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.

Come visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
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. 


  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!

    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)


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