A Curse and a Blessing

06 Dec

I’ve been on a mini-vacation of sorts. Not a traditional vacation, mind you. You see, my computer kept working slower and slower until I had no choice but to take it to a repair shop. Now, the last time I had a computer in for fixing, I felt like I’d dropped off my child for two days. What would I do without my computer? What would I do during my down time now?  It’s amazing to me. How did I become so dependent on something I didn’t even grow up with?

Before taking my computer in, I’d been revising a manuscript and was at a good place to stop. I saved everything important and was ready to wait for the repair to take place. While I waited, I used my husband’s laptop to check my email and my blog site. On my Kindle Fire, I was able to check Facebook. So, I was hardly destitute.

By this time in my life, I’ve learned that there is always a silver lining in the difficult things that come my way. The silver lining came in realizing something important about myself. When I wasn’t at work, I was thinking about writing, or not writing, or figuring out when I could write. I looked at the calendar and wondered how much time an event would take and when I’d have enough time to start writing again.

With my newfound freedom, I went shopping with my sister. This was the first time in a while that I felt like I was free to enjoy myself because I couldn’t go home and write. There’s a freedom in this, you know.

This past year, I’d not read as many books as in years past. I used some spare time to read a few of my author friends’ books.

Sure, I feel a freedom of sorts after each manuscript is finished. I probably take a good month off from writing at that time. But it’s different, it’s not because I can’t write it’s because I’m at a place of transition.

My husband asked me how I felt now that my computer was fixed and back home. I believe he thought I would be relieved and as happy as I was the last time my computer had a tune up. But, I didn’t know how to answer him. I stammered, and couldn’t quite find the words to match my feeling. Of course it was good to have my computer back because I need it, and it’s in good shape now.

A writer is not like the person who comes home from work and forgets his job for the evening or the weekend. A writer is thinking about what lays ahead in the story, or the next one he will start. We have no freedom to do things with our time, without sacrificing the story we want to write. It is a balancing act to be sure, one most of us are not very good at. It’s a curse and a blessing. The blessing is that when we do write, we are at our happiest.


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14 responses to “A Curse and a Blessing

  1. Judith Keim

    December 6, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Loved the blog, Mary. It’s so true. When too much time goes by without writing, I tend to get a little cranky! LOL

    • maryvine

      December 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Yep, I totally understand the cranky part. Thanks, Judith.

  2. marsharwest

    December 6, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    You really captured the situation, Mary. Recently, I’ve had to put writing on hold while I tended to the grands. Now, how can I complain about something as “grand” as that? 🙂 I love the 3 little urchins, and I’m blessed they live 5 minutes from my house. My daughters don’t exactly get that I “work at home” after years in the education field where I literarlly spent more time away from the house than in it. But they do a pretty good job of not imposing. This was just a week with sick kids on top of a weekend trip, on top of a marathon run by one couple. Not to mention the push to get the Christmas lights up outside.
    I’ve had to remind myself how lucky I am, and the book will be there when I get back to it.
    And that’s what I’m doing today, getting back to it. This is my last blog for the day. I already posted on another this morning because my good friend Jerrie Alexander’s first book is coming out tomorrow. I’ve probably mentioned it here before. The Green Eyed Doll is a fantastic romantic suspense. I hope you’ll check it out at any of the regular places.
    I’m not stepping out of my house except to pick up the mail, though it’s a pretty nice day, particularly compared to some of you folks up in the snowy cold. Time for work. Thanks for stating the problem so well, Mary.

    • maryvine

      December 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Well, I like romantic suspense, and Jerri is lucky to have you for a friend! I always enjoy your comments, Marsha, and I am thankful you took the time to comment on my blog post today.Yes, the book is always there to get back to and we need to remind ourselves of that often. Glad you got to play with your grands for awhile-I bet they are as cute as can be.

  3. Paty Jager

    December 6, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    This is so true, Mary! As much as I love the thought of not being tied to the computer, the story, the characters, the need to get this story done so I can move on to the next keeps me chained to it. We took a small vacation in October. I took my mini laptop along. I didn’t write while we were gone because we stayed to busy, but I kept up with the promotion and all that goes along with writing a book. There is never “down time” when you write. If I’m not working out a scene or getting to know a character in my head, I’m trying to figure out a post to write for a blog visit or how to get more publicity for a book. This is definitely a 24/7 job. I even dream about writing!

    Good post!

    • maryvine

      December 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Thanks, Paty, for stopping by. I always enjoy hearing from you. Hey, at least I don’t dream about writing-yet. And now they have added publicity and marketing to our brains, as well. It truly is a curse and a blessing.

  4. Janis McCurry

    December 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I firmly believe you have to WANT to write to write well. And…whether it’s words on the screen or in your head, it’s writing.

  5. maryvine

    December 6, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Janis, I like how you’ve added, whether it’s words on the screen or in your head, it’s writing. It’s a good reminder that even if we are not at the keyboard we are writing and should be more satisfied with that.

  6. stephanieberget

    December 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    My computer failed earlier this year and I had to send it in. HP took less than a week to fix it, but it was a nice week. Like you, I did things I haven’t done for a while. I was glad to have it back though.

    • maryvine

      December 6, 2012 at 7:58 PM

      Yes, only when it’s taken away do we realize the value it has in our lives. Thanks, Steph.

  7. Lynn Mapp

    December 6, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Mary, it’s crazy how the computer has become such a huge part of our lives.

    • maryvine

      December 6, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Yes, it’s a whole new world isn’t it, Lynn?

  8. Peggy Staggs

    December 10, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    I love computer vacations. When I’m not writing I stress that I’m not writing. If my computer isn’t working I don’t worry as much.

  9. maryvine

    December 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Yep, Peggy, a mini-vacation is nice.


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