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Nolan Ryan, an all-star pitcher and one of the masters of the curve. Photo credit: LA Times

Nolan Ryan, an all-star pitcher and one of the masters of the curve. Photo credit: LA Times

I love baseball. Always have. I grew up hearing “Keep your eye on the ball.” And while it was said to me in the context of the game, like most sports, baseball is also a good analogy for keeping my eyes on whatever situation, problem, or event I’m dealing with. By staying focused and concentrating, I can find ways to deal with the problem, maybe even control it, live with it, conquer or solve it, perhaps even eliminate it by knocking it out of the park.

But the curveball is different. It comes along, initially just like any regular pitch. But at the last minute, the good curve ball swerves and dips, leaving me looking at the air where it WAS and not at the ball, which sails across the plate and under my line of vision, making this particular pitch really hard to deal with and capable throwing my entire game seriously OFF.

Lately, my life has been like dealing with one curveball after another. Recurring, and increasingly serious, personal health problems and the resulting weekly medical appointments, long-term home renovation projects, an increased work load, major schedule changes, and serious elder care with dementia issues are demanding more and more of my time and attention. As a result, I feel myself spread thinner and thinner. My energy level and ability to focus is sorely depleted and I’m having a lot of trouble concentrating on all of these major issues much less managing to find time or mental focus necessary to continue building the world of my novel.

Finding a way to keep writing during this challenging time while still attending to the tasks at hand becomes more and more difficult, thus raising a crucial question: How do I stay in the game of writing without striking out due to the overwhelming presence of the curves?

Starting this Sunday, and for six weeks following, I’ll be publishing a series of helpful tips to ensure I’m writing through the curves in a healthy way. Please follow along and share your own tips and strategies for maintaining a healthy creative life when the scales tip out of balance. Cheers!