Wednesday, October 3, 2018

IWSG: Writing through life changes


How did you like September? The cooler days in NorCal were refreshing; Fall is my favorite season, and we got just a taste through September. October should be much better. Its my birthday month after all. And Halloween. I love Halloween, but I'm no longer a fan of Trick-or-Treating; too dangerous for kids now days. Never know what people might put in candy, or who might be bringing a real machine gun to the party, or if some one will take the car and plow through the hordes on the streets. All the fun things about Fall - harvest festivals, street markets, community clean ups - are laced with scary anticipation.

Can't let a little fear stop the good things in life. Right? If you stop by my house on Halloween, you WILL get candy. Unless I run out before you get here.

October is also the last month I blog for the year. Although this year, I seem to have only blogged for IWSG. Every year I go off-line for two months to write, and usually get very little done. I hope this year is different!! Because October is my favorite month, I'm co-hosting IWSG with Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken. And Alex, of course.

October 3 optional question - How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

That's a heavy question. Appropriate for me just now though . . .

I lost my job on Aug 31. The company decided outsourcing Reps would be cheaper than paying their own, and the new company decided not to hire any former employees. So, I've been home for about six weeks. Great time to get a whole lot of writing done! There's the 2018 IWSG Anthology contest, WEP October prompt, several unfinished short stories to complete for submission next year, the Women's Fiction trilogy to work on. No shortage of writing projects.

Yet, I've barely worked on anything. I started writing seriously in 2005 when I was fired from a job. And yes, it helped me get through one of he most horrific periods of my life. Immersing myself in that fictional world helped me escape from all the problems and pressures of being an unemployed single mom. Luckily, I had not yet gotten used to being on my own, taking care of my own life, and there were people to help me (rescue me) get back on my feet.

Over the last 15 years however, I have grown up and learned to handle my own life, and all its problems. I was devastated when I lost my job five years ago, and it was difficult to write. But I did. I had an income still, things were not as desperate as it felt. This time there is no income and reality has hit me so hard I can't immerse in fictional fantasies. With any other life changing event - death, divorce, disability - I think I could write through them. It would help to work through the emotions.

Writing, and cleaning, lol. I do my best house cleaning while under stress. Cleaning helps me think clearly; seeing the completed task boosts my self confidence; confidence leads to better job search; and as my mind wanders, it always circles back to my unfinished writing projects. And then, I can write!!

Don't get too worried about me; I did find another job. Doing the same thing basically with a rival company that is growing and expanding, not cutting expenses. I start next week. I think I will like it.

Which means I should be able to get some writing projects done (fingers crossed). I'm working on my IWSG Anthology submission, but I have no YA voice. None. Guess I better work on the  WEP flash challenge instead. The WEP sign up linky is open now.

Good luck; happy writing!!

Do you write through your major life changes? Or get stifled until its all over like me?

P.S: Ugh, my virus program is blocking just about every blog I visit. Sorry if I'm a bit late in commenting here and at your site: I'm battling the blocks.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry you just lost your job! That was crappy they didn't hire anyone, especially as they already know the job.
Keep working on that piece for the IWSG contest. Just write and the voice will find its way.
What is it with everyone's virus scanners going into overdrive lately?

Cathrina Constantine said...

I like to clean to clear my head too! Sorry to hear about your job, but glad you found another one. Good Luck getting some writing in.

Liza said...

Similar to you, a job change had a huge impact on my writing. Hope that your new job is all you hope for. Thank you for hosting IWSG.

Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

Good luck with the new job and happy birthday month!!!

My mental state is pretty evident by the condition of my closets so I’m right there with you on the cleaning! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And thanks for co-hosting today!

Jennifer Hawes said...

So glad to hear you got another job! Stress can really knock the creative process right out of you.

Jennifer Lane said...

Writing helped me through work problems, too. How scary/frustrating to lose your job and what a relief you found another one so soon. Hope this one's a keeper!

Tamara Narayan said...

