ROW80: Final Check-In for 2014 Round One


ROW80LogocopyNot the best round for me. Mainly because I also teach computers in the spring, and although I love teaching and have done it for years, it feels more and more like a chore lately. I’d rather be concentrating on my writing. Also because of my health.

Most writers never quit their day job. I’m not about to quit teaching, even though we can get by on my husband’s salary. There’s also all the Mom stuff, which is, of course, life. However…

I’ve posted before about agonizing over what my ‘needs’ are, writer-wise, vs. diva-esque demands. I’ve heard advice from writers I admire and consider to be mentors that I should be able to use small chunks of time in whatever environment I find myself in to write. Both of those are very difficult, nigh impossible for me.

Does that make me a diva?


Then I look at it a different way. I have on my desk the latest revision of my daughter’s IEP. That’s an Individualized Education Program for a child with special needs. It outlines the accommodations and changes that will be made so that she can get the most out of her education.

I have OCD. Not the personality quirk that makes me like things to be done a certain way, but an illness that sometimes keeps me from doing the things I need to do. I’ve dealt with it for many years, and I know what I need to do to keep myself level. Most of the time, I go on with my life in a perfectly normal way, and I can even forget I have a problem. But if something goes wrong, even something little, it can have a snowball effect that derails me for weeks.

So, yes. I create accommodations for myself. I make time for sleep, unlike so many people who pry their eyelids open with caffeine every morning. This cuts into my productive time, but without it, there is no productivity. I try to avoid overloading myself with commitments, but this is difficult. And, yes, when I write, I like to have a clear palate (other commitments all met) and a guarantee of no interruptions.

I also have PCOS. I might go into my infertility story someday… adopting our older daughter, and spending 10 1/2 years trying various techniques to get pregnant before giving birth to our younger daughter. I turned 43 this year, and we’ve switched from “let’s just leave our options open and see what happens” to “let’s take the medicine that could help me even though it slams the door on ever getting pregnant again.” I trust my doctor, and I won’t go into detail about what meds he prescribed, but they do have some side effects such as tiredness that have added to my list of things-I-need-to-accommodate in my life.

Tonight, I’m not being productive at all. No new writing. No grading papers. No editing for my friend. No revising my WIP. My brain is muddy. Every time I typed “commitments” in this post, I’ve spelled it wrong and had to use the spell checker. I already took a nap today, but I’m tired already. I’m going to continue to allow myself extra sleep for a few more weeks, and see if my body eventually adjusts to the change.

Some days, I tell myself I just don’t feel up to getting anything done. And yes…there are some real medical reasons behind that. But if I tried…I might be able to work through it. I see this in my daughter. She often just gives up, looking for the easy way out. Yes, she has some huge challenges. And trying does not mean she will succeed.

But not trying guarantees she will not succeed.

And if I don’t try to overcome my own issues, I will never succeed either.

  • Do something writing-related every day: This got worse towards the end of the round.
  • Do some actual writing every week: Yes…but barely. Sometimes just one bitty piece of flash, like Five Minute Fiction.
  • Engage with other writers every week: Yeah…I’m friendly.
  • Stay away from the NaNo story for at least a month: This goal has transitioned to…
  • Now that it’s been six weeks, return to the NaNo story for edits: I haven’t worked on Jublilation of the Southern Cross much at all. Other commitments are taking precedence.
  • Get sleep: With new medication, this continues to be a problem.

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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1 Response to ROW80: Final Check-In for 2014 Round One

  1. WendyStrain says:

    Some days, just trying is success. I don’t know at all what it’s like to have OCD, but I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done. I am still training myself to accept that even if I don’t succeed, having made the effort is a win. What a brave and honest post you’ve shared. Thank you so much for sharing.

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