I have writer’s block, so I have been procrastinating writing all day. This happens a lot on Mondays. I am looking for inspiration, but it’s not coming.
What do most writers (or artists) do when they need inspiration? I am not sure, but MY process is terribly mundane.
I usually start in the kitchen. There is always a dishwasher to unload or pots and pans to put away. But that didn’t waste enough time this morning, so I decided to start dinner. At 8am. Unfortunately, I really needed to go to the grocery store, but I was just not in the mood. I ended up using all the remaining vegetables in my fridge to make a vegetable curry. Of course, my daughter doesn’t like curry, so I needed to plan a different meal for her. Thankfully, I had pesto in the freezer, so she will have that over some pasta tonight. But making curry in a crockpot and defrosting pesto didn’t exactly get my creative juices flowing. I needed to keep find something else that was “urgent” on my To-Do list: Laundry. Yes, laundry is my go to place on Mondays. No, not because I like laundry. In fact, I very much DISLIKE doing laundry. Yet I feel compelled to do this never-ending chore whenever I feeling creatively stuck. Why would I do something I don’t even like as a means of inspiration? I guess because it is relatively easy. Not the physical act of doing it, which is actually a pain in the ass. Well, technically it’s a pain in my arm because I spend a lot of my weekends playing tennis. Since I played a lot this weekend, which makes me super happy, it usually results in making my right arm not so happy. Normally, it’s my shoulder that chronically aches, but that chronic pain has taken a backseat to a resurgence of tennis elbow lately.
Warning: Laundry is pretty much guaranteed to aggravate shoulder issues and definitely tennis elbow. I could probably sort the laundry, load it into the washing machine, remove it from the washing machine, put it into the dryer, and take it out of the dryer with my LEFT-hand. But I don’t. Why?
Because I simply forget that have a left-hand. In other words, I am operating on auto-pilot which is probably why I do laundry in the first place when I am procrastinating. I suppose it makes me feel like I have accomplished something with very little risk of screwing it up. Unlike writing, which is scary and sometimes hard… and could easily be screwed up.
But my mountain of laundry didn’t bring me inspiration either. I know, what a shocker! So, I looked for something else to aid in my procrastination. I won’t tell you how many times I have checked social media today. Yes, I LOVED your sunset. Your vacation photo. Your daughter’s birthday photo. Your cat meme. Your dog video. Your parents’ anniversary pictures. And yes, I even posted my own sunset from last night. But in spite of all of that, I was still without inspiration. What could I do next? There is always my dog. He looked especially needy today. He kept bringing me toys and dropping them at my feet. So, I HAD to get on the floor and spend some time with him playing Tug of War with an old smelly squeaky toy that I gave him last Christmas.
I probably should have washed that too.
While playing Tug of War on the floor, I noticed a few dust bunnies under the sofa. Needless to say, I had to take out the broom and started sweeping the floors. Not surprisingly, sweeping aggravates tennis elbow too.
Back to social media. There was an especially adorable penguin video on Facebook today and some great quotes on Twitter. I was still not writing.
Then I remembered that two of my friends told me about the Brene Brown special on Netflix, which I really wanted to see! So I watched that. She was brilliant. Her storytelling is pitch perfect, and I found myself in awe of her ability to share her personal anecdotes, entertain, and still teach in a 75-minute talk. I thought for sure that would unleash my creative juices, but when I thought about how she has managed to write FIVE New York Times bestsellers, I found myself right back on my Instagram feed. Then, I needed to text my two friends who recommended her special to let them know how much I liked it!
Five hours later, I finally sat down to write, but all I could muster up was my grocery list. Then it was lunch time. I had really worked up an appetite. Now I really regretted not having gone to the grocery store, but I was afraid of wasting too much time.
A little while later, my husband poked his head into my office to tell me that he was going into town to go to the hardware store. It is highly unusual that he would run errands in the middle of the day.
So, I casually asked him, “What do you need there?” He was oddly defensive when he responded by saying, “Stuff.” So, I responded by saying, “I really need to go to the grocery store.” He then asked, “What for? You already made dinner.” I said, “Because we need stuff.” Admittedly, I had a momentary fantasy that he would offer to do the grocery shopping. Silly me. I think we were both procrastinating from whatever work project needed our attention. I debated going into town with him, since the grocery store is next to the hardware store, but I knew that I would never write this blog post if I went down that rabbit hole.
Besides it's time to put another load of laundry in the dryer… and maybe I will just see what it is happening on Facebook. Don’t judge.