RAZORED ZEN: <a href=http://charlesgramlich.blogspot.com/2013/02/irritated.html>Irritated</a>

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Irritated

I'm pretty irritated at myself these past couple of weeks. I was off three work days for Mardi Gras and wrote virtually nothing. I wasted that weekend as well, and part of the next weekend. I wasted this evening playing some video games and watching meaningless TV. I talked to my writing class today about "making progress" every day, but I've been doing the absolute minimum of progress most days when I could have been doing more.  And on Thursday I get 23 papers to grade from my writing class and there won't be 'any' writing time for me for at least a few days. I've come up with plenty of excuses even when I had time, though. I keep telling myself that I needed some rest after a tough 2012, but the excuses are beginning to sound a little hollow to me.

Time to put up or shut up, I'd say.
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39 Comments:

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Aimless Writer said...

I know the feeling! Maybe the stars are out of alignment or something.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Cloudia said...

hate to tell you, but you are a WRITER! No cure - chronic condition



ALOHA from Honolulu!
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

 
At 11:24 PM, Blogger Riot Kitty said...

I hear you, although when I finally sat my ass down to write, I couldn't come up with anything. Then hours later, in the middle of business, I thought of all kinds of stuff.

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger Ron Scheer said...

Writing isn't just putting words on a screen. Down time, procrastination, and just staring into space all serve their purposes.

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger ivan said...

I know this too well. :)


Walk around aimlessly in your socks.

Stub your toe on an end table.

Fock!

There is conflict!

 
At 2:38 AM, Blogger Merisi said...

Have you tried getting out into nature, long walks that force you take an equally long walk to get back home? Helps me when I am in a rut. You may be eager to get back to jot down what has begun playing in your head while out there.

 
At 3:58 AM, Blogger Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I think you're doing good. I'm consciously staying away from the computers weekends so I can do stuff I enjoy doing and get some rest too. A little rest is all one needs to recharge one's batteries. Early to bed helps a lot too.

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger Deka Black said...

I know that feeling! Sometimes life is a bicth and get in the way :( Discipline is good, and is what helped me in the past in this kind of moment

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Make a decision and make it happen! Sounds like you're mad enough now.

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Aimless writer, it would be nice to think so. :)

Cloudia, chronic for sure. That does help.

Riot Kitty, yeah, I often think of ideas I want to do just before real life work makes it impossible to have time to do.

Ron Scheer, sometime they do indeed. I think I've gotten better at recognizing when the downtime is important and when I truly am just wasting time. But it's hard to know for sure all the time.

Ivan, can I do the same thing without the toe stub? I guess not eh?

Merisi, that is one thing. I haven't been taking enough walks. Walking has long been of use to me in writing.

Prashant, it is true I haven't been getting enough sleep, and I know that affects my writing.

Deka, I've been disciplined through most of my life. I seem to have let it slack lately.

Alex, indeed.

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger Tom Doolan said...

I can certainly empathise with this. However, I have no advice to give, so if you find that magic productivity pill, please share!

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Angie said...

It can be tough getting back into the habit after being out of it for a while. :/ Starting up again is the hardest part.

Tracking my "streak" has worked for me so far this year. The low bar of the two challenges I'm doing is to maintain a writing streak, writing every day. "Writing" to qualify for a streak day is a minimum of 250 words. It's not a lot, but it's doable every day, or has been so far. And I often find that once I've got that much -- and once my streak is safe and that much pressure is off -- I'll go on and write more that day. Sometimes a lot more.

So far it's worked well enough that I'm way ahead of quota for hitting a quarter million words this year, which is very cool.

Maybe for you, an every-day streak isn't practical. How about a week-long streak? Even if it's only, like, 2000 words per week, could you do that around your other responsibilities? Start tracking it on your calendar or something.

Or maybe you could do 250 words per day. Or 150, or whatever. Sometimes looking at the clock and seeing that it's 11pm has gotten me all panicky and too tied up inside to write a thousand words or whatever I wanted to do, but that's plenty of time to do 250, even if I'm tired or whatever.

But whatever ends up working for you, getting started can definitely be the hardest part. I'm rooting for you! {{}}

Angie

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Sarah Hina said...

Luckily, every morning brings a blank slate with it.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Keith said...

What Tom said.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Tom Doolan, will do.

Angie, when I'm working I usually do a little bit 'every' day, and I like doing that. Often not quite 250 words though, but sometimes much more. I'm gonna keep better records over the next week and see what I get up to.

Sarah, tis true. I have to keep that in mind.

Keith, if I could find that pill I might not need to write. :)

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Tom Doolan, will do.

Angie, when I'm working I usually do a little bit 'every' day, and I like doing that. Often not quite 250 words though, but sometimes much more. I'm gonna keep better records over the next week and see what I get up to.

