Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Derailed

It's a IWSG and A-Z Challenge Mash Up!
Today being the first Wednesday of the month it's Insecure Writer's Support Group and this post is also brought to you by the letter 'D'

I've been thinking about the things that derail my writing and I realize that there are some 'triggers' that lead to my going off track. I'm hoping that I can recognize these triggers ahead of time and maybe circumvent them. Though, of course, sometimes derailments just happen. The important thing is to just get back on track.

Here are the things that derail me:
I have fights with my children sometimes. Often, it's my fault, after all I'm the adult in the relationship and I should know better. But somehow I slip into a behavior that leads to frustration. Do I need to mention that this revolves eating and bedtime? Which is just before my writing time? By the time everyone is abed and I should be ready to write, I can't - or don't. I often need medicinal ice cream or whiskey (or both) I'm steaming and frustrated and huffing and puffing enough to blow a house down.
The only thing I've discovered to get through this is to go for a run. But then I'm exhausted. It's all too easy to let the writing slip off the radar.

You know all the reasons why rejections should NEVER make you give up as a writer. Still, I can admit that getting a rejection makes it real hard to sit down and concentrate on the WIP. It's like the evil inner editor voice gets louder, "want proof that you suck? just happen to have a form rejection on a full request right here..."

Good News/Good feedback
Maybe this is just me, but sometimes when something good happens (I get a full request, someone at a conference likes my pitch, I get a really positive crit) it also derails me. I know that might be weird, but it makes me stop. Almost like I'm not sure how to react. Lethargy sets in and I think to myself, 'I'm doing gooooood." Thankfully, it doesn't last. The next derailment comes soon enough, jolting me into action. But it makes me wonder if that's what happens when a really popular author comes out with something substandard - is it this 'good news' derailment at work?

So, what derails you from writing? And how do you get back on track?

D is also for Drugstore


  1. What derails my writing? Too many things! Work, family, my blog, music, reading, bright shiny objects... :) It sounds strange to say about something I love doing, but often I need to force myself to sit down and write, because I know when I start writing, I'll get into the zone and get on with it. But it's getting there that's often the battle.

  2. Hmmm... Stress, emotional distractions, not getting enough rest... I'm with you on the kid fights. Silly, isn't it? :)

  3. Somebody told me when I was sixteen, that if you're speeding over 70 MPH and a large dog runs out in front of you and you hit it your car could flip. I've kept that in my mind all these years thinking how the smallest thing can derail us.

    Great post.


  4. My derailments are almost always due to another 'D' word--DOUBT. I start telling myself that I suck and that nobody is going to want to read my story and then I walk away from it for some time. There are other things that derail me, but this is probably the biggest one.

    Great post :)

  5. The internet has been my biggest derailment. Trying to figure out the publishing industry and what works, what doesn't. The past month has been better. I force myself not to turn it on so often, but perhaps that has a lot to do with a deadline that's approaching faster and faster. So, back to work I guess. Nice to meet you.

  6. I'm with Marta - the internet! Such a huge distraction for me!

    Happy Hump Day!
    My D

  7. The internet is my biggest time suck. But doubt can also be rather crippling. Like you said, rejection letters are also a blow to the ego even if I do get right back on the horse.

  8. Good news derails me too. I get distracted. Also the internet and anxiety.

  9. What a great post. For me, it's that feeling that there's so much to do, I may not be able to get it all done. Even if only one piece of it comes with an actual deadline. I tend to just pull back, bury myself in reading OTHER people's books, and let the writing go.

    Haven't found the solution yet, but still looking.

    Loving your month of posts and in total awe at you for taking it on!

  10. Rejection definitely derails me for a day or two. Then it ticks me off and motivates me. Getting out of a set routine makes it harder to get back on track with writing. Also being in between drafts and revision. and uh hm, blog challenges suck an inordinate amount of time.

  11. Two things: Reading a brilliant book is very bad for my writing because good books always fill me with self-doubt. A problem for a writer who believes in being a reader. And the internet. It is just so convenient to slip into 'research' and never write!

  12. I think all writers go off track at some time. It's good that you're aware of what your triggers are.

  13. Congratulations on the full request! You're derailed because you are holding your breath. Relax and move on to the next thing.

  14. Life gets me derailed. This, that, and the other thing. I have to reflect back at the end of the day and piece together what I've accomplished through the fragmented day and be thankful for what I've been able to accomplish.

  15. Reading. Every writer should be an avid reader as well, but as a mother of two, a wife, etc if I get sucked into a good book or three, I forget about my own writing. Or I think, dang this book is so good I couldn't even come close to this, so why even try? Good old insecurity.

  16. Lately, I've been derailed by death. Family members needed help, and my writing went south for nearly a month. So, A-Z came to the rescue, and I'm back, though, I'm working hard on writing the blog and a little less so on my own work in progress. So you've raised an excellent question. If we can recognize what derails, we can strategize how to meet our writing goals. Perseverance furthers!

  17. We all get derailed at one point or another, the important thing is to always get back on the horse. I wish you the best of luck!

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  18. great post. I know exactly how you feel, esp. the part about fighting with your kids. we all have those days!!

    will be back to read more!


  19. Fights, good news, bad news, rejection; whatever your derailment, one of those whiskey floats you mentioned, could fix me right up.

    1. Whiskey float! You are a genius! Let's
      Raise a glass together'

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