What Do You Do On Overload?

Life has been a bit much recently, I hate to admit it. Don’t get me wrong, I know of many people in worse straights. My best friend just lost her husband, my mother-in-law is in the hospital with heart problems. My issues pale in comparison.

It’s just handling them is difficult and would be incredibly expensive without the generosity of my sister and her family. Let me back up.

December 23rd, I totaled our family car. If nothing else, it was certainly a bummer, but we were blessed in that no one in the entire five-car-pile-up was injured. While we waited three weeks for our over-worked and under-staffed insurance agency to respond, I had to drive my husband’s manual transmission car. Since I have half of an ankle missing, the bone has threatened to break for years and it became increasingly obvious that the stick shift would do the trick if I kept driving it.

It began to look like we’d either have to shell out money for a rental or I’d have to keep going until I couldn’t. Quite possibly breaking a bone while behind the wheel. Hence, the generosity of my sister; she loaned me her automatic. My ankle still hurts five weeks after the accident, but it has improved and has not broken for which I’m more grateful than I can express.

Then the much-aligned stick-shift’s transmission died and the car with it. It will cost more than it’s worth to fix the Honda. We now have no automobile of our own and I’m once again reduced to playing taxi-mom via the borrowed car. This brings me up to today.

Monday morning, I need to somehow find time to take my husband to work, get the pink-eye infected daughter to a clinic or doctor and see a family friend interested in selling me her car. The latter will be a HUGE blessing if it comes to fruition, but I still find myself wondering how I’ll make it all happen AND find time to do what I want, which brings me to today’s question:

What happens to your writing when you’re overwhelmed? Do you still work? Do you somehow click into fifth gear and get more productive, or do you have to set it aside and handle life?




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13 Responses to β€œWhat Do You Do On Overload?”

  1. Maria Zannini says:

    When there are family issues at stake, I've learned to drop everything and concentrate on those.

    I can't write (well) if the walls are crashing down around me. Even if I can't do anything to better a situation, I need to take a breather and be there for the other people who need me to be their rock.

    But that's me. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms.

    Good luck, hon.

  2. lilacfield says:

    When I'm really overwhelmed, I drop my writing, because I am no multitasker and RL should come first. I would however probably think now and then, "After this is over and I have time to write…" while pondering on what I will write.

    All the best for you and your family.

  3. Janet Johnson says:

    Oof! You have been pounded. I hope things look up soon.

    Personally, my writing is the first thing to fall. Because it can. The world won't end if I put it off for a while.

  4. Lynda Young says:

    Sometimes life just has to be handled. I think all distractions have the potential for inspiration. All these horrible experiences might one day turn up in a story.

    I hope things smooth out for you soon.

  5. Christina Farley says:

    I just want to say sending hugs your way. I totally toally get it.

  6. madisonwoods says:

    When I'm overwhelmed my writing tends to shift from working on my WIP to more cathartic type stuff. Cryptic poetry if it's really bad πŸ˜‰

  7. Vicky says:

    For me, it all depends on the nature of the crisis. Sometimes time with my WIP is just what I need. Other times, I've got to get into gear and solve the other problem. Then there are times, like this past spring (autumn for you in the northern hemisphere) where writing work conflicted with writing work. I find it really hard to be creative with two things at once.

  8. Vicky says:

    By the way, hope the car thing worked out!

  9. Victoria Dixon says:

    I try to get up early enough to journal if nothing else. I find it helps me keep my sanity. I think it may well be my sole outlet for awhile.

    Thanks for the input, ladies! I don't feel quite so guilty about not getting up yet another hour earlier.

  10. Margo Berendsen says:

    Oh man! We have old cars too and I always worry about what would happen if they died on us, as we live paycheck to paycheck.

    When life gets stressful I usually give up writing for a while (except for journaling – venting does help). Stress and abandoned writing goals happen more than I'd like to admit.

    On the other hand, sometimes it's worth it to suffer through a stressful period, in order to see the unexpected blessings that result. I have several amazing stories with regard to this. It's just hard when you are in the midst of it…

  11. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yes, it is that, Margo. Thanks for the sympathy! πŸ™‚

  12. Barbara Ann Wright says:

    I set it aside and have to handle life. Looks like I'm in good company. ^_^

  13. Rachna Chhabria says:

    When life interrupts my writing, Victoria, I usually stop writing and face life and all its challenges head on. Though I do not write I constantly think of my WIP and characters.

    Hope all your problems will be solved quickly and you get back to writing.

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