Here we are at Day 1 of our 3-day #AmWritingAroundObstacles series.
Today, we’re each going to list all the obstacles that stop us being as productive as we want to be. The rocks on our roads.
On Day 2 we’ll figure out how to overcome the obstacles we’ve identified, and on Day 3 we’ll draw up our individual plans of action to stop those obstacles from damaging our productivity.
I’ll go first.
Here’s my list:
This is the biggie for me. Rather than bogging down this conversation with details of my health condition, I’ve explained all about it here.
Like many chronically ill people, I measure my strength and energy for each day in spoons.Like many chronically ill people, I measure my strength and energy for each day in spoons. Click To Tweet
Sounds odd, I know, but it’s a simple and very useful system. Its creator explains it here.
So today I have one spoon, which means that writing this post is like trying to deal with one of those syrupy can’t-run-away-from-the-monster dreams. I’ll do it, because I’ve decided this is how I will use this spoon, but writing this post is the only task I’ll manage in the entire day. Absolutely nothing else will happen, writing-related or otherwise. I’ll be in bed, either unconscious or wishing I could be.
On the standard 1 to 12 spoon scale, the best I can usually hope for is a 5. A long series of 5-spoon days is brilliant.
For example, when I enjoyed one of them all through January and February of 2012, I wrote my SF novella Damage Control, rewrote my voice recognition software-savaged UF novel Golden Triangle, and outlined my futuristic steampunk novel A Flight of Thieves.
Again, apart from my morning shower and eating regular meals, writing was the only task I managed each day in that 8-week period. But it was so good to bang out tens of thousands of good words.
I love my family. They’re loud and active and fun and wonderful. They often interfere with my plans to write, but they don’t do it deliberately or maliciously and as they’re my Number One priority in this life I seldom complain. But they do have an effect on my productivity, so I need to factor them in.
Certain personality types send me scurrying to the back of my cave, pretty much like anyone else I suppose, but mostly I deal with people as they come.
This one’s complicated. It’s magical in many ways, but too much of a good thing… etc.
And it’s all about people, so it’s intimately bound with my “other people” category.
It’s also bound with my “health” category, because on days or weeks when I’m too sick to write I often spend hours at a time on Twitter and various forums, which then becomes a comfortable pattern that can lure me to stay rather than leave when my health picks up. I know you know what I’m talking about. 😀
Mostly, I enjoy social media and wouldn’t want to be without it, and when I enjoy it too much so that it’s a distraction that forms an obstacle, it’s my own fault. This is something I need to remain aware of, because it’s slippery.
It piles up, doesn’t it? Mostly it’s okay and we’re in control, but occasionally it builds like a snowdrift overnight and suddenly we can’t get the damn front door open to go out and chop wood and everything gets horribly urgent with no heat or light or way out until all we want to do is crawl under a blanket and sob.
It’s internal as well as external. In fact, external pressures rarely give me a problem. I plan them, and manage them, and if someone else shows they’re determined to keep making unreasonable demands of me, I simply get alpha on their arse. That isn’t something I glory in or even look for, by the way. But if a situation requires it, I have it.
And I always seem to build those lists when I’m in a 5-spoon period, so although I’m experienced enough to factor in the possibility of poorer health, I always forget just how physically crushing a bad relapse can be until I’m right there inside one of them.
Okay, that’s my list. Over to you. What are the rocks on your road?What are your obstacles to productivity? Click To Tweet
We can do this like group therapy if you like. Talk to each other. Many of us will have insights that might help each other, and we can all give good hug.
Introduction post is here.
Day 2 is here.
Day 3 is here.