I’ll Write After…..

Home alone, with so many things to preoccupy me, some days I find it difficult to focus on the task of writing. It starts off something  like this: I’ll write after…. I take a shower, put my daughter on the bus, throw in some laundry, check my e-mail, have breakfast, load the dishwasher, do my hair and makeup (because what if someone comes to the door?), check in with all my blog buddies (and there are many), pay bills, walk the dog, check the mail (because Harlequin has had my partial for three months and they should be responding soon….shouldn’t they?), read and sort the mail so it doesn’t pile up on the kitchen table (somehow it does anyway), change the laundry, put in another load, make lunch, eat lunch……and before I know it it’s 1:00 p.m. And oh crap, my son’s going to be home in an hour. What can I get done in one lousy hour? It’s better not to get started than to get interrupted…..although in my son’s defense, it’s usually me following him around the house in need of human contact. He’s content to plug into his X-box and forget I’m alive! But knowing he’s home and may need me at any moment, (he’s 16 tomorrow by the way, and really only needs me to drive him around!) I put off writing until later. I change and fold the laundry, check my e-mail, start to think about something for dinner, and then my youngest daughter gets home (and she loves attention, any kind), and I think: I’ll write after….. I talk to my daughter(s) about their day, nag my kids to turn off the TV, do their homework, stop fighting, set the table, walk the dog, come for dinner (because somewhere in all of this I’ve thrown some type of food products together and called it a meal), take a shower, practice your flute, study your chemistry, turn off the TV (again), go to bed…go to bed now….go to bed now and I mean it. By then it’s 10:45 p.m., and I’m tired (since I was up at 6:45). So I wind down with a little Food Network, check my e-mails followed by a little late night blogging, and go to bed thinking: I’ll write after……a good night’s sleep.    

Luckily all my days are not like this. And to limit the ones that are, I’ve joined WritingGIAM (Writing Goals in a Month), where writers and authors (prepublished/published) share weekly goals and accomplishments that are posted for all members to see. And I Do NOT want to have to post “This week Wendy Marcus has not written one blessed word, entered one contest, or done one thing to further her “career” as a writer.”

When the words don’t come easy, I get a rejection, or don’t place in a contest, and I need something to motivate me to get to work, I visit http://www.writeattitude.net/. If you’ve never been there, it’s a wonderful site with inspirational quotes and stories of published authors’ roads to publication. While there I picked up this quote that I repeat over and over whenever I’m thinking of doing something else when I should be writing: “You don’t find time to write. You make time. It’s my job.” – Nora Roberts

So what types of things keep you from writing, and how do you regain your focus? And if you’re not a writer, what’s your favorite procrastination activity?

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  • Bethanne
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    That's me a gazillion times over… ACK! I was just talking about this with a fellow writer recently. Discipline! That's my New Year's Goal. Make time and be disciplined. Somedays when I finally get to it, it's late and I'm tired, but I feel I have to… Is it just me or does time go by TOO QUICKLY!

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by, Bethanne. Just the other day my son and I were arguing over how old our dog is. I insisted he was four. My son insisted he was older. I pulled out his birth certificate, to prove I was right, and to my dismay found out he's actually six. How is that possible? It seems like just yesterday we adopted him (as a puppy), just like it seems it was just yestarday when I got married, bought my house, had each of my children………

  • Merissa
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy! Good to find you. lol
    Great post–we all fight procrastinating. Some of us better than others. 🙂
    (okay–I'm a terrible procrastinator–I admit it.) My favorite thing to do when I should be writing and am procrastinating is to read a book, take a bath (sometimes read a book in the bath) or lose hours on the internet. There are blogs galore and facebook calling my name. I could lose days there if I let myself.
    I will check out writeattitude. Haven't seen the site before and it sounds worthwhile.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    Welcome, Merissa! Glad you came back for a second try! I can lose hours on the Internet, if I let myself. You're right, there are so many great blogs, and so many new people to meet!

  • Terri
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Been there, done that, bought the bobblehead doll! My attention span is that of a mufflehead midge. A Twitter tweet can distract me. One of the worst things for me is this: I decide I need to look something up. I Google it. The googly leads me to another googly, and then to another, and another…

  • Terri
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    PS: (Not sure what happened to my raspberries or why that typing fiend keeps on appearing lately. Sorry about that.)

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    Glad to have you visit, Terri. With or without your rasberries!

  • Liz
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy – the question is what DOESN'T distract me? lol

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by, Liz!

  • Sandra Ferguson
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    I think you pretty well covered all my procrastion techniques. I will even chase the dust bunnies off my baseboards in a moment of desperation. I did say, desperation, didn't I?

    Got some great plotting in this weekend — with the critique group. And today in the dentist office, just never know where inspiration will hit, my dentist provide great insight into one of the plot twist that I needed. Believe me, I could have read obscure medical journals for a month and not come up with this twist. Not sure exactly how the twist will straighten out, but I can't wait to write it and find out.

  • Wendy Marcus
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Well Sandra, you've got me beat. I have NEVER resorted to cleaning baseboards!!!

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