Boredom and Panic

Sorry this is so late.  We closed on a house yesterday, and it’s turning into a typical Hoyt adventure.  (Something bad/strange happening to someone else a long way away.)

I.e. we’re desperately trying to get movers, who first told us they could only do it two weeks from now, then changed to they can do a day on FRIDAY then two weeks from now.  This made me spend the entire morning today calling carpet and vent cleaners, because that’s non-negotiable.

So in the middle of typing this, I’m answering/making calls.  LOTS of fun.

Which brings to mind the writing process.  I can (and do) write like a demon when I’m uninterrupted.

But for me, and most of us, writing is like war: moments of excitement interspersed with long stretches of boredom.

Both present their own challenges to writers.  The first means keeping your head on projects while being interrupted by — is that REALLY a call from the locksmith?  Now? — the strangest stuff.   The second is even harder, because it means keeping on track while there’s no penalty for not doing so.

The ways I’ve found that work for coping with both times are as follows:

(You knew I was going to give you a list, right?)

1- Keep a calendar or a planner or something physical with your due dates.  EVEN — particularly — if the date is only due to you, as is often the case with indie projects.

2- (Where I fall down) Check REGULARLY to make sure you didn’t blow/forget the deadline.

3- Divide what you have to do on the project into chunks that fit in the time alotted.  when the excitement hits, adjust those.

4- Even if (particularly if) you’re a pantser keep notes somewhere of what you expect to happen the rest of the novel, even if you know it’s subject to change, PARTICULARLY of how to finish the scene where you were interrupted.

5- Develop (I’m missing this) the ability to work in fifteen minute increments in between — excuse, me that’s the carpet cleaners calling, so I guess this post is done.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “Boredom and Panic

  1. Yeah, I need to woke on several of those.

    One I really need to learn: Learn to tell family/friends “no”, I am writing. Oh, and *stay off social media*.

    • richardmcenroe

      But…but… someone is WRONG on the internet!

    • There is a certain Programmer/Hacker state of “Deep Thought – Do NOT interrupt” that is at least understood by others. Evidently authors have same, but non-authors might not ‘get’ it. Too many seem to think that wonderful solitude is terrible loneliness to be eliminated. Maybe you need a red light/sign on the office door, like a studio would have for [RECORDING] or [ON THE AIR] ? Of course, that doesn’t help with telephonic interruptions.

  2. aacid14

    Congrats on Murphy finally being less of an asshole. And time management…. aaaaahhhhh!!!! My nemesis. After class done I think I need to assign an hour a day for rewriting and editing

  3. richardmcenroe

    You should start an instructional thread: WRITING WHILE LIVING or, Typing While the Cat Throws UP.

  4. Quit peeking over my shoulder, please. I sketched out several of the upcoming chapters of the WIP, just a few words and key phrases, so I’ve got a quick guide after I break from writing to research-read for a day or two. That book that was due back in four months? Yeah, its due back next week. My how the time flew. And it is a lot more technical than I thought when I thumbed through it back in early March. Meaning more time and focus away from the WIP.

  5. Congrats??? 🙂 And being able to snatch time is a key, along with deadlines (or people yelling at you to finish the @*&$^ thing!!! Speaking of which, I finished Through Fire this morning while at therapy! Loved it! NICE twist at the end… 🙂

  6. Wow, you’ve got some really weird moving companies down there.

    As for getting stuff done, it’s tough. Back when I was working two full time jobs I still found time to shop, do laundry and clean. Then when I quit one, I couldn’t keep up with the cleaning anymore. Without the severe time constraint I lost the ability to get stuff done in little, itty bitty chunks. I tend to work better under stress, as long as it doesn’t last too long. I need a vacation every few months just to catch up on sleep.

  7. The Demon Writer: How To Write Over the Interruptions! Sounds like an interesting series…

  8. Sam L.

    Now you can call yourself Sarah Hoyt (“no fixed address” NO MORE!!!!!).

  9. Birthday girl

    You have a home at last! That light you see really is the end of the tunnel, not a train! Hurray! and congrats!

  10. Tomorrow or Saturday I should be signing off on my massive home exterior remodel.

    My neighbors keep asking if I’m going to be selling, and I answer, “No, I intend to keep living it it and enjoy the remodel.”