Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Stressed to the Point that Writing Seems Impossible


  by Linda Thorne

Okay, I told some people I wouldn’t post about my time constraints with writing and promotion anymore, but here I am with nothing else to talk about except what feels like zero time to write, read, and promote. I am still meeting my deadlines for scheduled posts like this one and it's not easy.

Che Gilson’s last post on Novel Spaces was perfectly timed for me with her suggestions of a timer and calendars. My problem is I don’t think any recommendations would work given my current circumstances. I'm unusually busy at work. Actually, that is a huge understatement.

I’ve seen just about everything over my long human resources career. I went through a hostile takeover of a company in Denver. A former company I worked for lost its lease, built a new site and quickly doubled in size. The company I worked for on the Mississippi Gulf Coast went through a brutal restructuring. A move to the Central Valley of California took me to a manufacturing plant in business for 98 years, but after working there a year, we were given a year's notice that the plant would close. Chaos ensued as people bailed when we had to maintain full production up to the date of closure. 

In an effort to seek help, I put my current problem into the Google search engine and came up with a blog post called, 6 Habits to Help You Write When You Don’t Have the Time. The blog is Jeff Goins’, but it was written by a guest he invited, Tyler Braun. Brawn starts off with a quote from Katerina Stoykova Klemer, which says, “If you don’t write when you don’t have time for it, you won’t write when you do have time for it.”
Okay, I get it, but I think there's a caveat. Sometimes there may not be enough hours in the day to write, which does not mean you wouldn't write if you had the time.

In his post, Tyler Braun went on to list the 6 habits that he thought would help.

1. Figure out how many words per day
2. Leave yourself reminders to keep fighting
3. Get enough sleep
4. Always be ready to capture ideas and quotes
5. Never surrender
6. It takes discipline

I think his recommendations are great. I just think that sometimes if you are in an unusually crazy situation, none of the recommendations are going to work. Sometimes those recommendations to pace yourself, write a minimum amount of words, think positive, etc. aren’t going to get you there. I agree the most with number 5, “never surrender,” but my qualification of that phrase here is sometimes you have no choice but to retreat (not the same as surrender) until you find a way out of the situation that is blocking you, or wait until the turmoil is over.

Have any of you experienced life getting so in your face that any type of organized writing plan might not work?  


Charles Gramlich said...

I've had two novels that were interrupted in the middle by family member illnesses.

Gloria Getman said...

I once told my oldest daughter when she was frustrated with her siblings that she could beat on the couch pillow instead of her brother. She tried it, then said, "That doesn't help. All you get is dust in your face." I laughed. In any relationship or job, people are the biggest problem. And that's why you have a job. Perhaps writing a few lines for you own consumption would help. I keep a journal and add a few lines every day. Yup. It's like talking to myself, but that's okay. Give it a try.

Maggie King said...

Organizing takes time!

Liane Spicer said...

Yes, I've experienced this and I've come to realize that when it does happen, the writing is not going to happen. I guess some people are made of sterner stuff, but I've given up on trying to be Superwoman.

Linda Thorne said...

Charles, I had my writing stopped because of a family members' health the entire summer of 2012. It was a little different then because I had not yet published my first novel. I feel pressure now because my first book in my series was published in 2015. It's 2017, and seems like the rest of the series should be coming out.

I liked your suggestion, Gloria, for your daughter to beat on the pillow instead of her brother, but your daughter's answer is cute with a lot of truth in it. I do sort of talk to myself on e-mails sometimes that I never send. It's kind of why I wrote this post, expressing my frustrations in writing.

Thank you both for your feedback.

Linda Thorne said...

While I was writing my comment, I see that two more came in. Thank you, Maggie, and thank you Liane, especially for admitting giving up on being Superwoman. That's what I'm coming to grips with. My job takes precedence as long as I'm working because they pay me to do it. It may not be what I want to do, but it is my job.
One plus, is if I ever get to take the time to write as much as I want to, every new experience working with people will be put to use.

S.J. Francis said...

Oh, Linda! Talk about timing. I'm currently editing, again on my 2nd novel. I was going strong until my first novel came out and took all my time. Between promoting book number 1, a full time job, recent promotion and writing, I was back logged for awhile to work on it. I've learned not to stress on it and just do the best I can, writing whenever I can, even if it's just a few words a day.
Thanks for sharing the insight. Cheers! S.J. Francis

Linda Thorne said...

Thank you S.J. You've got a positive spirit. I need to bring that side me back.

Jewel Amethyst said...

I've been through all that in so many iterations. But sometimes, your day job takes up so much brain space, even if you have the time to write, you don't have the energy, brain power or creativity.

Linda Thorne said...

Jewel, thank you for letting me know it's not just me. I'm lucky to get up in the morning and get to work. I know now I'm not a superwoman and I'm getting much older. Something has to give - job or writing.