Tall Drink of Nerd: There is No Amateur-crastination
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
My house is much cleaner today, thanks to a deadline to get my FaN blogumn to you. After all the stress of the past year: double unemployment, pet illnesses, parental illnesses and lengthy hospital stays and finally the passing of my Father, I went into a funk. Not the George Clinton kind, more like the Virginia Woolf kind (only no river or pockets or rocks.) I didn’t eat, I caught some version of the stress flu, I slept a LOT and my house turned messy. Also, no writing was done during this time. Words seemed an extravagant luxury of self-indulgence. I think my brain went into the human version of the spinning beach ball of no return that happens when your computer freezes.
But now, after sleeping for a month, or what I refer to as “convalescing”, and receiving much family and friendly support, I feel re-booted. I figured it was time for a new FaN column. Only now my apartment needs a serious tidying. It’s amazing how sparkly clean my place gets when I’m trying to write. The plants get watered, the laundry is finished, the groceries are re-stocked, and the animals get brushed. Clothes get buttons sewn back onto them. I have even resorted to ironing shirts when trying to write. I am a professional procrastinator.
You might assume that I find writing difficult/painful/tedious, yes? No. I love to write. The actual moment of writing, the editing and the way I feel after creating words on a page, I get high on it all. Writing makes me feel like “I am what I am” to crib a phrase from Popeye.
But, procrastination is my version of Sirens singing me to my doom on the rocky shores. Dirty clothes call to me from the hamper, ‘if I just start the laundry I can write between loads.’ ‘I’ll just call my niece or my far away friend, Siri, for a few minutes, just to catch up.’ ‘Why, that tub needs to be scrubbed.’ It’s as if thinking about writing gives me the super power to see all the other stuff that needs to get done in my life.
About 6 months ago, I started a habit of going to a coffee house to write. Getting away from the never-ending household chores was a great way to focus on the good stuff. That appeared to work, I got a lot done. I highly recommend trying new ways to outsmart your procrastination triggers. People and pigeon watching churned the imagination butter as well.
But then the stress, the hibernation and now I’m writing from my home again. So, I’m sorry I didn’t get anything written for you today. The procrastination temptress was too strong. Though on the upside, my kitchen is shiny again and my bathrooms smell like lavender.