That's great you could find another job in your field. I am hopeless with writing if there is something "big" going on. Or sometimes, even something small. I'm also cutting back on blogging and would like to immerse myself in a writing project. I've been spending all my free time cleaning house for my parents' visit. Only two more days to go.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's good news you found another job. I wish I had time to write and clean but I guess I should be careful what I wish for, right?

Pat Garcia said...

I love it that you take a sabbatical from blogging and dedicate yourself to your writing. Great!
Thanks for co-hosting and all the best for November and December with your writing.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Mary Aalgaard said...

Wow. Great post. You have used writing to help you through some tough times. Sorry about the job loss, but congrats on landing a new one, that I hope is better! Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month, and I wish you much success as you focus on your writing in the upcoming months. I also like Fall/Halloween. I already have decorations up!

Mary at Play off the Page

Crystal Collier said...

I'm so glad you have a new job! There is nothing like stress to kill the creative juices. I think that's because all our creativity needs to be poured into surviving during those times. At any rate, I'm wishing you epic success with your writing efforts and that this job will be even better than the last.

Christine Rains said...

I'm a stress cleaner as well. It does help sort out things in my head. Glad you found another job. Whew! And hopefully you get that virus blocker sorted out. :) Thanks for co-hosting today!

Chemist Ken said...

I started writing a little after I lost my first job. I'd already found a new job by then, but I had to drive a lot farther and the pay wasn't as good, so it seemed writing was a good outlet for my creative energies.

By the way, Fall is my favorite time of the year also. Everything about it is wonderful--except for the fact that winter follows it. :(

Thanks for co-hosting this month.

Jacqui Murray said...

I used to change jobs a lot too. Five years was long (until I became a teacher. Then, I never left). So I know what you mean about trying to use that time in between well. I didn't write then but wish I had. I think it would have helped a lot.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Do I write through major life changes? Depends on the change. Moving? It's hard to find time to write. Health? It's hard, but... I find it helps in a way. Gets my mind off it (unless my characters just happen to have the same health issue as me, which coincidentally happened twice--whatever was I thinking???).

But I lost my last job in 2012. I did my BEST writing then (meaning word count). Then I got published in 2013. Now my word count is pitiful amidst all the stupid marketing I have to do if I want to be noticed. I'm beginning to think it's not worth the time. Just need to write more books and hope for the best!

So, see, even getting published was a huge life event that changed the way I wrote. But I'm still writing. Usually. :D

cleemckenzie said...

Sorry about the job loss, Dolorah. That has to be scary and challenging, but as you wrote, you've learned how to stand on your feet, and I'm sure you'll make it through these rough waters. Congratulations on getting a story ready for the IWSG contest.

David Powers King said...

So glad you bounced back and found a new job. I was hit with a job loss hard three years ago, so hard that I more or less disappeared from being online and even writing. Got a new position and everything else is falling into place, just as others said it would. Glad you're still going strong! :)

PJ Colando said...

Sorry you lost your job, yet you employed the negative to elicit a positive... Writing! You are a role model.

And, a new job with a rival company. Sorta a God-given revenge - ha!

Battling the blocks of your virus program sounds like a metaphor for your life.

In another arena you are a role model: persistent pays!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Happy birthday and Happy Halloween!

I'm so happy to hear you found another job. I'm the same way--I can't write (at least fiction) when something traumatic is happening. It's just too hard.

I wish you a productive two months of writing.

Re: virus program...when I click the link on a comment of yours to come here, my computer warns me your site isn't safe, so I have to log in manually. Something you might want to look into.

Diane Burton said...

Losing a job is demoralizing. But, you have more time to write. Hard, though, isn't it? Thanks for cohosting this month. I'm glad to see you online. Things change and we have to adapt. Good luck with the job hunt.

Sadira Stone said...

Huzzah! Best of luck with your new job. I wish I found cleaning as refreshing as you do. You have my respect for your resiliency during hard times. I wish you happy writing in October.

Liesbet said...

I think major life events affect people differently. Depending on the kind, I could focus on writing, or not. When my partner had a serious disease, writing brought me distraction. But, when someone dies or something major happens to me and my emotions get the best of me, I am blocked for a little while, until I can get my head straight.

