When is it OK to do NOTHING?

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Feeling superrrrr unproductive lately. As in…I’m FORCING myself to write this blog post simply to feel that relief of “Yay, I checked ‘blogging’ off the list!” It’s bad, y’all.

My next novel, my lovely WIP, is sitting at the saddest ONE chapter halt, just eyeing me with pure hate, daring me to wait another week and then another and then another…

In fact, I actually did my taxes in order to avoid writing. Gross.

I’ve been traipsing around Austin like some sort of Hilton brat…pretending I have loads of cash to throw away on mimosas and sushi. This past weekend, I laid in Zilker Park with the boy and let dogs come up to lick my face—when I could’ve been writing. We went to a freakin’ improv show that was downright terrible—when I could’ve been writing. I went to brunch TWICE. I even took a damn nap. I hate naps. I could’ve been writing.

Decided: Happiness gets in the way of getting shit done. And I think that’s OK?

I typed my first novel so furiously, post-break-up. I was like, “I hate you, I HATE YOU, I hate me, typetypetype, BOOM- NOVEL! WHAT NOW, BITCH?”

When you’re super happy, you’re usually also super busy…with, ya’ know, happy-life-things like kissing and snuggling and park-lounging. And then WHOA before you know it, another weekend has flown by in a whirlwind of pancakes and sunshine. Your gut is kinda like, “Um, excuse me, ma’am, remember when you used to go to the gym and WRITE and schedule haircuts and WRITE and read and WRITE and stuff…?”

Heart: stfu I’m having fun.

Head: Don’t worry, I’m sure things will get crappy soon and then we’ll have all the time in the world, like we used to.

Heart: BUT WHAT IF WE’RE HAPPY FOREVER?

Head: lolz

Gut: omg you’re both so effing annoying. We’ll find a balance, chill.

Life gets crazy. Busy as hell (seriously though, taxes? Who thought of that, the Brits? Didn’t we gain our independence?) and superrrrrr happy-insane sometimes. It’s OK to do nothing for a while, especially if you’re like me and you’ve been some sort of psycho Energizer Bunny since birth.

Decided: Be productive when you can, learn to adapt, evolve, whatever…find a balance and chill, like Gut says. Don’t let go of your passions, but don’t freak out and hold them so close that you lose creative control.

Heart: k!

Head: sigh, k.

Gut: kduh.

And then there’s this ^ …

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11 responses »

  1. AMEN SISTER! 👍👊👏🙌

    Finally someone said it! Now that I’m back at school, I have work to do, of course. But it’s okay to be happy and confident, as long as I get things done AND have me time. I didn’t have enough of that last semester; I was laser-focused on improving my time management that I worked myself to the ground and everything backfired.

    ❤️ the personification 😃

  2. Holy cannoli- I cannot tell you how much I ❤ this post. It's crazy difficult to have a life and to write and when the other life is teaching (and in my case mommying, trying to be a decent partner to my dude)… Glad you found me so I could find you!

  3. Hi Alysha – yes, it’s so easy to do nothing, especially when you work for yourself/work from home. The plethora of distractions (such as posting a comment on someone’s blog post!) is so tempting… even in the disguise of doing something productive (taxes, laundry, dishes, etc.) but not at all focused on what you SHOULD be doing at that time. I allow myself little breaks but it’s important to set goals to make sure you have some focus. Unless something MUST be done today, my to-do list is usually for the week, allowing some flexibility and not setting myself up for failure.

  4. Happy the best way to live. It took a while for me to be ok with not hitting my word count every day. Right now I am content if I write 5 days a week. I just focus on what makes me happy while balancing all the other stuff that life demands. Best of luck to you!

  5. Oh, I worked it out. Yeaterday happened, ie nothing happened, because I forget my golden rule about first drafts: just spew it out. I got blocked by incessant attention to detail when the first draft should be, I think, a pouring out of what’s in your head. Forget spelling, punctuation, plot details, just … just …spew it onto the screen. All the technical stuff can be worked out, sorted out, thrown out or embelished, cut and pasted, rearranged and tidied up in draft 2.

    I’m coming up to the first major plot point, a big scene, including a death, (which has been playing in my head for, well for years, and I was worried about the lead into it and the details that I need to include to make the big scene work. The little bit I did write was terrible because I didn’t have a focus, an idea to present this lead up information – it was written ‘cold’ and it showed… So I paced a bit, worried a bit, and then sat down and did a crossword feeling really bad about myself.
    What I should’ve done was just spew out the big scene; the lead up can be done later, so THAT is what I’m going to do NOW!

  6. Thanks for the “like.” Hey, I think that it is extra hard for a writer to teach other people to write (especially 7th graders!), because someone who loves to write (or at least, loves “having written) has a hard time describing how it happens. Blessings to you as you bleed red ink all over your students’ comma-speckled essays.

  7. I’m not sure how it took me so long to start following you. Between conversations with your Gut and WIPs giving you the evil eye, you’re one of the funniest bloggers I’ve come across in a while.

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