Our theme this month is obstacles, and, since this is a writerly blog, I thought I’d talk about writerly obstacles. But, are those obstacles really hindering you? Or, are you just not looking at them in the proper light?
Let me tell you about my day job, without a doubt the biggest obstacle with regard to me meeting my writing-related deadlines. It’s stressful as heck, it’s a one-hour commute each way (and there is no convenient public transportation between here and there, so I’m forced to spend this time alone in my vehicle; thank heavens for the 80s station), and leaves me mentally exhausted. And, I spend my days in a cubicle. A cubicle! Oh, the humanity.
One would think that I’d be more productive, writing-wise, at least, if I left that job behind, or at least got one closer to home. However, my day job has a long list of good points: I’ve been doing it a long time, and I’m pretty good at it. I turn out such an abundance of high-quality work that I’m able to take five minutes here, ten minutes there to work on little things like this blog post. During my lunch break, I read submissions. And, when the weather cooperates, I get outdoors. The grounds are a certified wildlife habitat, and the walking paths are both beautiful and relaxing. Well, except for the attack geese, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
My point is, things are only obstacles if you let them be obstacles. Maybe, in learning to work around them, you end up taking the scenic route that’s a reward in and of itself. Maybe, the fact that you can’t grow grass on your front lawn means that you can lay pea gravel and not have to mow, ever. Maybe I can learn something from that persnickety copy editor, instead of being annoyed by the umpteenth round of edits. Maybe I’m forced to spend the bulk of my waking hours in a cubicle for the sole purpose of having ample registration fees for science fiction conventions. A good reason, if I ever heard one.
So, embrace the obstacles! Dig in your heels, figure out how you can work with things as opposed to against them. And maybe, just maybe, the scenic route is the route you’re supposed to take.