Congrats on finding another job this quickly, and thanks for co-hosting!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats Donna.... So happy to hear you found another job. YAY! I was worried for you.

Hope you get lots of writing done in the next few months.... You definitely have a lot to write about.

Like you, writing saved me years ago. Now, not so much. I get bogged down too easily and I just don't feel the creative flow. I was doing GREAT on my new memoir, but now that I am back in Chicago, I feel less motivated, although I MUST finish it. It's an exciting project and a story that needs to be told. Hopefully I will push myself and write more. I did write a few pages yesterday, but my sinus headache won and I stopped for the night.

ALL the best with your new adventure!!!!!

dolorah said...

Alex: Lets hope you are right about the voice. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with that virus thing; it must be the program trolling for computer fix money.
Cathrina: hello fellow house cleaner, lol
Liza: I’m excited to get started
Joey: reminds me to get my closets cleaned 😊
Alex: thanks
Jen H: yes, it can
Jen L: I’m sure it will be
Tamara: have a good visit with your parents
Diane: right!!
Pat: I need all the good luck I can get, thanks
Mary: thanks, and Happy Halloween to you too
Crystal: I hope you submitted to the contest, you have an excellent YA voice
Christine: Hello, thank you
Ken: thanks for co hosting too; winter can be pretty too.
Jacqui: Teachers are underappreciated. Glad you love the work
Stacy: yep, depends on the situation
Clee: thank you for the encouragement
David: I’m glad you are getting back on your feet and writing another best seller
PJ: oh yes, it does feel like revenge, lol
JH: Thanks; its happened so often I’m just clicking the button for “unblock and proceed”
Diane: adaptability is a difficult skill to hone, but that is how the world turns
Rhonda: thanks, good luck to you too
Lisbet: illness can be tough to get through, especially when it is someone we love
Michael: Hello, nice to see you online today. I had hoped being surrounded by all those old books would boost your creativity. I'm sure its just a lull though, you always get back into it. A sinus headache is tough to get through, going to bed with lots of meds is the best cure. I know you will get back into your memoir project because it is so exciting for you. I'm sending you creative vibes; one of us should be writing, lol.

Tonja Drecker said...

Sorry about your job loss, but if it's worked out, that's great! I've noticed that the more time I have for writing, the less I get done. Here's wishing you lots of words in the next months!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh for October! It's one of my favorite months, too. And good luck with your writing during your time off blogging. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I was laid off from my job of 25 years and it was devastating. I'd always worked. Luckily I found a contract writing job which is good for this stage of life. Congrats on your new job. And happy writing!

Anonymous said...

I also enjoy cleaning when I'm stressed. Like having that "check" mark and job well done or something, is soothing to me. Yet I complain most of the time. "How hard is it to refill the napkin holder, people?" I'm glad you found another job. Best of luck and happy upcoming birthday!


Olga Godim said...

I'm happy for you that you found another job quickly.
Like you, I can't write for YA. Probably too old. So I'm not submitting anything to this anthology. But if you already have a story, maybe you could turn the switch and make it YA after all. It seems an interesting challenge.

Pat Hatt said...

Great that you found a job. They are hard to come by and having no income sucks big time, been there. I just write away no matter the day.

Carol Kilgore said...

So happy you found another job. And it's good to know I'm not the only blogger who will be taking the last months of the year off. Happy Birthday and see you next year!

Gwen Gardner said...

Ha! Congrats on the new job. You got this!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I never do any house cleaning when things are going along OK and there's no stress in my life. BUT whenever things take a turn for the worse and I suddenly find myself stressed out, THEN... I don't do any house cleaning, either.

I'm sure glad you found another job pretty quickly. So, in other words: lost job > took 6-week vacation > new job. NICELY DONE!

As you know, the only writing I do anymore is blog bits. So I really can't relate to all the writin' stuffs, but I enjoy reading about your adventures and misadventures.

It's time for wine!
You drink yours and I'll drink
Yours, also.

