April Showers Bring May Madness

03 May

I need you to think.  Take a deep breath.  Ready?

Do you have challenges with your writing?

It’s okay if you don’t.  I don’t hate you.  Much.

I’d like to say I have it all together.  I know exactly what I’m doing.  I have never faced a major obstacle.  I have never wanted to punch my computer.

I’ve been married a really long time.  I’ve been a teacher for at least thirty-four of those years.  I can’t tell you exactly how long because I don’t want to do the math.  It’s May, and that would take way too much energy from someone running on fumes.  It has taken my husband years to understand an important fact.  The best thing to do is give me space, avoid direct eye contact, and don’t say too much.  The least thing is enough to set me off.  If he doesn’t bother me, his chance of surviving the month increases.

I know a lot of people think teachers check out during the last month.  Let me make this very clear.  I don’t.  Until recently, I took grades into the last days of school.  I admit to it.  I’m crazy.  After my son died, I realized I should close out grades the week before school gets out.  Otherwise, I’m setting myself up for extreme stress.  I don’t need that.  I don’t want to be working on report cards on May 24th when school ends May 25th.

What does this have to do with writing?


I get to work at seven twenty and can be there until after five.  It is a long day.   It’s hard to carve out time to write.

I would like to say I am able to implement the lesson learned from Johanna’s workshop, the one I mentioned in my previous blog.  The ten minute blocks of time are manageable.  I have applied the lesson to housework.  My bathroom sinks sparkle.

I have had difficulties applying this to writing. After a full day, I am exhausted.  It’s difficult to string a sentence together, let alone, write.  I am barely functioning.

What successful strategies have you used to move past obstacles to your writing?

I would love to hear what you’re doing when life crashes on you.  Please share words of wisdom.


Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Idaho


17 responses to “April Showers Bring May Madness

  1. Janis McCurry

    May 3, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    Let me know when you find out. I’m interested to hear strategies as well.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      I’ll be thrilled to let you know.

  2. Meredith Allen Conner

    May 3, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I’m waiting to hear the strategies myself. I keep trying different techniques – some last longer than others 🙂

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      I am waiting as well. I’m hoping someone has magic words to share.

  3. Liz Fredericks

    May 3, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    The ONLY thing that’s ever worked for me is to operate in 10 day blocks instead of 7 day weeks. And even then, all bets are off in April and May because I seem to respond to everyone’s deadlines and agenda but my own. I don’t control baseball schedules, administrative events, psychotic episodes (students, children, mine, argh), other people’s perceptions/wants/wishes/needs/baggage, or, apparently, even predictable internet access. Let’s chant the mantra – June is almost here . . . June is almost here . . . Dark Shadows is almost here . . . oops, wrong mantra.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      LiZ!!!! You so understand what’s happening. Other months may be like April and May, but I’m am sort of calm. In April and May, it all changes. That’s when CRAZY takes over. The stress builds to the breaking point.

  4. Peggy Staggs

    May 3, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Strategies? There are strategies? Let me know when you get them ironed out. I’m still searching for mine.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Peggy, you made me chuckle. So far, Jan has suggested I bag it until June. I liked it, but a stubborn part of me insists there is a magic formula. Ha, ha, ha.

  5. Jan Hambright

    May 3, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I say to HECK with it, Lynn! Why beat yourself up? Will the world end if you don’t write something right now? No. Will every store in the world stop selling post-it notes? No, thank goodness. So repeat after me, I will get back to my WIP when school is out. Period. Now relax and use those 10 precious minutes to take care of YOU. : ) Love ya, my friend.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Jan, thank you for those words of wisdom. I do think I can put the project aside, but in classic good-girl fashion, it bugs me that I can’t fit it in with all the other madness going on around me. Thank you, my friend for taking the time to share.

  6. stephanieberget

    May 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    I love Jan’s idea. I usually don’t have any choice. When life gets to me, I can’t write and I’ve found it easier to just go with it and write when I get my mind back. Take care.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Steph, Jan is a wise woman. I will work on taking care of me.

  7. ramblingsfromtheleft

    May 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Lynn, all I can say is that I’ve been there, done that and the memory of it all makes me grateful to be a struggling retired type. I’d rather struggle than do the alternative. Could have taken advantage of the early retirement to do consultations, to teach part time, to do any number of things including write proposals for other agencies. NOT, no, never, nunca and too bad. Rather be poor that lose the most valuable asset of my decision to retire very early … TIME … is it the the most important commodity we have and I would not trade it for all the contract deadlines and end of terms in the universe.

    Some of you at GSW are getting close to a time when you can opt to retire and all I can say is that if the chance comes along, give up something and grab it like the gold ring. In the mean time, love you for your dedication and hard work 🙂

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Ramblings, I…look forward to retirement. I could go early, but the $ part plays with my mind. I don’t feel I am structured enough to make the best use of my time.
      You are right. Time is precious. It is our most important commodity.

  8. marsharwest

    May 3, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I love, Jan’s comment. Just because “they” tell us we have to write every day, Lynn, I’m not convinced we do. I don’t do the creating part (either planning or actually typing the words without that big block of time. I can edit, check emails, respond to blogs, but not the creative stuff.
    As to retirement. Thank you God and my husband. I hated the end of the year. Hated the end of the year. People not in school business don’t get that you are not only doing the end of the year stuff, you’re doing the planning for next year. Absolute madness. I’m so grateful to not have to do that anymore.
    Since I’m retired, I must not have any distractions, right? Wrong. Of course, I do, everyone does. Mine are grands, puppies, various and sundry errands and appointments, and excercise.
    Before digging into the new words stuff, I’ve recently tried some focusing exercises. I listen to a tape my critique partner has put together that helps me relax and tap into my creative side (letting my overdeveloped critical self take a step back.) I also put a little stuffed dog I call Scruffy on top of my screen when I’m in the creative mode–kind of a visual this doesn’t have to be perfect.
    Last word. Cut yourself some slack, Lynn. You’ll get back to writing when life isn’t quite so chaotic.

    • Lynn Mapp

      May 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      Marsha, thank you, thank you. Getting off your own back is difficult.

  9. Kathleen Nelson

    May 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Actively thinking about my characters, even day dreaming, for a few precious moments a day will keep my muse happy and talkative. If I don’t, she doesn’t either.


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