On March 14 an essay was published on theodesseyonline.com by Amanda Sankey entitled “I Am Not a Feminist and That’s Okay.” I encourage you to go read it—not only because it will provide you with context for the conversation that I’m about to have but also because Amanda is a bright and talented writer and deserves to have her work seen. As a fellow writer and a Feminist, I work to encourage other women to do the work that they love and get credit for it. So go over there, click that link and give her some page views.
You wouldn’t believe the work that I gave myself, this week, in an effort to put off doing work.
I came up with a great idea for a brilliant blog post idea and instead of writing it, over the course of three days, I did five loads of laundry, did meal planning for the next week, bought all those groceries, prepped all the veggies that I bought, planned out my next month of blog posts, washed four sink-fulls of dishes, made two meals, kept up with the Kardashians, and cleaned my desk twice. And now I don’t even remember what it was that I wanted to write about. So here we are.
I came to the coffee shop with nothing but my laptop and my notebook in order to keep myself from the distractions in my own house. But, look, I’ve been here for an hour.
So I wonder why it is that we procrastinate on these things that we really want to do? I love to write. I love to communicate these things that are going on in my brain with you and I love the way you talk back and we start a conversation. I mean, I know why I’ve been putting off doing the laundry for a really long time—it’s because I don’t really want to haul it to Tidy Laundry and back up all of those stairs and fold it and put it away. But why would I rather do that than sit down and do my favorite thing?
I was reading an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert (who is my guru lately) and she was talking about how she deals with procrastination.
“I abide by Goethe’s rule: “Never hurry, never rest.” I never go into crazy fugue states, but I don’t ever stop, either. I’m a plow mule. I’m very disciplined, and I have a great regard for deadlines — usually my own. “
She was also talking about how she has made a pact with herself that in the morning, once she sits down at her computer and isn’t allowed to stand up for two hours. Which is a really, really long time when you’re not yet in the swing of things.
So I guess what I’m deciding is that maybe it’s just that I’m going to need to do a couple of things—try out the plow horse mentality for a while and see if it works for me. And I need to probably relax a little bit. I’ve never been a writer for a living, before, I’m learning as I go.
But seriously, do you have any things that you go through in your mind when you need to reign in the monkey brain? When you need to really get down and focus.
Do you listen to anything when you need to do your work like that?
I’ve learned that this is the best time for me to listen to brand new albums that I’m not too familiar with so that I can get lost in the music and the rhythm but I don’t know the words, yet, so I can tune it out a little bit.
I think you all are great and it’s awesome that you don’t mind me obsessing about myself sometimes.