You know what frustrates me? Black buttons on black electronics. The kind that imitate secret doors in that you can neither see nor feel where it should be. You have to know where it is in order to make your device work.

Enough said about that.

I need to find a new way to write. I don’t want to change my actual style; I need to find a better way to get it done.

I’ve been very frustrated lately at my lack of progress. I can’t write when there are constant interruptions, and as a mom, I have lots of those. Not to mention that my hubby just spent the last couple of weeks out of town, meaning I’ve been even busier than usual.

The worst frustration comes when I have been expecting and anticipating something that relieves my exertions, and then that time is unexpectedly postponed. Biking up a large hill, seeing the crest, reaching the crest, then realizing that it is not the crest, it is merely a slightly less steep hill for a short distance, and then it starts climbing again. Being sick, thinking that it will run its course in a few days just like it did for the person who gave you the plague in the first place, but after a week you’re still feeling miserable. Having a hard day and looking forward to the hubby coming home, and he calls to say he’s running late.

My daughter finished 5th grade back on June 15. The first three weeks of summer were spent with my parents visiting and my hubby spending most of his time at the Star Trek Phase II shoot. It’s been a good three weeks, but the days have been full and busy. For three weeks, our regular schedule was planned to be disrupted in a good way.

Then it was supposed to be over.

Hubby was supposed to have a few days to spend with the girls and wind down before returning to work.

I was supposed to have a few days to dedicate to writing.

And then the car died. I mentioned in an earlier post that I might have to sell my pseudonym. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, although the mechanic’s estimate was far more than we can afford. Hubby bought the part, and he’s spent his few days of rest flat on his back in the driveway (when it hasn’t been thundering and raining out) taking apart all the mechanical bits so he can reach and replace the broken one. His carpal tunnel doesn’t help the process.

It’s hard to muster up self-pity about not getting time to write when hubby is already exhausted from his days on the shoot and now he’s breaking his back and hands to make sure we don’t go without transportation. Writing still feels selfish. It feels like something this housewife is doing for fun; a hobby that really isn’t all that important in the long run.

I need to find a new way to write. A few months ago, I would have said I didn’t have the brainpower to shut the door to distractions and say “I am going to write for an hour.” A few months ago, I would have said an hour wasn’t enough.

But since starting this blog, I’ve become a stronger writer. On twitter, friends sometimes say “Who wants  to go #1k1hr?” meaning we all try to write a thousand words in just an hour. This is a very reachable goal, when you set your mind to it. Heck, last time, the ice cream truck interrupted that hour and I still made it! At the end of the month, I could have thirty thousand words, which is far more than I’ve written in the last three months.

Twitter friends have recently been touting something called A Round of Words in 80 Days, or #ROW80. The idea is that each writer sets their own goal for the eighty days. Round three begins today. I had thought that life was too chaotic during the summer to set any specific goal, but if I’m going to transition from being a housewife with a hobby to a writer with serious work to do, I have to change something. Sitting in the back of the roller coaster is only taking me in circles. It’s time to design a new track.

The shortlink for this post is

Goal: the equivalent of #1k1hr every day. Either write or revise 80,000 words by September 22.

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in Commentary & Musing, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Frustration

  1. NC Narrator says:

    Go for it! See, roller coasters are exciting, but all you get if you stay on is a strong urge to throw up. Same with race tracks – lots of speed, exciting…but you just go in circles and sooner or later you’re going to hit the wall. Route 66 is the way to go. Not fast, not necessarily exciting, but lots and lots of scenery and interesting bits to inspire the process and keep you moving.

    I submitted my first piece for an online magazine today. I’m sort of operating under the presumption that the nice editors are going to chuckle and shake their head at my delusions of writing and send out that nice form letter rejection to my e-mail. I kind of figure the first several (hundred?) are going to get that. Meh…at least I’m on the road.

    • That’s fantastic! Did you go with the magazine you mentioned on facebook? Which piece did you choose?
      A recent interview mentioned Ray Bradbury’s instruction to write a short story every week for a year, and get all the crap out. It’s a frustrating and daunting thought that we might work very hard just to get rejected over and over, but it’s a part of the process.

      • NC Narrator says:

        I went with sending “Breathe” to a magazine focusing on parenting special needs kids. It’s an online magazine – for some reason my brain fills in “not picky” but that’s probably my hopeless optimism talking. I read over their issues for the last several months, and it seemed like they were at least somewhat likely to consider it. We’ll see!

  2. 1K/day is very do-able. I myself am ramp-ing up from 500/day the first week to 1750/day the last week of August, and 1500/day to the end of ROW80-3.

    I’m sitting with you in the last car of the roller coaster. Time for a change.

    • During NaNoWriMo, I averaged well over 2k every day and passed the 50,000 word goal early on. But part of that was because it was a month long commitment. It was easier to ask my family to support me for that long.
      Support doesn’t just mean cheering me on. It means I’m taking time and attention away from them. Someone else is doing more chores. I might be tucked away somewhere private, typing away, instead of spending time with them. It’s hard to ask that of those I love.

      • Breaking it up into 4 – 250 word chunks is an option, and wouldn’t detract that much time from your family. The reply you wrote me was 89 words, you were already more than 1/3 of the way to a chunk. Small pebbles build mighty mountains!

  3. Good luck!!! Row80 was made for you 🙂 When you start to achieve regular progress, you’ll be so happy that you’ll want more.

  4. Julie Glover says:

    We’re here to cheer you on! Welcome to the ROW80 gang! Sometimes writing, raising kids, and dealing with household stuff feels like juggling an apple, a bowling ball, and a machete (you can decide which is which). Setting goals has helped me. Even if I don’t reach every single goal, I am more focused and get more done.

    Best wishes to you this round!

  5. frbrown906 says:

    good luck on meeting your goals for this round!

  6. Thanks for the great comments! Now I have to figure out how much I’ve written today, assuming that even blog posts like this one count lol! My WIP didn’t get touched today, and I didn’t finish my interview questions, but I might have come close to 1,000 words between the two blog posts. And I should do the rounds and say hi to everyone!

  7. beinfg mum is hard work – and being a family member does mean life tried to sit between you and the keyboard but your goals sound good esp. if you learn not to throw hysterics when it doesn’t happen because of beasties like cars!!! all the best

  8. Pingback: Planned Obsolescence | AmyBeth Inverness

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