Wednesday, May 1, 2024

IWSG - Writing Distractions & Derailments

It's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!


Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this blog hop serves to provide a place for writers to seek and give support about their insecurities. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and sign up on the IWSG tab.

The co-hosts this month are: Victoria Marie Lees, Kim Lajevardi, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine.

The optional question is: How do you deal with distractions when you're writing? Do they derail you?

Depends upon the distractions, but the beauty of not having an enforced writing schedule (I consider myself a sprint writer) is that my schedule is already flexible. Given, there have been larger scale derailments, like fleeing a wildfire and my dad dying. Plus, COVID and the surreal craziness of life for the most intense part of it (shutdowns) derailed me. Other than those major sorts of things, my writing isn't consistent enough to be derailed, really. I already write when I can write.

Having said that, my job hours increasing has been a complication. I have to re-figure how I fit things in, so until that's done my writing is even less consistent than usual. So right now I'm working on some short stories to feel things out and see what makes the most sense for fitting in the writing and still having family time and down time. I've been on the brink of burnout for a while, and with a recent autism diagnosis I'm trying to be kinder to myself and find a way to do everything I need to do without tipping over into that full burnout. We'll see how things shake out. It's amazing how big an impact a few hours can make.


What are your major distractions? How do you overcome them? What are your current insecurities? 

May you find your Muse.

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry the job hours have increased. Go easy on yourself and don't fall into burnout.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, you have to be kind to yourself when you have to work at your job more. And family life is very important too. You can only do what you can in terms of your writing.

Liza said...

Being kind to yourself is most important. You want writing to remain a joy and not a chore.

Fundy Blue said...

You've been through a lot, Shannon! I keep reminding myself that I'm doing the best I can. That's all we can do, especially with all the important things pulling us in different directions. May life get easier for you. It's always good to be kinder to yourself. I have worked with autistic children and I've known a number of amazing autistic adults. It's part of what makes you unique and special. Have a happy May!

Karen Baldwin said...

I start my day at 4:30 am. Hardly any distractions, and my mind is settled. But once the sun comes up, my brain is in overdrive with distractions. My insecurity is I'm in the querying process and of course I doubt my writing. But I think that's normal, no?

F. Stone said...

Hello. It's nice to be back in the group. Life's challenges did derail my writing of novels. Instead, I began to research my ancestors' lives. That is a rabbit hole that can take you on a shocking journey. I've been encouraging everyone I know and meet to write their biography. Seriously, this is important, maybe not for the current generation but it will be fascinating to family who arrive in another one hundred years. My objective was to expand the details of birth, death, etc. to include photos, stories, and more precious are the letters. Are letters still being written? So much more authentic expression was being said in those letters than what we find on facebook or other social media. Consider writing your ancestors' bio and, especially important, your own. Blessings

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

We have to have realistic expectations, or we end up beating ourselves up over things that really can't be helped. My own tendency is to race off after everything as soon as I think of it. Making lists helps, but I still struggle at times, especially when I'm doing the hard parts of work.

emaginette said...

Unlike most of the group I don't have many distractions. And the ones I do have, I'll gladly keep. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Olga Godim said...

Juggling work, kids, and writing is never easy. I'm so glad I'm retired now and my kids are grownups, busy with their own lives. I write when I want. No juggling required. [gloating ...]

ib said...

Shannon, I am experiencing a little burnout currently, but it's not the writing game. It's everything else and those things are getting in the way of creativity. The build of my new home, a 17 year old daughter, WORK. It's all intensifying and I'm running on fumes. I signed up for the A to Z this year with the intention of completing it but I fell woefully short. Be kind to yourself. You have accomplished so much recently. Be well!

Patricia JL said...

I'm going back to a summer job that will have more hours so I've been thinking about how to fit my writing in a lot lately. My goal is to keep any writing goals small and flexible as that means distractions are less likely to derail me.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

Tell me about Writer's burnout! I had to take break from my current book project because I was burning out. I hope you can work around your new day job schedule soon so you can return to a regular writing routine. I've had similar problems when I've started new day jobs; it's hard but it can be worked through.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

So sorry to hear your father has passed. I'm praying for you. Please be kinder to yourself for sure.

Short stories are a great way to move ahead. I LOVED your Short Story Guidebook. I truly need to get back to my middle grade short story collections. Perhaps I'll start by re-reading your guidebook. Stay strong, Shannon!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - gosh you've got things going on - just take care and look after yourself ... don't go grubbing around - it's not worth it. With thoughts - and all the best - Hilary