All the Distractions #IWSG

I’ve got a lot on my TODO list today, so it might be a bit before I make return visits.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, announcing September is here. Why am I an insecure writer this month? I didn’t so much as crack open book 2 during August, and I’m supposed to be trying to finish before the end of the year. I dabbled in book 3/4 and added 9K toward a companion novel, but I haven’t made a push toward doing what I’m actually supposed to be doing with regards to writing.

I haven’t made much progress toward any of my goals. Not much writing. Absolutely no art. I stopped working out, stopped vacuuming, stopped mowing the lawn. I let someone else take care of the dishes, the shopping, and providing the meals. I switched from producing to consuming. I let life become routine, and I paid the price for it.

It was pointed out to me that I wasn’t doing enough.

So here it is September. I’ve already started my anti-lazy-Loni efforts. I’m back to eating only between 11-7, aiming for healthier foods. I’m doing kettle bell swings to try to get some strength training back into my routine. I bought an art course to improve my landscape skills. I intend to spend at least one day a week on my book 2 rewrites. And, of course, I’m trying to be a better human being.

Hopefully, it’ll be enough for myself and everyone else.

IWSG Question of the Month – How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

For me, success would be finishing this darn series. That’s all I want to do. I don’t even want to sell the books anymore.

What does success look like for you? What do you do to remain productive? Have you ever felt like you were deficient?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

22 thoughts on “All the Distractions #IWSG

  1. I hear you, lady. I am so overwhelmed and my TODO list is knocking me over daily. I am dealing with ALL OF THE DISTRACTIONS but, unfortunately, they’re all kind of important. I love the idea of anti-lazy-Loni (which I’m totally stealing except mine will be anti-frazzled Sarah). Here’s to no laziness and no frazzliness. 🙂

  2. I’m ready to disconnect and hide out where nobody can find me. This has been a grueling year+ for everyone, and sometimes writing just isn’t on the day’s To Do List.

  3. “For me, success would be finishing this darn series. That’s all I want to do. I don’t even want to sell the books anymore.” <—This. Yep. I am right there with you. (And I never feel like I am anything BUT deficient.)

    And you may not be doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing in regards to writing, but writing 9k in any project is definitely producing. <3

  4. I agree with Lee that it’s not always possible to add writing or all the healthy lifestyle things to our to-do list. Glad you’re getting on track again this month.

  5. Wow, I’m worn out just reading what you are planning. Don’t be too hard on yourself, okay? And yep, I can relate to finish the ‘darn series’. Maybe that is goal one? 🙂

  6. I’m all for trying to refocus and get back to our goals and productivity, but it’s been a crappy year for everybody. Do not beat yourself up for not keeping up with your to do lists and priorities (I know, I beat myself up too, but you’re supposed to tell other people not to do it)

  7. I agree with M. J. above that 9K words is not chopped liver. And sometimes if the project we are “supposed” to be working on doesn’t go, working on something else is the right answer. Don’t be too hard on yourself–but do get that exercise going again. I’m a firm believer that my brain works best when my body is fit.

  8. Well, sounds like you know what to do to get back on track. Sometimes we need to give, sometimes we need to take. Just need to know when to switch that up!

  9. It’s easy to get off track, although with only two of us in this household, I can’t shirk too much.

  10. I need to find my ‘ant-lazy-Olga’ routine and stick to it. I haven’t written a word of fiction in over a month, although I did finish an article for my newspaper. Deadlines, you know. They surely spur you to action.

  11. Stop shoulding all over yourself. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need to let the mind wander. If it wanders into books 3 & 4, perhaps it’s so you know what seeds to plant in book 2 when you’re ready to get back to it.

    I find that when I have times where I’m not doing what I “should” be doing, the time to finish my tasks later ends up being sufficient. So, enjoy your rest. You deserve it. And when you go back to the book-in-progress, you’ll be all the better for it.

  12. “It was pointed out to me that I wasn’t doing enough.” Ouch. I hate those moments. I hope in your ‘anti-lazy-Loni’ efforts you’re still cutting yourself some slack. Being a better human being is a lot of work. And you’re already a pretty great one.

  13. You may not be working as much on your book as you’d like, but your determination to be healthy and fit along with all the other plates you have spinning makes me envious. And it’s okay to let someone else pick up the slack sometimes. We all need a break.

  14. You were still productive, 9k is nothing to sneeze at. I know you’re getting yourself back into an active routine, but sometimes, unplugging is totally valid. Not even machines can run at top speed all the time. You needed and earned that downtime.
    Take care. Stay safe.

  15. Life gets exhausting, doesn’t it? The good thing is that we can start anew each day (I actually love that) so when I feel bad for not getting something done – say, the IWSG post this month – it’s okay. I can grab it next month. I can keep writing today, tomorrow and the next day.

    Also, you’re doing what you need to do for your mental health, so never feel bad about that.
    You’ve got this!

  16. Joleene Naylor

    Success is millions of dollars. I will never have success, but that’s all right. 🙂

    Don’t feel bad about not doing “enough”. sometimes doing nothing IS enough, especially considering what other things are going on.

  17. I’d like to say that I accomplished a lot over the summer, but that wouldn’t be true. My motivation has been crap. I did finally fix my manuscript up enough to send it to the editor, but only after fooling around with the words for three or four months. And this was after deciding to take the summer off from tutoring. Can I have been any more wasteful with my time?

    Autumn is my favorite time of the year, so we’ll see if I can use the seasons to get me motivated again.

    Sometimes we have to slack off for a while in order to motivate ourselves into good habits again. Just approach it one step at a time, or you’ll burn yourself out. Sounds like you’re working your way back.

    And if you need any more motivation to write, just remember: I’m still waiting to see your damn chapters, so get cracking! 🙂

  18. Aw, we’re always so darn hard on ourselves. I think it’s natural to take some time off during the summer. When I beat myself up for not being productive enough, I try to remember that no one gets “I should have worked more” carved on their tombstone.

    Somehow, our self-worth gets tangled up in how productive we are, and that isn’t right or fair. You still did some writing, but even if you hadn’t, you’re a loving mother, wife, and friend, and a talented artist and writer. That’s more than enough. x

  19. I hear you, Loni! I was mad at myself for not keeping up with the walking challenge I started in January. I’m pretty sure I won’t make the goal of 500 miles, but I’m determined to keep going anyway, see how far I get, and to not beat myself up too much about it.

  20. This past month, I haven’t felt like I’ve gotten much writing in. I’ve had too much other stuff and now that that stuff is all done, I gotta get myself back into the swing of writing.

  21. Looks like you have a plan. It been a weird year or two and I think we all have had a month or two like that!

  22. Writing 9K is an accomplishment. <3

    I am really happy, though, that you signed up for an art course. As you know, I am a huge fan of your art. I hope that it inspires you.

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