The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

(I’m assuming that anyone reading is post is already well-versed in the IWSG, but if you’re on the prowl for additional information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are: Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard.

This month’s (optional) question asks, “In this time, when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, how are things in your world?”

So, yeah. It turns out that my lifestyle is best described as ‘social distancing self-quarantine’ because nothing’s really changed all that much. (I am very fortunate to be able to say that, I know, and I am grateful for it.) I’m still an anxiety-ridden introvert who has decided to take on too many projects in an attempt to keep from worrying about things over which she has absolutely no control.

For example, I’m working on putting together a video conferencing thingamajig (probably not the proper terminology) for one of the writers groups that I run. (Yes. I run four writers groups in my area. I don’t know how it happened, either.) I’m planning to do some trial runs before the actual meeting date so I can attempt to become slightly more comfortable with the technology. I remain optimistic, however, that no matter how much practice I do, I will completely forget how to do everything on the actual day. (I apologize in advance, group!)

I signed up for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session because I figured if I was going to be staying home and avoiding people even more than I already do, I might as well attempt to use that time to finish up the first draft of Full Circle. The goal is set for 30,000 because I’m honestly not sure if there’s 50,000-words worth of story left to tell. I could be wrong, though. It’s hard to be sure. I think I’ve traumatized my characters to the breaking point. Seriously, one of them has just been sitting at a table, staring into the abyss, for, like, a month now, and I can’t get him to do anything else. I would tell him that things were going to get better, but he’s gone through two and a half books with me so far. He knows exactly how much of a lie that would be.

I’m working on a manuscript critique for a writer acquaintance (a post-apocalyptic novel, actually, which feels a little too timely these days…). He also asked me to review a short story he had written for a contest.

And last, but not least, I’m also working on a read-through of the Terrible Romance Novel in the hopes of getting it to a proofreader-type person in the possibly-not-so-distant future. I had pretty much decided to stick that story in a drawer, but my niece texted me over the weekend to ask how much longer it would be before that book was published because she really wants a copy, and in doing so managed to shame me into pulling the manuscript back out of the drawer because I love my nieces and nephews and would do anything for them. Even write a terrible romance novel.

So yeah. I now have entirely too much to do, but at least that’s a pressure/anxiety I kind of sort of know how to deal with a little bit. Maybe. In theory.

On a slightly more serious note, I hope everyone’s doing all right out there. Please, please, please take care of yourselves. Love to all.

30 Commentsto The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same (An IWSG Post)

  1. I led a very self-isolated life before all this, too, so not much has changed for me, either. I’m just…more anxious now, haha.

    And wow, you’ve been busy! Hope you have lots of success with Camp NaNoWriMo. (Traumatizing characters to the breaking point is the best!) And how exciting about the Terrible Romance Novel! I’ve always been intrigued by that project, so I’m glad it hasn’t been permanently shelved. Best of luck with everything! <3

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Thank you! I managed to hit my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal for today, which is good, but also, as far as I know, could be as good as it gets. But hey, at least I wrote those thousand words, right? 🙂

  2. You have really jumped into the writing activities. Four groups? Impressive for someone who doesn’t like to speak in front of others.

  3. Um, all of this – “So, yeah. It turns out that my lifestyle is best described as ‘social distancing self-quarantine’ because nothing’s really changed all that much. (I am very fortunate to be able to say that, I know, and I am grateful for it.) I’m still an anxiety-ridden introvert….” – sounds just like me. 🙂

  4. My life hasn’t changed much either. The biggest thing is hubby is working from home. I’m counting my blessing for that as not everyone is as lucky.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      My significant other also works from home full-time, so things are pretty normal for us. We just cook at home more. ‘Cook’ being a relative term, of course, as neither of us really cooks.

  5. I work from home so I’m always social distancing.

    I need to look into video conferencing as a way to do my seminars since I can’t get out physically to do them.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      There are a ton of video conferencing options out there. I’m sure you’ll find something that’ll work for you.

  6. My life is already pretty socially distant, too, but I’m currently doing Zoom meetings for my tutored students and I picked up another student because the school district in my area hasn’t really been able to keep up with everything – I live in Washington state where it hit first, so schools have been closed a while and they will be for a while longer.
    Way to go with writing!
    Be my buddy with Camp NaNoWriMo?

  7. The world is upside-down at the moment. We need to hang in there and remain as positive as we can.
    You sound really busy, which is a good thing. If you focus on being productive, then there’s no time to be distracted by the misinformation/fake news/panic out there.

  8. There are moments I wish I could be more social distant, what’s an introvert to do?! Thankful I have a job at the moment, however. Glad to hear you’re writing, stay safe out there! 🙂

  9. Chrys Fey says:

    I’m excited for the video conferencing thingamajig. 😉 It’ll be new and different, so there may be a mistake, but we’ll all understand and go with the flow.

    Nothing has changed for me, either. Except now I can’t go to the library or to the store.

  10. J E Oneil says:

    Yeah, my life hasn’t changed all that much either. But seriously, you run FOUR writer’s groups??? What would they all do without you?

  11. Liz A. says:

    Ah, but not knowing how to do the video conferencing is so of the moment that being competent would ruin it. I’m sure your writing group won’t mind if there are a few glitches while you all get more comfortable with the format.

    Glad you’re able to stay safe.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      That’s true. I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for others. They’ll feel cheated if they don’t get a good story out of it. I should stop prepping immediately, just in case. 🙂

  12. Sarah Foster says:

    Yeah, since I still go to work and I’ve always been an introverted hermit…my routine hasn’t changed all that much.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I have moments where I get all worried about the fact that my routine hasn’t changed all that much. I love how my anxiety always finds something new about which to worry. Hope you’re able to manage yours!

  13. C. Lee McKenziE says:

    I guess you have a rather full agenda these days. I’m amazed at the number of writers’ groups you’re heading up. Good luck with your video conferencing experiment. Are you using Zoom? I have to take a look at how that works. I have some school visits to do and I think they’ll be using that app. Always something new.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I’m amazed at the number of groups I’m heading up, too. It was a complete accident.

      I’m not using Zoom, for a couple of reasons—the biggest one being that the free edition only gives you 40 minutes, and I need longer than that. But I have a couple of other sites/apps/whatever I’ve been experimenting with that seem like they’ll work.

  14. Lee Lowery says:

    “social distancing self-quarantine’ because nothing’s really changed” check!

    “anxiety-ridden introvert” check!

    So glad you are finding some focus in these challenging times. I think perhaps those of us with our particular introvert focus may be better equipped for today’s particular challenges.

  15. Wow, you’ve got a lot going on, even with this whole virus thing. Good to stay busy. Thanks for checking in, and stay safe out there! 🙂

  16. Yeah, I’ve been one of those people who are fine staying home as well, though my best friend is going crazy.

    We tried Skype for last week’s critique group meeting. It was a bit choppy, but it worked. Next week, we’re going to try Jitsi. We were going to use Zoom, but with it being in the news for privacy issues, we decided to go a different route.

    Hope you’re doing well and your group meets work out remotely. 🙂

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Yeah, I have a good friend who is climbing the walls because she craves human interaction.

      I’m actually using Jitsi for my meeting. We’ve done a couple of tests, and so far it’s been great. Not sure how it’ll be with the entire group, but I’ll find out on Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *