Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: Under Construction


This is sort of what my kitchen and bathroom look like, only with chunks of cement on the floor and countertops, and cement and plaster dust covering every single surface in a thick layer of grit.  And in addition to replacing the ceilings in the kitchen and bath (which were damaged when the pipes in the apt above us leaked), my husband decided to have two windows replaced in the living room and the spare bedroom. So lots of broken concrete in there too.  The master bedroom is the only oasis of sanity atm, and I'm locked in here with my laptop while hubby rides herd on the workmen.  Yup, just me and the slop bucket.  (Well, the bathroom is off limits... TMI?)

You'd think I'd be using this opportunity to get some writing done.  But no, I'm going in circles between social media, doing crits, and reading books/novellas for review.  And when the workmen leave at night, I try to clean up, even though I know it'll all get messed up again the next day.

This is the 1st week in January!!  By now I was supposed to be done revising BLOODWALKER and have started my new novella set in Alaska, called COLDEST NIGHT. 

But it's just not happening. 

I have no real excuse.  I enjoy doing things for others -- otherwise I wouldn't keep volunteering -- and if I time-managed a bit better, I could find a way to get some writing done.  Truth is I just let myself get "dissuaded" from writing way too easily.

Does this ever happen to you?

What do you do when you can get Butt-In-Chair, but do everything except write when your butt's there?



This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.

43 comments:

Yolanda Renee said...

Sorry you're dealing with such a mess. I can't help but be envious. I would love a new kitchen and bathroom. It'll be over soon!

As for avoiding my muse - been doing that all week. Working on other projects, creating badges for the WEP and yes, trying to keep up with the social stuff as I took such a long break. I know I'm doing it too and I can't help myself. Maybe now that I've confessed - I'll get to work. LOL

Too bad we can't get a cup of coffee together and commiserate. Wouldn't that be lovely!

Medeia Sharif said...

I dislike workers in my home. There's the noise, the mess, and other inconveniences, but it has to be done.

Many times I do everything else but write, so I usually cram my writing on weekends to meet goals. I do have a writing to-do list that keeps me on track.

M.R. R. said...

I do the same thing a lot...

Hope the bathroom gets finished soon, so you'll have more than just the bedroom.

dolorah said...

Seems every time I decide to just sit and write I end up beta reading or critiquing instead. I like doing it; perhaps I like reading for someone else better than writing my own stuff. Ugh, I always have a ready excuse for not writing.

You'll get back on tract soon Lexa. Maybe the little breathing time will help settle your mind and get the job done easier.

Good luck with the revision and submission :)

Denise Covey said...

Ooh, I don't like the sound of the mess and the workmen, but it'll be worth it in the end for sure. At least your bedroom is sacrosanct and somewhere to escape to.

If it makes you feel better, I've only just started writing again after a holiday hiatus. But I've been doing some crits too and it's a good thing to do. I'm far better improving other's writing than my own, lol!

I wish you every success in 2016 Lexa. Don't fret. We all need a break then we come back better than ever!

Denise :-)

Sean McLachlan said...

Keep putting your butt in the chair and working on new stuff. It's hard at first, but then it becomes a habit. Eventually it becomes a compulsion.
Interested in this Alaska book. What era/genre is it?

Shah Wharton said...

We went through months of workers in our home to do a bathroom extension. Walls down and no bathroom... and the dust!!!! So I get your angst. But there's an end in sight and you'll have NEW STUFF which is AWSEOME!!! :)

And let's remember you write for yourself, not a publisher. If you need time out, you get time out. That's the beauty of independance. :)

Happy 2016, Lexa. New kitchen, new bathroom, new stories. Lots to look forward to!

shahwharton.com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That sort of thing isn't just a distraction - it's a disruption. And when we get our rhythm thrown off like that, it's hard to get back into our own groove.
Just think how cool it will look when it's done. Visit Michael Di Gesu today if you need some remodeling hope.

JeffO said...

Happy New Year!

I think the disruption to life in having 2+ rooms in your house torn apart would certainly interfere with your writing. Even if you don't want to use it as an excuse, even if you don't want to let it get in the way, I can see how it would.

As for your question, yes, it happens to me all the time. What do I do? I circle around writing like a shark circles a wounded seal. Eventually, I'm usually drawn in enough to take a bite, and that starts the frenzy. OR, if I'm really resisting, I think about all the times I've said in forums and blogs something along these lines: "I want to get published, I want to have my work read by other people, which means I have to finish it." And I think about what a hypocrite I'm being by not writing. That usually guilts me into action!

