My Second IWSG: Obstacles

Created by Alex Cavanaugh, assisted by many, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a great way of expressing your insecurities. mine.

As you might remember, last Saturday was Halloween. I had just finished cleaning my house, icing an angel food cake and preparing a pan of lasagna when I decided to watch a movie. I popped a movie in the player and the phone rang so I walked to the telephone to look at the caller's ID.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that Teresa Coltrin was calling me from her landline number.
First and foremost, I thought that I needed to get my glasses on, except, I had my glasses on to find the movie, thank you very much.  I thought about my son playing a prank on me. Finally, and this scared me, I wondered if someone might be in my house calling me from the other phone.  
After I cleared the house of all strangers, killers and practical jokers, I googled this (not so natural) phenomenon, and I calmed down. It’s one of those spoofing, spamming, scamming things. The phone call led me to imagine one more thing: how awesome it would be if I were cloned and one of me could do all of life’s bidding and the other me could do my writing. You know, I would leave her at home and she could write for eight hours each day.
I write more words today than I did before I started blogging in 2009, but I still can't write over 500ish words a day (on new stuff). Much less wordage on drafts. My biggest problem is that I find it difficult to sit  and write for long periods of time even though that's when I produce my best writing. Obstacles that get in my way of productive writing: 

*I am too fidgety (ADD) to sit still.

*Neighbors are always driving down the road (outside my window) and I wonder…where are you going?

*I’m bothered by nagging tasks in my brain until I get out of my chair and do them (i.e., mail in the box, clothes in the dryer).

*Millie pesters me to pet and play with her or let her outside. It's not easy to say no.
Of course, these are all excuses and the last time I checked the word “excuse” does not spell the word "success". Am I right?
I know I’m not lazy, so that’s not my problem? Why do I let obstacles get in my way of writing? What’s wrong with me because I feel like I'm self-sabotaging myself.

What's your main obstacle that gets in the way of getting things done?


  1. Hi Theresa - I definitely hear you .. though I don't let things scare me (or try not to!). Sometimes I prevaricate, sometimes I just don't want to do a job that hangs over me - then I wonder why on earth I left it flapping over me for so long, when it was so easy to deal with.

    My worst is wanting to do all the little things I need to do - but not actually doing the important things ... so I'll try and overcome that route towards my older life in the coming weeks!

    Cheers and good luck with your writing ... Hilary

  2. My biggest obstacle is almost always me. Some days I make an art form out of self-sabotague and procrastination. Beating myself up takes time too.

  3. When I'm writing, my mind thinks of everything else I should be doing, like trim my toenails. It's hard to ignore these pesky interruptions. I wish I could say I do 100 percent of the time, but that would be a big fat lie!

  4. I've had the clones call me too.

    Sometimes life gets in the way or the cat sits on the computer or I just be lazy and procrastinate, so yeah, usually if anything gets in the way it's just me.

  5. My main obstacle? The dang internet and Facebook. Talk about the world's biggest time suck.

  6. *giggles* The neighbors thing made me laugh. I may have to call you Mrs. Kravitz. One thing I strongly recommend is sprints. If you are not up to long ones, you could even do fifteen or thirty minute sprints. set the timer. It is easier to stay focused if you only have a short time to do it for. But if you consistently approach 500 words, that is still really good. Regular small steps get there just as well and a couple runs.

  7. Millie is a valid excuse.
    I've gotten those calls on my cell. It's really weird that they'd spam you with your own number.

  8. I actually think 500 words a day, steadily, is awesome! I am far more sporadic and that can hurt a plot-line. So, I think you have the recipe for success already going on for you. Just write at your pace and write every day.
    And if you are determined to expand your writing time, I suggest trying a "second sitting" at another time of the day, if you can manage to fit that into your schedule. I like to take breaks and walk away, and I use a timer on my busy days so that when I'm writing, I'm just writing for 30 minutes or 45 minutes. Beyond 45 minutes, I have to take a 5-30 minute break before I can get anything done.

  9. I've heard about the phone spoof thing. I haven't seen this on my caller ID yet, but I've seen some very weird numbers.

    You and I are on the same page it seems. Yes, I want some of those clones to help me with other things while I focus on writing. We'll have to ask Alex where he got his. I know he must have clones.


  10. Right now, life is getting in the way of doing any kind of writing. I need to have my mind decluttered in order to write, and it's just not happening. I don't like to write when I'm angry, so no writing is to be had as of late.


  11. ...The word “excuse” does not spell the word "success". Love that Theresa. But I, too, write in small spurts, but plenty of them. Just like I read about 6 books at a time. I don't think I'm ADD in any way, just like a lot of stimulation I guess. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We're nosy, interested, curious, all part of being a writer.

    Denise Covey November co-host IWSG

  12. I thought you were suppose to HELP us! Teasing. Hey, there's your next book...All The Reasons I Don't Write.

    Enjoyable post and you are in good company.

  13. Yes, but you would have another mouth to feed and body to clothe, too! Talk about attack of the clones. :-)

    My main obstacle? My job which seems to eat up all my time!! Ouch!!

  14. Thankfully, I have never got those calls, I would be spooked.
    Like you, I too am easily distracted, but I follow the BICHOK method (butt in chair hands on keyboard) and force myself to continue writing.

  15. I deal with distractions all the time...I think it's fear. We feel intimidated by the process of putting words on page, so we put it off. At least that's what mine is!

  16. We're writers. I think it's our job to get distracted. lol Everything around us suddenly has a plot to it. BTW: Your idea of having another you to write all day sounds like a thriller waiting to happen! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  17. I haven't gotten those types of calls, but I have had emails spoofed and gotten messages from concerned friends about being hacked. Very annoying.

    I'd say don't beat yourself up. Instead learn to work with yourself. If you pound out 500 words then need to get up, do it. Go do something, shake out the restlessness and then sit back down and write another 500. We all write differently.

  18. I know those distractions! The internet distracts me. I feel like I need to do more and more social media stuff. What I really need to do is just write! Focus and you can do it.

  19. I'd have the other me do all the other things, so I could do all the writing. She could cook, clean, do the volunteer work, do the day job. I'd spend time with my family, hike, and write. Ah, sounds good.

  20. Welcome to IWSG. I've had those weird calls, too. Wonder how they do that? I'm sabotaged by thinking that everything else is more important.


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