I sat down to write, but the earth seemed to conspire against me. The phone rang. My older dog threw up. My younger one left me a gift on the carpet (she’s 8 weeks old). My husband arrived, mid-shift, looking for dinner. I am sidetracked, afterward, by a half-dozen mundane chores. By the time I have it all sorted, folded, and washed … walked, fed, and answered … my brain is as blank as a sheet of copy paper.
Again. Because the truth is I’ve been in this pattern for days. There’s gifts to buy, errands to run … my daughter needs to get to work or be picked up … decorations to hang, food to prepare. The never-ending cycle of my existence keeps stealing precious minutes, hours, from me. All of it counterproductive to my writing. All of it unavoidable.
What I’m left with at 8 p.m. on a December evening is, instead, a disparate selection of thoughts that I wished all hinged together somehow, but actually don’t. Things I’ve read bleed into stories I’ve seen or situations I’ve experienced. My brain oozes with conversations on social media and texts from my brother, my aunt, my mom and dad. Best friends.
This is not me. In my mind’s eye, I am organized, capable, and efficient. I meet or exceed my goals. In reality, I can’t remember my name … and it seems like there’s something I meant to do just now. What was that? For that matter, what day of the week is it? Wednesday? Wasn’t there something I planned for tomorrow?
Sometimes, all I can do successfully in the whirlwind of life is keep walking the pathway in front of me. I must set aside plotlines and sentences and characters and be a mom, a wife, an employee first. Some days, the best action I make is getting ready for bed, and the closest I come to my WIP is five minutes of muddled thought right before I nod off.
I make excuses saying tomorrow will be better. I’ll have hours of free time to play author again. I’ll finally make more progress than two paragraphs describing a dinner scene. I’ll get an idea where the book will end. Another notch in my belt, star in my crown, ring on my hand.
Then again, I must water my vegetable garden. I should sweep the front porch. I promised my daughter I’d take her to the store. Maybe, once the sun’s gone down, the dishes are washed, and I’ve taken my bath … Maybe I’ll write a blog article about nothing (or everything. Which is it?) while a dog sleeps on my chest, the TV plays on mute, and … oh, yeah, the phone just rang again. It’s my husband. He’s working late. I may or may not be awake when he gets here.
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