Jul 24, 2013

How Not to Get Any Writing Done

By H. Linn Murphy

I am a whiz at not getting things done. I could be Princess Procrastinatrix of the Put-off. If you'd like to join me, here's how:

1. You actually sit down to type and notice: an old Band-aid, a leftover leaking candy bar, a laundry mountain teetering on the brink of the couch, the questionable sock you found in said couch, the list of women you were supposed to call for food donations, a stack of bills, another pile of stuff to go through, your scriptures, your son's merit badge patch you were supposed to sew onto his scout shirt, random fuzz or crumbs on the floor, and the fact that your son has just written with purple crayon on the wall, entertainment center, and TV.
All of these things niggle at you until you simply can't last another second without dealing with them (son first).  Anything else is clearly more important than writing. Just let your ADHD flag fly on this one.

2. The phone rings and it's your sister, who is not having the melt down everyone thinks she is. Sisters are, of course, going to need your undivided attention way more than crashing space ships or the Duke of Amherst's luscious lips. You don't want to turn the phone off in case you win a sweepstakes or someone offers you a new car.

3. You have to clear your mind of obstructions, so you first play twenty-seven or so games of Solitaire. Then you move on to Sudoku. Then Beleaguered Castles. After that you're about ready to go.

4. Then you open your mail and take care of about a hundred emails, blog entries and comments to friends' blogs, and pleas from various charities. Most of this stuff you just cram back in your email for the nebulous time in the future when you go through all your in-box and delete the 8,943 emails about stuff you should have done and forgot to. There are a few guilt emails from your mom in there that you've stuffed down so deep you won't find them until your hard drive fails. But you look anyway.

5. Next you have to hit Facebook and run through all your business there. There are angry cats just waiting for you to share them. And about forty-six pokes. And comments up the wazoo. People want to be your friend and tell you about their books (always a good thing, right?). Networking is a fantastic tool in the right hands. In the procrastinator's hands, it's like plastic bags and butter tubs to a hoarder.

6. There will be several of your friends' books you will want to buy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or you book site of choice. Plus you remember you needed to do about twenty-three book reviews. Then you check the standing of your own book and commiserate with yourself by going to the fridge for a quart of Rocky Road.

7. Goodreads is next because you have reviews for that site as well. Then you have to check off all the books you've read since last time, make a new shelf (figure out how to make that shelf), deal with a few emails, examine the new releases, and write to a friend.

8. Hit Twitter next and tweet about what you had for dinner and all the cute cat photos you shared on Facebook.

9. Next in line is Pinterest. You have a bazillion friends on there and all of their stuff is cute! Besides, you need ideas for craft projects and this is a gold mine. You like their books and check to see if any of them have liked yours. You return to the fridge to eat the rest of the Rocky Road.

10. By this time it's the witching hour when everybody comes home from where ever it was they were hiding from chores. You have to keep right on them or nothing gets done. And that's in summer. If it's school time, you have to add another eight hours of homework and school projects, for some of which you'll have to run to the store for glitter or Popsicle sticks.

11. The man comes home and you realize you've got to hop right on making dinner. You keep the computer on in case you suddenly have a minute to write, but who are you kidding? Between the kissing and talking about where you moved his camera cable/keys/papers/Sunday socks/D&D dice/lucky beanie/or whatever, there'll be no time for typing or thinking.

12. After dinner, forget it. The TV is on or music is playing. People are going to be doing all kinds of things. They'll alert you to the fact that you forgot to bake them two dozen cookies for a seven o'clock camp meeting, insist you take them to Becky's/David's/the store/church/a ball game, insist you play games/read stories/listen to them play/rub their back, etc. Seriously, you'll never see your computer until bedtime.

Voila. You've done it. A whole day is down the tubes and you've written nothing. It's a tried and tested method.
I have to go to the store for more Rocky Road.


  1. Well, if this isn't the cutest thing I've read in a long time! I'm just this compulsive! I hate that I am, but I am.Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ahahaha! I love this. Thanks for the smile and the peek into your corner of the world. You rock. hugs~

  3. Hahahahaha!

    In defense of hoarders, I don't have a single butter tub that isn't already being used by butter. We won't talk about the box of plastic bags I inherited from the previous owner. Or maybe so. It IS down by several inches.

    Oh yeah, writing. Hmm, I'd better get to that soon!

  4. It's all true. There are a googol things to waste time on. I know. I've found them all and use them often. Now on to the thumb wrestling match.

  5. Hysterical and all so true.


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