Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not All Plans Work Out

We're back home in Kansas. We'd expected to be well on our way to Phoenix by now but we had a glitch in our plans. Ken and I had a wonderful weekend in Dallas with our son and family. The plan was to leave there Monday morning to spend a couple days in the Hill Country of Texas, then on to Phoenix to visit family and friends. A nice winter getaway. I had the schedule all set as to whom we'd see on what days. We were both looking forward to this long overdue visit.

Early Monday morning, Ken had symptoms that sent us to a local Emergency Room. He ended up staying two days in the hospital after being diagnosed as having had a mild stroke. He's doing fine but it was a shock to us and our family. Dr. says he has no restrictions and should go back to all activities right away. But driving several days to Phoenix and home again would not be best at this time plus he is to see his own doctors here within this week. So, we came home yesterday. 

I've always been someone who has a plan, whether it's for the day, a season. a vacation or a plan for my writing journey. Having a plan of some sort is reassuring to me, something to fall back on when needed. I know that many people cruise through life just fine without a plan. They are content to let things happen and can go with the flow. In some ways, I envy those who can do so but I also wonder if they don't feel like they're flailing around in deep water all the time hoping they can keep swimming.

Earlier today, a writer friend asked a question on facebook. She asked Do you have a plan? A question that could cover myriad parts of life. I suspect there will be a variety of answers, too. But consider your writing life? Do you have a plan in that category? Should you? 

A plan can be as general or as detailed as you like. It can be something you store in your head or have written and filed away somewhere. It can be set in cement or subject to change. Personally, I would urge anyone to be flexible, to change the plan as needed. A plan made when you're twenty might be completely different from the plan you have in your fifties. 

What do you do when a plan doesn't work out? You make some adjustments and move on. Don't start a pity party. Believe me, you'll most likely be the only one in attendance. We've all heard that old cliche Rules were made to be broken. Maybe plans can, too. Or they can be followed to the letter and move you down the path to your goal in rapid fashion. 

Our vacation plan messed up in a big way, but now it's time to attend to the reason that plan didn't work out. You can do the same with your writing plan. If it doesn't work out, reorganize and get started again. 

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