Sunday, February 28, 2010

If Writing Weren't Hard, It Would Be Easy...

... and then everyone would do it.

My unplugged week didn't go so well. This was because:

1. I set an unrealistic goal. I needed to write about 15,000 words last week to finish my manuscript. I knew it was possible-- if the stars aligned, and the kids cooperated like never before, and my muse was operating at full strength--unfortunately, last week wasn't one of those weeks.

2. My kids were sick. I've said it many times, but they really do come first. If given a choice between snuggling with my feverish pukey child while watching a movie, or trying to get some words on paper, I'm going to choose the snuggling every time.

3. I got really sick, and I'm still not really over it. For me, sickness is the ultimate creativity drain. I can't be witty when I feel like poop.

4. The Olympics

5. American Idol (I can't help it! I'm an addict.)

So yeah, some of these things I had some control over. I didn't NEED to watch every single night of figure skating, or ski cross, or aerials, or everything else. And I could have gotten a lot more done if I had turned off the television and read the recaps the next day, but it wouldn't have been as fun.

I did manage to write about 2000 words despite all the craziness, and I feel okay about that. It feels like a drop in the bucket, but at least I'm 2000 words closer to finishing.

Do your writing plans ever get thwarted by things outside your control? What are some things you can control that keep you from reaching your goals?

And I missed you all last week! I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to.

33 comments:

Aubrie said...

Your kids should come first! My mom always put me first and that made me feel special.

And American Idol was great! I voted with two phones, one on each ear. How many times do you vote for someone? I hear you can do it up to seven times and they'll count it, but it may just be a myth.

Tiffany Neal said...

Ah. Yes. I am constantly either busy, distracted, procrastinating...

The list goes on an on. But for some reason, it seems worse than it normally is for me right now. I hate that feeling!

By the way - it's awesome to find another YA writer, mother of THREE! Especially one who is agented. It give me hope!! :)

Kristi Faith said...

I truly hate it when all the motivation and discipline is there, but then something happens that keeps it from happening. It's more frustrating that way. LOL

Jade said...

Yeah, I woke up this morning with a cold and I never feel like writing when I'm unwell. I'm thinking it might be a good day for some P & P.

Sometimes I feel creative burn out. On Saturday I was a woman obsessed and I wrote 5k, but on Sunday I couldn't bring myself to write more than a hundred words.

L.T. Elliot said...

Something out of my control? My little Bro came home from a Mission and I HAD to spend time with him. I can't control the fact that he's the best little brother in the world. Can't be done.

Something in my control? I could have set down a book and have written more in my own. ;)

Kristin said...

Yes! We've all been there!
Sick kids or if I'm sick myself = a huge energy zapper. And frustrating! I think I catch a cold many times because I'm too run down. Staying up too late, or too stressed, trying to get too many things done too fast. Being forced to slow down can be a blessing in disguise. I hope you are rested and ready for this week.

Jen said...

Life gets in the way. I had the opposite week, I wrote non-stop and managed to push in 28,000 words, now that isn't to say my crappy week won't be headed this way, but I had just started the novel and had tons of ideas. Several things get in my way, my husbands gets off work and I want to be with him more than anything.

This week a friends comes in town and I know that writing won't happen. Have a good week and good luck with writing!!! Happy 2,000!!

DL Hammons said...

At least the only deadline your writing to is a personal one. Imagine how you'd feel if you had an anxious agent bugging you for a manuscript? :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Yeah Canada hockey! WOO! Sorry, game just ended. Caught up in the moment. Now I can go back to writing. I can totally relate to your post.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Life has a way of putting obstacles in the path. Last week, my computer cursor froze. After hours of trying one thing and another, I found out the mouse had died. So new mouse, all's well again.
For me, being sick wipes out anything else. Give yourself credit for writing at all, and I'm glad you enjoyed watching movies and Olympics. It's good for you sometimes.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Kiddos definitely come first. Life is never organized quite how we want it. I planned to be 100 pages into Book #2 by now, but just had to rewrite a whole character. Oh well!

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Hi Natalie
Sorry to hear the little ones were not well. My guys were only ever sick during the school holidays which was a blessing of sorts!
I find the day job, which could become a 24hour a day committment if I let it, has a tendency to get in the way of my word count

Diane said...

Sorry you didn't get more done. The kids and your health definitely puts a damper on the creative juices flowing. The Olympics will be over soon too. Spring will be here soon along with all kinds of inspiration. :O)

www.dianeestrella.com

Renee Collins said...

