Flowing words inhibited by distractions

It was about a year and a half ago when I wrote extensively about midlife invisibility, seeking self-worth and all sorts of topics on writing including mantras like if not now, when.

I set goals. I set the path toward my goals in motion. I trekked along, tripped and stumbled occasionally, but more or less, things seemed to be propelling forward, albeit at a relatively slow pace.

But still, I could see the path behind me getting a little bit longer every time I looked.

Then, I fell off the proverbial horse. Right into a mud puddle, flanked by dirty snowbanks.

This is where I’m sitting right now, all muddy, wet, cold and uninspired. Unmotivated. Unfulfilled.

My friend in Germany emailed me this morning and during the lengthy conversation she determined (correctly) that I am not focused. She said (paraphrased):

You want to write and focus on writing success yet you go out and pursue dog walking.

This has me stumped.

On the one hand, the dog walking is a business that is giving me a slight sense of relief:

  • on the financial side of things I get instant income from dog walking (which helps supplement the food budget)
  • it gets me out of this abode and into the fresh air which is very, very good for my mental health

But.

It detracts from my writing. And my purpose which is to make income from writing.

Make no mistake, I am writing. A lot. This blog is a place that gets my writing engine started, which is why I post here quite regularly. Once I empty my head into this blog, my creative juices are flowing.

This is a good start to my writing mornings.

I credit this blog as my habitual routine. All the [good] books on writing talk about routine and habit extensively. Even if you only write drivel, do it anyway. Write daily. It’s the only way.

(I’m currently about halfway through Stephen King’s On Writing.)

Some days you may have noticed I don’t have a blog post up here. IΒ  do still write though…

I have a pseudonym blog and several other places where I write occasionally (but not as regularly as here). It keeps me writing, and that’s key.

But what do I do with it all?

I need an agent for my pseudonym story.

I also need an agent for my memoir. But first, I need to finish the memoir. It’s so close…

I may need to adjust the narration of the memoir which, as some of you know, was partly written in the third person narrative. (Because, recalling the events of my childhood illness feels like an out-of-body experience and when the words flowed, I wrote them down the way they flowed, not realizing until after I re-read them that I wrote the whole thing from the third person narrative).

Ugh. It’s confusing. I don’t know what to do with it. Or where to begin looking for professional help. Or where to take the money from to pay for professional help.

Yes, I know that the internet is full of assistance and advice but it’s so overwhelming and confusing sometimes that I just turn away and find myself getting distracted again.

What do I do about that? How to I maintain focus? Should I start making stricter schedules? This week ignore pseudonym writing and focus solely on memoir…next week is short story focus… week after, pick up pseudonym story and pursue that angle…

The way I write now is without rhyme or reason. I write what I feel like writing.

If I’m in the mood to write under the pseudonym, well then you won’t find me here in this blog. The type of writing I do under my pseudonym requires a certain mindset which I can’t fake.

On the other hand, if I’m in a reflective mood, I may pick up the memoir. But there, too, I can’t just fake it. Historical family events sometimes cloud my brain cells and I’m not always in the mood to dwell on the past, which is where much of the memoir writing comes from.

Which is why, more often than not, I’m right here in this blog, or in the WordPress Reader, dumping my spontaneous, candid words into a post and publishing it for your amusement. πŸ˜‰

There are too many distractions. I allow the distractions to distract me which is something I need to learn how to overcome. Starting with the physical ones…

Anyone want to build me a She Shed? πŸ™‚

Blah.

So that’s where I’m at.

Tell me, what works for you in terms of removing, or overlooking distractions? How do you calm your mind so you can focus at the task at hand? What do you do when you stumble around with writer’s block, or worse, too many ideas and not enough time to dedicate to them?

See you in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Flowing words inhibited by distractions

  1. I’m not sure how anyone who has kids, needs an income of some sort and deals with other responsibilities ever finds time to write. How do you sort of sweep all those things aside or ignore it all to spend 4-6-8 hours per day writing?
    Something or someone suffers no matter what decision you make so how do people work this out??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone says to make time. It’s like self-care. The hard part is to allow things to fall down. Embrace it. Trust me, my house is a mess but if it wasn’t I would be wordless and then I have to change the name of the blog)… πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think dog walking is necessarily going against your writing goals.
    It provides physical exercise, outdoor time, and $$, all of which can help you focus on writing when you’re back inside BIC (butt in chair.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I agree. And really the dog walking helps me process things I had written (but not published) before I went out. πŸ™‚ I think time away for reflection and space is crucial for writing anyway. I sometimes sit on work for many months refusing to look at it, and then work on editing or continuing.

      Like

    1. That’s awesome! I did that when I was pregnant with my first, I went back to college to get certified in Technical Writing. πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, most of the jobs I’m interested in insist on working at their site which includes brutal commutes which doesn’t work with the kids activity schedules…

      Sigh.

      How are you managing with our projects and deadlines?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I, too, am in a bit of a slump. I’m at least two-thirds into my third novel…and there it sits. Still motivation has to come from within–even if that means some sort of personal discipline. And I’m working on that. The dog-walking seems to be mind-clearing in a good way. Exercise and fresh air are part of self-care, which shouldn’t be neglected even if you are writing. NaNoWriMo is a great inspiration, but such a push that many abandon it. Still, though I never completed the 50,000 word challenge, it was the start of both of my existing books and this one as well.

    As for distractions and she-sheds and the like, I’m reminded of the many writers, who wrote on paper scraps while incarcerated, or while evading Nazi persecution…of pre-Victorian female novelists forced to support their families–writing longhand at the kitchen table. These are intended as inspirations, not flagellation. Take it as a mission, make space for it and let it happen. (And I do understand that it’s especially tough when one of your other hats is ‘mother.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think about the writers back in less fortunate times. It’s quite amazing how spoiled we are these days, and I’m referring to myself. I let all these distractions be my excuse…

      Sigh.

      But yes, I understand. Ideally, I would want to lock myself into a room and get it all out, but I also realize that that’s not practical.

      Thank you for the reality check. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. My best advice is to just write.

    Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Too bad this isn’t November; I’d suggest that as a great way to get you into the daily habit of writing. I think a memoir is a great idea and I’ve sometimes thought about writing one myself, but while I feel like I’ve had a pretty eventful life, I question whether others would want to read about it. So I stick to novels.

    I think it’s important to keep up your pseudonym writing, too. You need different types of content to keep you stimulated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done NaNo twice but abandoned both halfway. That was with the memoir. I think I need shorter term writing gigs…

      I don’t know. Thanks for the tips!

      There’s a Tallahassee grandma who follows me who is doing her version of NaNo now, in March. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.