I’m writing. Go ask your father. That’s the new sign that hangs from the back of my desk chair in my small corner of the den. The time has come for me to choose a new direction in my professional life and I would like writing to be that new path. The sign is a whimsical attempt to put up a barrier to distractions and an effort to dedicate more time to writing. I wanted a gentle reminder for my family because they took offense when I merely shouted “Go away, I’m trying to write!” Of course, creating the sign was yet another act of procrastination.
Why is it so difficult to sit down and write? Why is the dirty laundry’s siren song so strong? Why is cleaning the garage so appealing? Anyone who writes knows exactly what I mean. We profess to have a need to write and yet, when we find ourselves with a block of precious quiet free time, we dither, we delay; we discover that the shower grout needs a good scrub. I think it’s partially insecurity and fear. A fellow student once remarked that writers are basically insecure. I agree. We worry that if we commit the words to paper, someone will take exception to what we’ve written or worse, laugh at our feeble attempts. We fear criticism and rejection.
I have decided that I must put aside that anxiety and push myself to write. I set up elaborate daily schedules to block out periods of time for writing. I made my silly sign and cautioned my family that when the sign is up and my headphones are on, I’m not to be disturbed. I surrounded myself with books on writing, a thesaurus and several grammar guides. I created a quiet place in our home with a tranquil view of the patio. And then I spent the past two weeks finding all manner of distractions and excuses to not write.
This morning, I puttered around the house for a bit. I worked on emails for several groups I volunteer for. I made gazpacho. I tidied the living room and cleared the debris of breakfast. As I worked through the morning routine, in the background my brain was working on this piece. I just didn’t realize it until I finally sat at my computer. The writing day has just begun.