I'm right there with you on the Olympics. But hey, it only happens once every two years (if you watch both summer and winter.)

Here's to a new week with healthier kids! :)

Marybeth Poppins said...

American Idol is the death of the muse! But it MUST be watched!!!

Sandy Shin said...

*huggles* I hope you'll feel all better very soon!

Illnesses and emergencies are definitely out of your hands. For me, a thing I can control that still keep me away from writing is schoolwork: if I plan my time out carefully enough, I should have plenty of time for writing. However, every week, there seems to be huge papers and exams coming that I need to revise for that eat into writing time.

Sydnee said...

Most of my distractions are things I can control, but just choose not to. I'm very easily distracted. One minute, I'll be reading some news articles on Yahoo!, thinking that in half an hour I'll get to work, and then next thing I know, it's 5 PM. ARGH. I have absolutely NO discipline when it comes to managing my time wisely. Everything I do gets done in a haphazard fashion.

Vonna said...

I hope you get better soon, Natalie. Yes, snuggling my sick child takes priority over just about everything. I've been caught up in a lot of bookish local events lately. I'm only two chapters away from completing this draft of my WIP... just a few pages! So no more events. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that nobody gets sick!

Eric said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. At least you're looking at things the right way. You did complete 2K words, even if you didn't meet your goal. Rather than beating yourself up, just keep plugging away. Good luck.

Patti said...

I'm with you. I was sick all week and the Olympics had me pulled away from my computer way too much.

Hope next week is better for both of us.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I gave up American Idol last year when I decided to write. Having said that, you still wrote more words last week than I did. My excuse? ... Can I still call my baby a newborn? She's 12 weeks old, but it's hard to write while my kids are conscious.

David said...

I sure hope you and your kids are feeling a lot better now!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Having the kids come first is a must :-) And I hope you're feeling back to 100% soon!!

I admit, I gave up the Olympics this year. I sat at my desk and let my husband call up to me when something big happened. I missed the games :( But I've gotten a lot done. (Oh my word do I have a lot farther to go though, ha)

Elana Johnson said...

I don't plan to write. That way, when I can't I don't feel so bad. Sorry you were sick, and the kids. But yes to American Idol! :)

Voidwalker said...

Since I have my wife and anywhere from 4-5 kids (one of which has separation anxiety) I CANNOT write at home. Period. The End.

So, yes, I totally know what you mean. I have to get my typing in at work, between duties when I have a moment or two for downtime. It sucks, but I just don't have any other options. I don't fancy leaving my wife at home to take care of everyone while I go off to write somewhere less distracting, though the idea of it certainly sounds lovely.

Jemi Fraser said...

Oh my yes! The kids & hubby always come first. Then the job they pay me to do. Then taking care of the house etc. Then I get to write. When there's time left in the day :)

Except... when there's Olympics on. That supercedes everything on the list. As does American Idol :)

Jessica said...

Oh girl, I hope you feel better. :-( Sickness def. gets in the way of writing. We had our share in January and February. Bleck.
Get well!

Sarah Skilton said...

I feel for you! Illness is a total wipe-out. And then you get stressed that you're not doing anything, which can keep you sicker longer sometimes. I'm glad you enjoyed the Olympics and I think 2,000 words is pretty amazing, especially considering everything that was going on.

Lisa and Laura said...

Ugh, pukey kids/families are the worst! And yes, things always seem to get in the way of my writing. I kind of start panicking when it's almost 1 AM and I only have 1/4 of a chapter done. And then I have to report to Lisa. Duh, duh, duh.

Tess said...

Hello *looking around* thanks for stopping by my blog. I recognized you from KAH's bloglist -

It sucks rocks to be sick - hope you're all better soon. I'm also trying to finish my ms/wip this month. Fingers crossed for both of us!

Nicole Ducleroir said...

My writing plans are often thrown off-track by the outside world and my own procrastination. I think highly creative, right-brained people stuggle the most. It isn't just with my writing... Sometimes, for example, I'm in the middle of driving and I look up to see a beautiful cloud outside the windshield, and a string of inspired thoughts tumbles across my mind. Suddenly, I'm neither sure where I am nor where I was going. (*sigh*) Staying on task can be so hard!

Janna Qualman said...

I suppose that's just the way life is, and you're so wise to let those parts of life be. We have to take care of the kids, and ourselves, and sometimes our creative brains just need a break. It sounds like what you needed most was to disconnect with some tv watching.

Don't worry, Natalie. The words and paper will always be there.

Hope you're feeling 100% better soon!