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Sometimes Overwhelmed

Started by Jennylynnpease, January 25, 2024, 06:51 PM

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Jennylynnpease

Hi writing friends. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes.

Besides writing my own picture books, I also run my own critique services business. I love doing both, but sometimes things can get overwhelming. I often struggle with finding time or motivation to focus on my own writing, because I have so much work to do for my business.

I don't want to stop doing either. I just need to find a little more balance and focus.

I also have adhd, which makes things even more difficult.


Any advice? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and like your own writing is suffering because of it?


Thanks in advanced!

David Wright

Often. And often my writing suffers. But then I jump back in with both feet and surprise myself with a burst of creativity.

I think this is quite common.

Vijaya

:welcome Jenny. I hear you. When I was teaching, it was hard to make time for my own writing. And critiquing is no different. I put a cap on the number of students and that helped. But honestly, I made more progress on my own writing when my time was limited. Now, retired from teaching and not taking many writing-for-hire projects and with grown children, I manage to spend the whole day in household tasks, music making, and praying. So I'm glad you're overwhelmed at times--you're working at it and honing your skills. Take a break if you have to, but dive right back into the hurly-burly of the writing life. I can assure you the moment you have more free time, circumstances will change to fill it. Ah, life! And this writing life! We are so blessed to have it. Keep on writing! 
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

JulieM

I feel the same as David. It's a tightrope balance and sometimes it feels balanced and sometimes it doesn't. It's the unpredictable nature of the work too. Sometimes lots of work is coming in and sometimes not. Coping with the overloaded stress times is key, and I'm no master of it. I'm just saying I hear you! For me, over time and with experience, I know the overloaded time will pass and it helps me to hang in there. Prioritising the work that's due earliest also helps me, but when I get unproductive with those things I'll look at the other stuff so it's already started by the time they become the priority. And similar to what Vijaya said, when it all gets too much, step back and assess what you really want from what you are doing and, if you can, cut back on the rest. You aren't alone. Best of luck.
Cheer Up, Blobfish! (Affirm Press, 2024) - https://rb.gy/9adkmb
www.juliemurphybooks.com

dewsanddamps

Jennylynn, this certainly resonates. I have adhd, too--quite the adventure, isn't it? :sigh

One thing that helps me as I juggle multiple writing projects is a calendar with only writing deadlines on it. I have to get someone a press kit, sign a contract, fill out an author questionnaire, I have three books under contract at one time...and I work two part-time jobs, one of which has different hours on different days.... You can imagine how challenging that is to my squirrel brain. Being able to see it all in one place helps.

A friend had some success with writing a page a day. (She wasn't writing PBs.) It wasn't a lot, but at the end of the year it was a first draft. Possibly setting aside even ten minutes for your own work might help? Or declaring Saturday mornings writing time?

My best advice is to keep at it, keep trying different things, and know that you're not alone. I think this is an extremely common issue for writers.  :hug

Learning to Swear in America, 2016
What Goes Up, 2017
The Constitution Decoded, 2020
The Presidents Decoded, 2023
Hearts on Thin Ice, 2024

Debbie Vilardi

You have great answers above.

I have a daughter with ADHD and ASD. She's 22 and working while taking college classes. I'm still often but not always in the intensive parenting phase with her and we're trying to get her services from the gov't which is a full-time job on its own at times.
 
My parents are in their 80s, so I do stuff for and with them too, including just visiting together each week for a few hours.

I freelance in the educational markets, have a son in college, and a husband, house, and friends. I find it's all about setting priorities and a schedule with achievable goals for each section of the day, each day, and each week. I don't always make the marks, but I do make more progress having them. I prioritize paid work because missed deadlines will count against me. Getting my daughter through her school assignments also takes priority as she can stress herself to the point of shutdown without support. This means my own writing often comes last, but it gets done.

I read a lot on managing ADHD because of my daughter, and CHADD has some really good resources on productivity and the like. Perhaps you'll find it helpful.

Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

andracill

Yes, I'd say you're definitely not alone. I'm an online writing teacher (which involves a ton of writing *for class*), and I do no writing for myself during the school year (except in my head). I have an ongoing list of writing projects (also in my head), and I do think I'll get to them eventually. My kids are both in college (though my son is graduating in May), and I think the summers will get progressively less crowded in the coming years (maybe?), and that's when I'll return to my own writing. I figure that when it's meant to be, it will be. ;)
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/

Jennylynnpease

Quote from: David Wright on January 25, 2024, 08:17 PMOften. And often my writing suffers. But then I jump back in with both feet and surprise myself with a burst of creativity.

I think this is quite common.

❤️

Jennylynnpease

Quote from: andracill on January 27, 2024, 10:04 AMYes, I'd say you're definitely not alone. I'm an online writing teacher (which involves a ton of writing *for class*), and I do no writing for myself during the school year (except in my head). I have an ongoing list of writing projects (also in my head), and I do think I'll get to them eventually. My kids are both in college (though my son is graduating in May), and I think the summers will get progressively less crowded in the coming years (maybe?), and that's when I'll return to my own writing. I figure that when it's meant to be, it will be. ;)

I hope we both find more time for our writing in our busy lives. 😊

Jennylynnpease

Quote from: Debbie Vilardi on January 26, 2024, 08:19 PMYou have great answers above.

I have a daughter with ADHD and ASD. She's 22 and working while taking college classes. I'm still often but not always in the intensive parenting phase with her and we're trying to get her services from the gov't which is a full-time job on its own at times.
 
My parents are in their 80s, so I do stuff for and with them too, including just visiting together each week for a few hours.

I freelance in the educational markets, have a son in college, and a husband, house, and friends. I find it's all about setting priorities and a schedule with achievable goals for each section of the day, each day, and each week. I don't always make the marks, but I do make more progress having them. I prioritize paid work because missed deadlines will count against me. Getting my daughter through her school assignments also takes priority as she can stress herself to the point of shutdown without support. This means my own writing often comes last, but it gets done.

I read a lot on managing ADHD because of my daughter, and CHADD has some really good resources on productivity and the like. Perhaps you'll find it helpful.



Making progress is what counts and I guess we should celebrate the little victories too.

I'll check out that resource you mentioned.

😊

Jennylynnpease

Quote from: dewsanddamps on January 26, 2024, 08:12 PMJennylynn, this certainly resonates. I have adhd, too--quite the adventure, isn't it? :sigh

One thing that helps me as I juggle multiple writing projects is a calendar with only writing deadlines on it. I have to get someone a press kit, sign a contract, fill out an author questionnaire, I have three books under contract at one time...and I work two part-time jobs, one of which has different hours on different days.... You can imagine how challenging that is to my squirrel brain. Being able to see it all in one place helps.

A friend had some success with writing a page a day. (She wasn't writing PBs.) It wasn't a lot, but at the end of the year it was a first draft. Possibly setting aside even ten minutes for your own work might help? Or declaring Saturday mornings writing time?

My best advice is to keep at it, keep trying different things, and know that you're not alone. I think this is an extremely common issue for writers.  :hug



Great advice! Thank you. 😊

Jennylynnpease

Quote from: JulieM on January 26, 2024, 02:25 PMI feel the same as David. It's a tightrope balance and sometimes it feels balanced and sometimes it doesn't. It's the unpredictable nature of the work too. Sometimes lots of work is coming in and sometimes not. Coping with the overloaded stress times is key, and I'm no master of it. I'm just saying I hear you! For me, over time and with experience, I know the overloaded time will pass and it helps me to hang in there. Prioritising the work that's due earliest also helps me, but when I get unproductive with those things I'll look at the other stuff so it's already started by the time they become the priority. And similar to what Vijaya said, when it all gets too much, step back and assess what you really want from what you are doing and, if you can, cut back on the rest. You aren't alone. Best of luck.

❤️

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