Wasted Time or Time Well Spent?

From March 2016

I haven't written a word this week.

I am stressed out about it since my focus is on writing enough to become a successful novelist and live off the fruits of my labours in about ten years time. My goal is 4 000 words a day, every day. For the last month all I've done is write. Focused on my goal. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere and my future was going to be what I wanted it to be. Then this week happened.


I drove up to Whistler to pick up my daughter and spend time with my family for Easter.


I came home to a house that was destroyed by my son's party the night before. I left to him to clean up the house and went out for coffee with a girlfriend I hadn't seen for a few months.


In the morning I worked on a direct mail marketing piece for a client and had coffee with the same girlfriend. Then I went downtown for a date.


I worked on the direct mail marketing piece again and took my son to the doctor's office, then for a late lunch to talk about life, his future, and mine. The House was a disaster again from the kids fending for themselves on Tuesday, so I had to clean up.


I went downtown with a girlfriend for the day and spent way too much money on some skin care products. This story will end up in my 40 Something series. I worked on the direct mail marketing piece as my client changed the perimeters, yet again.


I spent the morning finalizing the direct mail campaign with Canada Post. Cleaned up the house a bit because it was a disaster, yet again, from the kids fending for themselves. I went downtown for a doctors appointment and then a second date with the same man I'd met earlier in the week.


It's Saturday and it's my daughter's 14th Birthday. I have laundry waiting to be folded piled up around me, the house needs a deep clean and we have no food in the house. Plus, It's a beautiful day and I would love to get out.

This is the most I've written all week.

Did I Fail?

There is a finite amount of time. How we chose to spend that time is tied up in our priorities and the demands of those around us. Was my week a waste of time? Did I spend my time wrong?

No. I don't think so. Over the past 2 months I've been so focused on writing between working on a contract, sending out job applications and going to interviews. I have spent more time with my computer than I have with people.

I've been disconnected.

This week, I was with family, my kids, a friend, and a new man. I interacted with people who breathe, live in the real world, whom I can see, touch, and hear with my ears, instead of spending all my time with my characters.

Yes. I didn't hit my writing goal this week. I did something way more important.

I lived.

Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

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