11 Feb

GetAttachmentI honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me. When did I become a self-sabotaging idiot who will do just about anything to avoid working on her novel? Since last Friday, I’ve been practically salivating about today because incredibly, there is nothing on my calendar for a four hour block of time. I’ve been eagerly anticipating finishing a particularly difficult chapter that’s been hounding me for weeks and yet I’ve already wasted more than an hour of precious writing time on the most mundane tasks possible.

Here is a list of the things that I believed were more important to complete today before working on my novel:

1) Stripping the bed and throwing the sheets in the washing machine. I mean, who can even think of writing anything when they know the bed sheets haven’t been washed for over a week?

2) Running out to Starbucks to get a coffee. I really shouldn’t count this as unnecessary as all writers know that coffee is needed to get the creative juices flowing (and other important juices as well.) Plus, they know my name and order at Starbucks and this makes me feel important.

3) Realizing that I need to pick up 25 Valentines for Isa’s class, plus candy to attach to each Valentine even though you’re not really supposed to do that because candy is so unhealthy and the school district frowns upon it. Then after seeing how crowded Michael’s Craft Store is, immediately deciding to let my oldest daughter handle the whole Valentine undertaking when she gets off work tonight.

3) Arriving home and switching the sheets into the dryer while noticing that there are toast crumbs all over the counter and the dishwasher needs emptying.

4) Wiping toast crumbs off counter and emptying dishwasher while mentally grousing how nobody in this goddamn family ever cleans up the kitchen but me.

5) Opening the refrigerator door and noticing a rank odor that turns out to be a bag of rotting cauliflower florets that now resemble hunks of yellow mucus. Throwing said cauliflower away while grousing that nobody in this goddamn family ever cleans out the refrigerator but me.

6) Taking the dog outside to poop. This task is quite a production and can take up to ten minutes as Cody, our Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix must sniff every inch of the front lawn while intermittently pausing to bark at invisible threats before his own creative juices start to flow, wherein he’s finally able to produce the tiniest nugget of poop imaginable. Wherein, I have to praise him in a high squeaky voice and give him a treat.

7) Removing sheets from dryer and realizing that two balled-up pillow cases got stuck inside the fitted sheet which means they are still sopping wet while everything else is dry. Deciding to put wet pillow cases on the pillows anyway and hope they’ll dry by tonight.

8) Reading and answering emails. Checking Facebook. Sharing a post about how Annie Lennox thinks older women are more interesting. Love her!

9) Deciding that even though I’m an older woman and I’m certainly more interesting, I still can’t think of anything compelling to write about lately, and it’s been way too long since I posted anything on my blog. Realizing that if I don’t post something soon, my readers might eventually forget all about me which will be a problem when I finally get this stupid novel written and want them to read it.

There. Almost two hours gone. Damn.

Now it’s time to start thinking about lunch.

14 Responses to “Self-Sabotage”

  1. Tracey February 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    It’s not just you. I have no idea why I just can’t get any work done. I have had both my editor AND my agent ask me about what I’m working on and I have had nothing to show for myself for MONTHS. Maybe it’s fear. I don’t know. If you find a cure, tell me!!!

  2. Britton Swingler February 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    I woke up with you on my mind; missing you actually, so how fabulous it was to arrive home after errands (not the editing I should have been doing even though I too had four free and rare hours to do so) to find your fabulous post! Sending much love and lots of creative juice mojo! ❤

    • Allegro non tanto February 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      I miss you, too! Here’s a toast to our creative juices flowing!

  3. Nanci Alvarado February 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Now THAT was entertainment!!!

  4. Beth Fairfield February 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Love it!!! A great piece of writing.. Made me smile today and forget my worries! Thank you Jessica! 🙂

  5. debatterman February 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    Someone once suggested to me that all this ‘stuff’ we need to clear up before getting down to work is a kind of nesting. I like the concept, the point being that there are times I do need get things out of the way before I can sit and concentrate. You may not have gotten to that chapter in the novel but nothing could keep you from writing a delightful blog post.

    • Allegro non tanto February 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

      Actually, after I finished writing my blog post, I did work a little on that chapter. I think it gets harder as I get closer to the end!

      • Jayne Martin February 12, 2015 at 10:33 am #

        I agree with Deborah. You wrote something delightful and relevant that we can all relate to. Give yourself credit for that. And if one chapter is blocking your way, throw it aside and move to scenes you already have in your head for later in the piece. Once your muse kicks in, you’ll be ready to go back to the part that’s creating all this resistance. And I think we’re all due for another gathering, too.


      • Allegro non tanto February 12, 2015 at 10:59 am #

        We do need another gathering. Maybe that will help kick my muse into high gear! xxoo

  6. Kristin February 11, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    I’m glad you dealt with the rotting cauliflower. P U!!

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