H is for Hanging

It’s been loads of fun hanging out with new friends on the AtoZ blog hop and checking out their blogs! I’m still with limited Internet access, so I can’t link up, but if you’d like to hop on, you can do so here

This week’s letter is…H….for … Hanging

Not as in dangling from a rope, but as in being left hanging. Or leaving things hanging, suspended, or unfinished.

During my auditor years, I visited schools on a daily basis to ensure they followed safe accounting practices. For each of the three different types of audits we performed, I knew how to schedule my work week. Some audits lasted days, some weeks, but for each, I enjoyed the satisfaction of wrapping up an audit and turning in the report.

When I switched to working special audits, my calendar might be blocked out with the same task for months. Although I adjusted, I never really liked this aspect of my job. You see, I value accomplishment, and I appreciate checklists and enjoy checking tasks off as I complete them. 

Since writing a book takes months, to help me overcome this negative vibe, I created an Excel spreadsheet to track my forward progress for every book. Not only does the spreadsheet offer me a sense of accomplishment by entering my daily word count, it also gives me an ending date, something tangible so that I don’t feel as if I’m hanging forever.

Sometimes leaving things hanging is unavoidable. Like now. We booked our cruise months ago, not knowing our son would accept a job in Washington DC, about 10 days before our sailing date. We promised to help him move his stuff to DC when we return.

As a writer, sometimes I leave my characters hanging, whether it’s in a particularly intense scene or, like now, because I couldn’t give them their happily-ever-after before I hopped on that airplane. I tried, I really did, but life got in the way. That, and latching on to every available minute with my son. My characters will be there when I return home. My son won’t.

Our son and grandson
What about you? How do you feel about being left hanging? Or leaving things hanging?

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