Insecure Writer's Support Group - August Edition
Good morning and welcome to the August gathering of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. For more information on our group or to join, click HERE. For more information on our fearless leader and creator of the IWSG, click HERE!
Do you constantly think about other things you "should be" doing when you're working on your art?
Do you find yourself in the middle of a free-write session and the ticking of the timer makes you think about the pile of laundry, the dirty dishes, the smelly dog, the masterpiece sitting unfinished on your easel?
Some people call this FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out. I call it Distractions of the Writer Kind Aimed at Discrediting our Profession. Guilt is a nasty enemy and it sneaks in when we are working our hardest on the project of our passion. I'm notorious for sitting down to work on a draft and wandering to the laundry pile, the dish pile, the litter box ever thirty minutes or so because I SHOULD be doing something else. According to whom? The thing is, life happens. We HAVE to cook dinner, eat dinner, clean the litter box. We have to. It's the responsible thing to do. Those things shouldn't attack us. They'll wait and we'll get to them.
Then there are the things we want to do: the painting we just took up, the potter class we signed up for, the garden that needs tending, the cake that needs baking, the friend that needs calling. Those thing call too and they are important. They take us out of ourselves and our work and set us down on terra firma. We need that grounding or our stories will carry us away and make it very hard to function on the same plane as the rest of humanity.
Don't fight these things. Let them move through you. Acknowledge that they are there, they are a part of you, allocate them to a time slot and go on. Let them know you know they're there. Don't ignore them just plan for them. Get yourself a calendar, a planner, a big piece of poster board and physically chart what you need to do and what you want to do. Seriously. Don't use your phone or your computer. Paste it on the wall or leave it open on your desk so you'll see it, touch it. If you have to walk past it every day or move it so you can get to your computer, you'll pay attention. It's far too easy to shut off a phone reminder (believe me, I know).
Keep writing, Dear Reader. Keep working and cleaning and painting and gardening. Keep inviting your friends to tea and watching those last few episodes of Sherlock. Know that it's all a part of this great wide adventure called life. Don't beat yourself up. Allow life to be life, take responsibility for your life and your dreams and you WILL get things done and you WILL be on the road to success.