Saturday, February 12, 2011

Top Five Ways I Avoid Writing

There are days you wake up and the last thing you want to do is think about sticking your butt in that chair to write. Filling a piece of paper or a computer screen with words is hard work--there's a reason not everyone is a writer.

Yesterday we had a serious conversation about overcommitment. Today is a humorous little article I came up with a few years ago sharing the top five ways I avoid writing.

Number 5: I revise all my goals for the year. Goals are important to every writer and when I don't feel much like plunking my butt in the chair I can rationalize that revising all my goals for the next 12 months will be helpful to my career. I disregard all my past advice about needing specific goals and breaking them down into monthly or weekly blocks and write down an overwhelming list without focus. At least I've got goals...right?

Number 4: I say yes to helping out at every function at my daughters' schools or our church. Volunteering will show my kids the importance of helping others and make me feel good about myself. I might overcommit myself, but those edits to my WIP can wait.

Number 3: I pick up where I left off on that elaborate cross-stitching project so that I can give it to my sister for Christmas. Sure I've been working on it for the last ten years, but I have to finish it right now because it will save us money during the holidays and my sister will really appreciate all the hard work I put into it.

Number 2: I clean the house. Looking around me I see a thick layer of dust on every wooden surface, so I get out the duster and start sliding it along the entertainment center. Once the dusting is done I have to pull the central vac out to get all that nasty dust off the floor. My allergies will thank me for it. I can't possibly leave the floors unwashed at that point, so I haul the pail and mop out of the closet and start scrubbing. Maybe I'll even have time to clean out the linen closet that I've been meaning to get to for the past six months.

And the Number 1 way I avoid writing is...

Surfing the Internet. What a great tool the Internet is. I can perform all types of research for my novels and articles without leaving my home. But it's also a wonderful way to keep me in touch with friends and family. I wouldn't want to be accused of neglecting them by not checking out various forums several times a day. And I must make sure that I keep a close eye on my email. It would be tragic if I missed that important message from an editor.

See, you really can avoid writing. I do it all the time.

How about you? Do any of these sound familiar? Have you used any of these to avoid writing?


Mayra Calvani said...

Oh gosh, Cheryl! I can relate! :)

Nancy Stewart said...

Am I reading about myself? I think so!

Margay said...

Haha! Think we've all been there! Mine might look something like this:

1. Read email - to "clear the decks" so I can concentrate on my writing.
2. Research the next idea I have online.
3. Agree to blog for others (don't get me wrong , I LOVE blogging - oh, wait a minute, isn't that a form of writing? Never mind.)
4. Read, read, read. Sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for review.
5. Knit. There are so many projects I want to do, my niece is pregnant so I want to make something for the baby, want to start an Etsy shop, get a jump on Christmas...

I could go on, but let's stop at 5!

madcapmaggie said...

Great post, especially as I am avoiding writing by going through all my email, reading interesting articles on blogs, and the like. Now I am going to avoid writing by vacuuming the living room.

After that I promise I'll sit down and write.

Morgan Mandel said...

Guilty of some of these. Your top one especially.
The dusting one not too much.

Morgan Mandel

Cheryl said...

I'm glad I'm not alone. I volunteered to make baked goods for our daughter's 1st grade Valentine's Day party tomorrow. Gee, which excuse am I using now? LOL!

JM said...

LMAO. The internet is my number one avoidance tactic as well. Then there are any number of domestic dutires that can't wait (even though they have been while I was doing my edits before...) and I can't forget Facebook...