Bust It Out

I had a deadline yesterday. An important one. But life has thrown me a few curve balls lately, and I haven’t been writing as I would like to. I was THISCLOSE to emailing the editor and saying, “I’m sorry, but I simply can’t make this deadline. My story isn’t finished.” I’ve never done that before. I also think it’s a slippery slope. If you blow off a deadline once, what’s to stop you from doing it again?

I have wonderful writery friends. They told me that I should ask for an extension, or I should let the deadline go and focus on the rather heavy hand that we’ve been dealt. They filled my soul with kindness and good feeling. I am so grateful.

Then there was a member of my writer’s group. The phone call was maybe 60 seconds long, and his words changed everything. “Deadline? Just bust it out. See you tomorrow.”

Bust it out? Here I am, drowning in a world of confusion and misplaced words, and he says to bust it out? I realized two things: Number one, this guy is family. He gets that I need to write in order to breathe. I haven’t been writing, or breathing, lately. And number two, if he says that I can bust it out, I can bust it out.

It wasn’t easy. I had to tell my sweet daughter that playing mermaids out in the sunshine had to wait, because Mommy had to bust it out. (Not to be confused with busting a move, which, unfortunately, also happened. Mermaid style. Yeah, imagine that!) It isn’t my best work, but it’s a firm foundation with characters that I love, and I’ll polish it into something wonderful. More than that, I felt complete and utter triumph at sending it in. My deadline record is intact. I finished something that was hard. I started to breathe again.

This, my friends, is why you need people who get you 100%. I had to wait almost 30 years to find my writer’s group, but they’re a group for life. They tell me when it’s time to put the axe down and when it’s time to bust it out. I’m so grateful.

11 Comments on “Bust It Out”

  1. Great post. There’s so much about writing that’s just a hard slog. At the end of every day, there’s something or other that has yet to be finished, so being in the non-finishing habit and mindset can feel very easy and familiar (for me, anyway). But pushing through on a tough deadline? That’s worth a lot.

  2. Great post! Yes, sometimes there’s the danger of people being *too* supportive, letting you off the hook. It’s great that your group knew you well enough to know what *kind* of support you needed. 🙂

  3. Glad you had someone to be there for you. That is awesome. I hope that you have a little more breathing space soon. I know it is hard but you are cared for by so many people, we will hug you when you need a hug and tell you to “bust it out” when you need to hear that too.

    I am sending fondest hugs from Arkansas.

    Deep Peace,


  4. That was really inspirational. That’s great that you have such a supportive group of writer friends that know your capabilities (and know how/when to give to that PUSH…)

  5. The Illiterati is #1, all others are #2 or lower.

    Yay Mercedes! Yaya busting it out! Yay mermaids!

    m the instigatorial wombat of tropical beaches

  6. I’m glad that you have the people around you that ‘get you’ and understand the words that help you get through. Apparently he knew you could do it and knew that it is your outlet and knew you were not using it effectively. Friends/Family like that are much needed in our lives to help us muddle through those tough spots when we need that little extra push.

  7. That is awesome. I am totally a fan of busting it out, myself. (Not quite as easy when talking about editing, but the very fear that I might HAVE to bust it out has thus far been enough to keep me out of that situation. KNOCK ON WOOD.)

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