Good luck with the remodeling, hopefully the work will be done soon!

Jennifer Hawes said...

We just did a master bathroom remodel this past week. My writing came to a halt. It's okay to stop when your in the midst of turmoil aka remodels!! Ugh. Glad that didn't take too long. Hope you get back in the groove soon.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think it's hard to stay focused on your writing when so much is going on in your house. Maybe you're doing exactly what you should be until all the workers and noise and mess leave your writing space. Happy New Year!

L.G. Keltner said...

The remodeling is going to throw you off no matter what, but hopefully the end result will be worth it!

I've had plenty of times where I've dissuaded myself from writing, so you're not alone in that. Butt-in-chair often means social media stuff, web surfing, and all manner of things that don't necessarily entail "making books" as my two boys would describe it.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Some say total chaos is good for the soul, makes a man out of you. Well, not A MAN exactly. Lexa, I've been where you are. The rooms are going to be awesome when it's all over. Life will go back to normal. And you'll wonder how you ever managed. Or you'll miss the chaos. Okay, maybe not.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love planning a remodeling job on my house, I hate living in it. i have no patience and inconveniences bother me more as I grow older. Going on a vacation or just staying in a nice hotel till it is over is a great idea, but then I could not afford the redo. You have my sympathy.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Actually, it's happening right now! We need to chat. Seriously, I know this year is going to be a ride for me, with two books releasing at year's end. I've let it stress me out. I need to write book II in my MG series. I've begun the book and really like where I going with it, and then the holidays came and I lost my gusto. Oh, but good luck with the renovations. Those are a new beginning all their own. :)

Crystal Collier said...

When your home/life is in chaos, you aren't supposed to focus on goals. You're supposed to survive. Here's to getting through the crazy and I'm wishing you some sanity despite the environment. *salutes*

Julie Flanders said...

I would have a terrible time getting anything done while living in the chaos of the renovations. I'm sure things will become more manageable when that's all done and your home is beautiful again. Don't be too hard on yourself!

And I got excited when I read about your planned book set in Alaska. Can't wait for that one!

Andrew Leon said...

There's a thing you can do about that?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

All of that construction would make me bonkers. We've had floors put in and new doors installed, but those only sidelined me for two days at a time. I hope you can find your writing focus again.

messymimi said...

Are you practicing Structured Procrastination without knowing it? It really is a thing, there's a website.

My sympathy on the construction, i've lived in a house being redone and it's not fun.

cleemckenzie said...

Are you kidding? Hang nails distract me from writing. If an ant crawls across the deck outside my window, that ant gets a lot of attention. Writing is hard work and sometimes I just don't want to do it.

Hang in there. You're not alone in the distraction department.

Suzanne Furness said...

Having any work done in the house is a huge distraction. All the noise and mess . . . but it will be lovely when its all done I'm sure. There are always so many things demanding our time it can be quite exhausting.
Happy New Year, Lexa :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'm currently laid up with a broken foot and I STILL spent the first few days of my immobility playing on social media and binge-watching TV instead of writing. Human nature, I guess.

Today I removed myself from the TV area, and I actually am getting writing done. (With some blog visits here and there!)

Erika said...

Aww...Lexa, you sound like your a juggling more than your fair share. At least the work on the house will eventually end. I have also found myself distracted pretty heavily as of late. My hands are in many different buckets and sometimes I wonder how I managed to get it all done in a day too. I wish you much luck. I really admire your drive. Happy New Year

Loni Townsend said...

Think of how great your house will be once all that construction is done!

I know how you feel with getting a lot of other stuff done. Keep at it. You'll get your writing written. :)

Olivia Rose said...

Sorry about all the mess. Hope you get sorted out fast and keep to your schedule.

rhondaalbom said...

Having all of those workmen around leaving a big mess sounds incredibly frustrating. Hopefully they finish up a few rooms soon so you have more space, I don't think I'd be able to get much done in that situation either.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Boo about the mess, but hooray for new and improved. I'm having similar writing struggles now as well. For me, it sometimes seems like I need some chaos and squirrel times just before a serious productive period. At least that's what has happened in the past, and I'm chalking it up to that now. Rose-colored-excuse-heavy-glasses. ;)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Happy New Year, Lexa!!

ACK!!! Remodeling is yucky, but hopefully, in the end it's AHHH!!!!

