That title is deliberate. Not that I place writing above everything else in my life; far from it. But seeing it that way instead of “Writing amidst life” reminds me that writing is a huge part of who I am and what I must do and I must honor it, cherish it, and make it a priority.

Last week at our Wild Writers critique meeting, we did our annual review of last year’s goals/resolutions and our hopes for this year. One of the refrains was reminding ourselves to look at those things we accomplished that weren’t on our list. Another refrain was “life gets in the way.” But what we really mean is that life—family mostly—become our priority because love is our priority. It isn’t in our way, it’s the only way.

One member of our beloved group listed her priorities in order of importance She had about five or six. Her family was first due to a pretty serious situation. Paid writing was second to last. Fiction/fun writing was dead last.

I got that absolutely and admired her for her commitment to what was important. I was also happy that she was practicing meditation—self-care was close to the top and she was clearly happy about that. She’ll get to fiction because there will come a point when not writing what she loves will begin to tug at her in a way that she can’t ignore. But for now, she’s doing what she wants and needs to do and that is a good thing.

Guilt-free, regret-free creating—that’s what it’s all about, whether in life or art.