Sarah, tis true. I have to keep that in mind.

Keith, if I could find that pill I might not need to write. :)

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Travis Erwin said...

I feel your pain my brother.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Snowbrush said...

"Time to put up or shut up, I'd say."

Or maybe think about it means. Discouragement? Late winter doldrums?

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Erwin, it does seem to be going around.

Snowbrush, me think? Man, you don't know me very well. ;)

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Heff said...

I do some of my most creative work whilst on the terlet.

- Just a possible time saving idea....

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger G. B. Miller said...

Sympathy pains here as well.

Been seriously procrastinating about working on a slush novel. I want to work on it, because I feel I can turn it into something good, but I keep finding reasons not to touch it.

Actually considering using some of my vacation time to lock myself in my den and force myself to work on it.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Ray said...

Must be a bug going around. It seems that a number of writers seem to be afflicted in the same way. Yet despite this every single one of them is able to tell the world about this - now, unless I'm mistaken, that's writing.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger sage said...

Don't be too hard on yourself!

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger Travis Cody said...

I've had that feeling many times.

You've made the excuses to yourself. You've chastised yourself. Now forgive yourself, make a plan for the next available time in your schedule, and get thee to your computer!

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger the walking man said...

Fuck it...when the excuses stop you'll find they were not excuses and the time was not wasted.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, I do a lot of my reading there, that's for sure.

G.B., it may take chaining myself to the desk for me to get some work done.

Ray, well played. It is indeed writing. :) But yes, I've even heard James Reasoner talk about it and he's a writing god.

sage, as I tell my wife, someone has to be. :)

Travis Cody, I will forgive myself eventually. but I'll curse myself some first. :)

Mark, that would be a good way to think of it.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, I think you occasionally need time to regroup. After years of it, you need a rest once in a while. Don't be so hard on yourself.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger jodi said...

Charles-I go thru the same thing occasionally with my fitness commitments. Our 'excuses' are just there to let us pursue other things-even wasting time- till we are ready to begin again. It's natural, Charles!!

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger SQT said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. My husband has a super stressful job and sometimes goes into shutdown mode to recover. Maybe that's what you're doing. You have had a lot going on over the last year with Lana's cancer and that may have taken a bigger toll than you realized.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Barbara Martin said...

Charles, taking time off writing is a good thing. You will be better creatively for it. Rather than beat yourself up, think of it as a creative absence.

I don't write every day, but when I do I tend to keep going until I slow down. My creativity comes in bursts. I tried writing every day and found some days I just sat there, so I tend to write during bursts of intention.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Good luck rallying ~!

Back to the front lines ~!

Or . . . off to neutral territory . . .

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger laughingwolf said...

am there, too...

there are two short fiction contests on right now, one pays 1,600 euros, need 800 words; one pays $1K for 1K words... what have i written = zero!

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger Christina said...

I feel you. Going through the same thing.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Hey... welcome to humanity, my friend. When those times happen, it's usually a must for the mind. Sometimes, real life and our fictional worlds overwhelm us. Share it with your classes. I remember one of my automotive instructors in college who listened to one of us relating a bad experience with a customer's car, amounting to repeated repair attempts. He smiled, shrugged it off, and said, 'There were days when I worked in the field where I couldn't fix a broken string. It reminds you complacency is dangerous". I never forgot his words over the decades, because he turned out to be right as rain. :)

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger SzélsőFa said...

don't be so hard on yourself - you've been gathering writing material, i'm positive about that.
:)

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, I'll try. :)

Jodi, I like to think I'm perfect, though. :)

SQT, I suspect there may be some truth to that for sure.

Barbara, I've gone through periods where I've written every day for months, but then.................

Erik, thanks, man.

Laughingwolf, when opportunity meets...no work. I know it well. :)

Christina, hope it gets better for both of us.

Bernard, I just said about the same thing to my students today, about how if you get "A's" all the time you start to think it's always going to be the case and you get lazy.

Szelsofa, thanks. I hope it turns out that way when I get there!

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger Snowbrush said...

If I felt such pressure to write as you do, I think I would grow to hate writing. This is probably why I don't write for money. When I did, I hated it because I ended writing on schedule for other people rather than for myself. With a blog, it's easy to take it easy. I've yet to write the first word that I wasn't in the mood to write. Why do you work so hard? In other words, what is it that you get from writing as you do? On one level, I wish I could do it because the fruits of my talent will die with me if I'm not published, but on another, I had rather be beaten with a stick.

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

Snowbrush, it ultimately gives me more satisfaction than frustration. Everything is a trade off, it seems to me, but I get more from it than I lose so that's why I keep doing it.

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger Snowbrush said...

"it ultimately gives me more satisfaction than frustration."

I'm glad to hear it, Charles.

 

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