I'm the queen of procrastination. Social Media if like a silly drug and I need to stop and concentrate and set priorities.

I, also like to help authors and their books. But I get overwhelmed and find little time for my own writing. I have to learn to give myself a break. Maybe you do too.

alexia said...

I get like that sometimes. Often it's just starting that's the hard part. So tell yourself you're just going to write one paragraph minimum every day. It'll often turn into more :) Of course, having goals and knowing where my plot is going helps, too. I was recently having plot issues and that slowed me down a lot.

Chemist Ken said...

Trying to accomplish something productive when there's renovations going on is really hard. It's just not conducive to being creative. Unless you decide to move to a motel or something, consider this time to be a vacation.

T. Drecker said...

Ugh! You are in the middle of chaos. There's no way I could concentrate on writing if everything was like that (it's hard enough to concentrate when nothing's going on). I wouldn't worry about it either. Maybe the construction will offer a background for a new story idea...never know.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Well, Lexa...

You and I are living in parallel universes... UGH... I KNOW what you're going through. Even though my walls are up, I still have lots more finishing to get done. But I hung the art on them anyway. LOL...

Hope to get my doors and backsplash put in by the beginning of next month. at this point, I DON'T want to start all over again with the MESS... plus my counter needs to be replaced. They idiots cut a hole in my stone for their free sink instead of mine designer sink two inches in diameter larger... faucet is HUGE. LOL... so it gets ripped out... NOOOOOO...

As for writing... HA... had to laugh. I am so with you. I run for others and work on their crits, etc. instead of writing. It has been AGES since I worked on anything of my own...

It's time to STOP and get our butts to writing... The world is waiting to read our next manuscript. Let's not disappoint them...

All the best this year!

Lynda R Young said...

There's a lot of fulfillment helping others and all this craziness is great fodder for more writing when you do eventually get back to it. And my goodness, that grit has a way of getting everywhere!!

Cathy Keaton said...

I don't think I'd get much writing done if I were you right now, either. I need to have the peace and the quiet, or nothing gets done. That's just how it must be for me. Thankfully, that is pretty much the natural state of things around my house. But, for you, at least all this construction, etc. will be over soon. You'll have all new awesome stuff to look at/use, so it'll be worth it in the end.

Happy New Year!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Writing? I'm surprised you can do anything at all! What happens when you need the facilities? Perhaps if your husband is at home you might consider taking your laptop to a cafe. I find I can write better away from the distractions of home, over a pot of tea.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Oh dear! There's no way I'd be able to write in that much chaos, so I think you're right to find other things to do. I hope it gets cleared up soon and you get your house back :-)

Christine Rains said...

Sometimes I have troubles writing when my house is a mess too. Weird how that works. And yes, I also sometimes find myself doing everything but writing! I tell myself I'll stick to a schedule and I haven't managed to do so yet. I keep trying, though. Good luck!

Diane Burton said...

At least you have an oasis. I can't imagine so much chaos and trying to be creative. So you do what you can. Keep telling yourself it will be great when it's over. That's what I told Hubs as he spent over 8 months finishing our basement (my office was part of it). Best wishes for a great 2016.

Sharon Himsl said...

Can't wait to see the final results, which will be beautiful, I'm sure, so hang in there. But I understand how hard it is to focus when you have a home coming down around you. Definitely have been there and it makes me grumpy just thinking about all the past interruptions I've had to deal with, having moved 18 times and dealing with remodels, messes, and landscaping that's lacking (like where I live right now). I can definitely say you will feel fantastic and revived when the process is over. And who knows, maybe inspiration will strike in all that chaos, for the next manuscript you're going to write :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Oh, yes. I know the feeling. Almost every morning I plan to work on one of my stories. But first, there's the email to check, blogs to visit, Amazon to check, etc. By the time I finally get around to my writing, it's lunch time. Must eat of course. Then the afternoon is spent looking for ways to promote my work or other stuff. Well, I'll write tomorrow.
You've written some great stories. You'll finish your new ones. Relax and enjoy creating a new world and characters.

Michelle Wallace said...

When my butt is in the chair but I know I MAY be distracted from the WIP, then I dive into flash fiction. I love writing FF. It keeps me on a high.
Or I turn to freewriting. Just find a word prompt - and away I go!
So you can imagine the hundreds of snippets all piling up. LOL
Happy New Year!

Sharon Himsl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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