Monday, July 10, 2006

Things I Don't Want to Do Today

avoidance: deliberately avoiding; keeping away from or preventing from happening

In case you're reading and wondering, this is a post about writing.

I had originally intended to write about querying, and even have examples of good and bad query letters. That will have to wait for another day.

Today, I am thinking about avoidance. Namely, avoidance of things that really, really must be done, but that I have absolutely no desire to do. For example, I don't want to scrub the downstairs bathroom. I have three sons. I don't think I need to offer any further explanation for my avoidance of this task. I also don't want to call my sons' piano teacher to confirm their lessons for tomorrow. I have several reasons for this, the most pressing is that I simply don't feel like bringing my kids to piano tomorrow. Two of my boys participate in piano competition. Now, that my third son is beginning with the same teacher, we're in for a long year. Why start it now? The other thing I really don't want to do is take my kids to the park. I've been pulling too many late nights finishing VALLEY OF SHADOWS. I'm tired. I deserve a break. Don't I? While I'm listing things I'd rather avoid, I don't want to put away the clean dishes, fold the clean clothes, start another load of laundry, or sweep my floor (for the millionth time). I don't want to make my kids do their summer school, clean their rooms, or do their piano practice. I don't want to move, let alone exercise.

But most of all, I don't want to write. Not one word, not one sentence, not one tiny little punctuation mark. I want to leave my laptop where it is, silent and stagnate on my writing desk. I want to forget, for just today, that I have a manuscript due in two and a half weeks, that I need to print out and polish the story my editors are waiting for, that I have to begin the proposal for the third and final book in my contract.

Just for today, I want to avoid it all.

But I won't, because I've learned that when I avoid things they don't get done (gee, what a surprise) and I just end up with more to do the next day, or the next. I've also learned that avoiding something for one day makes me more likely to avoid it the next. And that is a really good way to form bad habits.

So, I'll do all the things listed above, and probably be happy I did. And when vacation time comes (in August), I'll still be on track with my writing, my homeschooling, my kids' lessons, and I'll be able to relax and enjoy.

Which leads to a question you knew was coming - What are you avoiding today?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a timely post. What am I avoiding today? Gee, I'm not sure I could upload the whole list. Housework and writing top the list.
I'm really good at avoiding...especially when I have good reasons (It's VBS week, I'm the director; we are looking at a major move; I have to read a hundred writing sites instead of writing the next scene that is bumping around in my head.)
But you are right, when you just get it done,it is so much easier to carry the accomplishment instead of the burden.

Shirlee McCoy said...

VBS week...such a good time for excuses, Cheryl! :-)

I know. We had VBS the week before last. I've been tired ever since.

Just an update: I brought the kids to the park. I wrote a little. I even unloaded the clean dishes from the sink. I have NOT cleaned the downstairs bathroom!

MommyCheryl said...

And my everything in the car for tonight way ahead of schedule, swept, vacuumed, and cleaned the bathroom. Whew!

Lynette Eason said...

Um...Shirlee, just a little question. Why can't the boys clean the downstairs bathroom? My five year old cleans our hall bath. Shrug. (And yes, I make sure he scrubs his hands afterwards, but he thinks it's all a game. He loves the brush swishing in the water...hehehe.)

Delegate, my dear woman, delegate. GRIN

Oh, what am I avoiding? My children at the moment...they've fought all day and I'm tired of it. So, they are in their separate rooms with orders to stay there until I say they can come out - and yes, they are whining about...which is why they're still there. They'll get the idea to be quiet shortly.

And I'm avoiding writing obviously, but I only have like one more chapter to write and I will be done with the entire manuscript! So why am I avoiding finishing? Probably because that would mean having to start the new story running around in my head...hehehe. I hate Chapter 1 Page 1.



Shirlee McCoy said...

Now, there is an idea, Lynette. Since I haven't cleaned said bathroom, yet, I'll set my boys to work. Actually, they do all have chores. Those chores have just never included bathroom cleaning. Until now. I'll tell them it was your idea :-).

I love page one line one. I hate page 45, line 1,2,3, etc, until about page 220.

Anyway, stop avoiding. You know you're going to have to give me a page count at the end of the week!

Lynette Eason said...

Thanks, Shirlee. Remind me if I ever meet your boys to introduce myself with an alias...ha.

Okay, okay, going to write...

And BTW, my word count is stupendous from last week... just a little over 8,000 words!


Sabrina L. Fox said...

What am I had to mention the bathroom. I don't know, I'm not sure I'd trust my son with toilet bowl cleaner. I have visions of chemical explosions. Shudder. Just not worth it. ;)

Shirlee McCoy said...

My bathroom is clean. Now, I'm avoiding the kitchen floor. Really, it's a bad choice for a homeschool area...all kinds of stuff gets dropped and mooshed and stuck on that floor. Sigh.

MommyCheryl said...

You know, we would have so much less to avoid if there was a dark and secret closet in our houses to put all that 'stuff' from the kitchen. Oh, and then we would all have these dark, secret, scary closets to fuel the imagination.

Shirlee, I am seeing such a catch 22 with this avoidance entry. Blogs and boards are the catalysts of some serious avoidance! ;)

Shirlee McCoy said...

Aren't they, though? And the closer I get to deadline, the more time I want to spend here!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

What am I avoiding tonight... designing a blog for a client. LOL But hey, I'm reading EVERY one of your posts on your blog! It's funner! (funner is too a word!) :o)