Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Overwhelmed Inertia: Procrastination & Writing

Me. Overwhelmed. And that's Inertia 
I'm giving the stink-eye to.



I have a confession: I have ADD.

But I'm lucky. Since I was a child, I was given coping mechanisms in order to be a productive ADD person: schedules, habits, and the go-ahead to be a crazy-ass multi-tasker.

Thanks Mom, you teacher and counselor you!

The Positives of Being a Writer and Having ADD (with Coping Mechanisms)

I can get a lot done, just not all 100% in the course of a day (ultimately, though, I do hit 100%--thank you, Type A personality). Right now, in fact, I just stepped away to 1) snap a picture for my new Tumblr account, 2) email a critique buddy about the way she should set up her new story (alternating POVs a la Holes was maybe the answer, but it ended up being more Shawshank Redemption), 3) make a cup of coffee and 4) pull up a website I saw in Writer's Digest (Women's Fiction Writers).

Now keep in mind, I have not posted to Tumblr yet, I have not finished thinking through my response to the email, and I only have the website tab up--I haven't gone through it yet. (I haven't even taken a sip of my coffee. Wait. There. I just did.)

I will do all of these things, just not all at once. There's an adage out there that you should just touch something once and get 'er done. Nope. Not me. I gotta manhandle the thing a few times while copping a feel with a few other things.

The Negatives of Being a Writer and Having ADD (with Coping Mechanisms)

I have to constantly fight against being completely and utterly overwhelmed, especially each time I start a new book. Being overwhelmed, for me, means going on lockdown mode. The responsibilities seem too many and not prioritize-able and I spend two days watching every episode of Outlander (some maybe five times).

But I'm not one to wallow for long. I didn't write and publish so much in the last 1.33 years by wallowing.

So I turned to a friend. That friend? Google.

I put in the two words I was feeling into Google--inertia and overwhelmed--and this was basically the first link: 16 Tips for ADD/ADHD Procrastinators

First of all, I was amazed that others had put those two words together. Yay, Internet!

Then I read the list: I already do 14 of the 16 (I told you I had coping mechanisms!). 

But it was a good list to remind me of what I usually do but am now forgetting to do. (Go take a look at that list--you don't need to be ADD to appreciate ways to organize your thoughts!)

From that list, I was reminded of this: the Five-Minute Method. Do something for five minutes, and if it's not happening (like that story!) then move on to something else.

Which is what I did.


I looked at my writing career as a whole and worked on that for a moment. I worked on book covers and blog posts and scheduling an ad for another book for May. And confession time: I even worked on a story that I submitted somewhere!
 
The Five-Minute Method worked. I've gotten a LOT accomplished that was the "clerical work" of writing, and I'm now working on the story. My wheels, if you will, got greased, and I went from parked and up on cinder blocks to a nice cruising speed of 45 mph.

Because that story, peeps? It's due May 28.

That Inertia jerk better not show its face around here before then.


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Sydney Strand is a writer and mom who has published two books through New York and another five via self-publishing. She writes funny little romances, but not of the Red Room of Pain variety. More like the Dan and Roseanne Connor variety--humor is sexy, dontcha know. You can follow Sydney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and/or you can sign up for her All Things Fun and Awesome Newsletter. 



2 comments:

  1. Hi Sydney! Thanks for sharing this everyone's experiences with procrastination are different but I feel that they all stem from Outlander. For me, I feel like I just get distracted from social media... I will definitely be looking at those coping mechanisms!

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    Replies
    1. Hello, dear IG friend! Outlander is TOTALLY to blame for all slowed output during this time of year. But, geez, Jamie and Claire are WORTH it. ;o) Social media is horribly distracting. Luckily, I use it to showcase any and all progress I make. The yays and hoorays from our fellow writing nerds are nice to hear in the midst of the muck. :o)

      -S.

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-Sydney