Best Laid Plans

I had three days until my next job assignment was due to start.



I had my plan. My Camp NaNoWriMo project was a few words over my recommended total. I would finish my 20K novella on time. And with three days to work on it with only a few trips to make for my local writing group, I would build a surplus of words. That way if I were frazzled by starting a new assignment, it would be all right.

As the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. (Robert Burns, translated)

Know that from time to time your plans for writing may go astray. Maybe you spend the bulk of an evening dealing with important issues and your writing skills are used to compose a tactful email to someone who has gone off on a rant. Or your instructor had more than a few questions about the homework you turned in. Maybe your husband decides it’s a perfect time to trade in your old vehicle for a newer model and you spend eight hours, over two days, going to the dealership, answering questions, filling out paperwork, signing paperwork and of course the endless… waiting.


Do not beat yourself up about it. Things will need to be handled, where you are needed. If you know you are going to be sitting around, being bored:

  • bring a book on the craft to study
  • bring a character profile form and fill it out on your secondary characters
  • consider putting your character in your place and ask how they would handle the time
  • imagine what these salesmen do in their off hours

You are important and you need to do things for yourself too. So make the most of your time. As a writer, I always keep a small notepad in my purse. That way if an idea comes to me, I can jot it down. Because the one lie I have told myself in the past is… I don’t need to write it down, I’ll remember. Hence the notepad. Oh, and I did have a weird idea about all those trade-in vehicles.

The next important thing to remember is to get back to your writing as soon as you can. Get back into your habit, you will feel better for the temporary reprieve.

And if you must, you could consider the time as a payment on your future success. I think the time may have been worth it…


What do you think?


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