On Distraction, Resistance, And Doing ANYTHING At All Except Writing

Note the time: 9:30am.

Bake a small loaf of Boule. Slather it with butter. Pretend to share with sister. (Here, have the last slice.)

Promise to stop eating dairy and gluten. For the third time this week.

Initiate a private twitter / Facebook group for fellow writers working on their book proposal. Silently acknowledge the smokescreen effect, while basking in self-congratulatory bliss.

Start a notebook called Accomplishments in order to feel even more productive. Replicate this list there. Use colored Sharpies for flair.

Cover desk planner with affirmations and encouragements. Read them out loud in a flowy, New Age-y kind of voice, without irony.

Burn incense. Tibetan, if possible. To light, use matchbox from Brooklyn restaurant. Feel hip, yet irked at paying $5.25 an oyster.

Pick up a pen and open notebook with book outline. Stare out window. Notice the rear tire on car is flat.

Meditate for 10 minutes to regroup.

When the muse arrives, with probing questions that spark, quickly put the pen down, walk into the living room and engage in conversation with sister. What’s her take on Karl Marx, Mitt Romney, and the plight of the proletariat?

Check the mail to see if the W2 from last summer’s gig with the schooner arrived yet. Calculate the impact that $8/hour will have on Social Security benefits. Wonder why you went to that overpriced Brooklyn restaurant?

Start making the bed for the first time since childhood.

Peruse stack of last year’s magazines with scissors and a glue stick, justifying “craft hour” by creating a visionboard. Cut out picture of Loire Valley Castle and hope someday you’ll have a remarkable story to tell, when you realize the home you’re living in IS EXACTLY THE SAME CASTLE YOU CUT OUT OF WORLD OF INTERIORS TWENTY YEARS AGO. OMG! Somebody call Oprah.

Snap the hell out of it.

Refill cup with decaf, since quitting the caffeine / sugar rollercoaster. Convince yourself that decaf tastes the same as regular and that the square of chocolate in your hand is medicinal.

Decide today would be a great day to begin that Understanding The Brain DVD course ordered after the holidays. Feel smarter for doing so, but less so once the professor starts explaining the principles of neural science. Scrunch up face at the first exercise: Why do you think saltatory conduction in myelinated axons would be faster than conduction in unmyelinated axons?

Turn off DVD and check book proposal group on Facebook for any new messages. Let guilt wash over you.

Pick up the kettlebell and do 50 kettlebell swings. Curse Tim Ferriss when your forehead and palms sweat.

Note the time: 2:15pm.

Thank Tim Ferriss for renewed energy and focus.

Sit down at computer and finally begin writing.

Leave a comment


  1. but look at the great post you created from that experience! we never know what will inspire our creativity ultimately. Yours on that day was to write this accurate, humorous, real-life way of gettin’ your creative’ on.


  2. If only I could get that much done in one day. Don’t beat yourself up too much about not doing as much writing as you’d like. I find that sometimes the distractions are the fillings of the sandwich of writing – without the daily stuff, the bread of writing wouldn’t stack up!

  3. Oh, and what was the schooner gig? Did I miss that post?

    • That post’s been wallowing in the queue since last August. Maybe I should finish it?
      Right after I alphabetize my bookshelf πŸ™‚

  4. Wow. Amazing. $5.25 an oyster? Really? πŸ˜‰ xo

  5. Sounds like a good life to me! (Mostly because it doesn’t mention a ‘real job.’)

    It’s better than my list today, anyway: Wake up. Chew through restraints. That alone could take a good hour.

    to all of it.

    • D,
      It’s not the writing that’s hard. It’s getting the damned pen on the paper and keeping it there!
      I KNOW you know what I’m talking about!

  7. Linda

     /  4 February 2012

    Or spend a wonderful day with someone who makes to feel special. A friend, a parent, a sibling, whoever. Then get on with whatever you need to do.

  8. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Sometimes you have to pause Life so you have the time/energy/space to write about it.

  9. Karen,
    Life can be such a stallion, can’t it?

  10. I find it mostly useful to write before I actually become conscious–just glide ghost-like from bed to desk in nightgown, with candle, and try to sneak up on whatever creativity is painting her fingernails that day.

    • Ginger~
      πŸ™‚ You’re quite the wordsmith! I love the image you rendered…
      It’s remarkable all the ways we outwit the devil on our shoulder, isn’t it?

  11. Hugely entertaining. “OMG! Somebody call Oprah.” It’s a cataract of fun, which is a statement right up there with “Life can be such a stallion, can’t it?” Ok, maybe not.

    • Thank you, Jeff, for the kind words, and for the follow. I’m most enjoying my midnight sojourns in the cafe, too.


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