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How Not to Think About Writing

How Not to Think About Writing


After last week’s momentous book launch, I decided I deserved a weekend’s worth of down time. I’d been going 4-40 since January and felt exhausted. All I was looking for was two days of doing nothing. Makes sense, right? Recharge the old batteries, gather steam for the next project. All good.

What was it Bobby Burns said? The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley, wasn’t it? Yeah… turns out the old Scot was right.

So I blow off my WW meeting on Saturday morning because of a rum tummy. Tried to sleep in, but His Admiralship wanted breakfast at five freaking thirty. Got up, fed the pushy poodle, then tried to go back to sleep. Kept thinking about scenes I needed to add to Book 2 of the mystery series. Not wanting to lose the ideas, I grabbed my bed side notebook to jot them down — and promptly spilled my water glass into the open drawer of the nightstand. *sigh* Got up, cleaned up the mess (yes, thank you, Nelson, you were very helpful trying to lick up the water), then tried again to go back to sleep. Remembered I hadn’t made notes. Got up again and jotted down my ideas.

At that point, I was wide awake. But I had promised myself I wasn’t going to do anything writerly. So I went downstairs, put the kettle on, made some tea… and started thinking about a scene in my fantasy novel. Nope. Stop it. Not doing any writing today. Stood there for a moment and noticed that the kitchen cabinets needed cleaning. Got out the orange oil and did a spot of cleaning.

Two hours later, the kitchen gleamed. As did the bathrooms and the floors. And as I scrubbed I found myself wondering what my character Charlotte would use for degreasing since oranges weren’t available in medieval times… stop it. Stop thinking writer-type things! Maybe, I thought, as I got up off the floor, knees aching, I should take a little nap.

Oh, wait, not so fast. I needed to take the oriental carpet to this shop my husband found in Lakemoor for cleaning. Lakemoor? Where the devil is Lakemoor? Oh, says he on his way out the door to work, it’s just up 47, take a right on 120. Right around the corner.

Over an HOUR LATER, I finally located the small burb of Lakemoor, but the only thing at the address indicated was an autobody shop. I drove up and down the street for twenty minutes (I’m sure people thought I was either loony or casing the joint), but there is NO cleaners. So I drove back home. But the drive wasn’t completely wasted because I figured out the tricky escape bit for the fantasy novel. Oh damn. I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about writing…

So I got home shortly after noon, at which point, it was time to rouse the teenager and get some food down her gullet before she becomes an unholy, crabby mess. That accomplished, I thought, okay, NOW I can sit down and do… um… work on the fantasy novel? No. No writing. Okay, I’ll um… oh I know, I’ll dump book 2 of the mystery series into Scrivener and… oh, yeah, no writing. So… um… er…

I dithered on the couch for about twenty minutes, trying to think of something to do that wasn’t writing related. I even pulled out my Kindle to read something. But I couldn’t settle on what to read. Except that book about how to writer faster… but wait, that was writing related.

Bottom line, I’ve apparently forgotten how to just sit and do nothing. Well, at least anything that doesn’t have something to do with writing. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that. Turns out, I LOVE writing. Even the icky revision part. I’m actually itching to dive into the editing of Book 2. Maybe this revision won’t take me six months, like the last one, now that I understand the process!

So today, Sunday, I took a breath, allowed myself to think a few writerly thoughts, then did my usual Sunday errands (grocery store, making a few casseroles for dinner during the week, putting my lunch things together for Monday, etc.). And for dinner, the family and I went out to The Claddagh for a good old faux Irish meal. I even treated myself to a pear cider. Yum!

Tomorrow, however, it’s back to work. Both to the evil day job and as a writer. And I can’t wait!

Is there a hobby or avocation you itch to work on when you’re doing other things? Is there a project you can’t wait to get back to or consumes your thoughts at any given idle moment? I’d love to hear about your favorite things. And thanks for dropping by!

Illegitimi non carborundum!