~ D-FensDogG

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Donna! First, I'm so glad that you found a new job. I can't imagine the stress of being a single mother and jobless. So good luck as you start next week! I've been trying to come up with a YA voice for the anthology contest, too. Today when I was walking someone popped into my head, along with a masquerade angle that works ~ so maybe! I've been traveling a lot, so I'm just getting back into writing. Thanks for co-hosting today, especially with all you have going on. Have a wonderful October and a happy birthday!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm glad you found a new job! And, I think it's great that you take the last few months off to write. That's a good practice, even if it's not as fast as you hope with writing projects.
Happy end of the year and into 2019!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - so pleased you found a new job ... similar to your old one - that should make the change over easier. Really difficult though - but you're coping and that's excellent news. Good luck with whichever way you're planning - we'll see you around - cheers Hilary

Juneta key said...

Cheering that you found another job. Wahoo. Me feel like you do a little now that older, loss of job and other things including disability not able to submerge like use to. I wish I could. Happy IWSG.

Samantha Bryant said...

Transition times are hard! Here's hoping you come up swinging out of yours. @mirymom1 from
Balancing Act

Lisa said...

I'm sooo glad you found another job so soon, and had some "time off" in the meantime to get your house clean, lol. Writing is a great stress reliever to me as well. Thanks for co-hosting!

Botanist said...

Good luck in your new job, Donna. I am so fortunate not to have gone through that kind of experience, it must be somewhere on the scale of unsettling to terrifying. Not sure I'd be capable of writing in that situation either.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on bouncing right back and getting a new job. Good luck with the writing and all those projects you have in mind.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Dolorah!
Congrats on the new job! That's exciting... a fresh start, different perspective...
You have a lot of projects on the go but that's a great way to move forward because it means you'll never be bored/stuck, as you have the option of bouncing between projects.
Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
Take care and good luck with the job next week!

Kalpana said...

I'm glad you got another job. Must have been nerve wracking while you were looking. You're so right - there are some life changes you can write through and others are too paralysing to do anything but clean out the closets.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month.
It's not quite fall where I live yet, though I really wish it was. It's my birthday month too. Happy Birthday!
Sorry to hear about your job. Glad that writing has helped you through some tough times, but I can see how this situation may be different. I am glad to know you have a new job and won't have to let that distract you.
Best of luck with your submission. YA is a struggle for me too. Not quite sure I got it, but at least I tried and submitted. That's all we can do.

Doreen McGettigan said...

I'm so glad you found a new job, I was so sad for you.
I get my best cleaning done under stress too, lol.

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Dolorah,
My goodness, you've been through the wringer. Happy birthday! from one October baby to another.

At the end of October, here in Mexico, they celebrate Day of the Dead. This Mexican holiday honors friends and family members who have died. Naturally, the US tradition of handing out candy is growing in popularity here in Mexico.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

The end of September was unusually stressful for me, too. What's in the stars?

I apologize for my tardy IWSG post. Problems with my WiFi, too. Thank you for taking time to co-host during this challenging time. Great to read you got a new position with the competitor!

Lynn La Vita Writers Supporting Writers

Anonymous said...

Wow - we are similar in so many ways. I'm taking off for the next couple of months - maybe I should consider always doing that. And I love autumn and winter, so that's the perfect time to disengage. LOL about housework - putting on earbuds and cleaning like mad gets me through a lot when times are crazy. It's definitely a reward with no brain power needed.

Good luck with your new job - changing jobs is always stressful but also, new challenges await.

J.L. Campbell said...

Good luck with the new job. Writing does help us through the rough times.

dolorah said...

