Discoveries and Accomplishing Nothing #IWSG

I wrote 562 words in April. That’s not really a pace that’ll get me to The End this year. Then again, that’s not all that surprising. I’ve had to use sick leave to step into the role as teacher for my kids. Even now, I’m looking at the clock, knowing I have to finish this in three minutes, or I’m out of time and I’ll miss the monthly blog hop of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Though I’ve accomplished nothing with regards to my writing goals (making me an insecure non-writer?), I have made a few discoveries about my son. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you would know my son has a history of school troubles that I’ve been trying to figure out. Well, it seems quarantine is what I needed to figure out that he’s a lot like me, only without the 30+ years of experience in controlling how we display emotions. We don’t handle stress or being overwhelmed well. We breakdown and go into disaster mode. I’ve learned how to fake a smile and not let it show. My son hasn’t gotten there yet. When I’m faced with something too hard, my first instinct is to hide. My college teachers could attest to that, often finding me under my desk while in C++ class. Little surprise that my son’s first reaction is to cover his head with his blanket. And we aren’t great with open-ended study or instructions. We like explicit directions or specifications.

Figuring that out has negated many of the problems I’ve had with my son. My husband might say otherwise, because he still catches my wild-eyed look as I fight to keep a calm exterior while chaos crumbles my inner world. But I’ll take getting overwhelmed by a hyper little boy who can’t sit still or stay on topic for a single worksheet if it means I’m not getting screamed at or hit or facing wailing and crying and the occasional “I hate you!”. That was a huge feat for April. Let’s see if May can bring about more changes, so that when he reenters society in June, he isn’t punching peers or acting out on his aggression.

And now that I’ve gone waaayyyyy past my 5 minutes, I’ll wrap up and hopefully score more computer time at lunch so that I can visit all of you.

Can you still call yourself a writer if you don’t actually write? Have you made any interesting discoveries while COVID-19 attacks the world? How are you doing mentally and emotionally?

About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

23 thoughts on “Discoveries and Accomplishing Nothing #IWSG

  1. You absolutely are a writer. We all have seasons for writing. At other times, other things take center stage. I’d say you did amazing to get any words down at all in April. These are tough times, especially for parents with kids at home.

  2. I’ve gone months without writing many times in my life. I’ve called myself other names at the time, but the end I’ve always gone back to writer.

    My son has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, sensory dysfunction, autism and ADHD by four different doctors. There are elements of all four diagnoses that fit, but none seem to encompass everything. All we can do is try to find the strategies that work for him and us, and support him as best we can. The label doesn’t matter so much as learning how to cope and handle whatever life throws at us. It’s a process.

  3. Oh Loni, I am right there with you. I discovered my son processes like me too and I think I feel fortunate I discovered it so I can help him with his mind mapping skills way before I had help πŸ™‚

    Happy IWSG Day, friend πŸ™‚

  4. If you’re still thinking about things that you want to write in the future, you’re still a writer.

    My daughter has high functioning Asperger’s, which means she’s a little behind on her social skills and maturity levels for her age. The thing is, after watching her behavior patterns, I recognize some of those same habits in my behavior. I don’t know if I have Asperger’s, but at least I can relate to some of the things she’s going through. Hopefully your son will learn to adjust to others when the quarantine is lifted.

  5. C. Lee McKenzie

    How interesting and really positive this time together with your son has been. Pulling for you and for him!

  6. It’s pretty awesome that you’ve found that link and since you’ve dealt with it all you life that give you insight. That’s a win.

  7. Lately I want to cover my head with a blanket, too. Sigh.

    Hang in there, Loni!

  8. Cathrina

    It’s amazing what parents can learn once they are quarantined with their kids 24/7. It’s frustrating. Mindboggling. I’m hoping for the best! I pushed all my writing aside when my kids were young, because, no time. I didn’t get serious until much later. The writing will happen.

  9. I think you can absolutely call yourself a writer, even if you’re not writing much or at all. Especially these days, with the endless degrees of difficulty the world keeps throwing at families. Hang in there.

  10. Yes, you are still a writer. You are doing what’s most important now: taking care of your family. I had to sacrifice my writing to my work, family, and volunteer responsibilities and I don’t regret it for a minute. Those things are very important in life too. Hope you have more breakthroughs with your son this month.

  11. With the struggles you’ve had with him, I’d say this breakthrough was needed. Now you know how to handle him. And help him.

  12. You are definitely still a writer. I’ve gone months without writing any words at all. I think as long as the drive is still in you, and you know you still have stories to tell, you’ll always be a writer. We can’t help it if life gets in the way sometimes.

  13. Now that you’ve described your son and you, I wonder if I don’t have a bit of that, too.

    Life has been challenging. Give yourself a break.

  14. I think a lot of people are slowing down on their writing, right now. For me, the word count isn’t there, and the story I thought was worth writing a few months ago can’t seem to hold my attention. I can’t complain. My life isn’t as shaken up as a lot of peoples’.

  15. Sometimes, good things come out of disasters. That you figured out what is happening with your son is a great thing. So no matter how many words you’ve written lately, something good grew out of this horrible pandemic.
    As to being a writer, of course you are. I think writing (or any creativity) flows in waves. You can’t be high all the time. A wave inevitably drops low before rising again.

  16. As someone who hasn’t touched her novel in, what, 2 years (maybe more), you tell me… You’re more of a writer at the moment than me.

    Woo-hoo! You’ve figured out your son’s problem. That makes the lockdown a bit of a blessing. Diagnosing the problem is huge. Congrats.

  17. You’re definitely still a writer! I know a lot of writers who either don’t have the time or the mental space to write at the moment. We’re going through a national emergency, the likes of which none of us have seen. Be gentle with yourself. It sounds like you’re using your time and energy to take care of yourself and your family, which is huge.

  18. Are you still a writer just because a little pandemic has trashed your world and you aren’t as productive as you’d like to be? Yeah, I think you’re good, Loni. We’re all going to have plenty of stories on the other side of this, and you are even going to have some kick-ass graphics. Carry on.

  19. Anna

    I think you’ve made a wonderful discovery. You’ve learned how to help him. Because if you stand back and put on his shoes–so to speak, you’ll know exactly what he needs. From there he’ll learn how you make choices when things happen to you. Through you he’ll grow.

    And I feel that writing is more than getting words down. Living life takes time too. It’s what we try to capture with each word we consider. πŸ™‚

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  20. Yes! You are still very much a writer. Even thoughts are still something.

    The only discovery I’ve made so far is that I was never meant to be a homeschooler. x.x

  21. Oh, sweetheart. It sounds like you’re having a blasty-blast. But it also sounds like you struck gold with your discovery, so I’d still call it a productive month. You’ll go days or weeks without writing, always knowing you’ll come back to it. But this time with your son…it’s a crucial moment. And it’s a good thing.

    Wishing you happiness, more discoveries and writing! πŸ™‚

  22. What an insight to have about your son and who better to help him navigate than someone who’s been there themselves? You’re an amazing mom! I vaguely remember my C++ classes a hundred years ago. haha


  23. As hard as this whole pandemic thing has been, at least there are little silver linings like this. You know the problem now and can guide your son.

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