Friday, July 10, 2009

Things That Are Easier Than Writing

My friend Harriett pointed out in her blog that reading religious pamphlets left at your door is easier than writing, which is just one reason working at home can be distracting. That inspired me to come up with a partial list of other things that are easier to do than writing:
1. Weeding the garden. I have a bed that is nothing but waist-high weeds. I was just going to pull a few, to see how easy it was. It was easier than writing. An hour later, I had weeded half the bed.
2. Writing letters. I hardly ever write letters. Today I wrote four.
3. Picking raspberries. Not just a handful. Every one I could find.
4. Combing the cat. And I have a cat you can comb for an hour and still remove mounds of loose hair. Some day, I think, she'll completely unravel.
5. Cleaning out my e-mail in-box, reading every e-mail in the process, and doing a little comparison shopping on the computer being advertised on the side of the screen.

Jane Yolen's famous advice, "Butt in chair," is hard to follow. It seems easy. Just settle down in front of my computer and stay there (and stay off the Internet). Some days, when the golden light of inspiration flows through my fingers, it is easy. Those days, I look around after two hours and say, "Where did the time go?" But other days (today, for example), when each word has to be pulled out of my brain like a stubborn dandelion, it is excruciating. I don't want to settle down. I want a glass of water. I want a cookie. I want to go out and play.

But I think I'm figuring it out. Even though I've heard it over and over and have even preached it to others, it's just now sinking in. Writing is more likely to get done if I sit down and make myself available every day, whether I'm inspired or not.

But first I have to go to the bathroom . . .


  1. I recommend the Furminator for your cat. It will trim away tons of extra fur and leave you with no excuse for that day-long grooming session.

    Although I'm sure you can find something else other than writing to occupy that time.

    Yes that habit of just showing up is a tough one to cultivate. Good luck, Marileta!

  2. This is hilarious and So true! I'm with you on the weeds, the raspberries, and e-mail box cleaning. Sadly, the religous pamphlet-leavers haven't been by lately....

    Great to find your blog, Marileta!

  3. I am chortling over this post, which resonates with me for sure! The internet is such a seducer - ping, ooh, wonder what that email is; boing, ah, software update; google a word to check its usage and find a slew of fascinating facts. Each day, I must ask myself the question, how much do you want to write? And that returns my focus.