How to Survive Flakiness: An ISWG Post

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 40 Comments


Do you have the dream? The one where you show up to class in your pajamas and are given a test that will count for more than half your grade and you knew nothing about it? You look around the room and everyone else is dressed and looking eager to begin. They've all studied; you can tell by their bright eyes and faces void of panic. But not you. You're screwed.

That's how I felt last month when I forgot it was IWSG day. To make it worse, I BLOGGED that day. I visited page after page and post after post of IWSG check-ins, but not once did it occur to me that it was the first Wednesday of the month. 

I do that sort of thing periodically. 

I joke that it's my artistic nature. Truth be told, there's some honesty in that. When I'm plotting a new story or working out the kinks in a WIP, I get this brain fog where make-believe worlds trump the real world. I suppose as a writer that sounds lovely, but in the real world, it's a bit flaky. 

So, my contribution to the insecure world of writers for the month are a few tips:
-To avoid looking like a flake in the real world, keep lists and calendars at DEFCON 3 prep levels.
-Direct deposit and autopay...great ways to avoid late and overdraft fees.
-Put dinner in the crockpot BEFORE opening that story file. 
-Ditto that for tooth brushing, showering, and dressing. Do them first, or you may not do them at all. 
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And last, but not least:

-Maintain writer friendships. If you're the sort of freak who zones out and spends whole days staring at walls, reality-based people will assume you're having seizures. Writer friends will simply ask, "So, what are you working on?"


OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: 
When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?
I ask myself...would Hemingway have quit writing if he didn't have a contract?  

Many thanks to our fearless leader, Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

40 comments:

  1. That made me chuckle.
    I do keep a calendar handy although it's more that I'm a procrastinator than anything else.

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    1. If you're a procrastinator, I'm the queen of England. I wish I procrastinated as well as you do!

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  2. I'm with you on the teeth-brushing and showering. I think to myself, I'll just open my laptop while I'm having my breakfast cuppa, and it's suddenly lunchtime. I have the sticky notes app on my desktop which means my lists are in full view all the time.

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    1. Nothing is worse than being caught with a drop-in visit in the PM and I'm still in my jammies with unbrushed hair and teeth.

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  3. This post cracked me up! I can so relate to the tooth-brushing thing. That's one of things I panic about - did I remember to brush my teeth?

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's why we need writer friends- that debate over have you brushed or not- I totally get that!

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  4. I did that just this morning. My orange juice has one drink out of it, my teeth need brushed, my face washed, and the curtains aren't even open. I opened the computer, found the Wi-Fi was working so I got to work. IWSG day is a busy one so I'm just glad to be able to respond, but damn, I need to pee! Gota go!

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    1. Don't you hate it when you get a hot cup of tea/coffee and set it on your desk for a second and it instantly gets cold? That happens to me all the time. One cold sip in and you're right, it's time to pee. It's a rough life!

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  5. I LOVE your tips. I am the Queen of short term memory lapses of 5 seconds or less lol...just yesterday I threw away 25$! It was in a different pocket in my purse. I am happy to see you back my friend and what a great picture of the PJs. I have those dreams too.

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    1. I once threw away my license...forgot I stuck it in a fast food bag. And why I did that, I have no clue.

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  6. You're not the only flaky one. I love those tips. It's true that if I don't do what I have to do before sitting down at the screen, hours will pass! Yep, a calendar is not to be discounted.

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    1. Hours passing working is such a romantic notion, but the reality is ratty hair and wrinkled clothes. Good times!

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  7. Yes, we need writer friends who can understand us and understand our weirdness :)

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  8. Excellent advice! I sometimes zone out too and forget things. I blame it on age, it's a great go-to excuse ;)

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    1. Nothing like a double whammy. Maybe that's my problem.

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  9. LOL. I LIVE by my calendar, but there was once I accidentally missed IWSG because I was in the middle of some insanity. Once. =) Looking forward to getting back into writer's fog one of these days. All I get right now are little snatches of dream clouds. *sigh*

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    1. I think I've missed two in all the years I've been posting. I suppose that's not too bad a record.

      You enjoy those little ones. Life will be quiet for you before you know it.

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  10. Lol, I hate that dream...and can't believe I still get it sometimes ;)

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    1. It has to be linked to anxiety levels. I have it most often when I'm worried.

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  11. I do remember to brush my teeth, but I confess that I don't bother getting dressed if it's a writing day where I'm staying home. No worries about missing IWSG last month. We all forget things once in awhile and you're such a consistent, helpful blogger.

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    1. Aww thanks Natalie!

      I usually brush my teeth first thing in the morning so the coffee and tea consumption doesn't stain my teeth so much.

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  12. Thanks for making me laugh. And yes, Defcon 3 Reminders are necessary. Plus, writing friends rock. They get the staring at walls, asking odd questions at random times - "what snacks to kids eat after school in New Zealand? - and other odd moments. I have definitely forgotten/procrastinated teeth-brushing until lunch rolls around ... oops, I'm hungry, oops, I didn't ... ew.

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    1. That's a good reason too. Or they totally get why you're staring at people trying to put movements and expressions into words.

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  13. My ocd takes care of the three Ss and brushing my teeth. Staying ahead ensures I never forget too. But watch it though, you may need professional help if the wall talks back to you lol

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    1. I'm jealous of how far you stay ahead. I keep planning to be that diligent, but so far I haven't managed it.

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  14. It's funny--the person in your picture who says "I thought she was just weird" could mean that in a snarky way or an admiring way. Context, context, context.

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    1. I'm guessing it's snarky. But we don't much care, do we? LOL

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  15. Excellent advice. You know, this could be one of those things that could turn into a "Writer's Secrets" kind of advice book. You know, the kind of book that tells a lot of things that should be in the forefront of any writer's mind but they aren't.

    Just a thought :-)

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  16. In my dreams, I'm butt naked, and I have no clue why everyone is all aflutter.

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    1. Your dream is the total opposite. You must be one cool cat.

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  17. LOL I have had that dream more times than I can count. I add to it that I am also lost and can't find the room where I have to take the exam.
    Great point about writer friends. Made me chuckle. :D

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    1. Getting lost and not being able to find the right room, that's my reality. LOL

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  18. Even after all these years, I still have dreams about forgetting about a final, or having forgotten a class for an entire semester, and suddenly I don't think I'll graduate and I'll have to quit my job. I always wake up sweating from those.

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    1. I forgot about the one where you forget. Once I had kids, I would have nightmares about forgetting what room in a house too large to ever be realistic, I left my kids in. I'd wake up in cold sweats after those.

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  19. I didn't know Liz had left you her throne Liz LOL. Your tips and advice are pretty good. I know you are pretty productive writingwise.

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    1. I'm pretty productive once I get on a roll. It's getting started that is often my problem.

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  20. Excellent advice and awesome tips.

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