by Maggie Toussaint
Have you ever noticed that if you have a chore you don't particularly want to do that you procrastinate? Back when I had to iron my husband's dress shirts for his job, he'd get down to the last one before I broke out the ironing board. And I never actually hated ironing; it is restful in a busy sort of way. What I hated was getting out all the stuff, taking ten minutes on each shirt and losing an hour or two of my day on something that I had to repeat over and over again.
Dusting falls in that category for me. In fact, I'd rather clean the bathroom than dust. There have been many times that you could practically eat off my bathroom fixtures but draw your name in the dust on my bedside table. My point in mentioning this is that I never dreamed those wacky attitudes would spill into my writing.
I love writing. But there are parts of writing that require more effort from me, and I find myself backing off from the challenges when I'm pressed for time. Does this happen to you?
Now that I have writing projects in all stages of completion, I find myself spread thin. I'm still getting stuff written, but there's a sense I have of operating in crisis management mode, and as a result, the hard parts keep slipping by.
Multi-tasking works for some people. It works for me on everything but creative processes. I need chunks of morning time to be satisfyingly creative. I can't create with two loads of laundry going, phone calls from friends and bosses coming in, the TV blaring, and competing nonfiction stories from my day job dancing around in my head.
What to do? Protect your writing time like a precious newborn baby. Turn off the cell phone. Turn off the ringer in your office landline. Turn the internet off (oh no, not the internet!!!). Park yourself in the chair and get it done. The rest of the world can wait an hour or two.
Don't let busy-ness disrupt your writing time. It's still procrastination, no matter how you look at it. Make writing your priority, and even the hard parts will get done.
Writer Wednesday with Maggie at the Spa