Back to Reality


It’s mid-January already. I look at the calendar in wonder. How did we get here so fast? After at least a month of preparation for Christmas, we finally get to celebrate the big day (the celebration actually goes on for several days) and then we’re supposed to start a new year. But, I turn around, we’re already two weeks in, and I hardly noticed.


Of course, I had a special reason to be distracted. On New Year’s Day we went to British Columbia to visit our oldest daughter and have some special family time. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was spectacular (as you can see by the pictures), and the family time was much needed. From the winter wonderland of Whistler, to the balmy beaches of Tofino, to the beauty of the City of Victoria, we took advantage of our time together. Unfortunately, the return trip home was obligatory. Work was waiting for us on Monday morning.

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But, the beginning of a new year deserves a few moments to reflect on what we want to accomplish before the next Christmas rush is upon us. Apart from the usual (lose ten pounds, clean my car on a regular basis, reorganize every closet in the house – all of which are probably impossible, or at the very least, unrealistic) I have set a goal to complete my current novel. Whether it will ever leave the confines of my computer or not is another matter, but at least it will be completed. If I can come up with an idea for another one, all the better. In my view, both of these goals are attainable, but I have to be more disciplined.

I often read articles or blogs about making time to write and the best way to do it. For me it’s less a question of time, and more a question of frame of mind.

I can’t write when I’m distracted. When we were in Whistler, my daughter gave me a sightseeing pass with which I could go up the mountain by gondola, meander around, take in the sights, and come back down (I’m not much of a skier). We all thought it would be a great idea for me to take my computer with me so I could find inspiration on top of the mountain in the fresh air and sunshine. I happily went, carrying my backpack with me, armed with a laptop and a camera. The camera is the only device which was used. I was so distracted by the view, the fresh air, and the sunshine, I couldn’t write a word.

Secondly, I can’t write if I’m worrying about something. How often in a day or a week do we, as busy adults and parents, not have worries or concerns? Not very often.

So, I guess my true goal should be to vanquish all distractions, worries and concerns so I can accomplish my ultimate goal of completing my novel this year. And when next January rolls around, I’ll probably be hitting the ‘repeat’ button.


A.J. McCarthy is the author of ‘Betrayal’, a suspense thriller published by Indigo Sea Press.


Filed under writing

3 responses to “Back to Reality

  1. A.J., I wouldn’t have been able to write on top of a mountain with a fabulous view, either! That’s not fair to blame yourself on that one. Your body and mind were focused on your daughter and vacation time. It’s not practical to think you might be able to work, too. Give yourself a break.

    What helps me is setting the same time of day every day aside for writing. That way, my subconscious prepares me during the night before and I’m able to actually write something when I sit down at my computer. If I’m not ready to actually write, I’ll do some research that’s needed. Either way, I leave my office satisfied I didn’t waste time and then I don’t beat myself up either. Have you tried that? I know we all have our own methods for accomplishing things, but sometimes we need support from others. You’ve got mine! Go for it!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Coco.

  3. I’m hopeless. Sometimes I can’t stop writing. Then I feel guilty for all the unposted book reviews, unwashed clothes, unbought foodstuffs, etc. But some distractions are important; some are inspiring; and all are necessary, else how could we write.

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