Tonja: I think I’m a stress writer, lol. The more time I have, the less I get done.
Madeline: thanks
Natalie: I’m looking forward to retirement someday soon, but not quite yet, and I hope to have a writing related job then
Elsie: lol. Exactly
Olga: I feel too old for YA, lol
Pat: your alter-egos probably help with writing
Carol: see you next year
Gwen: thanks
Saint Mac: ha, I love how you reduce stress by . . not cleaning. I would have preferred a 6 week PAID vacation. Yes, more wine please!
Fundy: jump right on that new idea!!
Tyrean: Happy end of year to you too. I know you’ll be doing some wrap up projects
Hilary: hello, and thanks
Juneta: have an awesome month
Samantha: thanks, good luck to you too
Lisa: thanks
Ian: terrifying sums it up!
Susan: I need lots of luck
Michelle: thanks; and I do like having a list of projects to work on
Kalpana: time feels to slow down during a job hunt.
Toi: so glad you submitted to IWSG. Good luck and Happy Birthday
Doreen: hello
Lyn: Happy Birthday! Day of the Dead would be a better celebration here too.
Lee: yep, I love a new challenge once it starts. Not the in between time though.
Joy: Thanks

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Congrats on finding a new job. Here's hoping it will be your best job ever.

Yeah, I like October, too, but it hasn't arrived here in the Southeast yet. Still feels like the middle of the summer. At this rate, we'll still be wearing shorts in December.

Good luck with your submissions!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Donna. Glad you found another job although it's probably been a stressful time. Thankfully that means a clean house, LOL. I clean better under stress, too, but we share the same birthday month, so I expect we're pretty similar in many ways.

Looking forward to your WEP entry. And me too with the YA voice. I could do it if I tried, but I'm too busy to worry about it now.

Melanie Rickmann said...

I love fall as well and even Halloween. The kids are always so excited for all the sugar!
Cleaning helps me too! You're so right about it helping confidence.
I wish you all the best on your new job!

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

"Cleaning helps me think clearly; seeing the completed task boosts my self confidence" Me too :-) Good luck with the new job!

Raimey Gallant said...

Happy to hear I'm not the only one with a picky virus program. Happy birthday and I wish you so much happiness at the new job!

Kate Larkindale said...

Such good news that you have found a new job already. Being unemployed is so stressful. It's no wonder you can't write through that one.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

So sorry you lost your job, but I bet there's a relief there too that you aren't always on the road. I have a friend that drives truck for a living and you would have given him a run for his money doing all that driving.

Have fun for Halloween and congrats on being a host for the IWSG.

Adrienne Reiter said...

That's horrible! Still, you clearly handled it like a champ. I know how cliche it is, but I do believe we write best under pressure. I for sure struggle to pull it out of myself. Great post. Thanks for co-hosting!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

So glad to see you have another job lined up! Hopefully, your house stays clean and you can get some writing done.

dolorah said...

Susan F: well, I'm menopausal, so shorts til December suits me fine
Dx: Happy Birthday to you too! I knew this . . .
Melanie: thanks, and hope you have a good month
Ronel: thanks
Raimey: I was also glad not to be alone with my viral blockage
Kate: I think unemployment is the worst major life issue
Michael: It has been a good time home, but I'm ready to go out again
Adrienne: that IWSG deadline is causing pressure for sure
Elizabeth: I'm good for cleaning in spurts, lol

Yolanda Renée said...

First, I'm so glad you've found another job! I usually write, but very badly during major life events. It isn't until later, when I've come out on the other side that the writing makes sense. Except for poetry. Those words are right on point most of the time. Maybe it's why I'm a lousy poet. :)

Tell your YA piece from the voice of the now adult. Would that work?
Good luck, I'm still trying to come up with an idea.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I also clean to clear my head while writing. Staring at a computer screen only depresses me. So glad you found another job. All the luck with your writing project, Dolorah. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG.

Chrys Fey said...

I can't write when something interferes with my creative mind, such as a simple cold. lol But I did write while I was going through my disability and had like no money. It helped me then, but every situation is different.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm sorry about your job. I hope you get some fantastic writing in over the next couple months. That's a good idea, taking a break to get stuff done. I really need to finish my current WIP before April.

Loni Townsend said...

Phew, I'm glad when I came to the line that said you had another job. It must've been a stress-load though, regardless. I hope you have a productive and inspired time offline!

The Cynical Sailor said...

It's so hard when you lose your job. I actually stated writing (blogging) when I was made redundant several years ago, so that's one good thing that came out of it. I'm glad you have something else lined up. :-)

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I'm so glad that had a happy ending! Thanks for co-hosting (I'm coming around really late). :D