chevy S-10 that has an $8000 paint job and was body-dropped with airbags. I can’t drive it in the winter because the air-ride fittings leak air when it’s cold. Once my car blew up, I decided to take out the airbags and replace the air-ride system with traditional shocks and springs, which were lowered a little. That cost $1500 plus $900 for a rental while it was being fixed. I don’t know about you, but $2400 is a bit of a hit to my wallet.

–This brings me to the election. (looking sigh…) As we all know, Mr. Trump won the election. In case you forgot, I’m the Day-shift Training Manager for a place that employs 1600 workers who work for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obama Care. I am in charge of 800 of those people’s training. So now that the Republicans are trying to repeal the law, there is a lot more uncertainty around here. Everyone’s asking, “How long do we have?”

I say, “We have 18 more months until the end of the contract. We will have to see what happens after that.”

But I can tell you upfront, I am not waiting until then to find something else to do. I am applying for everything I can now because I’m not going to be caught with my pants down.

–I have wanted to start my own business for a long time. I started working with a business coach last year using her system. It’s time for me to renew her licensing agreement. It costs me $300 a year to use her materials, which would be fine if I were using them, but I haven’t been. I’m thinking about giving myself three months and if I haven’t got enough clients to cover the cost, I’m going to let it go.

–I’m going back to school, “pool school,” that is. What is pool school? It’s a 3-day billiards workshop where you work with a Master Level Instructor. I have wanted to do this for about 25 years, but never had the time or the money. I’ve been reading a lot about accelerated learning. One of the things I’ve found out is, if you want to learn something fast you have to work with a teacher or coach who can give you instant feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

It’s a little scary for me to throw down money on myself for something that seems frivolous and unnecessary.  But I’ve been playing pool now for over 35 years. I’ve been at the same level since I was about 16 years old. I figured I will be playing the game until I either can’t walk or I can’t see, so why not get some professional instruction?

–Finally, I just booked a trip to Colorado at the end of March for my girlfriend’s birthday. My daughter is excited because she has had the chance to meet some of her, “new cousins,” that are right around her age and they live just outside Denver. She’s excited about getting to camp out in the living room with tents and all. I’m pretty excited about being able to see Colorado with all its green glory. I haven’t been there since the circus started and I’m interested to see what that looks like.

–I have heard some writers say, “I didn’t choose writing, writing chose me.”

I don’t necessarily feel like that. I was slightly dyslexic growing up. I never had good handwriting. I didn’t like to read until I was an adult. I never had to write until I was around 30 years old. Even when I was younger and fantasized about being a famous writer, my mom would say, “Go out and live life. Then you may have something to write about.”

Often when I feel burned out on writing, I’ll take a long break from it and let life happen. When I come back I feel a little more refreshed. Writing seems more interesting then.  I just hope my readers remember who am; which is one other reason I write so that people can remember me when I’m gone.

I look forward to writing to you more this year. Have a great day.


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