Conflicts Galore (Mary Strand)

This month at YA Outside the Lines we’re talking about conflict, whether it’s the sort of conflict that drives our stories or the conflicts we live with as writers.

Well. As I write this, I would rather be waterskiing. Or sitting in a theatre watching Black Widow. Or zipping around town on my scooter. Or playing guitar. Or listening to live music. Or hanging (and laughing hysterically) with friends. Or dancing. Or writing a song. Or revising a novel I love. Or walking around Paris. Or doing 10 million other things.

And that, my friends, is the sort of conflict I live with during every waking hour. And a fair number of sleeping hours.

I’ve said throughout the pandemic (not that anyone was listening) that I haven’t appreciated one single thing about the pandemic, the quarantine, etc. And it’s mostly true. An extrovert cut off from other people is not a happy person, and that’s not even taking into account the mullet I accidentally grew when I couldn’t see my hairdresser for a few months.

(NOTE: No pictures of that mullet are forthcoming.)


It occurred to me just today (in the shower, thanks for asking) that the quarantine actually did one thing for me: it took away most of my frenetic life of constant activities, which allowed me to focus much more than usual on guitar. And specifically on a blues book that I’ve never otherwise spent enough time on because I’m always doing 10 million things. And I absolutely LOVED it, but my intense focus ended when I was able to resume most of my “normal” life.

I live my life on the go ... and THAT is a massive understatement. My daily schedule would frighten you. (It kinda takes my breath away, too.) I do believe in the whole “I’ll die with my boots on” mantra, and I’m living it, but I admit that to do ALL the things I want to do, I’d need at least 50 hours in a day, not 24. And 10 days in a week would help, too.

So there’s the huge conflict in my life. I can feel it seemingly with every breath I take. Unfortunately, as the heroine of my own story, I don’t yet know how it ends. But then, in the books I write, I almost never know how they end until I write the last page.

(Chris Hemsworth has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post,
but he kinda soothes the stress of all this conflict, right? I thought so.)

So I guess I’d better keep writing. My own story, that is. And you know what? It might need more than a little revision.

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at


  1. I feel this conflict, too! It always seems I should have crammed more into my 24 hours.

    1. And less of the Spider Solitaire I crammed into my 24 hours. :-)


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