Writing as Procrastination

Do you ever have those days where your To Do List is so long that you’re completely overwhelmed? So instead of tackling the list you find something to do that’s not even on it?

Yeah, me either.

Truthfully, this post is in direct response to the pile of mail on my desk, the pile of laundry that needs attention (oh laundry, why must you vex me so?), the pile of bills that needs paying, and the pile of poo that a Mama of young kids often finds herself up to the elbows in.

Rest assured, the diaper has been changed. As for the laundry, work and bills, no thank you. Maybe if I’m polite enough it will all just go away so I can take a nap.

Some days, like today where I can use writing as a brain dump and a procrastination technique all at once, I love it. I relish it. I crave it like chocolate. Ok, maybe less than chocolate but still. Rats! Now I’ve just convinced myself to procrastinate writing by finding chocolate. 

Sheesh.

Other days I get so angry at writing I could just wring its scrawny little neck. Stop tormenting me already! I just wrote yesterday! I can skip a day, right? Quit flirting with me, calling me like a siren to her sailors. Don’t tease me, offering a reprieve from my daily workload only to turn me away with nothing to show on paper for my efforts.

The writing life is something that’s always followed me around like a little lost pup. I could ignore it for so long before I had to take action. (You can buy the resulting book of my action taking here.) And now that I’m writing and speaking about topics important to me (like adoption and PTSD), it’s become my pet. Writing has become my passion and distraction.

I know there are a thousand other things I should be doing right now, but putting words from my mind to the paper is like meeting an old friend for coffee. It’s time well spent, a relief to pick up where you left off, and a warm fuzzy for the heart.

I really wish this didn’t have to end. 

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

 

 

Writing on Purpose

Since we’ve moved, I’m trying to find my go-to writing spot. My favorite place, Cuppies & Joe is now too far to dash away to whenever I find myself with a bit of time to write.

So I’m auditioning writing spots. Today’s is an epic fail. With four kids underfoot all the time, I need a place with a relaxed vibe, good coffee, a comfy place to sit. The coffee shop I’m in today is for people much cooler than I am. And probably younger.

I’m sitting on a hard metal bench listening to techno music while sipping tea. This is all wrong for me! For some, again those more hip and awesome than the likes of me, this would probably be writing nirvana.

However.

Sidebar: however is just a fancy schmancy way of saying but. I like to throw it in every once in awhile to convince you I’m an authentic writer.

For me I can barely think writerly thoughts. My mind keeps getting caught up in the loop of the nonsensical words and techno beat. Pretty soon my writing is just going to look like beep beep boop. (Nod to WordPress.com there.)

Sigh.

I have to find my spot quickly. I’m supposed to be working on the follow up book to My Pink Champagne Life with a finished manuscript by, oh, January-ish, and my muse, my mojo and my main writing area are missing! Anyone seen my mojo?

Here’s the thing I would encourage all writers with however (there’s that fancy but again): write anyway. Write even when the place is wrong. The words won’t come. The time is short. The To Do List is long. The kids are home. The coffee is cold. The Internet is down. The laundry is calling.

Write when you don’t feel like it and write when you do. Write as if your fingers are on fire. Write when you’re sick and when you’re well and when you feel as if you have nothing to write about.

I promise you this: if you get in the habit of writing no matter what, eventually you will end up with usable words on a page that can turn your dreams and hopes and promises to yourself into that book or article or story that you were meant to write. That only you can tell.

My only advice to writers is the same advice I give to my three year old: 

Use. Your. Words.

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015