Recommitment by Margaret Mendel

When I began writing this blog post for Bookbrowsing, I’d chosen what seemed a relevant topic: how to write while traveling, on vacation, or sneaking in a few lines while commuting to work. It seemed a doable endeavor and something I know quite a bit about. But then the phone rang. Shortly after that the handyman came to fix a broken light switch in our kitchen. Just as the handyman finished his job and closed the door behind him, there was a fender-bender on the street below our NYC apartment. Sirens sounded, traffic backed up and every motorist caught in the congestion was honking his or her car horn. Then during all this noisy commotion, my husband came home from shopping, struggling with an armload of groceries, “What do you want for dinner?” he asked.

Glaring at the keyboard, I tried to remember what I had initially thought I’d be writing. Not all of my days turn out like this. But lately, I wonder if there is a conspiracy against me getting to my writing. I mused that maybe I should write an article titled ‘Writing Interuptus’.

Most authors do not live a privileged life where the world caters to them, quieting their surroundings, periodically offering energy-boosting snacks, bringing a fresh cup of coffee when the first cup of the day has cooled. Most authors I know have tons of personal and familial responsibilities. If there are not children of varying ages to care for, there are elder parents who need to be concerned about. There is shopping, doctor appointments, dust bunnies to clear away from under the sofa, friends to keep in touch with, a work life to juggle, the list goes on and on.

Writing is a commitment. Family is a commitment. Friends are a commitment. And for the writer it’s not a matter of finding the time to write, it really comes down to managing life and getting the writing done.

When my children were young and I worked fulltime, the early mornings before everyone got up for the day, which meant 5:00AM, my writing life would be in full swing. During the weekend there would be a few hours here and there where writing was possible and I would sneak away coveting any time I could get to dig into a writing project.

These days my time is pretty much mine to do with what I want. The kids have grown and have lives of their own. We’ve downsized from a seven-room apartment to a three-room apartment with far less fussy upkeep. So why is it difficult now for me to find that peace and quiet to write?

As I look deeper into how I fiddle with time and life, it appears that the problem is ‘me’. I have forgotten how to set aside time to write. Somehow along the way, I’ve let the priorities shift. There was a time when I would behave like a lovesick fool aching to be reunited with my computer and the story in progress. Now after a few successes with publication, even though I still love to write, it feels like it’s more difficult to find those moments to sit at my computer. The stories continue to come to me. I’m presently in the middle of the second book in a series, but still I let distractions easily interrupt my writing.

What I’ve decided is that much like an older long-married couple that periodically recommit to each other, I need to recommit to my writing. I dearly love writing and I do not want the relationship I have with the written word to fade away until I’m merely dusting the pages of unfinished manuscripts. I want to write. So I’ve decided it’s time to clear my desk of unnecessary clutter, clean the computer screen and keyboard. I’ll comb my hair and wear something attractive, not just my sloppy old stretch pants and ratty t-shirt. Perhaps I’ll light some candles, pour a glass of wine, and while I’m at it, change up the blues and rock music I usually listen to while working. Maybe some Ella or Willie Nelson will deepen the relationship. But however I rekindle this long love affair with writing, it is me who has decided to recommit, it is me who will continue to stay and to work out any problems that will undoubtedly come up in the future.

Blurb for Pushing Water :

VIETNAM, 1939. Sarah, an expat, working as an Archivist for the French Colonial Government in Hanoi, is devastated when she finds a Vietnamese co-worker murdered.

 

Determined to find the killer, Sarah suspects a secret document discovered in a packet of poetry the co-worker borrowed from the archives prompted the murder.

 

Sarah’s life is further complicated by the arrival of an old friend, Julia, who brings with her memories Sarah would rather forget. Then Albee, Sarah’s part time lover comes on the scene. He claims to be an archaeologist working on a dig in China. Sarah suspects he is a communist revolutionary.

 

While Sarah deals with her problematic personal life, another Vietnamese friend is arrested and executed for revolutionary activities. Heartsick, Sarah decides to return to the States. The world is in a chaotic mess and before Sarah leaves Vietnam, within one devastating day nothing will ever be the same again.

Margaret Mendel lives and writes in New York City. She is an award-winning author with short stories and articles appearing online and in print publications. Her debut novel, “Fish Kicker” was published in 2014. Margaret’s latest novel “Pushing Water” was published in February 2017. She is a staff writer and photographer with the online magazine Kings River Life. Many of her photos have appeared in websites, online travel journals and have become book covers. Several of her photos have been exhibited in Soho Photography Gallery in New York City. Check out her photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/margaretmendel/ Read more about Margaret and her writing on her website: Pushingtime.com

PUSHING WATER is available here:   Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Scribd | Inktera | 24 Symbols https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/coming-soon/2017/pushing-water-detail

FISH KICKER is available here:   ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Kobo ~ Apple iTunes ~ Omnilit ~ Bookstrand ~ Coffeetime Romance ~ Smashwords ~

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19 thoughts on “Recommitment by Margaret Mendel

  1. […] TODAY I AM A GUEST BLOGGER ON BOOKBROWSING.COM. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT THE SIGHT AND READ THE POST, ‘RECOMMITMENT’. […]

  2. Wonderful post, Margaret. Best wishes on your recommitting. You’re an excellent writer.

  3. Sharon says:

    This post hits home for me! I’m not a writer
    , however the word recommitting, describes other interests in my life. Thanks for the nudge! You are a wonderful writer so I am sure you will get back to it soon!

  4. judyalter says:

    This great blog speaks directly to where I am. I find myself fiddling and reading and doing whatever when I really have time to write–and then my conscience nags at me. I’ve told myself it’s just a phase, but you spur me on to recommit. Thanks.

  5. Pamela Bennan says:

    This blog is so you! It expresses your and everyone’s lives. I feel the same about things and will strive to recommit.

  6. Anne McCormick says:

    Marge, what a familiar saga – about life in general. Even for me, a non-writer, just getting on with it, whatever the it may be, forcing myself to set time limits when things must be done , etc. etc.
    Lists on which I can check off what I have done somehow helps to feel “accomplished.
    For you – just do not give up on writing. You are TOO GOOD!
    Affectionate best,
    Anne McC.

  7. radine says:

    Recommit! I get it. Radine

  8. Hi Anne, Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes, life does get in your face from time to time. Here is best wishes that we all get done what we desire to have completed. All the best to you.

  9. Jeri Fink says:

    Said beautifully. The “other” stuff always intrudes on my writing. Maybe that’s why I stay up until 2am?

    • Hi Jeri, Ah, yes, the ‘other’ stuff! Do you mean that there is no ‘other’ stuff going on in that wee hour of the morning? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a delightful insightful comment!

  10. Nalo says:

    Love this article !
    Artist dealing with daily distractions.
    Thank you Margaret for reminding me that, the problem could be me and not others.

  11. Claudia says:

    Recommitment is exactly what I need. Very inspiring blog and such great writing. I can hardly wait until your next book is out.

    • Hi Claudia, Taking stalk of the life around us is important to see just where we sit. I hope this is helpful and that you continue with your art for as long as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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