April 22, 2012

Damn Ants: ROW80 Check In

I know what you're thinking... what could ants possibly have to do with my A Round of Words in 80 Days check in post? Well, since you asked...

Yesterday, I went to put away our Costco haul into the pantry. As I was moving things around, I found a colony of ants. I freaked, bugs tend to do that to me. I started pulling everything out... not just the stuff on the floor level where the ants were. Everything.

My husband sees my panic attack and tries to help. He's a good man, but hanging with me in a small space while I freak out is a bit beyond the call of duty. (The children ran and hid. I thought my panic scared them off, but it was their own fear. Turns out the ant attraction was an opened box of cookies left on the pantry floor.)

I never saw an ant above the floor level, but I was a woman on a mission. Then I decided that the connected washroom could be hiding some critters, so I started scrubbing and rearranging in there too. Once I had the vacuum out, it made sense to vacuum the whole main level. And so on.

The ant-writing connection: my original goal was to put things away and move on. But the ants completely sidetracked me, and I lost focus. The Costco stuff was sitting in the kitchen in piles while I freaked out. A simple task snowballed into two hours of insanity.

Daily, it is my goal to sit down and write. I usually start by reading the previous chapter to spark the story in my brain. Too often I find ants running around. I start editing or think of a post I want to do. Two hours later, I haven't added one single word to my WIP.

Granted, some situations require immediate attention, but most of my ant-distracting moments are social media, editing, shiny objects. I need to just clean the ant-infested area, instead of letting distractions domino and take over.

Okay, enough about bugs...

Writing: The ants took over. I read a chapter and then went back and worked on some inconsistencies (and let many other distractions take me away as well). I need to move forward and stop going back. The problem: the more time between writing sessions, the more I need to read the previous chapter to get in the zone.

Do you reread the last few pages before you start writing again, or do you go with it and plan to go back later and fix any issues?

I feel like re-reading is distracting me lately. My goal is to put writing first and not even look at anything else. I might have to take my laptop and go somewhere without distractions (or wi-fi). My home is not that place.

Also, I need to take a couple of days and do some outlining. I'm a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of lady, but it might be time to embrace planning.

Blogging: Oh the places you'll go, when A to Z you must row. Okay, Dr. Seuss I'm not, but I'm really enjoying the brain firing that's going on for this challenge. Since Wednesday, I posted: Questioning Quantity & Quality, 'Riting & Receiving Reviews, and Story Strengths. And I reviewed a book, ReVamped (4.5 stars), on Mom in Love with Fiction.

Editing: The nonfiction book I've been working on needed one more look before going to the printer. I found quite a few formatting errors. I love editing, but I feel such pressure to make sure nothing gets by me. I honestly feel like I could edit from now until the end of time and find SOMETHING!

Reading: Still reading at least a book a week. I'm finding the time to read, but now I need to find some time to sleep. I'd rather read than sleep, but my body doesn't always agree.

Social Media: I seem to be perpetually behind, but I'm not giving up! If I haven't been to see you in awhile, leave me a comment and challenge me to get by your blog. I'm all about a good challenge. ;-)

Exercise: Friday morning I got up at 5am to do a 5-mile run. I'm working on adding more protein (thanks, Eloise!) and avoiding sugar.

If I haven't been by to encourage you yet this ROW80 round, I apologize. I'm pulling for you, and I plan to make a stop by your blog soon to make sure you know it.

Want to know more about A Round of Words in 80 Days or its participants, please visit here.


Julie Glover said...

I re-read the last scene before starting a new one. I resist the urge to edit as I read unless it's some easy-to-fix punctuation or misspelling.

I also find that some days I work better outside of my home. My best friend and I will sometimes meet at a local coffee shop. We'll work on our laptops and then take breaks chatting with each other. It's a great way to escape the home to-do list and get lots done. The trick is finding consistent WiFi places that don't mind you hanging around.

Have a great week, Tia! You're doing fine, and I'm enjoying your AtoZ posts.

Elise Fallson said...

Oh no! Wish I had been there to take care of your ant problem for you. (=

bookworm said...

I hate ants. Every spring we get an invasion in our house. Since spring has come so early we should be getting ants any day now -except that winter is back. Maybe it will delay them a few days.
I am amazed at your busy life. Have a good week! And again, thanks for all your support for my blog.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes spiral down into editing the first few pages over and over and have to stop myself and move on to the rest, so you're not alone in this! I did it again today on a short story and didn't get past the first two pages again. But I'm pretty good about leaving the mess and getting down to something else, even if it isn't writing!

Eloise said...

You're welcome 8). Go protein!

Yeeeuuuch on the ants. It's freaky when you find a nest/colony/invasion of bugs. One or two, no big deal.

Several years ago, I had something die in my chimney. Flies galore. Taped plastic over front of fireplace and left it there for six weeks. But it took *hours* to figure out where they were coming from. They seemed to appear out of nowhere.

I start writing in the morning. I have to reread several paragraphs to get back up to speed. Sometimes, I have to re-skim the entire story to know what to do next. Depends on the state of my brain that day 8).

Rebekah Loper said...

*sigh* I was doing really good at avoiding sugar until 'birthday season' started, and then a wedding on Saturday as well. Birthday season is the period from April 10 - June 13 in my family. We have 7 birthdays in our family (all the local part of the family) in that time period.

We hate cake by the end of it.

I hear you on the ants, though. Here in Oklahoma, if you don't have ants in your house at some point (if not off and on) all spring/summer, it's a miracle.

What are my writing ants, though?

Anything that can be prioritized over writing, whether it's legit or not. My problem is balancing the numerous 'family emergencies' with my writing/down time. Someday, I have to work up the courage just to turn off the telephone.

Tia Bach said...

Julie, I think I need to head to the library and not turn on the wi-fi. Thanks for reading my A to Z.

Elise, Me, too. I don't hate ants outside, just inside. ;-)

Alana, I love your blog, and I'm looking forward to Blogathon!

Ann, Yes, spiral is the perfect word. I don't mean to.

Eloise, I need to have a set writing time for the brain-muse connection, but my life doesn't seem to give into schedule these days.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement.

Raelyn Barclay said...

Ha! It sounds like your week was similar to mine. Must band together :) Here's to a more productive writing week!

Tia Bach said...

Raelyn, I agree. We should stand strong together. Hoping we both write, write, write. Thanks so much for stopping by!