Friday, September 7, 2007

Time Monsters

I'm not sure what it is, but it seems that every time I take my writing seriously and schedule time to get it done, the world conspires against me to do everything it can to prevent it. Am I alone in this?

Every day for the past week and a half I've been desperately trying to work on line edits. Last week was a bust between my son getting suspended from school for fighting (he's in 3rd grade, for heaven's sake!), friend and family meltdowns, my own near-nervous breakdown, a death in the family, and numerous other things.

This week I got called to the principal's office AGAIN for the same son taking a knife to school, had my mother's birthday, a musical presentation in my son's class, and ANOTHER meltdown (mine this time). I know life has to come first, but when is there ever time to write? I work at 4:30 in the morning, so it's not like I can stay up half the night like I used to, and yet that seems to be the only time I can find.

I had expected to get my whole book done by tomorrow evening and I'm only on chapter 3. Now, instead of spending the day working on it like I'd planned, I've got a soccer game for my other son and an all day concert at Thanksgiving Point. I finally decided to just take my laptop and earplugs with me to mute the sound a bit and I'll see what I can get done at the concert, I'm that desperate. Any advice from all you experts out there? It's not like these are things I can say no to. Where can I find some time? Am I expecting too much of myself here?

Okay, done whining now, though any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Quote of the Day: "Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it's so hurtful to think about writing." Heather Armstrong, Keynote Speech, SXSW 2006


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Okay, that picture? Scary as hell! Picture me shuddering.

And Karen, we all face that. Believe me, we face it. So just keep pushing on through. You can do it. It's chaotic, frustrating and at times, downright annoying, but it can be done. So I'll repeat myself, you can do it!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Wow -- I'm sorry to hear you've had such a rotten week. Hang in there, girl!

As far as advice, there's a time to write and a time to not write. Maybe you need to ease off for a week and give yourself some time to relax (well, relax as much as you can with all this going on.) It's true that we do need to keep writing to stay in the flow, but there are times when we simply need to pull back and take care of ourselves for a little while.

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating regularly? Are you getting enough downtime? If you're not, make this the priortity first, and then after you've done everything you can for you, then hit the writing.

I was coming over here to invite you to join my BIAM challenge, but it sounds to me like you need a "Take Care of Karen" challenge for a little while. Give yourself what you need and you'll find that your writing improves.

C. L. Beck said...

Wow, that picture matched your week!Hope this next week is better.

I agree with both Candace and Tristi. There's a time to push on through, and a time to take a break. Only you can decide which is best for you, but I'm betting you need a day or two of sitting in a hammock and watching the leaves turn fall colors.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I had a "revelation" several months ago that let me know God WAS helping me in my writing goal. I could see His hand in leading me to information I needed, in inspiring me, in providing "growing" opportunities. And when I realized that, I calmed down--albeit, a bit--in my needing to write frenzy. Yes, it's still a powerful, motivating force in my life, but it's also something I'm trying to let God's timeline control. He is aware of me and my goals, just as He's aware of you, your goals, and your family. As Candace said, we all have times like those you've described--I won't go into my long list--but the truth is, we can, and do, get through them. For me, especially when my children were young, I had to allow myself "smaller" goals. By smaller, I meant, accomplishing smaller amounts of writing in any one set day, such as fifteen actual writing minutes, along with a pencil and notebook wherever you go to keep track of ideas. Even that can get a person a long ways, step by step. At least it did for me.

Shanna Blythe said...


I think you have gotten some great advice. Here is mine: I'm here for you! For whatever you need! And I totally dug the picture.

G. Parker said...

Wow...okay, you win, your week was worse than mine...LOL
Great picture!

~paulette said...

well, i've certainly hit a "period of time" that just isn't meant for writing (like, right now). but, i fight tooth and nail just because i enjoy it so much... it's sad that something we want to do, and enjoy doing, has to become such a migrain-assisted-toothache! (those things are NASTY!)

the only thing that has carried me through these never-ending "moments", is that i tell myself that i can day-dream about the scenes in my book while i wait for the time where i can write it. (i don't need any "free-hands" to do that) it helps, even if it's not written on a page...


Tristi Pinkston said...

Karen, would you please post a new blog? Every time I come here to see if there's something new, your freaky little alien dude scares me. I mean, keep this blog but write another one so he scoots down. :)

Karen Hoover said...

Thanks to all of you. You had some amazing words of advice, exactly what I needed to hear. You guys are the best.

Oh, and sorry about the scary picture. Didn't mean to frighten you! lol